Christ commissions all believers to heal the sick

heal the sickJesus commanded His disciples to do the same thing that He did: preach that the kingdom of heaven is near and prove the truth of His preaching by healing the sick. He described this commission in Matthew, as follows:

And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. […] These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. […] And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:1, 5, 7-8)

He said something similar in the gospel of Luke:

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. (Luke 9:1-2, 6)

Similarly, He sent the 70 to preach in the cities where He himself intended to go, with the same message, saying to them:

Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ (Luke 10:8, 9)

At the last Communion, Jesus said several things to His disciples that are every bit as applicable to us today, as they were to His disciples at the time that He said them. Among other things, Jesus told them:

Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:11-14)

The Great Commission, as described in Matthew 28:19-20, and originally spoken to the eleven disciples, and accepted in all places as being a commission to all those who believe, was articulated by Jesus when He said:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; (Matthew 28:19-20)

Jesus sent His disciples to heal the sick, cast out demons and preach repentance, saying, “The kingdom of God is at hand”. We recognize that His words in Matthew 28 are a commission for all those who believe. The fact that this commission is for all believers is also clear in Mark 16, where Jesus said:

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15, 17, 18)

Observe that the signs will accompany “those who believe”. This not only includes those who believed in the days of the first apostles because, if the commission to preach the gospel is still valid, the sign of laying hands on the sick for their healing will also continue to be valid to all those who believe today.