I recently had a rather long and vocal dispute on whether or not it is always God’s will to heal. And many things were cited, that weren’t scriptural, and many times, contradicted the scriptures. However, as I kept pointing out that these signs and wonders will follow those who believe and are God’s will for advancing His Kingdom, I had a Christian pop off with a single verse taken so far out of context it’s ridiculous. I’m going to address their understanding of it first, and then get into the words of Jesus to His disciples.
So lets get to that verse, eh?
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
This was given to me to say that God doesn’t always work in signs or miracles to affirm His Word. And yet what I see in this verse is that Jesus gave them a sign anyways. The Sign of the prophet Jonas. He did give them a sign. Now, let us stick that particular situation back into context and see what it is really saying.
Matthew 16:1-4 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Now, if you go back to the end of chapter 15, you actually see that this is literally right after the feeding of the Multitude that He then sent away and departed to the shores of Magdala.
The leaders of the various religious sects of the Jews came unto Him to tempt Him. Gee. Not to test Him, not to prove anything. To tempt Him to enter into sin. He then reflects back upon their ability to discern things of a physical nature, but fail to discern the signs of the times. The times which the skies show us and reveal to us. He was basically telling them off for being spiritually ignorant. Which we find all throughout His correspondence with the religious folks. They had seen miracle after miracle. Heard the news of Jesus and the things He did all through the land of Israel. And then they desired that He would prove Himself to them, and each time they challenged Him to do so, He dissed their knowledge of the scriptures and their interpretations of them. Pretty interesting to say the least.
Now then, since this was used to contradict something I said that was full of “Bible Truth” that some of my friends and family like to say their own stuff is full of, I’m going to pull the scriptures back to what I said and see if it lines up. What did Jesus actually say on the matter?
Is it or not God’s will to advance His Kingdom through the Supernaturally backed preaching of the disciples who follow Jesus?
Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
That verse is the record of Mark that God did these things and they were His will. Lets look at the Words of Jesus real quick.
Mark 16:15-18 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
You’ll note that nowhere in this passage does it say believers get to demand a sign of you to validate who you are. In fact, doing so puts them up with the pharisees, demanding a sign, and being called a wicked and adulterous generation. When someone demands a sign to disprove you, they have put themselves up with the Pharisees in this passage.
Now, there was a time.. One time.. In the entirety of the ministry of Christ where the disciples prayed, having been given all authority to do these things, and nothing happened. So now I want to examine that time.
Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
There we see Him giving the power to do so. Later on in the passage we see Him giving the order to do so, which gives them the authority to do it.
Matthew 10:7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
He continued on throughout the entire chapter commanding the things that the disciples would preach and do. And then in chapter 11 He sent them out. All then from the point in time that He sent them out, to chapter 17, we have records of His teachings, and records of miracles. And then we have something interesting happen.
Matthew 17:19-21 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
It’s funny. I used to think Jesus was talking about the demon in verse 21. But He wasn’t. He was talking about a specific type of doubt and unbelief. He was telling them how to gain clarity of mind to overcome the doubt which so often overshadows faith. A little doubt is very pervasive. Jesus stayed on topic. He said it was only because of their own unbelief that they couldn’t cast the demon out. And then He told them how to overcome their doubt and unbelief.
So lets all quit making excuses for why the miracles don’t happen. Sickness and disease, oppression, none of them are God’s will.
Christianity should be exclusively Christ centered. What did He say on the matter? That is it. When it comes to members of the body of Christ, we are told to send them to the elders of the church to be anointed with oil, to have them lay hands on the sickly, and then pray the prayer of faith. Which brings it all back to belief or unbelief. It also says to confess the sins, one to another, in the seeking of healing for someone, and believe me, unbelief is truly a sin.
Jesus tells us why things don’t happen when we pray. He was very specific on the matter. ANYTHING ELSE is wrong. Jesus is the Truth no matter your experience. God tells you not to follow experience, but to follow Jesus. Your experience is not your identity. Your Identity is found in Christ.