I know I have been reflecting a lot on the story of Jesus and the lame man who was lowered to him through his roof. Bear with me as I do another reflection on this same story once again. But this time I want to start by looking at the Old Testament.
There are numerous occasions throughout the Old Testament where God’s character and nature is revealed and from that experience he is given a title which reflects that revealed nature. Hagar reveals God as being EL ROI: “God of Seeing.” Abraham revealed God as being YAHWEH-JIREH: “The Lord Will Provide.” Moses revealed God as being YAHWEH-NISSI: “The Lord Our Banner.” Gideon reveals God as being YAHWEH-SHALOM: “The Lord Our Peace.” The author of Genesis and the Psalmist reveals God as YAHWEH-ELOHIM: “LORD God” The God above all gods. Jeremiah revealed God as YAHWEH-TSIDKENU: “The Lord Our Righteousness.” King David revealed God as YAHWEH-ROHI: “The Lord Our Shepherd.”
While the majority of the names given to God are through his people encountering them; there are a couple of specific times where it is God himself who reveals his name to them. And one of those names is YAHWEH-RAPHA: “The Lord Who Heals.”
Exo 15:26 He said, “If you will carefully obey the LORD your God, do what is right in his eyes, listen to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, then I won’t inflict on you all the diseases that I inflicted on the Egyptians, because I am the LORD your healer.”
There is also another name that God directly reveals to his people and that is YAHWEH-M’KADDESH: “The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy.”
Leviticus 20:8 Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.
Ezekiel 37:28 Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.
And throughout the Scriptures its on these two covenants that God continues to reveal himself to us. He is our sanctifier and he is our healer. In Isaiah 53:1-12 we find one of the greatest prophecies which tells us about the work of the Cross. For it foretells that Christ will bear our sins.
Luke records Isaiah’s prophecy which Jesus states is about himself
Luk 4:17 the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set oppressed people free,
Luk 4:19 and to announce the year of the Lord’s favour.”
And its within this framework that Jesus continues to reveal himself as being the God who heals and the God who sanctifies. For he is the same God, yesterday, today and tomorrow.