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Healing in the Bible: big gift from God with love


Healing in the Bible: big gift from God with love
Healing is a recurring theme in the Bible and is clearly shown as a divine gift of love that is available to His people. Jesus is a healer!

The Bible is full of healing from Genesis to Revelation. As we read His Word through, we find God healing His people in different places, situations, and ways. Here are a few:





Healing in the Bible: big gift from God with love


The Bible is full of healing from Genesis to Revelation. As we read His Word through, we find God healing His people in different places, situations, and ways.


Abimelech of Gerar


On their way to Canaan, Abraham* and Sarah* passed through Gerar in the land of the Philistines. Abimelech the king saw her and approached Abraham. Afraid he might be killed for her, Abraham told Abimelech Sarah was his sister, and the king took her into his harem. After that, the women were unable to have children, but they didn’t know why.


*indicates a short biography of this person is in my book Spiritual Lives.



But God appeared to Abimelech in a dream and told him he had taken another man’s wife and was in danger of death. The king repented for his actions and explained he had not come near her. God knew this and told him that He had prevented him from committing adultery and that he should ask Abraham to pray for him. Abraham prayed and Abimelech, his wife, and her servants and all were healed and able to bare children again.


This situation was a big mess caused by sin. Abraham and Sarah were the guilty ones but their sin of lying impacted others. They didn’t realize that their selfishness and misrepresentation would impact Abimelech’s household. Because he was a Philistine, i.e., one who did not fear God, in Abraham’s words, they did not treat him with integrity.


God watches over all of us and treats all in love, even those who are not His people. God uses prayer to facilitate healing and blessing too.
Abraham did not know his sin was thwarting Abimelech and his family from being fruitful and multiplying which was God’s first commandment to His creation.
Our prayers have power, and we ought to use them to pray for others.

God loved and used Abraham even though he had sinned. Here He used an alien from His people to call His servant to repentance and this is always His goal. He loves to heal but rejoices with the angels when a sinner comes to repentance.


EXODUS: PROMISE OF HEALING


We don’t see any instances of healing in Exodus. Quite the opposite. 3 of the 10 plagues God sent were physical, first, the pestilence to the animals, then boils to Pharaoh’s people, and finally death of Egypt’s firstborn. The LORD sends plagues upon those who refuse to obey Him, but He uses this occasion to promise His people that none of these plagues will come upon them if they live for Him.


Indeed, when the cattle died, the boils came, and the firstborn died God protected the Hebrews and they remained healthy and strong. But the most wonderful revelation of Himself is this:


I am the LORD that healeth thee. Exodus20:6

LEVITICUS: METHOD OF HEALING


God’s goodness and love go beyond simply healing disease. He established an Old Testament CDC in the Tabernacle and trained the priests in diagnoses and treatment. Chapters 11-15 present a whole healthcare program including:

Nutrition and diet.
Childbirth and other gynecological matters.
Leprosy (the cancer of their day), and
Blood and bodily fluids issues.

All of this is set in the larger context and environment of being separated from the world and faithful to the LORD, but there is no implication that personal sin is a factor in every sickness. It is in some, as we see in the next instance of healing.


NUMBERS: Miriam’s healing


Miriam* was Moses’* sister, 10 or 11 years older than him. She put him in the ark, watched over him as he floated in the Nile, and arranged for their mother to nurse him when Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him. She and Aaron*, Moses’ older brother, spoke out against him because he had married an Ethiopian woman.


They wanted a bigger part in leadership, and the LORD called them out on this and was angry that they had spoken against him. He reminded them that Moses was faithful in all that he did and that He spoke to him face to face, and finally asked them why they were not afraid to speak against him. They had no answer, but suddenly Miriam found herself covered with leprosy.


Miriam was driven out of the camp, and Aaron pleaded for her to Moses. Certifying his meekness, Moses prayed and Miriam was healed. Here as in the case of Abimelech, sin was involved and prayer was the means to healing.


A prerequisite for that prayer was humility and asking a godly man to pray. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying,
Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. Numbers 12:13

In both cases too, marriage was involved. The LORD created marriage for His glory and for the good of the husband and wife. They become “one-flesh” and that husband-wife relationship is sacred, coming above all other human relationships. No one should dare to disrupt it.


2 KINGS: Naaman’s and Hezekiah’s healings


Naaman was the general of the Syrian army and a leper. In a raid against Israel (the northern kingdom) he had taken captive a little maid who served his wife. She told her that there was a prophet in Samaria who could cure leprosy, and Naaman went with his army to find him.


They came to Elisha’s* house expecting the prophet would come out. He sent him a message to go wash 7 times in the Jordan River and he would be healed. Naaman was angry that he didn’t get a better reception and hastily decided to go back to Syria “in a rage.”


But his servants encouraged him to step away from his wounded pride and do what the prophet said. He went down to the river and dipped himself in seven times and his skin became firm and healthy like a little child’s.


Humility here is again a prerequisite for healing. How beautiful is the faith of a little maid and her kindness in sharing it with her master, the one who took her captive!
And Naaman was humble enough to hear her and this led to healing. His pride rose up for a moment and almost cost him, but again servants let him to the healing waters. I
t was an unusual procedure/treatment! But faith and obedience brought healing.

Hezekiah* was a good king of Judah (the southern kingdom) who lived about a hundred years after Elisha in the time of Isaiah* the prophet. Hezekiah got very ill, and Isaiah came to him with a scary message, “Put your house in order, you are going to die.” Hezekiah wept bitterly, turned his face to the wall, and prayed, reminding the LORD how faithful he had been.


Before Isaiah had left the palace the LORD told him to go back and tell Hezekiah He had heard his prayer and was going to add fifteen years to his life. An immediate direction was to put a lump of figs on the boil and that would heal him in 3 days.


This is the first instance we see in the Bible of the use of natural treatments for healing. But the primary vehicle of healing is prayer.
Here it is a personal prayer of the sufferer and it has great weight with God overturning the message His prophet had given.
We always have entry to an overriding second opinion and an overriding Healer at the throne of grace.

These are the only instances of physical healing in the Old Testament. There are 63 appearances of the words healing (5), heal (21), healeth (4), and healed (33) in the Authorized KJV, but none of these are specifically linked to an actual case of healing.


The Bible leaves no doubt about God’s healing power and his love to use it on our behalf. The best and blanket promise is in Psalm 103: Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; 103:3


HEALING IN THE GOSPELS


The Lord Jesus Christ* is the greatest healer of all time. St. John* tells us Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. – John 21:25


1. But John does give us the first one, of a nobleman’s son in Cana of Galilee shortly after Jesus turned the water into wine at a wedding. The desperate father came to Jesus when his son was at the point of death, begging Him to come and heal him. Jesus just told him, “Go home, your son lives.” The man believed him and went home to find it was so. He asked what time the fever left him and learned it was at one o’clock in the afternoon, the very same time Jesus spoke to him.


2. Jesus then relocated to Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee, where he called His disciples and joined the local community. When He went to the synagogue there a demon-possessed man cried out and identified Him as the Holy One of God. Jesus rebuked him and the demon-possessed man fell in a fit, the unclean spirit tearing him as it came out, and the people were amazed and recognized His power.


3. He put that power to use when he went to Peter’s house and found his mother-in-law sick with a fever. Jesus touched her hand and she was immediately healed and got up to “minister unto them.” News of this and the casting out of the unclean spirit brought all the city to their door bringing Him everyone who was sick or possessed with devils and He healed them all.


Jesus loved people and was compassionate, turning no one away, and we can still come to Him for healing today. The takeaway here is that Jesus has the power to heal all who come to Him.

Jesus then went on a missionary trip with His disciples throughout Galilee.


4) In one city a man filled with leprosy came to Him for healing. This was a gutsy thing for him to do, for lepers were outcasts and forbidden to come into society. They were literally “untouchable” and were constrained to call our “Unclean!” when they approached anyone. This unclean man fell down at Jesus’ feet worshipping Him and saying “Lord if you will, you can make me clean.”


And then Jesus did a remarkable thing, moved with compassion, He reached out His hand and touched this “untouchable” man and said, “I will: be clean.”
At once the man was healed, and Jesus, abiding by the laws Moses wrote in Leviticus, told the man to go to the priests to affirm his healing and as a testimony.

But the man told everyone that Jesus had healed him, and so many thronged Jesus that He had to retreat to the desert for rest, peace, and prayer.


When He resumed His ministry in Capernaum, He was teaching in Peter’s house, which was surrounded by a multitude. Four men tried to bring their paralytic friend to Jesus for healing, but they could not get into the house. Undeterred, they went to the roof, broke up the tiles, and let their friend down into the house.


When Jesus saw their faith, Jesus’ said, Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven. Matthew 9:3 The Pharisees seized on this and call Him a blasphemer, but Jesus countered this by asserting His power to forgive sins and to heal the sick,


But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (then saith he to the sick of the palsy), Arise, and take up thy bed, and go unto thy house. And he arose and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they were afraid and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. Matthew 9:6-8

These 5 healing miracles of Jesus are indeed a “big gift from God with love.” Every healing was meant to show this, that God is loving and compassionate. While physical healing is indeed a big gift, an even bigger gift from God is the forgiveness of our sins, which Jesus dramatically shows here.


Below is a complete list of Jesus’ healing miracles.


Each one is worth reading and will build your faith and assure you of Jesus’ power, compassion and love.


6. The Impotent Man, John 5:1-47.


7. The Man with a Withered Hand, Mark 3:1-6.


8. The Centurion’s Servant, Luke 7:1-10.


9. The Widow’s Son, Luke 7:11-17.


10. A Blind and Dumb Man, Matthew 12:22.


11. The Gadarene Demoniacs, Matthew 8:28-34.


12. The Woman with an Issue of Blood, Matt. 9:18-26.


13. Jairus’ Daughter, Matthew. 9:18-26.


14. Two Blind Men, Matthew 9:27-34.


15. A Dumb Demoniac, Matthew 9:27-34.


16. The Phoenician Woman’s Daughter, Mark 7:24-30.


17. The Deaf and Dumb Man, Mark 7:31-8:9.


18. A Blind Man Healed, Mark 8:13-26.


19. The Demoniac Boy, Here is a father who had brought his son to the disciples for healing and they could not cast out the demon. Jesus did and told the disciples that praying and fasting were needed in this case. Every situation is different, and prayer is essential. The faith of the person who prays plays a part too. Mark 9:14-29.


20. The Man Born Blind, John 9:1-41.


21. The Woman with an Infirmity, Luke 13:10-21.


22. The Man with the Dropsy, Luke 14:1-24.


23. The Raising of Lazarus, John 11:1-44.


24. The Ten Lepers, Luke 17:11-37.


25, Blind Bartimæus and His Companion, Luke 18:35-43.


26. Malchus’ Ear, John 18:2-12.


Jesus did no more healing miracles after His Resurrection, but His name is forever linked with them. They were powerful and evidence of His divinity and Almighty power not only to heal physically but to deliver salvation and eternal life.


His power did not leave earth when He did. He passed it on to his disciples as a promise: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:18

HEALING IN ACTS


1. Lame man cured by Peter – Acts 3:1-10 This healing by Peter and John at the “Gate Beautiful” of the Temple sparked the first great revival just after the Day of Pentecost. The man healed had sat at that gate for many years and was well known. His healing was widely celebrated, and Peter’s declaration has become historic: Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. – Acts 3:6


2. Many sick people were healed by Peter – As the apostles met on Solomon’s porch of the Temple, many miracles of healing took place. People brought the sick to them and laid their beds in the streets of Jerusalem “and they were healed every one.” Some were healed as the shadow of Peter passed over them! Acts 5:12-16


3. Paul’s sight restored – Acts 9:17-18


4. Aeneas healed of palsy. He was well-known in Lydda (a city about 30 miles from Jerusalem) and had been bedridden for 8 years. When he was healed the whole city turned to the Lord. – Acts 9:34


5. Dorcas restored to life – Acts 9:40


6. Lame man cured by Paul – Acts 14:10


7. Fortune teller delivered from evil spirit – This woman was enslaved and used to by her owners to make money by telling fortunes. Paul commanded the spirit to come out of her in the name of Jesus and it did. When her owners saw this, they had Paul and Silas beaten and put into prison in Philippi. When they sang in the night, an earthquake shook the prison, and the jailor and his family were saved. – Acts 16:16-24


8. Special miracles by Paul – In Ephesus, diseases were heated and demons expelled when handkerchiefs and aprons used by Paul were given to the sick. Acts 19:11-12


9. Eutychus restored to life – Acts 20:7-12


10. Publius’ father healed – When Paul was shipwrecked in Malta, he stayed with Publius, whose father was sick with fever and dysentery. Paul laid hands on him, and he was healed. The people saw this and all the sick people on the island came and were healed. This is the last healing recorded in the Bible. – Acts 28:7-10


LIST OF MIRACLES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT


Compiled by Dr. Wilfred Graves Jr.


HEALING IN the EPISTLES


While no healing is recorded in the epistles, Paul makes it clear in Corinthians that “gifts of healing” are given to Believers by the Holy Spirit. This is confirmation of Jesus’ promise that they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:18. Paul had experienced this himself and no doubt witnessed gifts of healing in operation in the church of his day.


In Corinthians, Paul gives a situation where healing did not come. He was tormented with “a thorn in the flesh,” which he calls “an infirmity” and a “messenger from Satan.” The Good News Bible calls it “a painful physical ailment,” and three times Paul asked the Lord to heal him. And Jesus said no, in a nice way: My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9


Paul took this well: Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

Jesus knows best, and when He does not grant our prayer for healing us from our affliction, He is with us through it and draws us closer to Himself.


James testifies to this too and gives this teaching that extends the promise of healing to our day:


Is any sick among you?
let him call for the elders of the church;
and let them pray over him,
anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick,
and the Lord shall raise him up;
and if he have committed sins,
they shall be forgiven him. James 5:14-15

The last mention of healing is the leaves on the tree of life for “the healing of the nations,” in Revelation 22:2 This is not healing of disease, but the ongoing flow of goodness and health, as Adam and Eve experienced them in the Garden of Eden.


It is God’s pleasure to heal our sickness, and He has done so many times for my family and me, and millions more through the ages.
His goodness has also prevented diseases from entering our bodies, but when sickness does come, we can pray in faith and trust Him to heal us.

Faith is essential when we pray for healing, faith in the one who is sick, but especially in the one who is praying and the ones around them. Unbelief is the greatest enemy of healing. Jesus Himself could no miracles in His hometown because of unbelief. Matthew 13:58 He told people that they would be healed “according to your faith, and told Jairus, “Be not afraid, only believe!”


FINAL THOUGHTS ON HEALING


God is a Healer. He calls Himself so – the God who heals you! What a joy it is to see Him actively healing so many in the Bible. In every age, in the Old Testament and the New. And He promises to heal today. Why don’t we see more? One-word answer? Unbelief. In the Bible and today an enemy of faith and healing.


Where there is faith in Jesus there is healing, and we can see it on a universal basis. Healing is common among believers in 3rd world places where people believe in Jesus and in spiritual things. Even in cultures that have walked away from the faith and the Bible, like North America and Europe, among Believers healing is common, praise God!

Those who live in the Bible have biblical experiences while those who live in the world of unbelief have doubt. But God, the Healer, is a God of love and offers the gift of healing even to those who do not know Him and are without hope in the world. How did He do this? He gave us His Son, who took on our human flesh and experience and has compassion on us.


He loves us so much that He heals us and wants to live in our hearts. He loves us so much that He took all our sins and sickness upon Himself and died for us on the cross. But He is not dead. He arose on Easter, ascended to heaven, and is preparing a place for us now. He loves you and is looking out for you. He asks you to come to Him for rest. Open the door of your heart and ask Him to come in.


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