Consider for a moment what it is like to be at the bottom of a hill. It’s a huge hill. You’re looking up at it, and all you can see is its height and its angle of ascent. And you can’t see beyond it from where you are standing.
Now change perspectives. You’re at the top of the hill. Not only can you look down to where you just were, but you can look completely around you. You have a 360-degree viewpoint, and you can see beyond the hill. The height and angle of the hill haven’t changed from when you were viewing it from the bottom, but your position at the top allows you to view it from a completely different perspective.
Health challenges in life can seem like hills or even mountains at times, especially when we view them at face value. It’s like being at the bottom of a hill where we can’t see beyond them. But when we look at them from God’s perspective—when we weigh our obstacles against the power and authority of God available to us as born-again believers—it’s like being positioned at the top of the mountain.
In his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ put health challenges into proper perspective for people, teaching them God’s delivering point of view. Men and women had great need in his day, just as they do in our day; and he brought the light of God’s Word to them, delivering them from the oppression of the Devil.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [holy spirit] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
With focus and purpose, he traveled from town to town, teaching, preaching, and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people.
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
We will look at three of Jesus Christ’s healings to elevate our perspective on overcoming any health challenge we may face. In each of these records, we will see individuals with serious health needs—with mountains to overcome—and in every situation we will observe the deliverance Jesus Christ brought them by operating the power and authority given him by God. May these records inspire us to pursue even greater the healing wholeness God desires for us and for those we love.
The first record of healing we will look at is in Luke 7. It takes place in Capernaum of Galilee, where Jesus Christ’s reputation for healing has elevated the perspective of a Roman officer. This centurion recognizes the authority of Jesus Christ’s word and pursues the healing of his dear servant.
Luke 7:1 and 2:
Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
A centurion is an officer in the Roman army who had the command over one hundred men. This centurion’s servant had a serious need. He was sick and at the point of death.
And when he [the centurion] heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews [Judeans], beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
The centurion “heard of Jesus.” By the time of this account, many healings had occurred in this area of Galilee.
Luke 7:4 and 5:
And when they [the elders] came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.
This centurion was very devout. He was not a Judean himself, yet he had built a synagogue for the Judeans. The elders of the synagogue recognized his loyalty and besought Jesus Christ’s help for him.
Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
The centurion recognized the authority of Jesus Christ. First of all, by way of his friends, he acknowledged him as “Lord.” Then he respectfully communicated to Jesus that he didn’t need to proceed any further toward his home. Just “say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.”
His reasoning was simple. He related the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to his own authority as an officer. When he says to a soldier under him, “Go,” he goes, and when he says, “Come,” he comes. And when he says to his servant, “Do this,” his servant does it. Logically speaking, with the authority Jesus had as lord, the centurion was convinced that all it would take was Jesus’ word, and even at a distance his servant would be healed. Now that’s a powerful perspective.
Luke 7:9 and 10:
When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith [believing], no, not in Israel.
And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.
Jesus marveled because he had not seen such great believing in all of Israel. He was out teaching and preaching and healing and helping the called-out of Israel, and here in this situation was a Roman who understood the message. And he articulated the truth so clearly! This centurion had heard of Jesus and knew exactly who had the solution to his problem. He pursued the healing of his servant, and his believing was commendable. He asked for nothing but Jesus’ word and knew his word would bring the servant deliverance. From whatever this officer had heard about Jesus Christ, he had picked up the mountaintop perspective in viewing his challenge.
For the centurion, Jesus’ word held complete dominance over the five-senses circumstances he was facing. And that, Jesus marveled at. Then this dear servant at the point of death was made completely whole without even meeting Jesus Christ! What a tremendous lesson on walking by believing, not by sight.
We’ll read on in Luke 7 and see another instance of the authority and power in “a word” backed by God. The day after this healing in Capernaum, Jesus Christ and his followers meet a funeral procession just outside the city of Nain.
Luke 7:11 and 12:
And it came to pass the day after, that he [Jesus] went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
For this widow, life has taken a miserable turn. She has lost her only son—this son who would have been a great support, protector, and provider for her life. But now he was gone, and she was weeping.
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us, “To every thing there is a season,” and one of those seasons is to weep. But it also says there’s a time to laugh.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
For this woman it was a time to weep, but Jesus Christ is going to turn this season around for her.
I remember in Montana there was a common saying “If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes.” That saying relates to the variableness of the weather; it could change so quickly. When my husband and I graduated from The Way Corps training program, we moved in July to Montana for our first assignment. We were driving toward our assigned city, and the day was beautiful, with warm weather and a bright blue sky. Then we traveled over a mountain pass, and out of nowhere it started snowing. It was snowing in July! Then within a few minutes we moved into a valley, the weather turned, and the sun started shining again.
This reminds me of what we come across in life at times. Life can be at its best. Then we’re faced with an obstacle that deals us a blow—and sometimes a very powerful blow—like a blizzard with seemingly no way out. But if we don’t like the weather, we can call on the Lord our God with the power and authority of His Word, and He can turn our situation for us.
Jesus Christ had compassion on this widow. He doesn’t like the “weather” here. And by revelation from God he is going to turn this situation. He says to her, “Weep not.”
Luke 7:14 and 15:
And he came and touched the bier [coffin]: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
Jesus approached the coffin and touched it, and all those that were holding it stood still. Everything stopped.
Then Jesus Christ spoke these words: “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.” And he that was dead sat up. Yes, he that was dead sat up and began to speak. Talk about authority in a word! Remember what the centurion said, “…but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.” Jesus Christ said, “Arise,” and this man who was once dead—no heartbeat, no living cells, no breath—sat up on his own and began to speak.
Now, let’s ask ourselves, “Is anything too hard for our God?”
Then God’s Word says something that must have so much depth behind it.
…And he delivered him to his mother.
Jesus Christ gave back to this woman what was rightfully hers. He gave her back her son.
And there came a fear [reverence, respect] on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
What a wonderful compliment to God’s only begotten Son. Remember what Acts 10:38 said? “…for God was with him.”
The scene that Jesus and his disciples came upon when they first entered Nain began to take an about-face turn when Jesus perceived the situation. Walking with the Father, he showed compassion on this woman, and with the authority and power of his spoken word, backed by God, he raised her son from the dead. He turned her sorrow to joy. What a great day that must have been!
I know what it’s like to experience a great day that God turns for you with the power and authority of His Word. I was twenty-three years old, lying as still as could be on a medical imaging table with a very large scanner taking pictures. I had come in for my yearly checkup, and this was the day I was going to be given a clean bill of health. I had been believing for this day for a long time. Five years earlier, my surgeon woke me up in the recovery room to tell me we had a serious situation—starting a series of obstacles I needed to hurdle over.
Thankfully my family and I were acquainted with the power of God by this time, and we claimed it at every turn. We triumphed over each obstacle by maintaining God’s delivering point of view. Since that time, my medical doctors had been monitoring my situation very closely. And so here it was, five years later—a benchmark year to be given a clean bill of health. And I was on top of the mountain, so to speak—completely assured of my deliverance.
But something wasn’t right as I lay on this scanning table. The technicians were whispering something over in the corner and pointing to their screen.
I was thinking to myself, “What are they talking about?”
They walked over and put some lead beads on my neck as landmarks of some kind. Then it looked like they were measuring something. My mind went back to about an hour earlier when I checked in for my appointment. The admissions clerk asked me to fill out some admissions papers. On the basis of a previous scan, they had prearranged to admit me to the hospital, but I just figured it was some kind of mistake and went on to my appointment. But now I was putting two and two together.
All of a sudden I was staring up at this huge obstacle of a hill, and for a moment I could not see beyond it. It really stunned me.
I told myself, “This is false evidence appearing real. Think of a scripture—that is what is true!”
Now, I had at least one hundred scriptures memorized at this point in my life, but this hill was turning into a mountain by the second, and honestly, I could not think of one scripture.
I thought, “What is your problem? You know this isn’t real. God’s Word is real. Put on the Word.” Then I thought of three words from a scripture I had sitting on my dresser for years: GOD IS FAITHFUL. I told myself: “God is faithful, Teresa! Has He ever let you down? Has He ever not come through for you? Has He ever failed you? God is faithful, and He will perform His Word for you!”
I closed my eyes to dim all the surrounding distractions and brought myself back up to the top of the mountain where God’s perspective was crystal clear. And I kept repeating to myself, “God is faithful,” until they got me off the table.
I sat in the waiting room until the doctor came in and got me. He brought me into his office, put up the scans, and said, “Well, I don’t understand it. All I can figure is that they must have made a mistake on the last scan they did, because what they reported as traces of your disease on the last scan no longer exist! There is absolutely nothing here.”
I jumped from my seat and said, “I knew it!” My doctor said, “Well, you were more confident than I was. I had you scheduled for more treatment.” I said, “Sir, God is faithful!”
I may have been able to remember only three words from God’s Word, but three words backed by the authority and power of God can bring complete deliverance when you believe them with all your heart. That was a great day for me—one I will never forget.
In Luke 7, we saw the power and authority of God in Christ bring wholeness to a dying servant and raise a man from the dead. Now we will elevate our perspective even further regarding health challenges in life as we witness Jesus Christ releasing the powerful hold that the adversary had on a young child.
In Mark 9, we will look at an account that took place a period of time after the miracle in Nain. Here a father approaches Jesus Christ with his son who has been under the powerful hold of a devil spirit since infancy.
And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
The father described how this spirit had been aggressively trying to destroy this child for years, and when Jesus had the child brought to him, he himself witnessed the powerful control of this spirit.
And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child [from infancy].
And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
I love the response of this father. It’s so honest. He didn’t get offended and say, “What do you mean ‘if thou canst believe’? I’ve been believing; I have been working with my son all these years. Do you know how hard it’s been to keep him alive?” No. He just said, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” He needed help with his perspective, so he did what we all need to do when we need help. He asked for it.
Look at the mountain this father was facing. Wherever this spirit took his child, it tore him, and frequently it cast his child into the fire and into the waters to destroy him. Those are some very powerful descriptions of the hold the adversary had on this child.
Now let’s look at the power and authority of Jesus Christ that removed the hold of the adversary.
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
He not only charged the spirit to come out but told it to enter no more into him!
And the spirit cried, and rent him sore [much], and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
That devil spirit had no choice but to obey. Remember the centurion’s words, “I say…Go, and he goeth.” Now, look at this. I love how Jesus goes the full distance here.
But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
Jesus took the child by the hand; then he lifted him up, and the child arose. Jesus took this child back from the adversary and “delivered him again to his father” (Luke 9:42), just as he had done with the widow and her son in Nain. What a powerful account of deliverance to hold in our minds when facing any obstacle in life.
How we view our health challenges greatly determines how we can overcome them. Never do we need to sit at the bottom of any hill of a problem—no matter its size—and stare solely at its height and angle to figure out a way to overcome it. If we ever find ourselves or someone we love there, let’s position ourselves on top of the mountain by remembering what we observed in these three records: A dear servant at the point of death made whole by the authority and power of Jesus Christ. A dead man being carried in a coffin on his way to his burial raised from the dead by the authority and power of Jesus Christ. A child, tormented by a devil spirit day in and day out for years, released from the hold of the adversary by the charge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The truths in these records empower us. They elevate us to where we see God’s perspective on issues we face. We can weigh any challenge we face against the power and authority of God available to us as born-again believers. These healings took place when Christ could be at one place at one time. Today, wherever there is a born-again believer, Christ is present. And Jesus Christ said that if we asked anything in his name, he would do it.
John 14:13 and 14:
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Let’s give God’s Word first place in our hearts and minds, no matter the five-senses circumstances we may face. God tells us, “…I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health…” (III John 2). He promises that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). With this fresh, clear, spiritual perspective, let’s pursue God’s healing wholeness for ourselves and for those that we love.
This is a reprint from the July/August 2010 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2010 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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