What does healing mean to you?
When you hear the word, do you think physical sickness?
Do you think of cortizone shots and chemotherapy?
Do you think of family remedies that make no sense to anyone else?
Do you think of chicken soup and banana popsicles?
Do you think of missing school and watching The Price is Right?
Or do you think of a spiritual sickness?
Do you think of that one sin in your life that you’re so ashamed of?
Do you think of how you haven’t been in church though you know better?
Do you think of intercessional prayer from/for others?
Do you think of television preachers with bad hair tapping foreheads?
The word has so many meanings to so many people.
And it changes day to day with whatever our current situation.
But one thing remains constant…
Our need for it.
Others’ need for it.
And that need often comes in forms that we don’t realize.
Naturally, our minds tend to wander to the bigger issues.
The bigger sins, the bigger diseases, the bigger troubles.
Our minds tend to wander to the problems of those around us.
And sometimes, this is a good thing.
In the latter part of John 4, we see one of the kings officials seeking Jesus to heal his son.
But his son wasn’t with him.
Now, Jesus knows that in order for people to believe a miracle, they must see it.
He even addresses this issue to the man, as if to say, “no matter what I say or do, you won’t believe until you’ve seen with your own eyes.”
But the man disregards Christ’s statement and continues to plead with Him.
Seeing the man’s desperation, and the love he had for his son, his willingness to leave his son alone in hopes of finding the One who could heal him, Jesus just speaks the words that the son would live.
Now, imagine that you’re this guy.
You don’t see anything change.
No visible sign.
You’re just asked to believe the words that something amazing has happened.
And he does.
The Bible tells us that on the way back home, his servants met him along the way.
Can you imagine what he is thinking at this point?
I know I’d be thinking they had come to bring me news of my son’s death.
He must have been bracing himself for the traumatic news when the servants exclaim, “your son lives!”
As if that isn’t enough, he comes to find out that his son’s health changed the same time he was having the conversation with Jesus.
Now, I don’t really want to talk about the power of healing tonight.
That’s not the point.
Not for me.
Instead, I want to look more closely at what we can learn from the father here.
We’ve talked for weeks now about standing in the gaps.
Encouraging and lifting one another up.
We’ve talked about the importance of accountability.
How it strengthens relationships both with God, and with others.
But something we haven’t really talked too much about is intercession.
Praying for the problems of others.
Isn’t that essentially what the father is doing here?
But how often do we do that in our lives?
I know, I know.
We take prayer requests at church.
And we pray for those.
But this is different.
Somehow, this feels much more personal.
As if you are personally affected by the outcome.
We pray for those we don’t know.
And we intercede for those that we love.
Tonight, that was the point I tried to get across to the youth.
To intercede for those that we love, for each other.
But then, you really have to break it down to get the point across.
How can you intercede for someone if you don’t love them?
How can you love someone if you can’t be vulnerable with them?
How can you be vulnerable with someone if you don’t share them?
How can you share with someone if you don’t know them?
How can you know someone if you don’t talk to them?
And how can you talk to someone if you don’t make the effort?
This goes for any youth group, small group, church, family, circle of friends.
Without this relationship, how can you ever expect to grow?
Make the effort.
Peace and love.