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19. Good News for the Sick

D. The Procedure

Jesus did not heal according to any set pattern or procedure. He encountered people of different social backgrounds who suffered from a variety of illnesses. He spent a considerable portion of His ministry healing many people under many different circumstances.

Many of the sick came to Jesus of their own accord. Friends and relatives brought them. Some of the sick Jesus Himself singled out. Several Biblical accounts relate how others, apart from the sick, found blessing through the healing.

On some occasions He asked the sick person if he wished healing. On other occasions He simply healed of His own free will and out of compassion. Many were rewarded for their expressions of faith.

On some occasions He healed by touching them or laying hands on them. On other occasions He healed by uttering only a word. He even healed at a distance by simply speaking a word. On some occasions He used signs.

Scriptures indicate that on occasions those who touched Jesus found instant healing from the power emanating from His body. Elsewhere they clearly relate that Jesus healed with the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28). Do we find affirmation of this also in the Qur'an (Sura al-Baqarah, 2:87; cf. 2:253)? Thus the enquirer, Nicodemus, perhaps a secret disciple of Jesus, also testified: “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” (John 3:2)

Demons, too, recognising Jesus’ authority, abandoned their victims at His command. Jesus’ encounters with demons generally occurred in the presence of large crowds. At times He resorted to prayer while casting out demons. (Mark 9:29)

On two occasions He led the sick person away from the view of the crowd before He healed them, probably because in these cases He used signs which He did not want to be misunderstood.

Except where He healed the sick on compassionate grounds, He required them to have faith and act accordingly.

He might link sickness with sin and Satan. Since He had authority on earth to forgive sins, on occasions He might forgive the sufferers before blessing them with perfect healing. He rewarded the faith of them all with complete healing of body and spirit. He healed them. He saved them.

Sometimes He challenged the people. But He never teased or ridiculed them or spoke insensitively to them; nor did He abuse His power. If at times He did allude to people’s lack of faith, He did it to strengthen their faith. He could also display anger with those who thwarted God’s will and blocked others from entering God’s Kingdom.

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