By His Wounds We Are Healed

by | May 11, 2024

In seminary, we started evangelizing in downtown Detroit. I’ll never forget meeting one man asking for money. I said, “Jesus Christ loves you.”

He responded incredulously, “Are you serious? I need some money.” I repeated, “We came here to tell you that Jesus Christ loves you.” And he started weeping. He explained, “I live in an alley near here. I’m addicted to heroin. I woke up this morning and said, ‘I can’t do this. God, if You are real, send people to tell me that You love me today.’”

It was clear that God had sent us. We led him to surrender his life to the Lord. We were jumping up and down with our arms across each other. All the people coming out of the nearby casinos were wondering, “What is happening?”  They may have won money, but the kingdom of God really won that night.

Our faith grew tremendously that night. God sent us on mission, and we knew He was with us. The more you are confident that God is with you, the more He will do in and through you.

Later, we met a woman who was legally blind. We took her out to dinner, but she couldn’t see the menu well. We stopped at a church in downtown Detroit and knelt before the sanctuary to pray. I asked if I could put my hand on the back of her head and pray for her. I felt moved by compassion and said, “Lord, please heal her.” I made the Sign of the Cross on the back of her head.

She grabbed my hands and yelled, “What did you just do? I felt electricity from your fingers to my eyes.” She rubbed her eyes and started screaming, “I can see!”  Later, as we took her to get something to drink, she no longer struggled to read the menu.

Afterward, I kept running over those events in my head. I knew I was unworthy. I knew my sin. And I thought you had to be a saint for things like that to happen. Then I realized that God didn’t do this because of me but because of his love of her. He was simply looking for someone to be available. It’s stepping out in faith when you see people suffering.

That began a journey in my life. God radically showed up in that woman’s life because He wanted to show her that He was real. When I talked about God’s love, it wasn’t empty words. He backed it up to show that what He did for her eyes, He can do for her soul. If we aren’t healed spiritually, physical healing doesn’t matter. The point of healing is to be a sign of the kingdom of God—a sign that God is present.

In Jesus, God gives us the definitive declaration that it is his will for us to be fully restored and healed in our humanity so we can be with Him forever in heaven where there is no more wailing, death, or pain. God calls us to step out in faith to pursue Him now. It’s not our responsibility to determine who’s healed. It’s our responsibility to obey our Master, who tells us to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to drive out demons, to cleanse lepers. It’s our job to step out and pray. God’s not planning to heal everyone in this life. In fact, each of us is going to die. The sooner we realize that we’re in God’s hands, the more we can be at peace with his plan for our lives.

Will we step forward to pray that the kingdom of God comes—so that people know God is real and that He loves us? That’s what this is all about.

This article is condensed from Fr. Mathias Thelen’s talk at the 2024 Lift Jesus Higher Rally. It originally appeared in Renewal Ministries’ May 2024 newsletter.

About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Fr. Mathias Thelen</a>

Fr. Mathias Thelen

Fr. Mathias Thelen is president of Encounter Ministries and pastor of St. Patrick Church in Brighton, Michigan.


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