God Heals Because He is Merciful and Compassionate in Nature
For our faith to be grow, in the area of healing, we must understand the nature of the Lord, from which His healing emanates. Healing demonstrates the mercy and compassion of God. He is merciful and compassionate by His very nature. Consider 2 Corinthians 2:13, and Hebrews 4:15:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” - 2 Corinthians 1:3
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
- Hebrews 4:15
This is what God is like – compassionate. The Lord Jesus manifests His compassionate nature whenever He heals. Consider the following scriptures where the Lord healed from a heart of compassion:
“And when he went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.” - Matthew 14:14
“And moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.” - Matthew 20:34
“And moved with compassion, He stretched out His hand, and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed’” - Mark 1:41
Jesus was not only compassionate toward the sick, but toward the bereaved, in that He raised the dead back to life out of concern for them:
“And when the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise!” - Luke 7:13-14 (the raising of the widow of Nain’s son)
And Jesus was also merciful in delivering the demon possessed man of Gadera.
“He said to him, ‘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.’” - Mark 5:19
Matthew 9:35-10:1 is an interesting portion of scripture related to this discussion. It speaks of Jesus healing every kind of disease and sickness (v. 35), and feeling great compassion for the multitudes (v. 36). However, to further reach the masses, Jesus then summoned His twelve disciples, and sent them out to heal every kind of disease and sickness (10:1). It is important to realize that the Lord is touched with compassion for the sick, but it doesn’t end there. He then gets actively involved in their lives, and sends either healing, or a healing messenger! The Lord wants us to be moved with the same compassion, and out of that compassion, go and heal the sick in His Name.
The word translated, “compassion,” in the Greek, is ‘splanchnizomai,’ which has its roots in the word for the ‘bowels or inner parts of man’ (intestines). The bowels were considered to be the seat of strong and passionate emotions, and to the Hebrews, the seat of tender affections, even as we would consider the heart being the seat of the emotion of love. Some have felt that ‘bowels/intestines’ was too rough to be used as a term for God’s compassion, but, is it not true that sometimes one feels so much compassion that it is like an inner abdominal pain? Even in prayer, one may sense this inner pain while interceding, and the prayer becomes a painful, wail of groaning. Consider the two following verses, the first to demonstrate the inner pain, the second speaking of intercession:
“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” - Romans 8:22
“And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” - Romans 8:26
Further to this, the Hebrew word for ‘compassion’ is related to the Hebrew word for ‘womb.’
I often say that, as a parent I would do anything to alleviate the pain of my child when sick. The hours parents sit up with their children when they are croupy or sick with the flu. A parent will do almost anything to help their sick child. That is parental compassion. We need to appreciate that our heavenly Father has an even purer parental love for His children. Yet some Christians would say that, not only does God not heal, but that He afflicts us with sickness. Come on now! I wouldn’t afflict a dog with cancer, let alone my child! Thank God for His compassion! And out of His compassion, He heals!
Who Has Changed? God has not changed. He is still merciful and compassionate. To say that Jesus has withdrawn His healing from the Church is to say that He has withdrawn His compassion from the Church. But He hasn’t! To say that the Lord no longer heals, leaves us with questions like, “Does God no longer feel our pain?” “Does God no longer care about us, or our loved ones who are sick, dying, twisted in body, or mentally ill?” God hasn’t changed, but is still just as willing to heal our bodies as well as our spirits. If anything, it is the Church who has changed!
Our faith for healing ought to have increased, knowing that Jesus is the same yet today, that He is able to heal, and that He is as compassionate and merciful toward us as ever. He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities, and so will heal.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” - Hebrews 13:8
Understanding God’s heart of compassion should inspire us to have faith that God wants the sick healed much more than even we do. Randy Clark made the following statement:
“To beg God for someone’s healing is to assume we have more mercy than God.”
Finally, we also realize that our own ministry of healing ought to flow out of a heart of compassion (note: compassion is more than sympathy, for sympathy only says, ‘poor you,’ and does nothing to alleviate the problem, whereas compassion involves a desire to alleviate the distress). Let your compassion inspire you to be like the Lord and administer healing to the sick!
However, an important thought for us is, do we want God to heal merely because of the wonder of a miracle, or do we want Him to heal because we, too, feel the compassionate pain of the sick that He does? Rather than seeking to heal, because we want to see or experience God’s power, let us pursue a heart of compassion for those in pain! This might be the very thing that unleashes God’s power into our lives!