The Ministry of Healing,The Ministry of Healing

The Ministry of Healing

Ellen G. White

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1905

Copyright © 2017 Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.

 

 

 

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Ellen G. White (1827-1915) is considered the most widely translated American author, her works having been published in more than 160 languages. She wrote more than 100,000 pages on a wide variety of spiritual and practical topics. Guided by the Holy Spirit, she exalted Jesus and pointed to the Scriptures as the basis of one’s faith.

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Preface

The world is sick, and wherever the children of men dwell, suffering abounds. On every hand there is a seeking for relief.

It is not the Creator’s purpose that mankind shall be weighed down with a burden of pain, that his activities shall be curtailed by illness, that his strength wane, and his life be cut short by disease. But all too frequently the laws established by God to govern the life are flagrantly transgressed; sin enters the heart, and man loses sight of his dependence upon God, the source of life and health. Then follow the penalties of transgression—pain, sickness, death.

To understand the physical laws governing the body and to bring the life practices into harmony with these laws is a duty of first importance. There is a need for an understanding of the many factors contributing to true happiness—a cheerful home, obedience to the laws of life, proper relationship to one’s fellow men.

When sickness comes, it is essential that we employ the varied agencies which, in co-operation with nature’s efforts, will build up the body and restore the health. There is, also, a larger and more vitally important question—that of our relationship to the Creator who originally gave man his life, who made every provision for his continued happiness, and who today is interested in his welfare.

In this volume, the author, a woman of large experience in the practical affairs of life, and one particularly favored with rare insight and knowledge, has brought within the reach of every father and mother, every man and woman, lay and professional, a vast fund of information on life and its laws, on health and its requisites, on [8] disease and its remedies, on the sickness of the soul and the healing balm of Gilead.

The book is written in clear, simple, beautiful language, instruc- tive to the learner, hopeful to the despondent, cheering to the sick, and restful to the weary. Through several decades it has conveyed its helpful message to hundreds of thousands, as it has been issued and reissued in many lands, in a dozen of the world’s leading languages.

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That this work, which presents a better way, revealing to us a simpler, sweeter life, full of joy and gladness, with room for that helpful service which “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” may fully accomplish its mission is the sincere hope of the publishers and

The Trustees of the Ellen G. White Publications.

 

 

Contents Information about this Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii

The True Medical Missionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Chapter 1—Our Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Brotherly Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Personal Ministry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Chapter 2—Days of Ministry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 “He Shall Gather the Lambs With His Arm” . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Parental Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Five Small Barley Loaves Feed the Multitude. . . . . . . . . . . 27

Chapter 3—With Nature and With God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Chapter 4—The Touch of Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

“According to His Mercy He Saved Us” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 “Thou Canst Make Me Clean” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 “Ye Shall Find Rest” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Chapter 5—Healing of the Soul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 “Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 “Go, and Sin No More” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 “I Give Unto You Power” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Chapter 6—Saved to Serve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 “My Praise Shall Be Continually of Thee” . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 “Freely Ye Have Received, Freely Give” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

The Work of the Physician . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Chapter 7—The Co-Working of the Divine and the Human . 68

The Source of Healing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 God’s Promises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Chapter 8—The Physician, an Educator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Need of Education in Health Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Natural Remedies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Training for Life’s Conflict . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Power of Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 The Physician and the Temperance Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Medical Missionaries and their Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Chapter 9—Teaching and Healing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

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Work of the Disciples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Teaching Health Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 A Broader Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Little Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Self-Supporting Missionaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Chapter 10—Helping the Tempted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Saved by Hope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

Chapter 11—Working for the Intemperate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 The Power of the Will . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Disappointments; Dangers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

Chapter 12—Help for the Unemployed and the Homeless . 120 God’s Plan for Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Industrial Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Consideration for the Poor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Business Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 The City Slums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 Missionary Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 Hope and Courage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Life’s Best Things . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130

Chapter 13—The Helpless Poor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 The Household of Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Widows and Orphans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 The Aged . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 A Test of Character . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 “Give, and it shall be given unto you” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

Chapter 14—Ministry to the Rich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 The Care of the Sick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

Chapter 15—In the Sickroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 Sunlight, Ventilation, and Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Diet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Duties of Attendants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Visiting the Sick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Institutional Nursing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148

Chapter 16—Prayer for the Sick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Confession of Sin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152

Chapter 17—The Use of Remedies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 Rational Remedies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 Rest as a Remedy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158

 

 

Contents vii

Chapter 18—Mind Cure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 Control of Mind Over Mind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 Sympathy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164 Bible Principles of Cure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166 The Healing Promises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169 Sing Praises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171 Marah and Elim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 Blessed Assurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176

Chapter 19—In Contact With Nature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 Health Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183

Chapter 20—General Hygiene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 The Circulation of the Blood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 Respiration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 Ventilation and Sunlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185

Chapter 21—Hygiene Among the Israelites . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188 Prevention of Disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188 Cleanliness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 Diet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190 Rejoicing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191

Chapter 22—Dress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 Independent of Fashion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200

Chapter 23—Diet and Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 Selection of Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 Preparation of Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 Wrong Conditions of Eating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207

Chapter 24—Flesh as Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 Reasons for Discarding Flesh Foods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212

Chapter 25—Extremes in Diet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215 Chapter 26—Stimulants and Narcotics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219

Condiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 Tea and Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 The Tobacco Habit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220 Intoxicating Drinks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222 The Milder Intoxicants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223

Chapter 27—Liquor Traffic and Prohibition . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 The Work of the Liquor Seller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 The Responsibility of the Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 License Laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230

 

 

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Prohibition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 The Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235

Chapter 28—Ministry of the Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 Life’s Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239

Chapter 29—The Builders of the Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241 Happiness in Unselfish Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245

Chapter 30—Choice and Preparation of the Home . . . . . . . 246 Simplicity in Furnishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 Beautiful Surroundings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249

Chapter 31—The Mother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 Temperance and Self-Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252 Overwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253 Cheerfulness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253 The Privilege of Parents in Child Training . . . . . . . . . . . . 254 The Mother’s Opportunity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255

Chapter 32—The Child . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 The Care of Infants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 The Child’s Diet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 The Care of Children in Sickness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 The Study of Physiology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261

Chapter 33—Home Influences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263 The Father’s Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264

Chapter 34—True Education, a Missionary Training . . . . . 268 Training for Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 A Broad Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270 The Work of the School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272 Learning by Imparting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272

The Essential Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 Chapter 35—A True Knowledge of God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280

Nature Is Not God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283 The Creation of the Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 Personality of God Revealed in Christ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288 Revealed to the Disciples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289 Character of God Revealed in Christ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291 The Glory of the Cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 It Was Christ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 The Knowledge That Works Transformation . . . . . . . . . . 293

Chapter 36—Danger in Speculative Knowledge . . . . . . . . . 295

 

 

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Pantheistic Theories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Searching Into Divine Mysteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297

Chapter 37—The False and the True in Education . . . . . . . 306 Infidel Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306 Historical and Theological Lore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 The Classics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309 Sensational Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310 Myths and Fairy Tales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311 Christ’s Teaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313

Chapter 38—The Importance of Seeking True Knowledge 316 The Work That Requires Our Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316 The Science to Be Mastered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317 No Time to Lose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318 The Need of Self-Renunciation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319 Christ the Fountainhead of True Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . 320

Chapter 39—The Knowledge Received Through God’s Word 322 Clearer Revealings of God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327 Education in the Life Eternal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 328

The Worker’s Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329 Chapter 40—Help in Daily Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330

The Discipline of Trial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330 God’s Plans the Best . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333 A Lesson From the Life of Moses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333 Plans for the Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336 Wages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337 God Will Provide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337

Chapter 41—In Contact With Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 340 Consideration for Burden Bearers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 340 Forbearance Under Wrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341

Chapter 42—Development and Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350 Force of Character . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350 Singleness of Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 354

Chapter 43—A Higher Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355 In the Mount With God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357 The Privilege of Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358 The Divine Counselor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 Consecration; Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361 “Abide in Me” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362

 

 

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“This One Thing I Do” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363

 

 

The True Medical Missionary [9]

“To preach good tidings unto the meek;… to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening

of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the year of Jehovah’s favor; … to comfort all that mourn.”

 

 

Chapter 1—Our Example[17]

Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied ser- vant of man’s necessity. He “took our infirmities, and bare our sick- nesses,” that He might minister to every need of humanity. Matthew 8:17. The burden of disease and wretchedness and sin He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character.

Varied were the circumstances and needs of those who besought His aid, and none who came to Him went away unhelped. From Him flowed a stream of healing power, and in body and mind and soul men were made whole.

The Saviour’s work was not restricted to any time or place. His compassion knew no limit. On so large a scale did He conduct His work of healing and teaching that there was no building in Palestine large enough to receive the multitudes that thronged to Him. On the green hill slopes of Galilee, in the thoroughfares of travel, by the seashore, in the synagogues, and in every other place where the sick could be brought to Him, was to be found His hospital. In every city,[18] every town, every village, through which He passed, He laid His hands upon the afflicted ones and healed them. Wherever there were hearts ready to receive His message, He comforted them with the assurance of their heavenly Father’s love. All day He ministered to those who came to Him; in the evening He gave attention to such as through the day must toil to earn a pittance for the support of their families.

Jesus carried the awful weight of responsibility for the salvation of men. He knew that unless there was a decided change in the principles and purposes of the human race, all would be lost. This was the burden of His soul, and none could appreciate the weight that rested upon Him. Through childhood, youth, and manhood He walked alone. Yet it was heaven to be in His presence. Day by day He met trials and temptations; day by day He was brought into contact with evil and witnessed its power upon those whom[19]

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Our Example 13

He was seeking to bless and to save. Yet He did not fail or become discouraged.

In all things He brought His wishes into strict abeyance to His mission. He glorified His life by making everything in it subordinate to the will of His Father. When in His youth His mother, finding Him in the school of the rabbis, said, “Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us?” He answered,—and His answer is the keynote of His lifework,—“How is it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:48, 49.

His life was one of constant self-sacrifice. He had no home in this world except as the kindness of friends provided for Him as a wayfarer. He came to live in our behalf the life of the poorest and to walk and work among the needy and the suffering. Unrecognized and unhonored, He walked in and out among the people for whom He had done so much.

He was always patient and cheerful, and the afflicted hailed Him as a messenger of life and peace. He saw the needs of men and women, children and youth, and to all He gave the invitation, “Come unto Me.”

During His ministry, Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching. His miracles testified to the truth of His words, that He came not to destroy, but to save. Wherever He went, the tidings of His mercy preceded Him. Where He had passed, the objects of His compassion were rejoicing in health and making trial of their new-found powers. Crowds were collecting around them to hear from their lips the works that the Lord had wrought. His voice was the first sound that many had ever heard, His name the first word they had ever spoken, His face the first they had ever looked upon. Why should they not love Jesus and sound His praise? As He passed through the towns and cities He was like a vital current, diffusing [20] life and joy.

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, Toward the sea, beyond the Jordan,

Galilee of the nations, The people that sat in darkness

Saw a great light,

 

 

14 The Ministry of Healing

And to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, To them did light spring up.”

Matthew 4:15, 16, A.R.V., margin.

The Saviour made each work of healing an occasion for implant- ing divine principles in the mind and soul. This was the purpose of His work. He imparted earthly blessings, that He might incline the hearts of men to receive the gospel of His grace.

Christ might have occupied the highest place among the teachers of the Jewish nation, but He preferred rather to take the gospel to the poor. He went from place to place, that those in the highways and byways might hear the words of truth. By the sea, on the mountainside, in the streets of the city, in the synagogue, His voice[21] was heard explaining the Scriptures. Often He taught in the outer court of the temple, that the Gentiles might hear His words.

So unlike the explanations of Scripture given by the scribes and Pharisees was Christ’s teaching, that the attention of the people was arrested. The rabbis dwelt upon tradition, upon human theory and speculation. Often that which men had taught and written about the Scripture was put in place of the Scripture itself. The subject of Christ’s teaching was the word of God. He met questioners with a plain, “It is written,” “What saith the Scripture?” “How readest thou?” At every opportunity when an interest was awakened by either friend or foe, He presented the word. With clearness and power He proclaimed the gospel message. His words shed a flood of light on the teachings of patriarchs and prophets, and the Scriptures came to men as a new revelation. Never before had His hearers perceived in the word of God such depth of meaning.[22]

Never was there such an evangelist as Christ. He was the Majesty of heaven, but He humbled Himself to take our nature, that He might meet men where they were. To all people, rich and poor, free and bond, Christ, the Messenger of the covenant, brought the tidings of salvation. His fame as the Great Healer spread throughout Palestine. The sick came to the places through which He would pass, that they might call on Him for help. Hither, too, came many anxious to hear His words and to receive a touch of His hand. Thus He went from

 

 

Our Example 15

city to city, from town to town, preaching the gospel and healing the sick—the King of glory in the lowly garb of humanity.

He attended the great yearly festivals of the nation, and to the multitude absorbed in outward ceremony He spoke of heavenly [23] things, bringing eternity within their view. To all He brought trea- sures from the storehouse of wisdom. He spoke to them in language so simple that they could not fail of understanding. By methods peculiarly His own, He helped all who were in sorrow and affliction. With tender, courteous grace He ministered to the sin-sick soul, bringing healing and strength.

The prince of teachers, He sought access to the people by the pathway of their most familiar associations. He presented the truth in such a way that ever after it was to His hearers intertwined with their most hallowed recollections and sympathies. He taught in [24] a way that made them feel the completeness of His identification with their interests and happiness. His instruction was so direct, His illustrations were so appropriate, His words so sympathetic and cheerful, that His hearers were charmed. The simplicity and earnestness with which He addressed the needy, hallowed every word.

What a busy life He led! Day by day He might have been seen entering the humble abodes of want and sorrow, speaking hope to the downcast and peace to the distressed. Gracious, tenderhearted, pitiful, He went about lifting up the bowed-down and comforting the sorrowful. Wherever He went, He carried blessing.

While He ministered to the poor, Jesus studied also to find ways of reaching the rich. He sought the acquaintance of the wealthy and cultured Pharisee, the Jewish nobleman, and the Roman ruler. He accepted their invitations, attended their feasts, made Himself familiar with their interests and occupations, that He might gain [25] access to their hearts, and reveal to them the imperishable riches.

Christ came to this world to show that by receiving power from on high, man can live an unsullied life. With unwearying patience and sympathetic helpfulness He met men in their necessities. By the gentle touch of grace He banished from the soul unrest and doubt, changing enmity to love, and unbelief to confidence.

He could say to whom He pleased, “Follow Me,” and the one addressed arose and followed Him. The spell of the world’s enchant-

 

 

16 The Ministry of Healing

ment was broken. At the sound of His voice the spirit of greed and ambition fled from the heart, and men arose, emancipated, to follow the Saviour.

Brotherly Love

Christ recognized no distinction of nationality or rank or creed. The scribes and Pharisees desired to make a local and a national benefit of the gifts of heaven and to exclude the rest of God’s family in the world. But Christ came to break down every wall of partition. He came to show that His gift of mercy and love is as unconfined as the air, the light, or the showers of rain that refresh the earth.

The life of Christ established a religion in which there is no caste, a religion by which Jew and Gentile, free and bond, are linked in a common brotherhood, equal before God. No question of policy influenced His movements. He made no difference between neigh- bors and strangers, friends and enemies. That which appealed to His heart was a soul thirsting for the waters of life.

He passed by no human being as worthless, but sought to apply the healing remedy to every soul. In whatever company He found Himself He presented a lesson appropriate to the time and the cir-[26] cumstances. Every neglect or insult shown by men to their fellow men only made Him more conscious of their need of His divine- human sympathy. He sought to inspire with hope the roughest and most unpromising, setting before them the assurance that they might become blameless and harmless, attaining such a character as would make them manifest as the children of God.

Often He met those who had drifted under Satan’s control, and who had no power to break from his snare. To such a one, discour- aged, sick, tempted, fallen, Jesus would speak words of tenderest pity, words that were needed and could be understood. Others He met who were fighting a hand-to-hand battle with the adversary of souls. These He encouraged to persevere, assuring them that they would win; for angels of God were on their side and would give them the victory.

At the table of the publicans He sat as an honored guest, by His sympathy and social kindliness showing that He recognized the dignity of humanity; and men longed to become worthy of His

 

 

Our Example 17

confidence. Upon their thirsty hearts His words fell with blessed, life-giving power. New impulses were awakened, and to these out- casts of society there opened the possibility of a new life.

Though He was a Jew, Jesus mingled freely with the Samaritans, setting at nought the Pharisaic customs of His nation. In face of their prejudices He accepted the hospitality of this despised people. He slept with them under their roofs, ate with them at their tables,—par- taking of the food prepared and served by their hands,—taught in their streets, and treated them with the utmost kindness and cour- tesy. And while He drew their hearts to Him by the tie of human sympathy, His divine grace brought to them the salvation which the Jews rejected.

Personal Ministry [27]

Christ neglected no opportunity of proclaiming the gospel of salvation. Listen to His wonderful words to that one woman of Samaria. He was sitting by Jacob’s well, as the woman came to draw water. To her surprise He asked a favor of her. “Give Me to drink,” He said. He wanted a cool draft, and He wished also to open the way whereby He might give to her the water of life. “How is it,” said the woman, “that Thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, [28] which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” Jesus answered, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water…. Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:7-14.

How much interest Christ manifested in this one woman! How earnest and eloquent were His words! When the woman heard them, she left her waterpot, and went into the city, saying to her friends, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” We read that “many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him.” Verses 29, 39. And who can estimate the influence which these words have exerted for the saving of souls in the years that have passed since then?

 

 

18 The Ministry of Healing

Wherever hearts are open to receive the truth, Christ is ready to instruct them. He reveals to them the Father, and the service acceptable to Him who reads the heart. For such He uses no parables. To them, as to the woman at the well, He says, “I that speak unto thee am He.”

 

 

Chapter 2—Days of Ministry [29]

In the fisherman’s home at Capernaum the mother of Peter’s wife is lying sick of “a great fever,” and “they tell Him of her.” Jesus “touched her hand, and the fever left her,” and she arose and ministered to the Saviour and His disciples. Luke 4:38; Mark 1:30; Matthew 8:15.

Rapidly the tidings spread. The miracle had been wrought upon the Sabbath, and for fear of the rabbis the people dared not come for healing until the sun was set. Then from the homes, the shops, the market places, the inhabitants of the city pressed toward the humble dwelling that sheltered Jesus. The sick were brought upon litters, they came leaning upon staffs, or, supported by friends, they tottered feebly into the Saviour’s presence.

Hour after hour they came and went; for none could know whether tomorrow would find the Healer still among them. Never before had Capernaum witnessed a day like this. The air was filled with the voice of triumph and shouts of deliverance.

Not until the last sufferer had been relieved did Jesus cease His work. It was far into the night when the multitude departed and [30] silence settled down upon the home of Simon. The long, exciting day was past, and Jesus sought rest. But while the city was wrapped in slumber, the Saviour, “rising up a great while before day,” “went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35.

Early in the morning Peter and his companions came to Jesus, saying that already the people of Capernaum were seeking Him. [31] With surprise they heard Christ’s words, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” Luke 4:43.

In the excitement which then pervaded Capernaum there was danger that the object of His mission would be lost sight of. Jesus was not satisfied to attract attention to Himself merely as a wonder- worker or as a healer of physical disease. He was seeking to draw men to Him as their Saviour. While the people were eager to believe that He had come as a king to establish an earthly reign, He desired

19

 

 

20 The Ministry of Healing

to turn their minds from the earthly to the spiritual. Mere worldly success would interfere with His work.

And the wonder of the careless crowd jarred upon His spirits. No self-assertion mingled with His life. The homage which the world gives to position, wealth, or talent was foreign to the Son of man. None of the means that men employ to win allegiance or command homage did Jesus use. Centuries before His birth it had been prophesied of Him, “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall He not break, and the dimly burning flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth[32] judgment unto truth.” Isaiah 42:2, 3, margin.

The Pharisees sought distinction by their scrupulous ceremoni- alism and the ostentation of their worship and their charities. They proved their zeal for religion by making it the theme of discussion. Disputes between opposing sects were loud and long, and it was not unusual to hear on the streets the voice of angry controversy from learned doctors of the law.

In marked contrast to all this was the life of Jesus. In that life no noisy disputation, no ostentatious worship, no act to gain applause, was ever witnessed. Christ was hid in God, and God was revealed in the character of His Son. To this revelation Jesus desired the minds of the people to be directed.

The Sun of Righteousness did not burst upon the world in splen- dor, to dazzle the senses with His glory. It is written of Christ, “His going forth is prepared as the morning.” Hosea 6:3. Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth, dispelling the darkness and waking the world to life. So did the Sun of Righteousness arise, “with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2.

“Behold My Servant, whom I uphold;[33] Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth.”

Isaiah 42:1.

“Thou hast been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress,

A refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat.”

Isaiah 25:4.

 

 

Days of Ministry 21

“Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out;

He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it,

And spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called Thee in righteousness,

And will hold Thine hand, And will keep Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the

people, For a light of the Gentiles;

To open the blind eyes, To bring out the prisoners from the prison,

And them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”

Isaiah 42:5-7.

“I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known:

I will make darkness light before them, And crooked things straight.

These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

Verse 16.

“Sing unto the Lord a new song, And His praise from the end of the earth,

Ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; The isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up the voice, The villages that Kedar doth inhabit:

Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, Let them shout from the top of the mountains.

Let them give glory unto the Lord, And declare His praise in the islands.”

Verses 10-12.

“Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: Shout, ye lower parts of the earth:

Break forth into singing, ye mountains,

 

 

22 The Ministry of Healing

O forest, and every tree therein: For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob,

And glorified Himself in Israel.”

Isaiah 44:23.

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