The Ministry of Health and Healing


Work of the Disciples

Luke, the writer of the Gospel that bears his name, was a medical missionary. In the Scriptures he is called “the beloved physician.” Colossians 4:14. The apostle Paul heard of his skill as a physician and sought him out as one to whom the Lord had entrusted a special work. He secured his cooperation, and for some time Luke accompanied him in his travels from place to place. After a time, Paul left Luke at Philippi, in Macedonia. Here he continued to work for several years, both as a physician and as a teacher of the gospel. In his service as a physician he ministered to the sick and then prayed for the healing power of God to rest upon the afflicted ones. Thus the way was opened for the gospel message. Luke’s success as a physician gained for him many opportunities for preaching Christ among the heathen. MHH 71.5

It is the divine plan that we shall work as the disciples worked. Physical healing is bound up with the gospel commission. In the work of the gospel, teaching and healing are never to be separated. MHH 72.1

The work of the disciples was to spread a knowledge of the gospel. To them was committed the work of proclaiming to all the world the good news that Christ brought to humankind. That work they accomplished for the people of their time. To every nation under heaven the gospel was carried in a single generation. MHH 72.2

Giving the gospel to the world is the work that God has committed to those who have taken His name. The gospel is the only antidote for earth’s sin and misery. To make known to everyone the message of the grace of God is the first work of all who know its healing power. MHH 72.3

When Christ sent forth the disciples with the gospel message, faith in God and His Word had well-nigh departed from the world. The Jewish people professed to have a knowledge of God, but His Word had been set aside for tradition and human speculation. Selfish ambition, love of ostentation, greed of gain absorbed the people’s thoughts. As reverence for God departed, compassion toward one another also departed. Selfishness was the ruling principle, and Satan worked his will in the misery and degradation of the human race. MHH 72.4

Satanic agencies took possession of people. The bodies of human beings, made for the dwelling place of God, became the habitation of demons. The senses, the nerves, the organs of humans were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the vilest lust. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men and women. Human faces reflected the expression of the legions of evil with which the people were possessed. MHH 72.5

What is the condition in the world today? Is not faith in the Bible as effectually destroyed by the higher criticism and speculation of today as it was by tradition and rabbinism in the days of Christ? Do not greed, ambition, and love of pleasure have as strong a hold on human hearts now as they had then? In the so-called Christian world, even in the professed churches of Christ, how few are governed by Christian principles. In business, social, domestic, even religious circles, how few make the teachings of Christ the rule of daily living. Is it not true that “justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; ... equity cannot enter ... and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey”? Isaiah 59:14, 15. MHH 72.6

We are living in the midst of an “epidemic of crime,” at which thoughtful, God-fearing people everywhere stand aghast. The corruption that prevails is beyond the power of the human pen to describe. Every day brings fresh revelations of political strife, bribery, and fraud. Every day brings its heartsickening record of violence and lawlessness, of indifference to human suffering, of brutal, fiendish destruction of human life. Every day testifies to the increase of insanity, murder, and suicide. Who can doubt that satanic agencies are at work with increased activity to distract and corrupt the mind, and to defile and destroy the body? MHH 73.1

And while the world is filled with these evils, the gospel is too often presented in so indifferent a manner as to make little impression upon the consciences and lives of people. Everywhere hearts are crying out for something that they do not have. They long for a power that will give them mastery over sin, a power that will deliver them from the bondage of evil, a power that will give health and life and peace. Many who once knew the power of God’s Word have been living where there is no recognition of God, and they long for the divine presence. MHH 73.2

The world today needs what it needed two thousand years ago—a revelation of Christ. A great work of reform is demanded, and it is only through the grace of Christ that the work of restoration—physical, mental, and spiritual—can be accomplished. MHH 73.3