Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John embodied in deed and word the Good News that in Him the Kingdom of Heaven is here now and still to come in all its fullness. From the Book of Acts onwards that continues in and through His people, the Church.
That means when I am healed of something miraculously, as I have personally known a few times in my life, and have seen happen in the lives of others, it is a sign of the Gospel: the Kingdom of Heaven is here. When I am not healed of something here and now, and have seen happening many times in others, it may be an encouragement to keep praying for a miracle now. However, that non-healing here and now may continue and may be a sign of the Gospel too: the Kingdom of Heaven still to come, and because that is so it does not necessarily mean that either myself or those who pray for me are deficient in faith or have failed in the desired result for some other cause or reason.
In the community of the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth now, we need to live in this recipe, this 3-fold mixture of mystery: openness to the Kingdom of heaven being manifest among us; faith filled acceptance it is not all here “now”, so non-healings happen as do healings and for this there is grace, love and help: hope that we are waiting for that day when Christ will come and change our bodies to be like unto his glorious body.
Some circles I used to mix in more regularly than now, leave out at least one ingredient of this Gospel of the Kingdom. Some say there are no healings now as the day of miracles is over. In such circles, Paul’s thorn in the flesh, whatever that was, is trotted out with monotonous and misapplied regularity as the dampener on any suggestion of instant healing miracles. Some circles I mix in today, say there is no sickness in heaven so there should be no sickness on earth right now. There are too many holes in that way of thinking to address in today’s post. I will leave you with two to think about. There is no marriage in heaven now or in the future. Does praying, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” mean Christians should dissolve their marriages and live like the angels? There are no bodies in heaven now save the Lord Jesus and in the Kingdom to come we will have glorified imperishable bodies incapable of tiredness or weariness etc. Are we really saying that praying “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” means we can either become disembodied spirits as people are in heaven now, or can have our new Resurrection bodies now if we just prayed enough and had more faith?
Let me close with personal illustration. When the doctor told me I was extremely ill and had to go into hospital with pneumonia on top of my lung disease, I did not want to go and asked him not to send me there. I got friends on Facebook to pray: I was instantly healed before even 24 hours were out. Right now I have a lung disease that is not healed despite many of the same friends faithfully praying; in fact it is very gradually and continually getting worse. I believe the healing of my lungs and the non-healing of my lungs both confirm the Gospel of the already here and still to come Kingdom of Heaven. I also believe in my life God helps me to experience the other ingredient in the recipe of Kingdom of Heaven here and Still to come that I mentioned above: always there is grace, love and help, which in its own way is very much a miracle. God has become more gloriously real to me in the experience of healing delayed.
If only we lived in the profound but simple mystery that the Kingdom is here already, is coming, and will come, we would have more certain faith with the additives of rest and peace.
God bless you as you think through these things for yourself… and, of course, remember: The Kingdom of Heaven being near means we should always be open to surprises of the loveliest most wonderful kind. Things impossible for man or any power on earth can happen at any moment.