If Jesus Was Rich, Why Do I Have To Be Poor (7)?
Recently I've had a number of people tell me that the gospel of Jesus
Christ is not a "Health and Wealth" gospel. This statement of denial was
heard by them first at a Church meeting, I gather.
Now I would understand this stance if the claim were being made that the
gospel was only about "Health and Wealth", but why think the gospel
excludes these things, even for those whose priority is the kingdom
of God. Are not other things to be added?
And has it not been said that, "If Jesus was rich, why do I have
to be poor?"
So, Is "Health and Wealth" included in the gospel, or not? Should God's
people expect to be sick, or is good health and healing a part of the
In the gospel of Mark, Chapter 2, verse 10-12 Jesus uses healing as
proof that He could forgive sins. Forgiveness of sins did not come in
Mark 2:10-12 "But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority
on earth to forgive sins” —He said to the paralytic— “I say to you,
rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately
picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all
amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!"
Did you notice that Jesus links healing as a "proof" that He had the
authority to forgive sins? Now, since Jesus has sent us into the world
in the same way that the Father sent Him, should we (Christians) not
be healing people as proof of our authority to preach forgiveness of
sins by Jesus?
John 20:21-23 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the
Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.” And when He had said
this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you
withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
So interestingly, we are to tell others of their sins being forgiven,
and yet some would have you believe that "healing", which gives proof
that Jesus is alive to grant that forgiveness, is not part of the gospel!
Luke 10:8-9 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is
set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God
has come near to you.’
This is also stated in Matthew 10:7-8 to give two witnesses, and I'll
quote that later, but you can see that once again Jesus links healing
the sick with preaching the gospel!
We do hear the cry, "Just believe in Jesus!" "Believe in Jesus!"; As
though this should be accepted by non-believers without proof! It's
indeed fortunate if they do properly accept that Jesus is their saviour
without physical proof, but that's not what Jesus expected would happen.
For instance, let's take a look at what Jesus said to the disciples in
Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My
name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any
deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on
the sick, and they will recover.”
Notice that Jesus says this will apply to believers. Not some special
group of prophets or apostles; ordinary believers!
This is interesting in that we see Jesus expected healing and health
to be part of the package! To Jesus, health is part of the gospel message.
This authority is not given to us to do tricks; it's to advance the Kingdom
of God, giving proof that Jesus has brought reconciliation to God and
forgiveness of sins to all.
John 14:12 "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the
same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be
with the Father.
Both Isaiah in Isaiah 53:5 and Peter in 1 Peter 2:24 tell us that it's by Jesus'
stripes/wounds that we are healed. It's a done deal. He did it over 2000 years
ago. It's not something He is going to do!
Isa 53:5 But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for
our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with His wounds we are healed.
But, Satan wants people to think that their healing is something God has yet
to do and so they pray for God to heal instead of commanding healing!
Jesus told us to "Heal the sick." He did not tell us to ask God, or pray for
God, to heal the sick!
Another error people make is to ask for healing "if God wills". This simply
shows their unbelief, since they are unsure that God wants them to be well!
But, by Jesus' stripes/wounds we ARE healed, and we have the authority to
administer that healing to all who need it! And using this authority Jesus
tells us to ...
Mat 10:7-8 ... proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.
Jesus has given us the authority under Him to do this. "In His name", in other
words - but WE have the authority! And notice that once again proclaiming the
kingdom of heaven goes hand in hand with healing the sick! It IS His will!
And notice again, Jesus told US to "Heal the sick." He did not tell us to ask
God, or to pray for God to heal the sick! As my school-teacher would say, "The
'YOU' is understood"!
Now you may be thinking, 'that's what it seems to say reading it in the English
translation, but is that what the people of the time understood'?
Well let's look at how the disciples reacted when the Jewish authorities tried
to stop them preaching. Let's look at Acts 4:29-31...
Act 4:29-31 "Now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to Your servants
that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by extending Your hand to heal,
and that signs and wonders may occur through the name of Your holy Servant
Jesus." And when they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was
shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word
of God with boldness.
Notice that they asked God to give them boldness to preach the gospel by giving
them breakthroughs in healing and signs and wonders! Could it be that believers
today are often mute and diffident regarding preaching the gospel to the lost,
because they do not pray for breakthroughs in healing and signs and wonders?
In fact they are often taught NOT to expect it!
Now what spirit would want God's people to believe that they have no authority,
and wield no power to do good and bring health and healing to the world?
Exactly! But we "have" been given the authority!
Jesus came to bring good news to the poor and to deliver them from oppression.
Staying poor is not good news! Staying sick is not good news! Poverty is not a
blessing, it's a curse (Deu 28:15-68); and sickness is oppression by the devil
(Act 10:38). We have been called as Jesus' representatives to bring good
news to the poor and to deliver them from all oppression; sickness, disease,
depression, bondage, poverty, etc.
Mark 11:23-25 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up
and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that
what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you,
whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be
Notice that YOU have to "say"; not ask God to say! But whatever you ask for
in this way, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. In other
words - 'You tell your problem about God'! You don't tell God about your problem'!
Also, Jesus tells us we can send a literal mountain into the sea if needed! He's
not talking about a general problem because He says "this" mountain, not "a"
mountain. THIS IMPLIES HE'S POINTING AT AN ACTUAL MOUNTAIN NEARBY! We can look
at the context of His making the statement also where Jesus is commenting about
making a fig tree die! Jesus is not talking about nebulous "spritual" problems!
So, let's not fall for Satan's deceptions and help him to limit God's people
by accepting poverty as the norm, in health or any other area of life and
also by not acting on our authority.
As the apostle John said...
3 John 1:2 "Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be
in good health, just as your soul prospers."
Don't let unbelievers or unbelief rob you of your blessings! Let's be believers
who actually believe and have faith in God's word!
Best wishes for Grace and The Peace of Jesus.
If Jesus was rich -