A Gracious Healer

from The Very First Christians Concordia Publishing House

God declared His name to Moses in Exodus 34:6 “And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.’” The following article will reflect on the revelation of His name as “Gracious” as it relates to knowing God as a healer .

In considering the graciousness of God, I first want to make a simple distinction between His grace and mercy. I want us to consider His mercy, as His undeserved kindness toward those who were debtors to Him because of sin. Like in the parable of Matthew 18:22-27, in which a king “moved with compassion” forgives the debt of 10,000 talents (an impossible quantity to pay) owed to him by His servant. His graciousness, while similar, speaks more specifically of the quality of His benevolence and kindness in supplying more than what is needed or deserved.

In the parable of Matthew 20:1-14, Jesus tells the story of a landowner who paid the laborers who joined at the end of the day the same wages as those who had labored all day long. Responding to the complaints of those who had labored all day long that this treatment was unfair, the landowner declares, “is your eye envious because I am generous?”

Not only has God forgiven us our debts, but he has blessed us and called us His own,See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are”(1John 1:3). Though we were His enemies (Col 1:21) and deserving only of His righteous judgment and eternal condemnation, He has not only forgiven you, but also made you co-heirs with Christ and your inheritance is all things! Paul says plainly, the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you” (1 Cor 3:22). For, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) God has given more than mercy toward sinners; He has given grace to become Saints! He has done more than cleanse our sins; He has determined to make provision for body and soul to receive health and wholeness.

In Luke 4:19, Jesus declares He was anointed to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” referring to the Old Testament year of jubilee. In the year of Jubilee not only were all a man’s debts canceled, but all their possessions were restored. Jesus came to do more than cancel our debt; He came to restore our inheritance. To redeem what sin, sickness, and the oppression of the devil had stolen away from humanity.

Jesus demonstrated the grace of God through healing in His ministry. For example, He cured the man afflicted with insanity from a legion of evil spirit (Mark 5:1-20), who was “constantly night and day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out and gashing himself with stones.” Jesus, “clothes Him and puts Him in his right mind ” and then commissions Him saying, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.”  This man, “went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone marveled”. It was the mercy of God to deliver Him, but it was the graciousness of God that clothed Him and commissioned Him.

The graciousness of God is not just that we have sufficiency of health, but as John declares, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2). The apostle prays, “God give your people prosperity of health!” He understood the desire of God to be radically gracious to the sick, weak, and broken, from first hand experiences like the healing of the crippled beggar at the gate beautiful.

When Peter and John lifted up that beggar (Acts 3:2-11), who scripture tells us was “lame from his mother’s womb” and more than forty years old (Acts 4:22), this man was healed in an instant! Scripture declares, “And with a leap, he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:8). This is the grace of God, for a man to be transformed in an instant from a cripple (never having walked), to leaping and praising God. He we healed with a leap!

God’s same gracious power is available today to make us whole, all by the power of His name. As Peter said concerning the healing of this beggar “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole” (Acts 4:10). And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:16). Strong, perfectly sound, leaping: the Graciousness of our God.

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