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Kevin Wagner | Four of the Favorite Healing Stories of the Evangelist


Description: The best sermons for the evangelist to preach come straight from the stories about the life of Jesus. Today, Daniel King and Kevin Wagner talk about their favorite healing stories from the Gospels. Discover why these healing stories can become such powerful messages. 

Show Notes: 

These are the healed stories we discuss: 

The Paralyzed Man in Mark 2 

The Healing of the Leper in Matthew 8 

The Woman with the Issue of Blood in Mark 5 

The Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-Law in Matthew 8:14-15 


The Evangelism Podcast Interviews Kevin Wagner


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):

Welcome I’m with my good friend, dr. Kevin Wagner, once again, talking about evangelism and I want to say welcome. Thank you so much for joining us today.


Kevin Wagner (00:12):

It’s great to be here, dr. Daniel. It’s always good to talk about the things of God, especially with a good friend like you


Daniel King (00:18):

Now on today’s broadcast, we’re going to talk about the healing miracles of Jesus and how evangelists can use those healing stories as sermon outlines. And so often when we go preach overseas, we are wanting to point people to Jesus. And one of the best ways to do that is to tell the stories of what Jesus did in the gospels. And so I figured today we’ll pick four of our favorite messages from the healing stories of Jesus and just talk about them and look at some of the points that we like to make when we preach about. So I’ll let you go first. What is one of your favorite stories of Jesus to tell when you’re preaching in a crusade, dr. Wagner, such a hard


Kevin Wagner (01:08):

It’s like asking, which is your favorite child, you know, well, maybe not quite that hard, but I mean the, the correct answer for me is which is a fairly healing story, all of them, but I know for the purpose of this podcast, we’ll narrow it down to one or two. One of the serve, the stories that I have preached about a lot at our crusades is a story of Jesus healing, the paralyzed man in Mark chapter two, a good one while it’s a great one. It’s an exciting one where the man is lowered down on ropes by his four friends laying on a mat. They dug through the roof because the people were crowding around Jesus and Capernum, and suddenly at the feet of Jesus, this man is placed. And then Jesus asks a question there. He says so the religious leaders, he’s asking the question really to everyone, but as, especially a perk their attention, he says, which is easier to say to this man, your sins are forgiven or to say, get up, take your mat and walk.


Kevin Wagner (02:09):

This is Matthew Mark two, pardon me? Verse nine. And then he says, but that you may know that the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins. He said to the paralytic, I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home. And the point that I’m making there is, or that I believe one of the points that Jesus is making there is that for Jesus, it was as easy for him to forgive the man’s sins as it was to heal his parallel paralysis. And because it was that easy for Jesus, really, it should be as easy for us to why, because Jesus Christ deputized us as his authority is on earth to do both of those things, to bring both forgiveness and healing to people. And so when we look at this story, it’s a great example of the model that we use for our crusades globally, dr. Daniel where we say, if we have a slogan, here’s what we say. We say, Jesus saves Jesus heals, four words that describe in large part, the ministry of what Jesus did.


Daniel King (03:16):

Jesus saves Jesus heals. And both of those can be found in this passage.


Kevin Wagner (03:20):

Both of them can be found in this passage. It’s absolutely clear. You have other passages in scripture that talk about this relationship between forgiveness and healing.


Daniel King (03:29):

All my favorites is Psalms one Oh three verses three, which says, he’s the God who forgives all of our sins and who heals all of our diseases. And so many times in scripture, you see where healing and forgiveness are linked together. They’re like two sides of the same coin.


Kevin Wagner (03:45):

You’ve got Isaiah 53 F first Peter two, you’ve got James chapter five. You’ve got all these scriptures that talk about salvation and healing. Be something, something that Jesus, his blood was sufficient to deal with on his way to Calvary. And then on Calvary, when he was whipped before he went to the cross, those stripes in his back are what heals our diseases and keeps her bodies strong. And then when he was pierced with the five wounds on the cross, the blood that shed from those wounds, of course, the most precious substance in the universe, the only thing that can forgive our sin.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:23):

And so you would preach on this paralyzed man who has his sins forgiven by Jesus, and then he’s healed. He stands up and walks, and then you would give an altar call to invite people, to ask Jesus for forgiveness of sins. And then you would also pray for the sick.


Kevin Wagner (04:44):

Yeah. First salvation is always preeminent. Of course, that’s the prime focus of all of our crusades, because, well, why, because it’s, it’s it’s, it’s what it counts for eternity. You know, you need, you can, you could die with a healthy body, but if you’re not saved redeemed by Jesus blood, then you know, you don’t go to heaven. You go to hell. So you need to make sure that that


Daniel King (05:05):

The priority to the greatest miracle is salvation.


Kevin Wagner (05:08):

It is obviously it is. And because that’s what counts for eternity, that’s the biggest emphasis. But having said that, Jesus also healed many people. Why? Because of his compassion, because he wanted them to be strong and healthy and earth to carry out the great commission, but also as assigned to the, the onlookers that he, something God like was going on here, God was doing something here. This got their attention. You know, we read about in acts chapter eight when Philip the evangelist is preaching as Samaria. It says when the people saw and observed the signs and miracles that he did, they paid what? Close attention to what he said. And so the signs and the miracles and the wonders and the healings, those are things that often get attention, the attention of people to have them listen carefully to your message of salvation. I, the other thing too, in this passage, that’s so interesting to me is that the religious leaders, they said, they asked this question.


Kevin Wagner (06:02):

They said, they’re mad at Jesus for set, talking about forgiving. This man says, because what did they say? They said, who can forgive sins, but God alone. And we look at that. We say, Oh, that’s a Ferris. He’s in the scribes. In the Sadducees talking, they must’ve been, you know, that was a bunch of malarkey. Actually. It wasn’t, you know what they were absolutely right. Only God can forgive sins. But the message of this story is that Jesus could say that his sins were forgiven. Why? Because he was not just a man. He was also all mighty God. And that’s a powerful thing. His ability to heal the sick and forgive sins was an exact, it was a repudiation of their idea that Jesus was not divine. So they were right. Only God can forgive sins, but Jesus can because he’s,


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:55):

Yeah, they were also wrong because they failed to recognize that Jesus is the God that, that they were looking for. And today some religious leaders say the same thing in, in some religions of the world, they say, Jesus was a man. He was a prophet. He was a teacher, but they say he wasn’t God. And so this is a way to, to show that he’s God and say today, some religious leaders say the same thing. They say that Jesus is not God, but Jesus proved that he’s God by forgiving this man since. And what a, what a great story. Now I’ve actually preached on the paralyzed man, hundreds of times in my ministry. But did you know, I’ve never preached it from Mark chapter two. Wow. I always preach it from Matthew chapter nine. And let me tell you why. When, when I was going to ORU, I did an exercise in Greek class where we had to compare the stories in the different synoptic gospels.


Daniel King (07:58):

So we looked at in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and this story is found in all three and each gospel has something unique about it. So Mark is the only one that has a Mark and Luke are the, both have the man coming down through the roof. Now, now Luke, the uniqueness in, in Luke is that he says that the power of the Lord was present to heal. And so he specifically emphasizes the power of God. That that is a unique Luke and theme. But Matthew includes one detail that I really love. And I preach from Matthew chapter nine. And this is what Jesus says in Matthew nine, verse two, he says to the man take heart son or be encouraged. So Mark and Luke don’t have that phrase take heart. Wow. And only, only Matthew. He was, he was probably sitting there as he had been a tax collector.


Daniel King (08:58):

So he was probably taking notes. So he he’s the one who said, Oh, Jesus said, take heart. Now, the reason I preach from that, because I talk about how Jesus encouraged the man first. Yeah. Then he forgave his sins and then he healed the man’s body. And so Jesus wants to heal you emotionally. Jesus wants to heal you spiritually. And Jesus wants to heal you physically. And so Jesus brings complete healing, spirit, mind, and body to this man. And Matthew is the only one who records that specific detail. So that’s why I always preach it out. Matthew is such a beautiful way of putting it. Yeah. So, all right. Second story that I love to preach on. Now that we’re over in Matthew, I like Matthew chapter eight, verse two, it says a man with leprosy came and knelt before Jesus and said, Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.


Daniel King (09:52):

Jesus reached out his hand, touch the man I am willing. He said, be clean. And then immediately he was cured of his leprosy. And so leprosy was a very horrible disease that caused your, your fingers to fall off your face, to become disfigured. And it was highly contagious. And so when this man caught leprosy, he became the lonely leper. No one wanted to touch him. Even his own mother didn’t want to touch him. He was kicked out of his village, kicked out of his family. And so he’s a lonely leper, no one touching him, but he comes to Jesus. He hears about how Jesus can heal the sick. And so he comes down and kneels down in front of Jesus. And he has this question, Lord, are you willing to heal me and Jesus? He says, yes, I am willing. And many people today are asking the same question.


Daniel King (10:41):

Even Christian religious leaders in different countries are asking is God willing to heal today? And I think the answer that Jesus gave to this leper reverberates across the centuries and answers the same question today. If we say God, are you willing to heal me? He says, yes, I am willing. So Jesus is willing to heal. He was willing to heal this leper and he’s willing to heal people today who are sick. And what’s really interesting is Jesus reached out his hand and touch the man. Can you imagine he was lonely? No one wanted to touch him because of this contagious disease. And Jesus reaches out his hand and touches the man. And right now Jesus is reaching out to touch you. If you’re sick, if you need healing, Jesus reaches out his hand to touch you right now. Just reach up your hand to heaven and touch him. Your arm might be short, but his arm is long. He’s reaching out, touch Jesus now and receive your miracle. So I liked the leper. I love that. I called them


Speaker 3 (11:46):

His eternal. I will. Jesus is eternal. I will


Daniel King (11:52):

The Bible says that Jesus Christ the same yesterday,


Kevin Wagner (11:54):

Today and forever. He never changes. And so what Jesus willed then he wills today.


Daniel King (11:59):

Yeah. Hebrews 13, eight. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Sometimes we’ll even put that verse on a banner behind the platform that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same way he healed 2000 years ago when he walked this earth, he is still healing today. Alright. So what is your second favorite healing scripture?


Kevin Wagner (12:26):

Well, one of one of the other healing scriptures that I use a lot when I’m preaching is a story in Mark chapter five of the woman with the issue of blood. It said that she had been here, been subject to bleeding for 12 years. And you know what, dr. Daniel, the reason why I preach a lot of my miracles from Mark is because years ago I memorized the entire gospel of Mark word for word, it’s got over 700 verses I believe, or something around 700. And so I was just, I mean, I, I quote through it at least once a week. And so I quote through these stories myself, even though I memorize it years later, I still do it. And so these words are kind of like, I just rattled them off. And so in this story of the woman who was had the flow of blood, the first thing I think that’s really interesting in this is that the story is goes like this, that Jesus is in a crowd with a ton of people, like just everyone’s pressing around him.


Kevin Wagner (13:23):

And so that he can hardly even move forward. And in the midst of this crowd, here’s his woman who had been sick for a long time and she actually gets near him. And so you might wonder, well, how could a woman like that get so close to Jesus in a crowd like that? Well, it’s because this woman would have been considered unclean because of her flow of blood. And so guess what, when people in the town saw her coming, she was like a modern day pariah. She would have been someone that they backed away from. We don’t want to have anyone to do with anything to do with her. And so, because she was unclean, if they came in contact, whether they would be unclean too. And so they wanted to avoid her. So the, the it was kind of like probably the party of the red sea whenever she made her way up to Jesus. She could get close to him precisely


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:14):

Interesting, because I’ve always preached it and, and even acted it out where she’s like crawling on her hands and knees through people’s legs, like trying to reach Jesus, just trying to remain on notice. But, but you kind of imagine everyone is like, Oh, the unclean ladies coming and they kind of part part the way to let her through


Kevin Wagner (14:37):

It. It seems like, I think that would probably be how it had worked, because, you know, in those days, if someone was in contact with things that were unclean and they considered her unclean because of her flow of blood if that was the case, then people didn’t want it. Observant Jews in those days would not have wanted to get in contact with her because she would have been as untouchable as the leper that you just talked about and people, they, they sequestered and quarantined these lepers in different parts of the the, you know, the cities and towns, not just because they didn’t want to be contagious, but also because people didn’t want to have contact with them because when you’re in contact with something that’s unclean, like for example, a dead body in those days, then that made that person unclean and they had different restrictions they had to go through.


Daniel King (15:28):

And so verse 27, it says that she heard about Jesus. I think that’s so special that when you hear about Jesus, your life is going to change. And so she maybe heard about the paralyzed man who was healed and heard about the leper, who came to Jesus and was healed. And so she heard about Jesus, and then she comes up behind him in the crowd and she reaches out her hand and touches his cloak. And of course he was a rabbi. So he would have been wearing a rabbi’s cloak that has little tassels on the end, prayer tassels. And so she reaches out touches just the edge of her cloak. And it’s because she said to herself, if I just touch his clothes, I will be healed. And then it says immediately her bleeding stopped. And if you read the book of Mark, Mark is shorter than the other gospels. And he talks a lot about like immediately Jesus went to do this, and immediately he went to do that. He was a gospel writer who liked action. Yes. That’s very true. It’s fun.


Kevin Wagner (16:30):

All of action. And you know, that, that, here’s the thing. A lot of these countries that we go to, to preach in the people there, they have a very, a childlike faith, a wonderful childlike faith that Jesus commands just like this woman look at it. She says, if I just touch his clothes, I’ll be healed. There’s no questions about it. There’s no naturalistic explanation that she needs. She just, she’s in a state of desperation. And she truly believes and trusts that when, when that happens, she’s going to be healed. Now, when we go to these countries a lot of times, and you can attest to this, dr. Daniel, a lot of times, people over there, they really want to try to get close to us because they feel the same way. They feel like if they can just kind of touch us or something, get close to us and maybe the power of God can come onto them and impact their lives.


Kevin Wagner (17:23):

But this story is so powerful because look what Jesus says to her. And this is what I often preach at the crusade meetings. He says in verse 34, Mark, two verse Mark, five verse 34, he said to her daughter, your faith has healed you. And at that point in the crusade sermon, I’m going to say, you know what? He doesn’t say, he doesn’t say your hand has healed you. In other words, she he doesn’t commend her hand. It wasn’t her hand touching him that made her better because why there were tons of people touching Jesus. The Bible says they were oppressing around him. Many, many people were in contact with him that day, right?


Daniel King (18:13):

Jim, the disciples kind of laughing at Jesus because he stops and says, who touched me? And they’re like, Jesus, there’s lots of people here touching you. What do you mean? Who touched you? But she had something special. Her touch was a touch of faith.


Kevin Wagner (18:26):

That is exactly right. And that’s what I tell the people is crusade means you don’t have to touch me to be healed. You can be healed right now. When you trust Jesus to heal you the way that this woman did. And it’s a powerful, powerful reminder reminder, it’s really humbling for us as evangelists. It’s not like people have to touch us to be healed. No, it, the center of everything is always Jesus. It’s not us. And so for, because you know of all that crowd only, she was the one that Jesus knew power had gone out. Why? Just like you said, because she touched him in a special way. She touched him by her faith. She had simple childlike, faith and confidence and trust in Jesus has power to heal her.


Daniel King (19:07):

And so if you will touch Jesus and faith, yeah. You can receive a miracle. That that’s an awesome story. All right. The, the fourth story that I like is Peter’s, mother-in-law back in Matthew chapter eight, we’re kind of bouncing between Matthew over to Mark and back to Matthew again, but Matthew eight, verse 14. It says, when Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s, mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. And he touched her hand and the fever left her and she got up and began to wait on him. And I love this story because this is Peter’s mother-in-law, this is a very personal miracle. And you know, if your mother-in-law ain’t happy, ain’t no one in the house happy. And so she’s laying in bed, she’s sick with a fever and Jesus and all the disciples come and, and Jesus goes into her and touches her hand.


Daniel King (20:01):

He just reaches out his hand and touches her, which is special. That, that Jesus would touch someone and the fever leaves and like a good mother-in-law. She gets up and says, you guys are hungry, aren’t you? And she immediately begins cooking dinner for all the disciples. And, and you can see how pleased Peter must have been with this miracle because it’s one thing to go out on the field and see all the people being healed out there. The blind eyes are being open. Deaf ears are being open. The cripples are walking, but when it is your mother-in-law, this is a very personal miracle for Peter in this shows that Jesus cares for every single individual. That if you’re sick, Jesus cares for you. He loves for you. And Jesus is reaching out his hand to touch you right now. And if Jesus touches you, you can be completely made whole,


Kevin Wagner (20:57):

I preach a sermon on this story. It’s called first things first. And I see in this too, you know, the priority that Jesus had on people, Jesus jesus’ priority was always people. It was not pleasure. It was not getting fed. It was not getting watered. It was not having a place to lay down and rest. When he walked into Peter’s house. The first thing that they did was tell Jesus about his mother-in-law and Jesus did not wait to be waited on. He went straight to her because he had a heart of compassion that prioritized people. And that’s just such a beautiful thing to see. We have to be people as evangelists when we traveled to these places that you know, literally, no, there’s no reason in the natural for us to be there other than to bring Jesus to them. They’re not economic centers. They’re not business centers. They’re not tourist centers. They’re only, we’re only there for the people. And that really keeps our focus on ministry. I believe crystallized Jesus. His focus was always prioritizing people and sodas. Ours need to be


Daniel King (22:06):

That’s awesome. Well, dr. Kevin, there may be someone listening to the podcast right now who has been sick and needs a healing miracle. Could you finish up by, by praying for God’s healing power to touch our friend who’s listening right now.


Kevin Wagner (22:24):

Sure. Be happy to do that. Just honored and privileged. Lord Jesus. We just present to you, Lord God, whoever might need a special touch of healing right now in their own bodies. We present them to you before your throne of grace. I pray Lord God, that you would pour healing into their bodies, the way that you did in Bible days and the way that you continue to do now around the world, I speak against any spirit of infirmity right now that has been afflicting these people in the name of Jesus Christ. I break your hold off their bodies. I command you to go far from them right now and ask you Holy spirit to pour out your healing, power and virtue into the lives of these people, Lord, that they might have their symptoms removed and that they may have the deep recesses of their bodies. Lord cleanse of whatever has been afflicting and plaguing them. I thank you. Jesus said by your stripes, they are healed. Amen.


Daniel King (23:15):

Amen. Thank you very much.


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