Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray. — Luke 5: 12-16
Jesus came to open the gates of heaven for everyone. But he did not come to “heal” everyone.
Had you or I heard about these healing miracles of Christ back in those days, I’m certain that we would have gathered every person we knew who was in need of some form of physical or emotional (even more poorly understood then) healing and then pursued him. With vigor. It is what you do for your loved ones. It is what you do for yourself.
But Jesus did not provide such a physical healing for everyone he encountered. It’s clear from scripture that although he was pursued for this purpose, he often left to find a deserted place to pray, likely leaving many disappointed.
Today, we sometimes hear of a “theology of healing” or “miracle-based faith”. We need not surmise that we can ever state with certainty or muster through reason those instances where and when such miracles can happen. But I do think we offer a disservice when we suggest, directly or implicitly, that one must pray for a physical healing miracle because: “ask and you shall receive” — Matthew 7:7. These were Jesus’ instructions, but we should allow Jesus to know what is best for us and then surrender to his will. If we ask for healing (or a promotion at work or whatever sits upon our request list) and then subsequently base the ultimate power or even existence of God on whether that is or is not granted to us, then we are placing ourselves above him. We are saying we know best. But we often do not.
Miracles happen. Healing happens. Jesus did come to open the gates of heaven for everyone. And for us personally. But often what we require, truly require, in order to be able to walk through those gates one day may not be what we actually pray for in a moment of need.
If we are one of the ones who pursues Jesus for physical healing but does not receive it, it does not mean that he does not exist. We ought not base our faith or theology upon the shaky premise then that God must answer our prayers in order for us to follow him.
Christ intervenes. Christ is present. We do well to surrender to his will.