Luke 4:41-43 (excerpts) - all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. ... And when it was day, He departed ... And the people sought Him ... but He said to them, "I must preach the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose."
According to those who keep track of things in the medical world, we have left behind a most interesting and successful year. Maladies which once seemed to be impervious to the microscopes of medicine are weakening, and infirmities which once seemed to be invincible are now becoming, well, it appears they are becoming ... vincible. Among the notable highlights are the following:
• Huntington's disease is an illness which takes healthy protein and transforms it into a killer of brain cells. The new therapy blocks the change and stops the vicious brain disease.
• Hemophilia is a genetic aberration which doesn't allow its victim to create a protein which stops bleeding. Last year 13 people underwent gene therapy, and today 11 of them are creating near-normal levels of the protein.
• Sickle cell anemia occurs when the body produces blood cells shaped like a sickle. These sickle cells lock together and stop healthy blood flow. Last year, science altered the bone marrow instructions of a young person. Today that individual is producing normal round blood cells.
I am pleased to say the above list is nowhere near complete. One medical trial has seen one half of Type 2 diabetics have their conditions reversed; elsewhere, surgeon-scientists have operated on unborn babies to repair faulty DNA, and premature lambs have survived in an artificial womb.
Today there is cause for the world to rejoice, and for the family of faith to give thanks to the Lord for raising up scientists who are concerned with the sad human condition that sin has brought into this world, and whose minds can conceive possible solutions to seemingly impossible situations.
Amazing as all this has been, it pales when compared to the healing power of the Christ. Luke records the day when all manner of sick were brought to the Savior. The text says Jesus "laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.... And when it was day, He departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought Him and came to Him, and would have kept Him from leaving them, but He said to them, 'I must preach the Good News' ..."
What a wonderful day that had been. So many broken lives had been mended; so many hopes had been answered. Still, even though the people wished the healings would continue, Jesus knew He had other work. Full-time healing of the body would have to take second place to the healing of souls sickened by sin. That is why Jesus announced, "I must preach the Good News of the kingdom of God ... for I was sent for this purpose."
Jesus knew that healing a soul for eternity took priority over healing a body for a few years.
It is a lesson many TV evangelists have forgotten, but to the faithful church and Christian, the salvation story won by the Redeemer is our business, first, foremost and always.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we give thanks for medical breakthroughs, but we rejoice even more in the spiritual breakthrough Jesus won through His life, suffering, death, and resurrection. May the world hear the Gospel message, which saves sin-sickened souls. This we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by James Gallagher on December 24, 2017 for the BBC. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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