Christ the Healer

Christ the Healer

Christ the Healer.

“News about Jesus spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon possessed or epileptic or paralyzed – he healed them all.”  (Matthew 4:24).

We know that Jesus healed people, all the time, but here’s the question… why? Why did Jesus heal people? Was it some moral obligation He felt? Did He compel Himself to heal because the people expected Him to do so? It’s clear that, from the start of His public ministry, Jesus was a healer far beyond what the people had ever seen. But why did He heal? Here are some thoughts on why..

  1. Love. “And Jesus went around doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil…” (Acts 10:38). It seems that Jesus couldn’t help Himself. He heals because He is the very embodiment of love and goodness. He is love. Mercy is in His DNA, His spiritual genes. His inner character just naturally resulted in His healing of people. His healing was a spilling over of who He is. His inherent nature is pure compassion, so He gravitates toward love-in-action… a tangible, observable fleshing out of His character, a strong desire to go beyond merely speaking the truth about love. His incarnation means that He isn’t content with the abstract, the theoretical, the mere idea of wholeness and love. This was instinctual for Jesus, to live out His character in a way that people could literally see that He is good. If He sees someone broken, He jumps at the chance to bring wholeness. Healing was as natural to Jesus as walking down the road. He didn’t heal to merely make some spiritual point. He healed because He is a natural-born healer. Healing people was Jesus’ impulse, His natural form of self-expression.
  2. Personal. “Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and preaching the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness.” (Matthew 4:23). Jesus proved that God is not distant, He is not content with long-distance interaction. God is personal. And His personal ministry was mainly speakinghealing, and befriending. Jesus taught everywhere He went. He wanted the people to understand God’s ways, to gain insight and wisdom from Scripture, to start acquiring the very mind of Christ. He preached everywhere as well, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom, announcing its arrival, so that the people would be challenged to commit themselves to God. Then, Jesus healed because it was the most kindhearted, the most personally helpful thing He could do. And finally, Jesus went about making friends of sinners, of disciples, of Gentiles, of enemies, of anyone who wanted His friendship. And the people who were receptive learned from His speaking, were made whole from His healing, and were fulfilled through His friendship. Jesus made divine things personal.
  3. Proof. “John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, ‘John the Baptist sent us to ask. Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’ At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he restored sight to many who were blind. Then he told John’s disciples, ‘Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard – the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” (Luke 7:20-22). As Jesus says here to the Baptist’s disciples, the Jewish Bible stated that miraculous healings would be a sign of the Messianic Age, vivid pictures of the New Kingdom… Isaiah 26:19‘Those who die will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead!”  Isaiah 29:18-19: “In that day the deaf will hear words read from a book, and the blind will see through the gloom and darkness. The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 35:5-6: “And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!” Isaiah 61:1-2a: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”  So through His healings, Jesus confirms that He indeed is the long awaited Messiah. The healings authenticate His role as the anointed Servant of God. Jesus claims to be the Messiah. His healings prove it.

Jesus the healer. We can’t put Him in a box with this part of His ministry. Consider this… there is no can’t-miss formula; no magic words; no consistent style; no lack of variety of people and occasion and brokenness. His mercy is deep and sometimes mysterious. Sometimes faith seems to be needed. Other times faith didn’t seem to be a part of the action at all. Sometimes he touched, sometimes He was touched, sometimes He spit, sometimes He just spoke the healing into existence. Sometimes He forgave sins during the healing, and sometimes He didn’t. Sometimes He was thanked. Often enough He was forgotten soon after the healing. Sometimes He told everyone not to say a word about the healing, and sometimes He told them to spread the word. Most of the healings were immediate, but there was a time when there seemed to be more of a gradual process (Mark 8:22-26). Jesus was an equal opportunity healer, confidently healing unexpected people in unpredictable ways. He loved to heal, to bring wholeness, whenever He had the opportunity. After all, Jesus is love.