Jesus healed the sick and set demonized people free wherever he preached and taught. He commissioned his disciples to preach and to heal, teaching by example and sending them ahead. As they did so, the Holy Spirit grew God’s kingdom.
Inspired by healing ministry in the Dunamis Project, writings of Francis MacNutt, and pastorates with two rural Washington State congregations, the author studied why Jesus healed on the Sabbath. He discovered that the Sabbath typifies the wholeness and restoration of shalom in the kingdom of God. In his compassion, Jesus healed, especially on the Sabbath.
What has happened to healing mission since Jesus’ ministry? Time and space constrained the dissertation to jump from Jesus to the Reformation to the present. The patristic period and the rise of Pentecostalism were passed by. John MacArthur, pastor and Bible commentary author, rejects the Pentecostal movement and healing mission, claiming it puts experience ahead of the Bible. This dissertation refutes his argument, showing that his mentors, Luther and Calvin, relied on experience to formulate the position which MacArthur espouses. Luther’s beliefs changed in the last five years of his life as he began to practice prayer of faith for healing on his colleague Melanchthon and in his pastoral ministry.
Healing occurs today as Jesus ministers through his people. Healing, along with preaching and teaching, forms the three-fold call to action in contemporary Christian life.