Category Archives: Healing

Loosed From Infirmity

Exactly where He was teaching is not stated, though it was probably in Peraea. Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day (Luke 13:10). This was a common practice for the Lord (Luke 4:16). Beside this incident, the most notable other record of Jesus teaching in the synagogue was when He announced Himself as fulfilling the Messianic prophecies in Nazareth (Luke 4:15-21). The people were so disturbed by this that they wanted to put Him to death (Luke 4:28,29). The apostle Paul also followed this practice of going to the synagogues and teaching (Acts 17:1-3).

In this particular instance, the Lord spotted a woman who had “a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift herself up” (Luke 13:11). The source of her suffering was not from merely natural causes. The Text tells us this came upon her by a “spirit of infirmity” (Luke 13:11). Jesus says that she had been “bound” by satan (Luke 13:16). The Bible makes a clear distinction between being afflicted by the spiritual realm and being sick from natural causes (cf., e.g., Matt. 4:24; Mark 1:32).

What is telling about this woman’s character is that despite her terrible burden, she was faithful to attend the synagogue on the Sabbath. She had been this way for eighteen years. It must have been physically challenging to go to the synagogue, but she went. She would have had an easy, ready-made excuse and no one would have faulted her, yet she chose to go. On this she is to be commended and perhaps it is just this sincerity that caused Jesus to take note of her.

When Jesus saw this woman, He “called” unto her. The word “call” used here can either mean to address or summons. This woman did not ask Jesus to heal her and there is no indication she had any expectation that such would happen. But Jesus probably called to her to come to Him and when she approached Him He told her that she was loosed from her infirmity (Luke 13:12). Jesus could have healed her from a distance as He did with the Centurion’s servant (Matt. 8:5ff) but He was close enough to her to touch her, and to lay His hands on her (Luke 13:13).

The miracle was immediate and complete (Luke 13:13). As Jesus laid His hands on her, she was made straight. For eighteen long years she had been “bowed together” and was unable to lift up herself (Luke 13:11). Luke used the medical term to describe her condition. She must have needed assistance from others in her daily life or was unable to do many things others could do. But when Jesus healed her, she stood up straight. Another indication of the character of this woman was that when she was healed she glorified God (Luke 13:13).

This woman’s attitude was very different from that of the ruler of the synagogue, the archisunagogos. The ruler of the synagogue did not even try to deny the miracle. This woman was known to them all. Her condition was equally known. This he could not deny. He was left to offer the very inept and vacuous criticism that she was healed on the wrong day! Imagine that. She had been there for eighteen years and had never been healed but Jesus comes along and when He first sees her He offers her a means of recovery. Instead of rejoicing that this woman was healed the Pharisee had nothing but indignation.

Furthermore, in response to this notable miracle, this Pharisee directs his remarks to the crowd and not to Jesus. Of course, he could not stand against Jesus and so turns to those over which he believes he had control, but the Lord will soon bring his pitiful objection to nought. The Pharisee said you ought to come on one of the other days and be healed, as if he would not have objected to the healing then, as well.

In answering this pharisee, Jesus calls him a hypocrite. Not many preachers take this approach today, do they? Jesus did. Jesus points out this pharisees hypocrisy when he would help a dumb animal but would not assist a person on the Sabbath day . This woman was not only a human being, but a daughter of Abraham, a Jewess, and a woman who had been afflicted by the devil. Jesus said this woman “ought” to have been healed. There was a rightness to it and a necessity.

The Lord so powerfully dismissed this objection of the Pharisee, and so gloriously healed this deserving woman, that the people also rejoiced at all the glorious things done by Jesus that day (Luke 13:17). Not only was the Pharisee silenced, but he and those that stood with him, were ashamed. Today we need to put to silence and make ashamed those who would stop the good work of the Lord.

Eric L. Padgett

What Do You Do With An Old Year?

In a few short days, this year will be put down in the books. The deeds you have done will be recorded in God’s book of remembrance and they all, but for one exception, cannot be erased. It is truly amazing, almost to the point of being breathtaking, how time seems to fly, especially as you get older! When you are young, you think you have forever, but as you get older time seems to speed up. Because of that, you may have many years under your belt. But what good is an old year anyway? What can you do with it?

First, I suggest, you can be thankful for it. Many people did not make it through last year. The odds are, you probably know someone very close to you who did not make it through the end of the year. The wise man said, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1). James, likewise, says we know not what shall be on the morrow (James 4:13-16). We don’t have the promise of tomorrow; this night our souls might be required of us (Luke 12:20). Our own experience should teach us this. As we are thankful in everything, let us not forget to give thanks for the passing year (I Thess. 5:18).

Another very important thing we can do with the old year is to learn from it. We know that sacred history was written for our learning (I Cor. 10:6,11; Rom. 15:4). Our own history can also be instructive as we face the new year, if we are willing to learn it’s lessons. The old saying is, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. Only a fool would refuse to learn from experience (Prov. 1:5-9). The new year will be far more pleasant for us if we allow ourselves to learn from the old.

In the third place, while we should learn from the past, we should also learn to forget some of the past. Paul wrote that in his efforts to live the Christian life, he tried diligently to forget those things which are behind and to press forward to those things which are before (Phil. 3:13). The emphasis should be upon things eternal. Some people live in the past, which, in and of itself is not a bad thing. But living in the past to the exclusion of the here and now and of the future can be detrimental. The children of Israel looked back to Egypt and lot’s wife looked back to Sodom. Lest s not make the same mistake. Jesus said no man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62). In order to plow a straight line, we cannot look back, but we must look to the Author and Finisher of our Faith (Heb. 12:1,2).

In the fourth place, however, I would suggest remembering the good times you enjoyed and the blessings you received this past year. Paul said that we should think on whatsoever things were true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8). If you enjoyed a special moment with family or friends, cherish it. The time may come when you will not have those opportunities. Paul said he affectionately called to remembrance the unfeigned faith which dwelt in Timothy’s mother and grandmother (II Tim. 1:5). These moments we make together here in this life are the real treasures that are lasting!

Fifth, accept what you have done in the past year but don’t let it define you. If you have failed in some way in the past in your life or in your service to the Lord, come to terms with it. Peter had denied the Lord. Paul persecuted and killed Christians. Many New Testament Christians had previously engaged in the things of this world–adultery, fornication, effeminacy, thievery, drunkenness, etc.–but they had changed. Paul said “such were some of you” (I Cor. 6:9-11). They did not deny that they had done some these things, but they were not going to let those things define who they were. Jesus said if there were hindrances in the past, we should deal with them and move on (Matt. 5:23,24).

I mentioned earlier that all our deeds are recorded in God’s book of remembrance and cannot be removed, albeit with one exception. Our past can be removed if we submit ourselves to God’s will and accept His offer of pardon. Then, and only then, will He remove our record from His book of remembrance. He promises that when we obey His will, then our sins and our iniquities will He remember no more (Heb. 8:12). If we as Christians sin, the record of that transgression will be permanently removed if we confess our sins (I John 1:7-9; Acts 8:22). It is only in Christ that we truly can start anew. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

We come to the close of another year. Be thankful for it and use it to make the next year an even better one. It is my prayer that this year was a good one for you. If you have suffered in some way, I pray that you might find comfort in the days ahead. May the next year find you receiving abundant blessings from God.

Eric L. Padgett

The Great Physician

Jesus said, “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matt. 9:12).

Thank God for doctors! I could never be one, but I am glad that we have them. They work long hours, see some of life’s worst moments, and many times get sued out of business. Maybe some of them deserve that but, on the whole, they do great things, things like restoring health and saving lives. We generally only go to them when we are sick and really only need them then. Yes, doctors do great things for our physical health. But thank God we have a Great Physician Who heals our sin-sick souls, as well.

Jesus explained what He meant by this statement above when He said further, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt. 9:13). Just as the healthy don’t need a doctor, the righteous don’t need a saviour. Perhaps Jesus meant here the “self-righteous” because there are none righteous, no not one (Rom. 3:10). Jesus did not come to this world to help those who did want His help, but those who recognized that they needed His help.

Our physical health is a delicate matter, just as is our spiritual health. We may feel healthy now, but a moment later we may feel sick. Generally, the cause of our physical sickness precedes the symptoms by some period of time. When we catch the flu, it is usually some time before we start seeing the symptoms. The same is true spiritually. Our absence from the services, our disobedience, our lack of involvement in the work of the Lord, our disinterest, our spiritual apathy is usually preceded some time by the actual sickness. The symptoms are merely a manifestation of a deeper problem.

At least two ingredients are involved in maintaining our physical health: proper diet and good exercise. Physical exercise strengthens our bodies and, along with a proper diet, gives us the energy and nutrients to grow.

Spiritually, we need the same ingredients. We must have nourishment for the soul as well as the body. Peter admonished us as new born babes to desire the sincere milk of the world that we may grow thereby (I Pet. 2:2). As we grow more mature we need stronger food (Heb. 5:13,14). We also need to have our senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb. 5:14). In the long run, bodily exercise profits little, only in the here and now, but godliness is profitable in all things, benefitting us for eternity (I Tim. 4:8). But even exercise and a proper diet is sometimes not enough to keep us from getting sick.

There is no individual that has the remedy for man’s spiritual ills (Jer. 46:12). Jesus came and said He was anointed of God to “heal” the brokenhearted and to give sight to the blind and set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:17-19). The prophet said “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5). Jesus is our Great Physician that can heal the sin-sick soul.

Some doctors that deal with the flesh have very poor bedside manners. It is almost as if they do not care about the patient. Most doctors do care and express that concern for the patients, but some do not. However, Jesus not only knows how to heal He also cares. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). The word “touched” in this verse is translated from the word “sumpatheo,” or our word “sympathy.” As the song states, “My Jesus knows, because He cares.”

So, yes, thank God for doctors. But thank God for Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, Who alone possess and knows how to use the balm of Gilead which can heal our hurt (Jer. 8:22)!

Eric L. Padgett

It Pleased the Lord to Bruise Him

No one wants to be bruised. Whatever event that brings it on is usually painful and it continues to be sore for quite some time. Bruises, we have all had them. Generally they are not very serious, resulting from some blunt trauma. However, in rare cases, they may indicate something even more serious. The Bible uses the bruise to teach important lessons about sin.

First, God does not accept anything that is bruised. “Ye shall not offer unto the Lord that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land” (Lev. 22:24). An offering to God must be without blemish of any kind (Lev. 22:17-25). We should keep this in mind when we worship God. Are our prayers heart-felt and sincere, or are they merely an outward display (Matt. 6:5-15)? Is our worship in song from the heart or are the words we sing merely for our entertainment (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)? During the preaching of the word, is our heart and mind directed toward the truths spoken or do our minds wander aimlessly about, thinking about the previous day’s activities, or about what we are going to be doing today, or something else? Is our heart really in our worship and service to God? If not, it is bruised and unacceptable to God. Offering to God that which is pure takes effort but, like David, we should only offer our best to God, not that which costs us nothing (II Sam. 24:24).

Second, Jesus was bruised for us. “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand” and “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:10,5). Though the Bible does not say specifically, I am certain that Jesus sustained very severe, literal bruises from the beatings He took from the Roman soldiers and the scourging from the temple guards. He literally was bruised for us. But, more than this, He Who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us that we might be acceptable to God (II Cor. 5:21). Because God is of purer eyes than to behold evil, the Father turned away from Him in that desperate hour (Matt. 27:45,46). How terribly alone and forsaken Jesus must have felt at that moment!

Third, this was all a part of God’s plan from the beginning. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). From the beginning the Father knew His Son would suffer on the cross for man’s sin (Rev. 13:8). The fact that the Lord knew that Jesus would have to go to the cross even before He created man shows the tremendous love that the Father has for us. The Lord must have thought us very much worth it to see the price that had to be paid and still go through with this plan. The blessings of salvation must be of far greater value than the possibility of eternal damnation (Rom. 8:18-39).

Finally, now that Jesus has suffered for us, made to be a propitiation for our sins (I John 2:2), He can heal our bruises and our bind up our wounds. Jesus said “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18). We are battered and bruised by sin, but Jesus can heal us and bind up our wounds (Luke 10:34). He took part of “flesh and blood” for this very reason, that He might destroy the power of the devil, deliver us from death, and succour them suffer (Heb. 2:14-18).

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

Eric L. Padgett

The Great Physician

The Great Physician

The Great Physician

Since the dawn of time a deadly disease has plagued mankind. It is a devastating disease that most do not even know they have, nor will they, until it is much too late. It is a disease so destructive that it literally penetrates to the very soul of man. Even so, man has learned to live with it and, yes, even to enjoy it. We will even be so bold as to declare that man has learned to love it. What is the name of this devastating and destructive disease that man loves to contract and cultivate in his very bosom? Man seems to have forgotten it but it has not forgotten man. Its name: sin!

But, as if sin is not devastating enough by itself, the calamity has been compounded. Many today are loosing their souls to false remedies for the spiritual sickness of sin. Just as a medical doctor who unwittingly orders an injection of medicine that costs a person their life, preachers today are peddling false doctrines that are costing men their souls. This is the tragedy that is happening every day, a tragedy which can and must be stopped.

When the publicans and sinners gathered to hear the Lord speak those wonderful words of life, the Pharisees saw and asked the Lord’s disciples, “How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:15,16). With those words the Lord made it very clear that He was the physician who could heal the spiritually sick. He is the Great Physician with the greatest of all remedies.

But the world is still sick with sin; the disease seems to be spreading. Like the person receiving a fatal dose of medicine, mankind’s spiritual health is swiftly and steadily declining. If man could only recognize what is not the proper treatment for sin, if he could only recognize that which would cost him his soul, he would never let himself be indoctrinated by counterfeit cures for sin; he would never accept a false remedial system.

We must expose and refute the many false systems of salvation that now plague the religious world. While we desire to make perfectly plain our enmity for all religious error we likewise want it known that we harbor no ill feelings toward anyone. Our motive is pure. Our motive is love for the truth and for the souls of men (Eph. 4:15). If we speak the truth without tempering it with love, we err. If we speak out of love but do not speak the truth, we err. We do not wish to be in error where the souls of men are concerned nor do we want others to be.

Sometimes, though, the remedy of truth hurts. But is it not better to be hurt for only a short time instead of all eternity? Is it not better to pull a sleeping man out of a burning house, taking the risk of physically hurting him or offending him, than to let him burn? Let us, then, likewise reject all false remedies for sin which possess no healing power at all, but rather assure spiritual death. Let us faithfully follow the remedy of the Great Physician!

Eric L. Padgett