Preach saying, Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand: Matthew 10:5-15
“5) These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6) but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7) And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8) Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9) Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, 10) or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support. 11) And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. 12) As you enter the house, give it your greeting. 13) If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. 14) Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. 15) Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.” Matthew 10:5-15 NASB1995
In this text, Jesus sent His twelve out to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom. Though He had fixed His sights on the cross, Israel had not yet rejected Him as Messiah. In these verses He warned His disciples not to take this message to the Gentiles or the Samaritans. He was still offering the kingdom exclusively to the nation of Israel.
People were transformed from life in a fallen world that is full of sickness, pain, suffering and demonic oppression into a foretaste of what things will be like when the Messiah sets up His kingdom on earth. The twelve were given His authority to heal people and set free them from everything that afflicted them.
John 1:10-13 presents the saddest story in the Bible. “10) He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11) He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13) who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” ESV.
I certainly believe Jesus can and does heal today, but what was happening during His public ministry was different. This was a foretaste of the kingdom for Israel and they rejected Him. This kind of universal healing, health and longevity will happen when the Messiah comes back and rules on earth.
However, there is a difference between Matthew 10:5-15 and today. Those healings were based on His role as Messiah offering the Kingdom to Israel. Healing today is based on faith in His finished work on the cross. Universal healing during His public ministry was a foretaste of the kingdom for Israel. He came to His own and they rejected Him.
This helps explain the dialogue recorded in Acts 1:4-8 between Jesus and His disciples about Him restoring the kingdom to Israel. Because Israel rejected Him and He went to the cross, another system was put in place. Jesus summarized this as the age of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Take time to understand the significance of Acts 1:3-11 and how it shifted the dynamics of the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus as the Messiah was offering Israel and the age of the indwelling Holy Spirit that has now come by default.
The Gospel of salvation and regeneration through the indwelling Holy Spirit is different from the gospel of the kingdom with the rule of the Messiah present on earth. The promises of the restored kingdom to Israel in Old Testament texts like Isaiah 11:1-10 do not apply to today. They are still future tense.
Confusion comes when sincere believers try to force the universal healings of the gospel of the kingdom on today and the system we are under with the indwelling Holy Spirit. There is some overlap, but they are not the same.
Granted, healing is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for this present age, but starting with the book of Acts things changed. Healings were frequent but not universal in the book of Acts and the Epistles. They served the purpose of opening the door for the gospel as seen in Acts 3-4 and the healing of the lame beggar. Peter and John didn’t use the miracle to start a healing service, they used it as an open door for an evangelistic crusade… notable, there was only one healing!
So how does this harmonize with John 14:12 where Jesus promised that believers will do greater works than Him because He goes to the Father? Shouldn’t we see more healings than Jesus and the twelve performed in the gospels? That’s an awesome question. Let me give the short version.
Well, to start with, Matthew 4:24 says; “He healed them.” The wording implies He healed them all. That’s 100%. We can’t improve on that, so it must relate to other area’s beyond healing. Let me suggest a few area’s He may have been talking about.
First, the gospel of the kingdom was rejected. That part of His mission failed. Instead of staying to set up the kingdom, Jesus went to His Father! Second, He came only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel and we are sent to the entire world. That is far, far, far greater. Third, His going to the Father instead of setting up an immediate kingdom brought the promise of the indwelling Holy Spirit on every believer. That was not part of the kingdom promise. Finally, His work on the cross because of His rejection as Messiah by Israel paved the way for eternal salvation for every believer. This is a far greater work.
I praise God for the healing power of the Holy Spirit in the Name of Jesus Christ for today, but I do not expect it to be universal. We are not in the kingdom age. That is still future for when Jesus comes back and sets up His Kingdom. When He rules on earth there will be no more sickness or oppression.
Here is the bottom line, not everyone is going to be healed in this present age, but everyone who calls on the Name of Jesus will be saved! This present age is still governed by 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. People age, the body wears out and they die. No one is going to beat aging and death in this present age.
But God does call us to pray for healing and He often validates the gospel and His power by healing people for His glory. The purpose for healing at this present time is to advance the gospel. I believe in miracles and the power of God, but my faith does not waver when God gives grace to endure suffering instead of healing. Both are essential and glorious. I am fully content letting God be God and depending on Him for both sides of the coin of healing and suffering with grace and power. Paul did both and taught both.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global
Preach saying, Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand: Matthew 10:5-15