John chapter four tells us a story that very much reminds me of the Divine Healing movement and the "Health and Wealth Gospels" that branched off from that root. By nature, people want a God that they can see, a God that they can feel, one that excites the physical senses more than the spiritual.
When Jesus returned into Cana, the location of the miracle of water being turned into wine, His works were recognized. Word spread that He had returned, and it caught the ears of one Gentile official. His son near death, this official was desperate for another miracle, and had faith that Jesus could heal the child. More than a day's journey away, the man quickly went to Christ.
But when reading this passage, we find that while believing another miracle could be performed, the man did not accept the Supreme Deity of Jesus Christ, or his access to the Father. The man did not send asking Jesus to perform the miracle from afar -- he asked that Jesus come to his house quickly before the son was dead.
Because of this, Jesus responded: "Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe."
Again, the man asked Jesus to come to his home. But this time, Jesus sent him back to the child, saying, "Go; your son will live."
Scriptures record the man believing the Words of Jesus as he left. And before he had even returned to the child, his servants met him to give the good news of his son's healing the day before. The words of Christ were true -- the man saw the sign, and he believed in Jesus Christ. Not him only, but every single one of his household.
The Bible tells us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ went first to the Jew and then to the Gentile. This man, a Gentile, would not believe before he witnessed a sign -- while in the previous passage of scripture many in the city at Samaria believed as they listened to the Words of Christ. But now, the Gospel has been introduced to the Gentiles, and the Holy Spirit was freely given to all who believed in the name of Jesus Christ.
After reading this passage, many questions are raised. Why did people travel near and far to see these hundreds of men in the Divine Healing movement? Were they like this Gentile man, before the Gospel went out to the Gentiles, seeking out a man while not believing that the divine power of God could heal their bodies? Did they believe in God over man, but denied the power of God to heal them through their prayers of faith? Did they replace Christ as the Mediator between God and man, exchanging Christ for one of the hundreds of faith healers on the platform?
The Bible tells us that this man's faith in the sign had saved his entire household. But it also tells us that an "evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign."
The Gospel has gone forth. It has gone to both Jew and Gentile. We have a new High Priest, sitting at the right hand of the Father, who sent the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us in Spirit and in Truth.
Having lived through one of these "Health and Weath" gospels, whether from Dowie, Branham, or any of the other hundreds of men with seemingly countless success stories, one must ask themselves: Did watching the man no the platform cause me to associate that man with my faith in God? Like so many, do you believe that others must also believe in this mortal, sinful, human being to inherit eternal life? Do you believe that their signs and wonders vindicate their ministry?
Or does it vindicate our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who loved us enough to live the perfect life that we could not live, suffer and die on the cross in our place, and rise again so that we can rise with Him to serve Him in Spirit and in Truth?