Is There a Doctor in the House? The healing miracles of Jesus-a short study
Dr. Kris A. Jackson
As Jesus of Nazareth came to provide salvation, personifying the covenant title, Jehovah-jireh, the Lord our Provider, he also came fulfilling an equal role as Jehovah-rapha, the Lord our Healer. Healing was not just one of many side-benefits of His incarnation but was evidential proof that the God who wants humanity saved also desires man to be healed. David and others tied the two works together, “who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:3). So, in the mission of Jesus healing was central, not peripheral. Everywhere He traveled healings accompanied His teaching. “Every” sickness and disease was healed (Matthew 9:35).
Jesus agreed that “the sick have need of a physician”. It is evident that He was the Physician in mind. Moses spoke of the Lord our Physician (Exodus 15:26), or the Lord our Medicine as used in some versions. Everyone needs a doctor at some time in their lives. When sin entered the world, sickness crept in through the same door, and now all Adam’s race is susceptible and often responsible for a thousand different ills. This Doctor of men will not remedy “every” ill numerically until He returns to establish His Kingdom, but until that Day healing can be claimed and received through faith because the Healer continues His work through the Holy Spirit in the current dispensation.
1. His Credentials
When I look for a doctor there are several questions I wish to have answered. First, what are the doctor’s credentials? Show me a diploma or degree. Though Jesus never attended a medical school, being the Son of Man He knows what is in man. Jesus was credentialed by the fact that the Spirit of the Lord had anointed him (Luke 4:18). He was God in the flesh, yet every healing was performed by faith through the operation of the Holy Spirit, as one of us, a fellow-Man – “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs…” (Acts 2:22)
Though great signs like turning water into wine, walking on the waves and raising Lazarus from the dead testify to the divinity of Jesus, we must understand that every work was wrought in His humanity. What Jesus did all Spirit-filled and anointed believers may do according to God’s will – “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). His designation, Jesus of Nazareth, suggests a lowly No-Name who was empowered to go head-to-head with demonic powers, not because of any doctoral credentials but through the power of the Holy Spirit, “God was with him”.
2. His Character
Second, I ask for a doctor’s commitment to his oath of practice. Is he truly on a mission to mitigate suffering? Will he shoot straight with me no matter how the diagnosis may affect me, and does he intend to use every tool at his disposal to make me well? What is certain is that “Jesus went about doing good”. John wrote that Jesus was manifest “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:9). He confronted sin and its ugly sister sickness on every front. You can trust His bedside manners – “He has done all things well” (Mark 7:37).
3. His Cost
Face reality, quality healthcare is expensive. Luke was tenderly known as “the beloved physician” (Colossian 4:14). Both Luke and Mark record the story of a woman with an issue of blood. Mark notes that “she had suffered many things from many physicians”, that she “had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse” (Mark 5:26). Protective of his craft and perhaps his own ego, Dr. Luke made no mention of suffering at physicians’ hands but did confess that she had “spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any” (Luke 8:43).
At last she was turned away for lack of finances, insurance or other support. She was reduced to dependence on God, which sometimes is the best situation in which to find oneself. Jesus commissioned the disciples to heal and added, “freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). This woman’s healing didn’t cost a dime, it was freely given. In the parable of the Good Samaritan the travelersaw a robbed and beaten man in the ditch and not only “poured in the oiland wine” but also took the victim to the inn and paid his hospital bill. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe!” Healing was freely given in the Gospels and is also free of charge for all who believe because all charges were paid at the cross.
4. His Compassion
Which leads to a fourth question, does this doctor care about me as a person? I am laying my life in his hands. In a way, a physician is a priest, a mediator between the sufferer and death. No human doctor need carry such pressure, but Jesus took our sins and sicknesses upon Himself. He was numbered with the transgressors. He “sympathized”, that is, He felt the whole “sum” of our “pathos”. Jesus cures because Jesus cares. He saw a great multitude and “was moved with compassion for them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
5. His Case-history
And fifth, I want to know the doctor’s success-rate. Are one out of ten cured, five of ten? A cancer drug that helps ten percent of those who use it would be considered a breakthrough success. But a scan through Jesus’ healings reveals a 100% cure-rate. All things are under His feet. There was no sinner He couldn’t save and no sickness He couldn’t cure. He did not many mighty works in Nazareth other than healing a few sick individuals, but the problem was in their unbelief, not His ability to intervene (Mark 6:5). In every other instance Jesus “healed them all” (Matthew 8:17, 12:15, 14:35, etc.).
Every healing was unique, always operating as the Holy Spirit led. Sometimes He spoke the word of command, other times He laid hands on the sick, rubbed a mud salve in a blind man’s eyes, spit on a mute man’s tongue, moved with compassion and simply loved people into wellness, stood over Peter’s mother-in-law with His towering presence, touched a leper while declaring His cleansing, or just released an inner dunamis as hundreds were healed simultaneously as “virtue went out of him and healed them all” (Luke 6:19). Healing was not formulaic or scripted. Paul’s term “gifts of healings” reveals the multitude of means by which Christ healed then and continues to do so today.
Jesus was no practitioner. In a Doctor’s Practice the physician “practices” medicine. Jesus didn’t practice, He performed. And He was a specialist for every known ill. Earthly doctors lean toward specialties: pediatrics, internal medicine, gynecology, cardiology or whatever field they may choose. But Jesus ministered to every form of human need. His skills were on open display when as Master Ophthalmologist he gave sight to Bartimaeus, as Psychiatrist when he restored sanity to the Gadarene madman, as Nephrologist when the man with the dropsy lost his watery puffiness before the eyes of the Pharisees. Or as Laryngologist when He said to the mute man, “Ephphatha, Be opened!” (Mark 7:34). The Master Oncologist stanched the woman’s bloody issue with a single touch to the hem of His robe. As Pneumonologist He imparted the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils. Jesus the Osteopath straightened the legs of numerous cripples. The Audiologist restored hearing to the deaf. He even reversed mortality, reviving Jairus’ daughter, causing a young man to leap from his casket in Nain, and raising Lazarus from the dead with a three-word command, “Lazarus, come forth!” Finally, in the Garden of Gethsemane the Surgeon dusted off a dismembered ear and stuck it back on the High Priest’s servant’s head. I have countedtwenty-three basic healing accounts of Jesus in the Gospels, ranging from maladies as common as fever to debilitating diseases such as leprosy, crippling arthritis and psychosis. And there are many more that were not included in the written record.
You and I do not merely repeat ancient folklore of a historical Jesus. The resurrection of Christ and present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit ensures that “the works that I do, shall you do also…because I go to my Father” (John 14:12). This article applauds every earthly doctor and nurse that dresses each morning to face the day’s struggles with disease, emergency, convalescence and physical pain, but modern medicine and technology, even at its best experiences heartbreaking failures despite its many successes. “The sick have need of a physician”. When no one else has the answer the Great Physician of the Gospels does. And He has already looked at your X-rays.
So now - Dr. Jesus will see you.