Discovering the Healer

Day 4

If we were in Galilee around the year A.D. 28 to witness the ministry of Jesus, I think the thing that would catch our attention the most would be the miracles of healing. Jesus was not just a teacher, a preacher, a rabbi, a sage, a philosopher, a reformer — Jesus was a miracle worker. This is the thing that first distinguished Jesus, this is the thing that drew the multitudes to Jesus, and this is the thing that sets Jesus apart from other sages and spiritual teachers. And Jesus didn’t just work a few scattered miracles, miracles were prolific in His ministry, and the most common miracle of all was healing. In Matthew chapters 8 and 9 there are ten accounts of Jesus healing the sick.

As I look at these ten accounts of healing I can’t find any particular pattern of how Jesus healed the sick. Jesus didn’t heal by ritual or formula, Jesus simply was The Healer. Jesus didn’t practice a rite of healing like some sort of shaman, instead Jesus Himself was healing and if you were around Him healing would happen. Healing the sick seems to have been as natural to Jesus as walking or talking.

A quick review of the ten healing episodes in our reading today shows that, without any particular formula or prescribed pattern, healing was natural and prolific in the ministry of Jesus.

1. Jesus healed a leper who expressed a desire for healing by touching him.

2. According to the “great faith” of the Roman centurion Jesus healed his servant by speaking a word.

3. Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever by simply touching her hand.

4. Jesus healed all the sick in Capernaum who came to the house where He was.

5. On the other side of the Sea of Galilee Jesus healed two violently demonized men by speaking one word: “Go.”

6. Back in Capernaum Jesus first forgave then healed a paralytic in response to the faith of those who had brought him to Jesus.

7. A woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years was healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment.

8. Jesus raised the ruler of the synagogue’s daughter from the dead by taking her by the hand.

9. Jesus healed two blind men in Capernaum who followed Him crying out, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus asked them if they believed He was able to do this, and when they said, “Yes, Lord”, Jesus touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be to you.”

10. Jesus healed a mute man who was brought to him by casting out a demon.

Actually there is an eleventh account of healing, because in 11:35 Matthew sums up the healing ministry of Jesus in Galilee with these words:

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

A few thoughts:

Healing was not merely something Jesus did that can be separated from who He is. Jesus is the Healer. For Jesus healing the sick was part of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. To assert that healing was something that Jesus once did but does no more is an absurd notion without any warrant, and worse, almost a sort of denigration of Jesus. Let’s expect more miracles of healing to be worked among us in the name of Jesus.


It was great to be back at Word of Life last night. Praise and worship was awesome, I thought the message was strong and well received, and I could definitely sense a spirit of expectation among us. Exciting!

See you Sunday.