Luke 7:1-17 by Pastor Dan Walker
In the Gospels we see Jesus healing many people of various sicknesses. How can we experience the healing of Jesus' today? In this message we discover the keys to healing today. The first key is to ask Jesus to bring healing for yourself or someone else. The second key is to have faith. First of all faith that God can heal today. Secondly, that God will heal those who ask in faith. Build your faith for healing through our learning from God's Word more about Jesus.
Duration:32 mins 49 secs

Our message today from the gospel of Luke is entitled “Power of Faith in Healing.” Gospel of Luke is filled with accounts of Jesus healing people. There are fifteen detailed specific accounts of healing miracles in the Gospel. These accounts tell us what Jesus did 2000 years ago. And what He desires to do today through His body, the church.

What does it take for Jesus heal someone? First of all, you need to ask Him to heal you.  In Luke 18, there is an account of a blind beggar who was calling out on Jesus to have mercy on him. Jesus asked the blind beggar a question.

Luke 18:41 (ESV) “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”

Jesus asked “What do you want me to do for you?” What are you asking for specifically? The beggar asked Jesus specifically to see again.

Luke 18:42 (ESV) And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.”

So in this account we see the man who wanted to be healed asking for the specific healing he desired. Then Jesus tells him and us that faith is required to be healed. Your faith had made you well.

Mark 6:5-6a (ESV) And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.

In the town of Nazareth, there was so much unbelief, that Jesus could not do any mighty miracles there. Healing comes through asking for God’s healing power with faith. All of us would like to see ourselves and other healed through the power of God. How can we do our part to believe and have faith for miracles of healing?

Romans 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

One of the primary ways that you can build your faith is by daily reading God’s Word. Not only read the Bible, but believe that what it teaches applies to today. Faith also comes through hearing stories of God healing people today. That is why it’s so important that when God heals or blesses you, you tell others through a God Story here in church.

Faith is not something that is binary, you either have it or you don’t. You can have little faith or you can have great faith and everything in between. If your faith is small, it can grow. The Bible tells us that over the years that Abram was waiting for the birth of the promised Son, his faith grew stronger the longer he waited. You can have faith for yourself to be healed or you can have faith to see someone else healed.

The third way that you can have faith is through the spiritual gift of faith, talked about in 1 Corinthians 12. How do you receive spiritual gifts? Some people think it is just a random choice of God. Nothing could be further from the truth. Spiritual gifts like every other gift from God come to those who ask God for them.

1 Corinthians 14:1a (ESV) Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts,

If you earnestly desire a spiritual gift, what are you going to do? You are going to ask God for that spiritual gift. If you desire to have the gift of faith, ask God for it. God desires to do many more miracles among us at Life Church than ever before. For that to happen, our faith has to grow. Today, my prayer is that our faith would grow as we learn about the power of faith in healing.

Ask Jesus for healing

Luke 7:2-3 (ESV) Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant.

This centurion was in charge of a hundred soldiers who enforced Roman law in Israel. He had a servant or slave who was about to die from an illness. The centurion cared deeply about this servant and wanted to see him healed. He had heard the news about Jesus healing people in his travels. So, the unnamed soldier sent Jewish elders to Jesus to ask Him to come and heal his servant.

This was not your typical centurion in Israel. He valued his slave highly. He was on good terms with the Jewish people and we’ll see why in a minute. And he was following the news about Jesus closely. Not only did he know about Jesus’ healing miracles, he also knew where to find Jesus.

Luke 7:4-5 (ESV) And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.”

The Jewish elders had nothing but good things to say about the centurion. They valued him highly and asked Jesus to come and heal the servant. These verses tell us that they pleaded earnestly with him. This Gentile centurion had a deep love for the Jewish people. In fact, he cared so much for them, that he funded the building of their synagogue in Capernaum. This was really something amazing, for an ordinary centurion would not have the funds to support such a large project.

Luke 7:6a (ESV) And Jesus went with them.

And how did Jesus respond?

He agreed to come and heal the soldier’s servant and began to walk there with the Jewish elders. So, we see that the centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant. The servant did not ask Jesus, but the one who cared about him asked Jesus. And Jesus came to heal the man.

How many times in the Gospels do you think that someone asked Jesus to heal someone and Jesus refused? The answer is zero. Every time someone asked Jesus for healing, Jesus healed the person.

So, the first principle we are learning about today is to ask Jesus for healing. Seems simple, but oftentimes, we may not. If you’re sick and going to the doctor, should you ask Jesus for healing? Absolutely. The Bible even tells of king Asa who only sought healing from doctors. He did not seek the Lord and he died.

God heals in many ways, including through medicine. But our faith must not be in medicine but the Lord. How should we ask Jesus to bring healing? First step is prayer, asking for yourself or another person. If the illness is significant, then the Bible instructs us to ask others to pray for us.

Some people wonder why they need to ask someone else? Why can’t they just pray for themselves? The reason is first of all, that the Bible commands us to ask others in James 5. The second reason is that there is a spiritual gift of healing, that God gives to those who seek it. No single person has all the gifts, so we need one another for many reasons, including healing. 

Finally, asking just once is often not enough. Jesus instructed us to persevere in our prayers for all things, including healing, until the answer comes. Ask Jesus for healing and then …

Believe Jesus will heal

Luke 7:6b-7 (ESV) When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed.

Why did the centurion request Jesus to not come into his house? It could be that the Jews would never come into a Gentile’s house for fear of becoming unclean. In fact, the centurion felt so unworthy that he himself did not come to request of Jesus,  but sent the Jewish elders. However, he believed that Jesus would heal his servant. He understood that Jesus did not have to be present in order for Him to bring healing.

Luke 7:8 (ESV) For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

What was the centurion’s point? The centurion had faith that Jesus had authority over all sickness. When Jesus gave the command for healing, it was carried out. No sickness could defy His command. So, because of Jesus’ authority and power, there was no need for Jesus to be physically present in order for healing to happen.

Luke 7:9-10 (ESV) When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurion, a Gentile. He had not found such great faith in any of the Jewish disciples He had. And so, Jesus gave the command of healing. When the messengers returned to the house of the servant and centurion, they found that he had been completely healed. The centurion believed that not only could Jesus heal his servant, but the Jesus would heal him. That faith released the power of Jesus and the healing was accomplished.

There are what I see as two kinds of faith. The first kind is a general kind of faith. This general kind of faith believes that God exists and that He is able to heal anyone of anything, not just in the past, but today. We should and need to have that general kind of faith. This general kind of faith comes from believing God’s Word.

However, in order to see healing or other miraculous moves of God, we need to have specific faith. Specific faith believes that not only can Jesus heal this person, but Jesus will heal them when you pray for them. This specific kind of faith for healing comes from God’s Spirit. You need to hear the Spirit speaking to you that He is going to heal. And you need to believe that what the Spirit says is going to happen as you pray. When you have that gift of faith that believes Jesus will heal, the healing will happen.

Believe Jesus can do the impossible

Luke 7:12 (ESV) As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her.

As Jesus travelled to the town of Nain, he met a funeral procession. In Jesus’ day, the cemeteries were outside of town. Within 24 hours of a death, there was a community event in which the deceased was carried out to the cemetery. This was a particularly tragic case, as his mother was a widow and he was an only son. That meant that with his death, there was not one to dare for the mother.

Luke 7:13-14 (ESV) And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”

On seeing the situation, Jesus was filled with compassion for the mother. Not only was she grieving for her only son, she would have no one to care for her after his passing. Jesus moved by his compassion, stopped the procession. He walked over to the people carrying the body and spoke a command to the corpse. Young man, I say to you, arise.

Luke 7:15-16 (ESV) And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”

At Jesus’ command, life returned into the body and the dead man sat up and began to talk. The grieving mother was reunited with her son, now alive. The people in the funeral procession were amazed and began to praise God. Certainly raising someone the dead is a far greater miracle than healing someone from a sickness.

Luke 7:17 (ESV) And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

The reports of Jesus’ healing power were already spreading and this dramatic raising of the dead was spread even further. This was all part of God’s plan for Jesus to reach more and more people. God wants our faith to grow to believe that Jesus can do anything today. Jesus can still raise the dead, today.

You remember at the beginning of this message, we talked about having little or great faith. What is the difference between little or great faith? Faith is believing that God can do something that is outside the realm of normal expectations. It doesn’t take any faith to believe that the sun will come up tomorrow, because that is what normally happens.

It takes a little faith to believe that God can heal you or someone else of a cold. Usually people get better of a cold without prayer, but not always. We should pray even for the smaller things to be healed.

It takes more faith to believe that someone will be healed of chronic back pain. It takes even more faith to believe someone will be healed of cancer. And it takes great faith to believe that God will raise someone from the dead.

Faith grows as you pray and believe for bigger things to be healed. Not only can faith grow in our individual lives, but faith can grow in our church family. That can only happen as we continue to pray for people to be healed. And we share the stories of those who are healed, both from small and harder things. We can grow to believe that Jesus can do anything we ask in His name.

So, where is your faith level for healing this morning? Every person alive needs healing in one or more areas of their lives. We need healing of all kinds, physical, emotional and spiritual healing. Not only do individual people need healing, but also groups of people. Our families need healing, often in the area of relationships. Churches need healing, both ours and others. Cities need healing, St. Louis needs healing. And countries need healing, America needs healing.

Stretch your faith muscle and pray daily for healing for the people and areas that God lays on your heart. Remember that oftentimes, perseverance in prayer is required for the answer to come. Faith can grow as we continue in prayer until we see the healing appear. As we see more people healed, the reports of what God is doing will spread and God will be glorified.