Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Sozo - God’s Desire to Save and Heal

by Jilly Lyon-Taylor

God our Saviour … wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3-4, NIV

As Christians we know that we have eternal salvation from sin and death through the cross when we repent and believe. However, many people struggle to believe that God also desires us to be healed and to come into wholeness here on earth. Today’s verse makes it clear that God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. However, when we look closely at the Greek word translated as ‘saved’ here, it’s clear that it’s not just our eternal destination that God’s concerned about. The word is ‘sozo’, which when used elsewhere in the New Testament is translated variously as ‘save, heal, make whole, deliver`.

The first use of the word is in Matthew 1:21, when the Lord speaks to Joseph in a dream to tell him not to be afraid of taking Mary as his wife. He says, ‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus (which means Saviour), because he will save (Greek=sozo) his people from their sins’. Saving from sin is obviously the most important aspect of the work of Jesus on the cross, as it brings us into relationship with the Father, but salvation doesn’t end there. As our Father, God’s concerned about every aspect of our lives, including our physical and emotional well-being.

In Matthew chapter 9 we read the account of the woman with the flow of blood who pressed through to touch the tassels of Jesus’ garment. Jesus turns to her and says, ‘Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you’ (Greek=sozo) (Matthew 9:22). She was instantly healed from her physical problem, and inner healing would also have taken place. The condition she’d been suffering from would have made her unclean, and would have resulted in feelings of rejection and isolation, but Jesus speaks acceptance to her and gives her a sense of belonging by calling her ‘daughter’.

Another example of ‘sozo’ relating to physical healing is in James Chapter 5, when anyone who is sick is exhorted to call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil. James 5:15 says: ‘The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well’. The Greek word translated in the NIV as ‘make well’ is ‘sozo`.

The same Greek word is used again in Matthew 8:25 during the storm on the lake. The disciples cry out to Jesus: ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ In that context they were needing deliverance from immediate danger, which may well have involved demonic activity, as Jesus then rebuked the wind and the waves.

We can see from these examples that God’s desire is that all people should be saved, and that His plan for salvation includes physical healing, inner healing and deliverance. That’s why Paul encourages us to continue to work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12). Why not reach out to Him today for Him to ‘sozo’ you, wherever your need is now!

Prayer: Lord, thank You that Your desire is that we should not only be saved from sin and death, but that we should also come into healing and wholeness in our lives on earth. I ask You to come today and bring more of Your healing into my life right now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Jilly Lyon-Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.


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