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Spring Warrior Church of Christ

7432 S. Red Padgett Road


Perry, FL 32348
584-5176

WHAT wOULD JESUS dO? No. 17

JESUS WOULD VISIT THE SICK by Bill Blue


Would you like to please God, follow Jesus’ example, edify your
brethren, and grow your church numerically and spiritually at the same time
without doing anything difficult? Visit the sick among your friends, family,
and brethren.

The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus healing the sick (Matt.
4:23-24, 8:14-17, 9:35; Mark 1:30-34, 6:5; Luke 4:38-40; John 4:46-53, 5:2-9,
11:1-45). Jesus’ ability to heal became well known (Matt. 14:35-36; Mark
6:54-56; Luke 7:2-10). We understand that the purpose behind miraculous
healings was to confirm that Jesus spoke and did things by God’s authority
(John 3:2, 5:36, 10:25; Heb. 2:2-4; see also Mark 16:20), and also help us
“believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31, see also John
2:23, 11:1-45), but Jesus also healed the sick because, “He was moved with
compassion for them [the sick]” (Matt. 14:14, see also Matt. 9:36).

Jesus gave His Apostles the ability “to heal all kinds of sickness and all
kinds of disease” (Matt. 10:1, 8; see also Mark 3:14-15, 6:12-13; Luke 9:1-2,
9:6, 10:9). The book of Acts records several instances when the Apostles
healed the sick (Acts 5:14-16, 9:36-41, 19:11-12, 28:8).

Jesus expects everyone to visit the sick. He instructed the Apostles to


teach Christians “to observe (or “obey” according to the NIV and NRSV) all
things that I have commanded you [the Apostles]” (Matt. 28:20), and taught
that “everlasting punishment” is reserved for the unmerciful and
uncompassionate who, among other things, fail to visit the sick (Matt. 25:31-
46). Thus, all Christians, and not just the preachers, should follow Jesus’
example and visit the sick.

The writers of the New Testament likewise instructed the churches to


visit the sick (James 5:14-15).

Jesus did not visit only the physically sick, but also the spiritually sick
(Matt. 9:11-13; Mark 2:16-17; Luke 5:30-32). The Apostles and inspired
authors of the New Testament also referred to the spiritually weak as sick (1
Cor. 11:29-30).

Visiting the sick is a way of expressing our love and concern for one
another; thus, fulfilling another command of Jesus (John 13:34-35; see also
Heb. 10:24). Visiting the sick also encourages and strengthens the brethren,
and the relationships among the brethren, much in the same way that
faithful attendance at worship services encourages the members assembled
(Heb. 10:25). Visiting the sick will help grow the church (Cf. Eph. 4:11-16). I
have known people who have left congregations to worship elsewhere
because the brethren were “unfriendly,” or the preacher did not visit (or stay
night and day with) the sick. (I have often wondered, did that person or
other brethren visit the sick, or did that church believe that visiting was
solely the responsibility of its preacher?)

We should not limit our concern to those who love us. David sang
about the concern he had for his adversaries when they were ill (Psalm
35:12-13). Of course, showing compassion on someone other than friends,
family, or brethren may encourage that person to consider becoming a
member of your spiritual family.

This article is reprinted online at http://www.bibleweb.com.