What patterns of healing do we see in Jesus ministry?
In the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, there were people who were healed in stages (Mark 8:22-26) and in the case of Lazarus, he purposefully delayed for the sake of God to reveal His glory (John 11:40). Dr. Adrian Rogers once noted that “God’s delays are not God’s denials”. This is the mystery side of healing. Some erroneously blame the lack of faith. Faith cannot do anything to effect healing. All it can do is receive it.
How a cell phone can help us grasp this issue of the mystery side of healing
Whenever I travel, my cell phone is ever ready to receive a signal. At times when journeying in a mountainous area, the signal may not be forth coming. However, that does not mean the phone is useless. My phone's operation and readiness to receive does not make the signal travel slower or faster. All it can do is receive the incoming signal whenever it arrives. The signal will come through once I get through the other side. I may not know when the signal may come. I need to be sure to keep the phone on for the sake of receiving the signal. The suggestion is that this is how healing practically works at times.
If this were not the case, the Holy Spirit would not had inspired and moved James to write what he did in James 5:13-16. We can also note on over 20 occasions in the Gospels where people came to Jesus or were brought to Him for healing, not one time does He refuse to heal them. One of the names that God uses in revealing His identity is that of “Jehovah Rapha” – the Lord our healer – in Exodus 15:26. When Jesus came to this world, His mission was: chiefly to provide forgiveness of sins (Luke 19:10); then to defeat the Devil (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14) and thirdly, to affect healing (see Acts 10:38).
2. God has the power to heal. We must remember that it is the power of Jesus Christ, not faith, that heals (see Luke 5:17 and Acts 3:16).
3. Faith receives the healing (whether God chooses to do it today or later).
Faith does not have any power to heal. All it can do is receive the healing. Faith is the God-given vessel that we have to receive all that He has to offer (John 1:12-13; Eph 2:8-9; James 1:18). We know that faith must be present to receive Jesus immediately in salvation (Romans 10:8-10). In a near parallel way, physical healing operates in a similar fashion. Though there is the mystery-side to healing, asking God to strengthen one's faith, as well as following through with such prescriptions as anointing with oil, and anchor one's rope of faith to the mighty oak of Jesus.
4. God uses different methods in healing (anointing being but one method).
At times a simple prayer or saying a word for healing would be used (Luke 7:7). Oftentimes people would be healed by way of someone laying their hands upon them or the sick person simply touching the one in whom God’s power to heal was present (Luke 8:47). These represent some of the major methods used by God in affecting Divine healing.