Question of the Week: Does Taking Communion Miraculously Heal People?
It’s not uncommon among Word of Faith ministries and Pentecostal Circles to hear testimonies of people who have experienced miraculous healings while they were taking Communion. The question is bringing attention to the object associated with the healing. Is Communion what is healing people or is God healing people? Most people would clarify that God is obviously the One doing the healing, but through the act of Communion. That is where we get to the claim that needs to be tested. Does Scripture ever define Communion as a means through which God accomplishes a healing? The answer is no. The act of Communion is defined and explained several times in the Bible, and never sets it up as something where we should expect a healing to take place. God is allowed to heal when and how He chooses. Ministries that would claim that the act of Communion will result in a healing are doing so based on their experiences rather than scripture. And that’s under the assumption their claims are true.
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NKJV)
This is the plainest example of Communion being defined and clarified by the Apostle Paul. It is important to note that he begins in verse 23 by stating that this isn’t “his version” of Communion. He is communicating what he received from the Lord, and cites Matthew 26:26-27 in order to verify his claim by quoting Jesus directly from the eyewitness accounts. There is not a single mention of a healing to be expected from the practice. And there is only a point about its purpose being for remembrance. We “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” There are a lot of ways to take that statement. Coercing God into a specific kind of physically beneficial miracle is not one of them.
1 Corinthians 11:17-32 is the whole conversation in context. Paul discusses with Corinth how it was being abused, how it ought to be used, and clarifying its significance and purpose in contrast with what they were doing. In fact, the only miraculous intervention is incredibly ironic given how certain ministries are advertising it. Instead of a miraculous healing, Christians were being struck dead or cursed with sicknesses as a result of their mishandling of Communion as a means of getting drunk. The irony isn’t lost on anyone that the only thing from God that we are told in scripture came from communion was the opposite of a healing.
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 (NKJV)
A Reason For Hope is a ministry of Calvary Christian Fellowship of Tucson
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