Today's Foundations Devotional: Healing by laying on of hands = witness of the truth of the Gospel

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Memory verse:

Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses

had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did

as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(Deuteronomy 34:9)

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Yesterday, we’ve looked at the practice of anointing with oil. If we now turn back to the ordinance of laying hands on the sick, as set forth in Mark 16, we shall see that the context suggests that this ordinance is intended to go together with the preaching of the gospel to the unconverted and that its primary use is for those who are not yet converted or who have newly come to the faith.

We form this conclusion from the fact that this, like the other supernatural signs ordained by Jesus, follows immediately upon His commandment to evangelise the whole world.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe” (Mark 16:15-17).

Jesus immediately enumerates the five supernatural signs, ending with the healing of the sick through the laying on of hands. This indicates that each one of these supernatural signs, including the healing of the sick, is intended by God to bear testimony to the divine truth and authority of the gospel message in places where this message has not previously been heard or believed.

This is in line with the closing account of the disciples’ evangelistic activity in Mark’s Gospel.

And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. (Mark 16:20).

This indicates that the primary purpose of these supernatural signs – including the healing of the sick through the laying on of hands – is to confirm the truth of the gospel message among people who have not previously accepted it. It seems clear, therefore, that ministering to the sick through laying on of hands in the name of Jesus is primarily intended not for established Christians who are members of churches but for the unconverted, or for those who have newly come to the faith.

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Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me Your faith and also boldness,

to lay hands on the sick in Your name believing that Your healing

will flow through me, to believers but especially non-believers.

Create Lord, through Your Spirit, opportunities and give me

courage to obey. Amen.

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