When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?'” And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” NKJV
John wanted to be sure. Was he much like doubting Thomas? Interestingly we never here an account of ‘doubting John’ from our pulpits, therefore we need to ask, was John doubting here? Was he coming under tremendous spiritual pressure and beginning to doubt? Was he grieving for his near future knowing that the his ministry was coming to a close, “He must increase but I must decrease.” Was John depressed and doubting or just doing his due diligence inn asking a final and very straightforward answer, “Are YOU the long expected, much awaited coming one?” Remember, John was prepared for his mission, knew his mission, had baptized Jesus and heard the stamp of the voice of God thunder over His life and seen God the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus in the form of a dove. Did John doubt here? Or was He merely completing his ‘due diligence?’ I shall leave that with you, for my real focus tonight is how Jesus answered the question and it was not with a straightforward yes, but rather, with a an hour of unmitigated, unstoppable life changing feats of power.
I have no doubt that Jesus loved John in a very special way. For me, the Bible text seems to actually drip with the honey of Jesus love, appreciation and respect for John. In addition, Christ also knew that John’s departure from this world was at hand and that now, at the last, he would need something more than a simple verbal ‘yes’ to help him through the finish tape. Jesus is taking no oath here, where a simple ‘yes’ would be more than enough, (Matt 5:37) but rather, He is communicating in action the very veracity of His being, meaning and mission. He is communicating with the words and deeds of an hour of power.
Of course, I am not talking about a literal hour here, but the immediate response of Jesus to the question posed by John through his two disciples. Right there and then Jesus did one thing to four ‘types’ of people here.
He cured many of
• Afflictions and
• Evil Spirits
• And to many blind, He gave sight
And He preached the Gospel to the poor declaring those who believe to be ‘blessed’ by God. Oh for sure, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear and the dead are raised, but these are simply the specific outworking’s of the all-encompassing cure of infirmities, afflictions and evil spirits. In other words, Jesus did the specifics and a whole lot more as well. Indeed, Dr. Luke, at the end of his gospel account close by saying, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21:25 NKJV) Look now though, for Jesus takes care to answer John’s question in the present and with a fantastic display of an hour of power in the manifestation of ‘Divine Therapeutic Medicine.’ Indeed the word for cure is the word from which we get our English word, ‘therapy.’
So, Jesus cured many of Infirmities. These are maladies that may also sometimes be reflected in moral disabilities. These are sicknesses and diseases. Name a sickness, name a disease, yes, from cancer to venereal disease, Jesus cured the lot. (Matt 9:35) Some of these Infirmities, these diseases were directly devilish in origin and in temporal destination. So much so, that the New Testament hangs the word ‘torments’ onto the word ‘disease,’ sometimes referring to them as ‘diseases and torments,’ to indicate that some infirmities had taken people down to the very depths in there depraving destruction. Physically psychologically, financially, relationally, and spiritually, some of these diseases had taken people below the bottom. Jesus cured these people. None were beyond His healing power. His curing power. The diseases was made to depart, the depth of damage was instantaneously repaired, and the fraught and fractured disconnected person was left peaceful, whole, recovered and restored in every sense of the word. This was some range of curing friends, I mean it was fantastic! Disease and sickness and all there destructive connectivity was destroyed.
Jesus cured people of their physical afflictions, their ‘plagues.’ The idea is of a something that gives them a constant whipping! These physical afflictions were chronic, that is, continuing, persisting, never ending, unremitting and no doubt comorbid in manifestation, for you see, misery, even in physical affliction, always invites its mates to the never ending dung-fest of disease. So, the woman with a never ending emission of vaginal bleeding was healed by Jesus. Look now, long standing and comorbid afflictions can be instantly healed by Jesus. Where other doctors have failed and your finances have failed in finding a cure, one touch of Jesus fixes it all.
Jesus cast out ‘Evil spirits,’ even all manner of the disembodied spirits of the offspring of the fallen, (Genesis 6) and all spiritual co-morbid infestations of the same, were dealt with by Jesus. Demons always like to have their friends around. If they are going to ‘squat,’ then they rarely do it alone. Demons, evil spirits, physically manifest themselves in uncleanness of every kind, deceit, temptation, bondage, seduction, crippling infirmities, forced deafness, dumbness, feats of superhuman power and insight and limited future knowledge. These manifestations do not have their source in physical disease, but in spiritual demonization and oftentimes in actual, possession. These buggers need casting out. Let the angels of God deal with them once they are, in the name of Jesus, forced out of the physical.
This manifestation of Divine and Mighty Messianic power cannot be found in the fallen, the fraudsters the fake, or the technologically empowered. This all-encompassing instantaneous healing can only be found in the promised one, the awaited one, Jesus the Son of God. So, the two witnesses return to John and with wide eyes and excited lips no doubt recount to Him all they have both seen and heard. I believe John would have been satisfied, and in a state of mission completion, was now ready to move on.
In closing may I encourage you to make good use of man’s legitimate medicine. However, medicine does not cure everything, and mechanics does not make a man. Jesus, however, does cure and make whole. Therefore, and I say this with the greatest of respect, in accordance with the measure of your faith, make good use of Him.
The night is coming. Indeed, some of you reading this will no doubt be in that night. The mock miracles of past soulish sensationalism will not do. More than psychosomatic suggestion will be needed now, and the power of Christ needs to be made manifest for it is Him and His power which we now seek and rely upon.
Listen: Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, ” Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. (Mark 16:14-20 NKJV)
Pray: Look now my Lord. We question the veracity of some of these verses in Mark because we do not find them to be so. Oh we find the demons Lord, but not the power to cast them out. Oh we find the poison Lord, but not the cure to continue on. Oh we find the snakes, but cannot stop the slithering. Oh we find the sick, but Oh my God, we watch them die before us. Yes, all our disappointments Lord, we have covered with dispensationalism and other forms of self-excusing doctrine. Father, our faith is small, but now O Lord, the need for the true manifestations of the power of Your Son our Savior Jesus, must now be seen among and out of we Your saints. Lord, it must come like never before. In faith then, as we stand at the cusp of the end of all old things and the beginning of all things new, we cry with one voice together, “Where is the God of Elijah!” Lord, come and part the waters of our unbelief that we might return to the land of promises by the dry river bed-bottom testimony of Your present power. Amen and let it be so.