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Don Stewart :: What Methods Did Jesus Use to Heal the Sick?

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What Methods Did Jesus Use to Heal the Sick?

Divine Healing – Question 7

When we search the Old Testament we find that God used a variety of different methods to heal the sick and the infirmed. Sometimes they were healed through prayer alone. At other times, prayer was combined with a touch from a prophet of God. On other occasions, God healed sovereignty; He merely chose to heal someone. It is obvious that God is not limited to one method or one particular pattern to heal the sick.

As with look at the healings of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the four gospels, we also discover that Jesus used a number of different ways to heal to heal the infirmed. We can list the different healing methods of Jesus in the following manner.

Jesus Merely Spoke and the Person Was Healed

The four gospels record that Jesus, on a number of occasions, merely spoke the word and the infirmed person was healed. We can list a few of these examples.

Matthew wrote of Jesus healing a paralyzed man by merely speaking the word. He recorded Jesus saying the following.

But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home. Then the man got up and went home” (Matthew 9:6-7 TNIV).

Jesus spoke and this man was instantly healed.

In another instance, Mark records that a blind man was healed by means of the spoken word of Jesus. We read.

Jesus told him, “You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith.” Right away the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus (Mark 10:52 CEV).

Notice that the blind man could see clearly right away. Again, Jesus spoke and a supernatural healing took place.

John lists another episode where Jesus healed by His spoken word. We read about a paralyzed man who was instantly healed.

Jesus told him, “Pick up your mat and walk!” Right then the man was healed. He picked up his mat and started walking around. The day on which this happened was a Sabbath (John 5:8-9 CEV).

In each of these instances, the people were immediately healed by the command of Jesus. Nothing else was necessary.

Jesus Touched People to Heal Them

The four gospels list a number of occasions where Jesus actually touched the person whom He was healing. We cite the following instances.

In one episode, the mother-in-law of Simon Peter was healed of a fever when Jesus took her by the hand. Matthew writes.

He took her by the hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and served Jesus a meal (Matthew 8:15 CEV)

This woman was immediately healed. Indeed, she was well enough to be able to serve them a meal.

At another time, Jesus healed two blind men when He touched their eyes. Matthew writes.

So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him (Matthew 20:34 NKJV).

These men were instantly healed at the touch of Jesus. Luke records Jesus laying His hands upon a woman who was physically unable to straighten herself up.

And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. (Luke 13:13 NKJV).

She praised the Lord for the healing touch of Jesus.

Thus, Jesus, at times, healed by touching the infirmed individual.

The Infirmed Person Touched Jesus’ Outer Garment

The four gospels record two episodes where people were healed by touching the outer garment which Jesus was wearing. On one occasion, it was a woman who had been suffering from a blood discharge problem. Matthew writes.

And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. Matthew 9:20-22 ESV).

The Lord honored her faith. She was instantly healed.

Matthew records that a number of people were healed who touched the edge of Jesus’ garment.

And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed (Matthew 14:35-36 TNIV).

In these cases, the people were healed by merely touching the outer garment of Jesus. However, we should not assume that His garment had some magical curative power to heal the sick. They were healed because they exercised faith in Jesus Christ; this is what brought about their healing.

Jesus Christ Used Spittle to Heal a Blind Man

Mark records that Jesus healed a blind man by using spit. Scripture records that this miracle took place as follows.

And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly (Mark 8:22-25 ESV).

This is the only occasion where Jesus used this particular method. In addition, it is the only time where it is recorded that Jesus healed in a two-step process. Among other things, it illustrates that Jesus healed by a variety of methods.

Jesus Put His Fingers in a Man’s Ears to Heal a Mute and Deaf Person

On another occasion, the Lord Jesus placed with His fingers in the ears of a man and then placed spittle on his tongue. Mark records what took place.

And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly (Mark 7:33-35 ESV).

This is the only recorded instance of Jesus healing in this manner.

Jesus Anointed a Blind Man with Clay

The gospel of John records an episode where Jesus healed a blind man by placing clay on his eyes. It reads as follows.

When He [Jesus] had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay (John 9:6 NKJV)

This is another instance of Jesus healing in a unique manner.

Jesus Healed with Being Physically Present

While each and every one of the healings of Jesus is truly amazing, there is something we find which is truly special. On a number of occasions, Jesus healed the sick person without being physically present. In other words, He healed from a distance.

The Servant of a Roman Centurion Is Healed

Matthew records Jesus healing the servant of a Roman centurion without the infirmed man being physical present. After the centurion exercised faith, Jesus told him that his servant had been healed.

Then Jesus said to the officer, “You may go home now. Your faith has made it happen.” Right then his servant was healed (Matthew 8:13 CEV.)

This is remarkable!

Jesus Healed the Daughter of a Canaanite Woman

There is also an episode of Jesus healing the daughter of a Canaanite woman when the girl was not present. After the woman exercised faith toward Jesus He told her that her daughter had been healed.

Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly (Matthew 15:28 ESV)

This miracle took place without the daughter being physically present.

Jesus Healed the Son of a Nobleman

John records Jesus healing the son of nobleman without being physically present.

Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household (John 4:50–53 ESV).

Again Jesus was able to heal an infirmed individual without having to be in the presence of the sick person.

In sum, we find that Jesus used a number of different methods to bring about the healing of the sick. In doing so, Jesus demonstrated that He is indeed Lord of all!

Summary – Question 7
What Methods Did Jesus Use to Heal the Sick?

The Old Testament informs us that the living God used a number of different methods to heal the sick. Indeed, a variety of different methods are recorded as to how the Lord cured the sick and the infirmed.

The life and ministry of Jesus Christ shows us the same thing about God’s healing methods. Jesus healed the infirmed in a number of different ways. They include the following.

On some occasions the ailing person was healed by Jesus’ spoken word. Jesus gave the command and the infirmed person was cured. Nothing else was necessary.

Other times Jesus touched the person with the infirmity when He healed them. Immediately, upon His touch, they were cured.

There are a couple of incidents recorded where the sick merely touched the outer part of Jesus garment and were healed. It was not that the garment had some magical powers but rather that God honored their faith in Jesus Christ.

There is an account of Jesus healing a blind man by spitting on his eyes and then laying His hands on the man. Scripture records that this was a two-step process. The man was healed of his blindness.

The gospels also records Jesus making clay out of saliva and then putting it on the eyes of a blind man. When He did this, the man was healed.

Last, but certainly not least, we find that on three occasions, Jesus cured the infirmed without being physically present! Someone else had approached Him on behalf of a person who was infirmed. On each occasion Jesus told them that the infirmed person was cured and indeed they were cured. This took place without Jesus having to be physically present. This, among other things, indicates that Jesus Christ is Lord of both space and time.

Thus, these different ways in which the Lord Jesus physically healed the sick make it clear that He was not limited to one pattern or one method to bring the ailing person back to health. Indeed, the evidence is clear that the Lord cured the infirmed in a variety of different ways. Among other things, this teaches us that the Lord can heal in whatever way that He wishes. Consequently, we should always allow Him to do His miraculous work in His own way. Indeed, we should never limit Him as to how He will accomplish His purposes.

What Do We Discover about the Various Reports of Healing Found in Jesus' Ministry? ← Prior Section
Why Did Jesus Heal the Sick? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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