I am not a theologian, but I did stay at “Holly’s Inn” in Becket, Massachusetts. I am also a “Lifer” when it comes to studying the Christian Bible. No matter how many times I read God’s Word, there is something new for me to learn, in order to grow in my walk [or wheelin’] with the my Lord Jesus Christ. There are two kinds of learners: a pupil who is fed information and a student who finds information. I believe, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit Christians, or anyone who prays for God to open up God‘s Word to them, can find the answers we all are searching for. A good place to start is by reading the four Gospels and seeing what they have to say.
Several years ago, I did a two year Bible Study, reading and studying about Jesus’ healings and miracles found in the Gospels. I also read and studied about the healings and miracles found in the Book of Acts and the what the rest of the New Testament had to say on the subject. For the most part, I only read the Bible accounts. It was only when I had a question or did not understand something, I went to other resources. For the most part, the Bible itself answered my questions. Here is some of what I learned:
1. Did Jesus only heal those who had faith in Him? What about now?
Matthew 13:57-58 records, “But Jesus said to them, ‘Only in His hometown and in His own house is a prophet without honor.’ And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” Describing the same situation, Mark 6:5 records, “He could not do any miracles there, except lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them. And He was amazed at their lack of faith.” These two Scripture references tell me that Jesus heals people and that faith in Christ is important, but because of His mercy He can heal even when faith is not around.
Out of the 35 miracles and healings recorded in the Gospels, Jesus mentions several who had faith in Him, but not all. Jesus heals a man with leprosy who came to Him and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean”(Matthew 8:2-3), demonstrating his faith in Jesus. Jesus sees the faith of the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She touched the fringe of Jesus garment and was healed. “Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ He said, ‘Your faith has saved you” (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48). Later on, in Matthew 9:27-29, Jesus meets up with two blind men who ask Him for mercy. Jesus asks them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” and they said, “Yes, Lord.” Jesus then touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you” and they were healed. At another time, in Jericho, Jesus heals a blind man named Bartimaeus and says, “Go, your faith has healed you” (See Mark 10::46-52).
Jesus also equates healing with forgiveness and faith. Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26 tell the story of the paralytic and his friends who carried him on a mat, up to the roof of a house Jesus was in. They tore a hole in the roof because they couldn’t get through the crowd, and started lowering their friend down to Jesus. Mark 2:5 tells us, “When Jesus saw their faith He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.” Some commentators believed that Jesus was talking about the friends’ faith, but I believe the paralytic had faith as well. Otherwise, his sins could not be forgiven. The teachers of the law were outraged at Jesus having the audacity to forgive sins and accused Him of blasphemy. Jesus answers them by saying, “Which is easier to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 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.’ He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all” (Mark 2:9-12).
In another account found in Luke 7:36-50, Jesus is at Simon the Pharisee’s house and a “woman who lived a sinful life…brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind Him at his feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them” (vv. 37-38). Simon’s eyes must have been bulging out of his sockets, while he was thinking, “Awkward!” and thinking Jesus should know what kind of woman this was. All Jesus saw was her desire for forgiveness and repentance and emotional healing. Jesus told Simon and the other guests, “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little. Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven you; go in peace’” (vv. 47-50).
The accounts of the paralytic and the woman who washed Jesus’ feet remind us that we are not just physical beings. We also have souls that need the healing touch of forgiveness which only Jesus can give. Jesus gives His gift of forgiveness, which heals the weary soul, freely to all who cry out to Him: “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (See Luke 18:13).
Right now, you might be thinking, “Wait a minute. All we have talked about Are the healings Jesus performed on people who had faith in Him. Are you saying “Only those who have faith can be healed?” That would be a fair assumption if these were the only healings Jesus prformed. But wait! There’s more. Jesus will shed more of His Light on the subjects of faith, healings and miracles next time.
(For some who don’t watch much TV or pay little attention to the commercials, there was a commercial awhile back for the Holiday Inn. In the commercial, for example, a man is performing surgery and someone says, “It’s so good that a doctor is here” and the man replies, “I’m not a doctor, BUT I did stay at a Holiday Inn.” That’s where I got the idea for the first sentence of this blog post.)
Lydia (at “Holly’s Inn”)