In Isaiah sixty-one, is another prophecy of the Savior: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Isa.61:1, 2. Where this text is quoted in the New Testament, there is added, "and recovering of sight to the blind." Luke 4:18. This addition is found in the LXX.
Again the prophet speaking of Christ said, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isa.53:5. The evangelist in speaking of the prophecy of Isa.53:4, 5, says, "When the even was come they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." Mat.8:16, 17. In verse thirteen is recorded the healing of the centurion's servant: "Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour." When Jesus saw the mother of Peter's wife lying sick of a fever, he touched her hand and the fever left her, and she arose and ministered unto them. Ver.14, 15.
In the ninth chapter of Matthew is recorded the instance of the healing of the man sick of the palsy, and of a woman who had been diseased for twelve years, and of the raising to life of the daughter of a certain ruler; also the restoring of the sight of two blind men. Jesus saith unto them, "Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened." "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." Ver.35.
John, when in prison, hearing of the works of Jesus, sent two of his disciples who asked the Savior, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" Now John was acquainted with the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the Christ, so Jesus said to the disciples, "Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them." Jesus told them that he was doing just what was prophesied that Christ should do when he came, then this must certainly be he and we need not look for another. Throughout his ministry the Savior continued to cast out devils and to heal the sick. He gave his twelve disciples power "against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease." Mat.10:1. Not only did he give the twelve such power over Satan and sickness, but in sending out the seventy he said: "And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." Luke 10:8, 9.
Before Jesus ascended to the Father he commissioned his disciples to preach the gospel, saying, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Mark 16:15-18. Jesus was the "light of the world," because he had power over sin and disease. The church becomes a light in the world in proportion to her power and purity, and when she reaches the zenith of her power the same power is exercised by her as by the Lord himself. After commissioning the disciples to preach, Jesus was "received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." Mark 16:19, 20. Although Jesus had ascended to heaven, yet it is said that he was working with them as they preached the word. Here was the secret of their power, "workers together with God."
Again Jesus said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Mat.28:19, 20. The Lord here gives promise to be with them unto the end. Although he ascended, yet he says, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John 14:18. The Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost came and dwelt in the midst of God's church in the same authoritative power over sin and demons that Christ exercised before his passion. He now comes in the power of the Holy Spirit, performing great deeds of wonder through his church. The church only was visible, therefore became the light of the world. After Pentecost the disciples did as Jesus commanded. They began to preach the gospel, and Jesus working with them, many souls were saved. Peter and John on one occasion "went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes on him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up; and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God." Acts 3:1-9. This miracle of divine healing was done by faith in the name of Jesus. Ver.16. The Lord was with his disciples confirming the preaching with signs following.
In the ninth chapter of Acts is recorded an instance of the dead being raised to life. Dorcas, who was a good woman, was taken sick and died. Two men were sent for Peter, who when he was come was brought into the upper chamber: "and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed: and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up: and when he had called the saints and the widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord." This was when the church was the light of the world; when the whole pure gospel was preached for the gospel's sake, and men lived humbly before God, and were workers together with him.
Paul escaping the waves was cast upon the island of Melita. He says, "The barbarous people showed us no little kindness; for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold." And when he had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. Acts 28:1-4. Now was the promise given in the commission to prove true? Jesus said, "They shall take up serpents." Here Paul had taken one up. Should he trust in the promise of the Savior, or resort to some antidote? It is said, He shook off the beast into the fire and felt no harm. The natives were astonished and God was glorified. Had Paul sought and obtained relief by medical means, whatever brought the relief would have been worthy the praise. He was living solely for the glory of God, and by trusting in God and God protecting him it was thus that God was glorified.
The "gifts of healing" were placed in the church. See 1 Cor.12:28. As late as the year 60 A.D., twenty-seven years after the Lord had ascended, James tells us what to do when sick. He says, "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." Jas.5:13-15.
Thus the Lord worked in the midst of his people in the morning of the gospel day. He gave them grace and power to live the same holy, humble life he lived. He gave them power to cast out devils and to heal the sick. By performing the works and living the life of Jesus the church was a city set upon a hill, which could not be hid -- a light in the world.