Healing the sick, and deliverance from demons were the two most common supernatural signs that accompanied the ministry of Jesus. They were a demonstration of the message that Jesus preached: the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. As the kingdom of God advanced, healing the sick and casting out demons were byproducts. These two ministries are closely related and often overlap.
The following passage in Luke’s gospel demonstrates this close connection: “When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many … ” (Luke 4:40-41). (For other examples see Luke 6:17-19, -Luke 7:21, and Luke 8:2.)
Sometimes Jesus healed people by laying His hands on them or speaking a command to them. Other times, healing was a direct result of a demon being cast out. (Matthew 9:32-33) The New Testament is clear that evil spirits can be the root cause sickness. On the other hand, I have also seen that sometimes a physical infirmity can be an open door for evil spirits to gain entrance.
I have found that you never quite know when healing will turn into deliverance or deliverance into healing. This means that if we want to grow in healing ministry we should also be familiar with deliverance. And if we want to grow in deliverance, we should also grow in healing. Though they are distinct and can be done independently of each other, they are so closely related that we should not completely isolate them from one another.
The ministry of healing and deliverance continued after Jesus ascended to heaven. The early church continued to heal the sick and deliver the demonized in the same way that Jesus had: “Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed” (Acts 5:16).
Let’s pray for a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit to come upon God’s people, to release His kingdom and bring a great harvest of salvation, healing, and deliverance!
Have you ever experienced a deliverance or healing? Have you been a part of someone else’s healing or deliverance? How do you see these ministries as relevant to your life?