Thursday: Christ’s Healing Legacy

Review Acts 3:1-19; Acts 5:12-16; Acts 9:36-42; Acts 20:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:7-9, 1 Cor. 28-31; and James 5:13-16. How should modern Christians evaluate the importance of healing ministry to the New Testament church?

Image © Standard Publishing from

Image © Standard Publishing from

First-century disciples witnessed firsthand Christ’s promise of seeing greater things than these fulfilled (John 1:50, compare John 5:20, John 14:12). Miraculous healings and resurrections attended the ministries of early Christianity’s most prominent disciples: Peter and Paul. These events figured significantly in the early church’s growth. God’s eternal presence, signified by miraculous healing, influenced thousands of religious leaders to accept Christ. Their flocks often followed.

Sometimes new disciples misunderstood the divine purpose. Simon attempted to purchase miraculous power, revealing self-centered motivations (Acts 8:9-25). Most, however, recognized that the significance of these miraculous wonders rested in the fact that they revealed God’s presence among them. These displays of divine power proved that God existed and that He was worthy of their praise.

Although Christ had ascended to heaven, throngs still followed Him through the ministries of His disciples. They furthered the mission Jesus had started. They were fulfilling the vision Christ had shared.

Clearly health was an ongoing concern and a healing ministry an ongoing function of Christ’s church. Healing was listed among the spiritual gifts. Instructions for ministering God’s healing grace to those afflicted by sickness were recorded in Scripture. These gifts would benefit believers until Christ’s second coming, when His personal presence would render them unnecessary. Church history chronicles the dedication of believers to health ministry during many different time periods. Certainly, relieving human suffering was an important motivation. Others, however, recognized healing as the first step toward coming to know the complete gospel.



Thursday: Christ’s Healing Legacy — 16 Comments

    • We are told, God is willing to pour out His Spirit upon his people but we are not ready to recieve it. I was reading one of E.G. White books and she mentioned not 1:100 is prepared to meet their maker.

  1. [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

    Why are we not healing people today...what has happened to this gift. I realize that our Health Ministry is a method of healing, but what about outright healing as told in the texts for today's lesson

    • Healing as mentioned in Acts 5. is a different healing from what we have in the 21st centuary. Peter and John say the word "in the name of Jesus Christ" and the man was healed not to go back to see the dr anymore. The bible says he was leaping and praising the Lord and followed Peter and John all the way around. That is the type of healing I am looking for in these last days. Someone filled with the Holy Ghost pronounced healing on others. But it also have to do with faith, deep faith from the given and well as the reciever

      • I think the western world has been able to engineer many people to rely on doctors for their healing because it is a big business for them and it is also a way of degrading our faith in God's power to heal. Unfortunately the varied prescriptions of medication for the patients contribute to a large extents to so many diseases people get these days. As a result real faith in God to heal the sick is greatly degraded among adventists and we trust medical providers more than the healing powers of God. And the pentecostals who claim to believe in the healing power of the Holy Spirit are using as big business to enrich themselves. Thus big businesses have dwarfed the healing power of God.

    • From time to time there are reports of miraculous healing among Christians. Yet in proportion to the extent of known sickness among the remnant reports of miraculous healings are few and far between; certainly not comparative to the apostolic period. Has the Great Physician changed his attitude toward sickness and suffering? Hardly likely.

      The Compassionate one still cares. One of the reasons miracles of healing are not as prevalent among commandment keepers is the increase of knowledge. Scientific advancement allows for much treatment not previously available. More than that the SDA church has been blessed with a health message which if and when heeded goes farther than instantaneous miraculous events.

      Although there is push back against some of the counsels, increasingly scientific research confirms validity of the light given. Do we need to wait for science to catch up on every point?

      More than just relieving suffering Jehovah would teach His people trust in Him and His revelation, compliance with His laws (moral, health, etc.) and how to glorify Him in suffering when we have cooperated with heaven and still fall prey to illness, as we sometimes may. By such precept and practice the faithful may draw others to become disciples of Christ.

      In the Ministry of Healing p. 227 EGW made this interesting statement, "It is labor lost to teach people to look to God as a healer of their infirmities, unless they are taught also to lay aside unhealthful practices. In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well."

      God has a better idea than just to offer temporary relief. He wants to restore us wholly into His image. Now that is a greater plan.

  2. There are Christians who have the gift of healing and their gifts are used just as the word says in James 5:13-16; just ask the Lord to lead you to those who demonstrate their gifts according to the word and as God leads them by His Spirit. God Bless

    • Gina, James 5:14 just says to call on the elders to pray over the sick and anoint them. It says nothing about finding someone with "the gift of healing."

      My understanding is that God will give the gift of healing when we follow His instructions. I've seen it happen.

      My husband and His sister saw God heal someone in the Ukraine even without anointing. Medicine for the condition was unavailable, but God healed without medicine.

  3. People think that there is no healing today but i object to that. Healing is there but the type and kind of healing we are looking for is what we cant see. Besides, we want this healing for the glory of who?. From the texts its clear that the healing was for the glory of christ and I believe, if that is what we are searching for, then lets open our eyes, it is everywhere, even around us and we will be able to see it in the simple miracles and many other good works done by Gods people

    • We are talking about the instant healing that occurred in those times; not diet healing. That is what is missing and that is why reasonable people are asking where such miraclous power of God is gone

  4. I believe that men and women are still being healed today. In many instances even after we pray diligently for this healing, and witness recovery - we don't believe that it was the power of the Holy Spirit of God responding to the prayers. We just don't believe even as we pray.

    • The reason is that the western culture has divorced us from the healing power of God and replaced it with medical providers and medication which is a big business for them. But the irony is that prescription medications create more diseases for people thus creating a vicious cycle for people and more dependent on modern medicine and more profit for these medical providers and less dependent on the power of God to heal

      • While there is some truth in the notion that medicine is big business, we should also exercise caution in outright condemnation of prescription medications. There are times when the appropriate use of medication is indicated and should be used. There are prescription medications that are over-prescribed and patients should seek counsel on the best approach for their particular situation. I have seen the results of people who have refused well-recognized medications in favor of some so-called "natural remedy" only to find that the natural remedy has not worked and they have lost the opportunity to use the prescription medication with success.

        We need to recognise Christ as the healer but at the same time we should seek the best medical advice in choosing our medications when we need them.

  5. great lesson.....
    i really think that healing is one of the best evangilical means we adventist should exercise are we going to do that???...not unless we get truely revived and turn our ways away from evil we can never have the healing power

  6. On Thursday lesson only Peter of all the disciples is mentioned healing. His shadow alone is recorded used for healing. Did other eleven ever healed

  7. Every individual Christ ever healed or raised from the dead eventually died and awaits God's final decision (1 Thess 4: 16-17). Due to the human state of mind it is easy to lose what should be our focus in Christ's healing legacy. Jesus declared His mission the day He read from Isaiah 61 in Lk 4: 17-21. He understood that His miracles could have opposing effects (John 12: 11 compared to John 9:16) because of people's perceptions (John 2: 23-25). So He cautions all who would take His counsel, not to be fixated on the things that will pass but rather on what lasts (John 6: 26-27). He understood that the "wow" factor of miraculous healings could dazzle to distraction, so He directs our attention to a more stable foundation (Lk 16: 29-31). So His clear teaching in the miracle of the paralytic let down through the roof, is that not only does He have power to meet our physical needs but MORE IMPORTANTLY is His ability to supply our non-physical need (Mk 2: 5, 10-11)!!. The human condition however, is that our physical needs scream at us so loudly that we often don't hear that their resolution is rooted in God ministering to our non-physical need. Is there any connection between the way WE VIEW our diet, finance, sexuality, time usage, hygiene, relationships, environment etc and the OUTCOMES in our lives?


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