From: James Allan
In all the bible stories of Jesus’ healing people one thing stands out above all. Their faith that Jesus would cure them of whatever ill they had. Luke 18 v. 35-43 describes how a blind man calls out to Jesus as he was passing, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”. One can imagine the scene on that road to Jericho. The beggar sitting by the side of the dusty road, possibly his favourite spot - where he would be seen by pilgrims, tradesmen and families passing by each day; and like the beggars we all see on a daily basis around St Martin’s - many would know him. Luke tells us that: After being rebuked by people around him Jesus asked him what he wanted, and he replied, “Lord, I want to see”. Was he rebuked by the local people who knew him? Or was it perhaps the followers of Jesus, who believed that such an important man - the prophet, did not want to be bothered by a smelly blind beggar. WRONG! Jesus, pushed on by the throng had already passed him; but above the excitement and hubbub; he had heard him; and stopping, asked for him to be brought to him. Imagine the feelings going through that blind beggar’s mind as he was helped towards Jesus – like many blind people he may have been able to discern shapes and shadows. What shape was our Lord to this desperate, desperate man who wanted to see? I like to think that even to the blind man; the Glory of God shone around our Lord and Saviour making him visible even to the blind! Then what does Jesus do? In this world of Harry Potter and Merlin and all the other mumbo-jumbo on movies and TV – does he cast a spell, or make an incantation? No! He simply says, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you”. The bible doesn’t tell us how he did it; but I believe our Lord would have looked into the man’s sightless eyes, maybe with a reassuring hand on his shoulder; and with a quiet reassuring loving voice said, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you”. Wonderful words! Jesus puts the onus on the blind man’s healing on his own faith. Jesus does not take the credit himself – but emphasises, “your faith has healed you”. Luke 18, v.43 tells us that: Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
This faith in the power of our Lord to heal is present throughout the Gospels, as in the case of the Roman Centurion in Luke 7. V. 1-10, when Jesus commends the faith of the Centurion. As with the faith of the woman, who had been bleeding for twelve years; anaemic, weak, desperate for a cure – she reached out and touched Jesus (Luke 8. V. 43-48). What does Jesus do, or say: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace”. Once again Jesus emphasises the faith of the person healed. Today, if you believe that God can heal you from an illness, depression, or you are worried about work, family in London, and Hong Kong or China. Jesus; the Healer of the world, our Saviour who died for each of us, and gave each of us new life in Him – be brave and step forward to allow the Lord to work his grace and love in your life, but! And it is a big, big but! We! Each one of us must have faith to believe that he will work a miracle in our life. It may not be instantaneous during or after prayer, it may be through the healing hands of doctors and nurses as the Lord works through many vessels. I would ask you all to remember Mrs Ng; a wonderful Christian lady who is now with the Lord. Despite her suffering and pain, and the knowledge that she had terminal cancer; my dear brave friend never lost HER FAITH in the Risen Lord Jesus!
I leave you with a poem by one of my Christian heroes, the great Chinese Christian, ‘Watchman Nee’, who wrote the following poem, ‘Boundless Love’ in 1924. A testimony to the faith he had in our Lord and Saviour.
What length, breadth, height and depth!
What greatness is his love!
How else could I, a sinner vile,
Be in such grace and bliss?
My Lord has paid the price
That I may ransomed be;
So, willingly I’ll bear the cross,
And follow faithfully.
The dearest things of earth,
I gladly leave behind;
Nor life, nor death can hold me back-
‘Tis Christ my soul will find.
Jesus my gracious Lord,
My true comfort to be;
Whom have I on earth or in heav’n
To love, save only Thee?