In the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ miracles of healing, the word “save” is most frequently used. The healing in these stories is always of the whole person. God’s salvation concerns the whole person. Jesus’ healing ministry is summarized: “all who touched him were ‘saved’ healed.” (Mark 6:56). Jesus showed concern for the whole person. His compassion resulted in the alleviation of human need whether it was hunger or disease. He was seeking and saving all those who were subject to the forces of evil. He was concerned for the wholeness of the human personality. He is concerned for every part of us.
The Greek word sõzein can mean both ‘to heal’ and ‘to save’. The woman with the hemorrhage, a disease that made her ceremonially impure and increasingly weak physically has tried all the remedies she knows without success. She hears of Jesus; she comes to Jesus; she touches Jesus in simple faith that he can cure her, or that she could be ‘saved’ (Mark 5:28). She was assured by Jesus that her faith had ‘saved’ her. She went out into a new life of peace and wholeness. There was a complete and instantaneous righting of her relationship with God which comes about when she recognizes her need, hears of Jesus, and comes to him in simple trust.
Salvation is wholeness. God wants to save us, meet us at our point of need whatever it might be. Jesus comes to save us but we must exercise the gift of faith to claim that salvation. Just as the people who touched him were healed, we must reach out in simple trust if we want to be saved.
What is your point of need and how should you reach out to Jesus in faith to be saved?
Is it a physical need from which we are suffering? Are you battling some crippling disease or condition that is weakening you? Are you receiving treatment for it, taking medication, facing surgery or a long, slow rehabilitation. Do you reach out to Jesus through his church for healing? Or are you reluctant to draw attention to your need, and prefer to pray for yourself? It takes courage to come to Jesus and touch him to be saved. If you claim to be saved why do you not reach out to him for healing?
Is it an emotional need from which you are suffering? Are you troubled by memories of the past, hurts that have not healed, resentments that fester, emotional pain that depresses you, disappointments that afflict you? Do you reach out to Jesus through his church for healing? Do you allow others to help you with those secret sorrows? If you claim to be saved then you will reach out to him for healing.
Is it a relational need from which you are suffering? Do you worry about your loved ones, your children and grandchildren, your spouse or your friends or your enemies? Is there a need for forgiveness or reconciliation? Do you suffer from loneliness? Do you need God’s salvation in your relationships? Do you need the help of your fellow believers to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love which surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? If you claim to be saved then you will reach out to the Savior for the healing power of his love.
Is it an intellectual need from which you are suffering? Do you struggle with doubt and fear that your life is worth little, and will soon be extinguished in death? Do you want to believe but struggle with skepticism? Are you pessimistic about the future and have little hope that there is anything worthwhile to look forward to? Do you need God’s salvation in your mind and your reason? Do you want to be healed of this affliction? If you want to be saved you will have to reach out to Jesus and cry, “I believe, help my unbelief, Reveal yourself to me so that I might have faith and hope.”
What is it that is crippling you, paralyzing you, bleeding you dry, obsessing you, that prevents you from being whole? From what do you need to be saved? What robs you of peace? From what do you need to be forgiven? What demon needs to be driven from you so that you can be free? Is it pride? Is it the need to be in control? You can claim to be saved and yet continue to be afflicted by many problems. Reach out to Jesus in faith for healing.
At even, when the sun did set,
The sick, O Lord, around Thee lay
Oh, in what divers pain they met!
Oh, with what joy they went away!
O Savior Christ, our woes dispel;
For some are sick, and some are sad,
And some have never loved Thee well,
And some have lost the love they had;
And some are pressed with worldly care,
And some are tried with sinful doubt;
And some such grievous passions tear
That only Thou canst cast them out;
And some have found the world is vain,
Yet from the world they break not free;
And some have friends who give them pain,
Yet have not sought a friend in Thee;
And none, O Lord, have perfect rest,
For none are wholly free from sin;
And they who fain would serve Thee best
Are conscious most of wrong within.
O Savior Christ, Thou too, art man;
Thou hast been troubled, tempted, tried.
Thy kind but searching glance can scan
The very wounds that shame would hide.
Thy touch has still its ancient power,
No word from Thee can fruitless fall;
Hear in this solemn evening hour
And in Thy mercy heal us all. Amen.
(Henry Twells 1823-1900)