I have just been on an urgent visit to Zimbabwe to care for my dying brother-in-law. He is well into his eighties and has had heart problems for many years. While I was there, he received emails from at least 400 people, mainly ex-pupils expressing their admiration of him and how influential he had been in shaping their lives and futures. He was a teacher of considerable standing and, in fact, taught me, which is how he was introduced to my sister!
The reason for his considerable success was because he related so well with his pupils. I recall spending hours after school discussing with him all the philosophical questions that pubescent boys grapple with about the meaning of life. I also climbed Kilimanjaro with him and others. In his style it was all about relationships and his popularity shows that in this He got it right. God designed us primarily for relationships; firstly with Him and then with those He puts in our lives. When we apply this to healing, it makes a lot more sense in His dealing with us sometimes. The most important area to which He wants to apply healing is our relationships. What is more, we cannot separate that from physical healing. Often they are more closely linked than we imagine. Psalm 32 talks about how David’s bones wasted away when he kept silent about his sin and in Proverbs we read about how envy rots the bones. Medical research is confirming the negative effect on health of emotional malaise which is often the result of relational problems. Jesus, in talking about effective prayer stresses often the need for us to forgive.
It is great to be healed physically by Jesus, but the greatest gift of all is when this results in lifelong gratitude to God and a deeper relationship with Him. I’m sure this was why He told the one leper that ran back and fell at His feet when he found himself cured, that he had been healed. The other nine had been cured of their leprosy, but not healed the best way God sees healing in that it did not affect their relationship with Him.