Healing Wells

*** Digging the Wells of Healing ***




By Hamilton and Helena Filmalter


As we desire to have more of Jesus and draw closer to Him we need to become like Him. We must walk as He
walked, talk as He talked and do the same works as He did. Many people today ask the question: "What would Jesus do?" And then they come up with all kinds of stuff He never did. If you want to know what Jesus would do, go and look in the Gospels to see what He did and then go and do the same. We need to take a fresh look at the ministry and works of Jesus. We must become passionate about Jesus. Our passion for Him must stir us to do the same works He did.

Act 10:37-38

You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached-- how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

These words come from the mouth of Peter as he explains the gospel to Cornelius. For three and a half years, Peter was a firsthand witness of the ministry of Jesus and this is the overwhelming impression that the ministry of Jesus left on him. When Peter sums up the ministry of Jesus, he speaks of Jesus healing the sick through the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. In his famous sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter said, "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. (Acts 2:22).

Healing the sick was the hallmark of Jesus' ministry. Wherever he went, people brought the sick to him, and he healed them. The Gospels show us that He did this throughout his earthly ministry:

Matthew 4:23-25

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Matt. 8:16-17

When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."

Matt. 9:35

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

Mark 1:33-34

The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons,

Mark 6:56

And wherever he went--into villages, towns or countryside--they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.

Luke 5:15

Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.

Luke 9:11

but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

Even after Jesus clears the temple, he heals the sick:

Matt. 21:12-14

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'" The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.

After John the Baptist was put in prison, he sent some of his disciples to Jesus to find out whether Jesus was really the Messiah. The reason John did this was that Jesus' ministry differed so much from his own. Even though the message that Jesus started to preach , "Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand," (Matt 3:2 and 4:17) was the same as that of John the Baptist, what Jesus DID was different from John. Jesus sums up his own ministry in his answer to John

Matt 11:4-5

Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.

Jesus himself said that the miracles were proof that He was from the Father: "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves." (John 14:11)


It is important to note that Jesus healed all. From Peter's mother-in-law's fever, to the blind, to the demon possessed, no case was too small, or too hard, or too undeserving for the Lord. He refused no one who came to Him for healing. This should be the departure point for the healing ministry today. We cannot base what we believe and practice concerning healing, on our experience or any other person's experience. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus. Many people say, "My experience is that not everyone gets healed," and are therefore hesitant to go after sickness. Many even knew a godly person, who trusted the Lord for healing, and yet died. Such situations are often used as an argument against healing. To restore healing in the church, we need to look past these situations and regain our confidence in dealing with the sick directly from the ministry of Jesus. Jesus is the chief cornerstone, and without confidence in His ministry, we find ourselves unable to act with authority against sickness.

My own mother died of cancer at the age of 42. She had great faith to the end that God would heal her. We contended with her - my father took her to every healing meeting, she confessed the Word and even a few weeks before she died, she still believed that she would be healed. As I stand in the healing ministry today, I need to look beyond the tragedy of her death and rather follow the example of her faith. Her trust in God and faith in His Word was not at all in vain. It inspires me to continue the fight against disease and sickness, making the most of every opportunity to minister to the sick. It was during the time of her sickness, that the Lord first anointed me to minister in power.



Preaching and teaching the gospel without healing the sick is a 'modern invention'. Anyone who lived during the time of Jesus or the early church would be completely surprised at such a notion. During this time the only ones who taught the scriptures without healing, were the scribes and Pharisees, but everywhere Jesus went, people were healed. He was the Doctor with the sick streaming to His meetings and leaving healed. Jesus was the 'health care system' of the day. Healing either preceded of followed the teaching and preaching of Jesus:

Luke 6:17-20

… A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Matt 9:35

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.


Jesus sends out the Twelve with these instructions:

Matt. 10:5-8

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Similarly, the seventy-two is sent out:

Luke 10:8-9

"When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'

And, when after the resurrection, Jesus commands his disciples to take the Gospel to the whole world, his instructions are consistent with the above: The sick must be healed wherever the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached:

Mark 16:15-18 & 20

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." ... Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.


John 14:12

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

The apostles and believers of the early church did this. Peter and John healed the man at the Gate Beautiful and are thrown into prison as a result. Yet, when they are released, they pray that God will increase the healing anointing n the church. They saw no future in a church unable to heal the sick:

Acts 4:29-31

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 5:12

The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people.

Acts 5:15-16

As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.

Even people who are not mentioned in any of the four Gospels, and who did not seem to have had any special access to Jesus while He was on earth, were powerful in healing and miracles:

Acts 6:8

Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.

Acts 8:5-8

Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.


Acts 14:3

So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.

Acts 19:11-12

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

From these verses and others we see that where ever Paul ministered he healed the sick. When writing about his own ministry, Paul clearly states that he always did healings and miracles. He regarded it as vital to the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

Rom. 15:18-19

I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done -- by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.

I Cor. 2:1& 4-5

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God… My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

II Cor 12:12

The things that mark an apostle--signs, wonders and miracles--were done among you with great perseverance.

Paul did not proclaim a gospel without demonstrating the Kingdom of God in power by healing the sick and doing miracles. We often think of Paul's ministry in terms of the letters that he wrote to the churches and then conclude that the ministry of an apostle is primarily sorting out problems in church leadership. Or we use his letters to derive theology and doctrine, but we pay little attention to how he actually ministered.

It is clear from the ministry of Jesus, the Acts of the Apostles, and Paul's own writings that doing healings and miracles, is the only pattern for ministry in the New Testament. The philosophy of ministry where healing the sick is not a focus, is very prevalent in the church today, but has no biblical base. We cannot base our philosophy of ministry and practice on culture, psychological reasoning and humanistic philosophy. Neither can we cling to our ways in the church where healing is regarded as non- essential and is seldom practiced. We need to take a fresh look at the New Testament and endeavor to follow the pattern that is so clearly set forth!



Hamilton and Helena Filmalter
River of Life Ministries
Copyright © 2001 River of Life Ministries. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 30, 2002