When we were children, we thought like children. For instance, when we got a cut or scrape, we went running and sometimes crying for the tender mercy of our loved one. And by tender mercy, I mean the tan rectangular adhesive with the soft cotton center! (I’m trying to avoid a trademark issue here, but you know I’m talking about: a band-aid. Aghhh! I did it anyway!)
Think about it: did that little piece of first-aid wonder actually do any measure of healing? In our naiveté it did. But, we understand now that the band-aid only hid the wound from our sight (and from some germs). It masked the injury, but the healing truly came from the inside.
Today, our desire for healing is much the same. The hurts are deeper, as we have lived longer and experienced numerous disappointments in life. But, in the same way the band-aid didn’t heal us when we were children, neither do the cover-up approaches prescribed for us in adulthood produce the lasting work of healing that we need.
Jesus, heal me from the inside, because I want to be about the Father’s business, but these band-aids are not working and keep falling off!
Do you walk through life finding band-aids strewn about the various surfaces where you have been? Have you tried self-help books, escapism, drugs or other numbing tactics? The first application didn’t stick, did it?
Let’s look at Jesus’ works of healing as recorded by Luke.
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19).
Jesus is the fulfillment of the restoration we need. Because He is all-powerful, His ability to heal the spirit, soul and the body is unlimited!
When you and I learn about the holiness of God and the filth of our sin separating us from Him, we realize that our spirit is completely bankrupt. We are without any means of saving ourselves from the payment required for our sin. We need a bridge for the great divide, so in that understanding of our poverty, we receive the good news of Jesus’ salvation. Jesus restores man to a right relationship with God. This is the beginning place of healing in our total being. Wholeness is not found with a psychic, a hypnotist, a drug, or anything else that prides itself on the absence of Christ. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Jesus proclaims freedom for the captives. Do you see Him on the other side of the prison bars? The keys are in His hand, and He has already unlocked the gate for us! It is time for us to push open the iron barricade. We are free!
The addiction? Jesus defeated it when He took all of our sins and all of our sicknesses upon Himself on the cross. And, because He resurrected from death, addiction is already under His feet.
The unhealthy relationships of the past? There’s freedom from the pattern of dependency. We only need to come out of the cell by recognizing our need for wholeness will not come from a person but through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our Lord delivers us from all oppression. You and I never were destined to live under a shroud of heaviness. Our lives, purchased by Christ’s blood, are defined by freedom. We can lift our hands to the throne and declare His praises because of the hope that fills our total being. For this reason, we believe what Jesus proclaimed- this is the year of the Lord’s favor. Each year is a greater year with God as we continually are being changed from glory to glory. God is perfecting His love in us, and our faith in Christ is strengthened with each passing day. Thank God for the hope that prevails and believes for greater days ahead!
Jesus brings recovery of sight for the blind. The Bible records an account of two blind men who begged for the mercy of God to restore to them their sight. They were not shy about their need. No, they were quite undignified, and when the crowds tried to force them to be quiet, they cried out all the more, and Jesus healed them! (See Matthew 20:29-34.)
Don’t you love how the unseeing men accurately directed their desperate plea? Though they were blind, they demonstrated the fine-tuned skill of archers releasing their one arrow of hope, and, by faith, they targeted the source of that hope. Often, those with sight miss the bullseye mark because they aim for other solutions.
Do you identify with the desperation of the two men who sought restoration of sight? To whom do you call out for help when your physical wholeness is compromised? You’ve got one arrow to shoot, so aim your hope upon the One who cannot fail you.
If all of this sounds too good to be true, know that, in Jesus, we are offered abundant life (John 10:10). We are called to live the “rise above” life where we victoriously abide in Him and above our circumstances, not under them. How is all of that possible, you ask? It is by the Spirit, just as Jesus proclaimed (Luke 4:18). He also described the Holy Spirit’s empowerment in the life of a believer with the words, “streams of living water” flowing from within us (John 7:38-39). Let us revisit this old praise song and sing the words of life. Let us live out their reality.
I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me. Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see. Opens prison doors, sets the captives free. I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me. Spring up, O well, into my soul. Spring up, O well, and make me whole. Spring up, O well, and give to me, that life abundantly.
(I’ve Got a River of Life by L. Casebolt)