Did Jesus ever decide not to heal someone?

Peter and John heal the lame man

Remember the story in the New Testament (Acts 3:1-9) when Peter and John heal a lame man?  They are going into the Temple in Jerusalem and see a man lame from his mother’s womb. The man asks for money, but Peter and John give him something far more valuable.  They heal him “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”

I’ve always loved this story.  There’s so much there to learn.  Peter and John were bold in the Spirit.  Are we?  They were confident that the man would be healed “in the name of Jesus Christ.”  Are we as confident of the healing presence of Christ?  The man was receptive.  And he thanked God by praising Him and leaping as high as he could.  How do we thank God for healing in our lives?  Do we leap for joy and praise Him so all can see?

In studying this story again the other day, it suddenly hit me that since this man had been lame from birth, he would have been lame during the ministry of Jesus. Every day for years, friends had laid him at the Beautiful gate of the Temple.  If he was there every day, did he ever see Jesus?  Did Jesus ever see him?

The Bible doesn’t tell us all the details.

It is perhaps possible that Jesus never saw the lame man.  He could have always missed him because of the sequence of events.

Or maybe the Savior saw the man and realized he wasn’t receptive yet to the Gospel message.


Maybe Jesus saw him and thought, “Well, I better leave someone for my disciples to heal once I’m gone.”

All this is obviously a bit presumptive on my part.  I have no idea what Jesus was thinking or if he ever saw the man or not, or perceived how receptive he was.

When you read some parts of the Gospels, it sounds like Jesus healed everyone of everything wherever he went.

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”(Matthew 9:35)

Every sickness and every disease.  That’s a lot of healing.

But sometimes, when he came to his hometown of Nazareth, for example, he only healed a few sick folks (see Mark 6:1-6) because they only saw him as a carpenter and could not fathom the possibility that he was the Messiah.  They were offended that he taught with such authority in the synagogue, the Bible tells us.

“And he could do no mighty work there.”  (Mark 6:5)

Was Jesus incapacitated by people’s lack of belief, their lack of faith?  Could the Son of God be subject to mortal man’s material-mindedness?

Of course not.

Jesus came to heal the sick, among other things.  I personally think Jesus could have done mightier works there.  Just as he could have asked God to send 12 legions of angels to rescue him from the crucifixion. (Mark 26:53)   But Jesus never acted without instructions from the Father.  He always had the prayer, “not my will, but Thine be done,” in his heart if not on his lips.

He did not perform those mighty works because God did not direct him to.  Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing…because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

Could God have performed great miracles in Jesus’ hometown?  Of course. God is omnipotent, always.  But would it have been wise for such events to take place where the people were not receptive?

I also think Jesus was obeying his own precept here: not to cast his pearls before the swine, that animal-like tendency in the human mind that cannot discern the spiritual gems in front of it, nor appreciate their worth, therefore recklessly trampling them into the earth.

What if he had done some of those “mighty works” which he was famous for, in his home town?  How would they have been received by those doubtful disputers?  It would have been too much for them to comprehend and interpret correctly with their mental attitudes.  They might have disputed Jesus even more.  Or they might have become blind and fanatic followers without understanding the truth of who Jesus was.  Who knows?

It doesn’t mean, however, that at some point in the near future, either before or after the crucifixion, that these same home-town folks would never come to see that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.  They just couldn’t see it at that point.  So the time was not ripe for “mighty works” in their midst.

Just a few sick folks were healed.  Just a few sick folks…healed.  In my book, that is still pretty amazing and something to be grateful for.

Back to the lame man at the Temple gate called Beautiful.

As I said, we really don’t know the circumstances surrounding this man’s personal encounter with Jesus or lack thereof.  What we do know is that he  had an encounter with Jesus’ healing ministry, the power of Christ, or what I’ll call the Spirit of Jesus (not the personal man).  When Peter commanded him to “rise up and walk” in Jesus’ name, he did.  He was healed.

I really can’t believe I’m saying this, but I guess it’s a good thing Jesus did not heal everyone during his brief three years’ ministry.  He commissioned the Apostles to go out and preach the Gospel and heal the sick.  If there were no more sick people to heal, how could they have put into practice what Jesus had taught them to do?  They had to prove the truth of who Jesus was.  It couldn’t just be words.

The book of Acts tells us of many accounts of healing by the early Christians.  I am going out on a limb of assumption to say that some of these same people had heard Jesus preach and weren’t healed.  Maybe they weren’t receptive to the ideas Jesus was preaching–yet.

Why were the man at the Temple gate and all the other people healed by those early Christians finally receptive to the power of God?  There is one very obvious reason.

The Resurrection!

Jesus’ resurrection ripped the veil from the Temple which covered the Holy of Holies.  He destroyed mankind’s sense of separation from God.  He removed the obstacles in men’s hearts individually and collectively.  I think this created a mental, moral, and spiritual atmosphere of receptivity, expectation, and acceptance of God’s marvelous works through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The disciples were not just preaching the ideas that Jesus had preached and taught them.  They were now telling everyone about the resurrection as well.  They spoke from first hand observation.  Think what it would have been like to hear them speak with such absolute conviction about the resurrection.  The result was healing and salvation for those who were receptive.

So, did Jesus choose not to heal someone so he could be healed later by the disciples?  I personally don’t think so.  I think he always discerned what was in people’s hearts, in their thinking.  When they were receptive, he healed them.  Sometimes they just weren’t ready for the blessing.

Now fast forward to today.

Does God ever choose not to heal someone?  I don’t think that’s the example Jesus gave us.  I believe God is always ready, with outstretched arms, to heal us, save us, protect us, guide us, correct us, and love us.  Are we really ready to receive what He has in store for us?  Are we really willing to forgo our will and follow His will?

It’s easy to say we are, but it’s another thing to really mean it way down deep in our hearts.

My prayer for all of us is to embrace this utter and complete willingness to relinquish our will for the Father’s will.  Let us pray to be receptive to the power of God to meet all our needs: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.  And may we have no false trusts in the things of this world.

God is always ready to heal.  Are we ready to receive what He is freely giving us?


Please share your thoughts below.  I’d love to hear from you.







  • Amy Duncan

    Very interesting! I agree with the “receptivity” idea. If we think in terms of eternal life, of course everyone will be healed eventually — it’s inevitable. But how long that takes I think depends to a great degree on our receptivity, or as Eddy puts it, “the tenacity of error” determined how long it will continue. This doesn’t mean, of course, that error has real power — it’s just to the degree that we seem to believe in and accept its power and reality.

  • http://twitter.com/HappyEnergy7 Happy Energy

    Wonderful article – made me think ‘be receptive’ – not just knowing, praying and doing our highest right but ‘be receptive’ – listen for guidance with that humble heart, ‘not my will but thine be done’ – thank you i needed this today for something tomorrow. ‘Be receptive’

  • James Early

    I love your phase, “be receptive.” That’s what it’s all about and we all need more of it.

  • Ecclesia67

    Just a quick note…have you ever looked up the meaning of “beautiful”? The word in Greek is ὡραῖος (hōraios) means seasonable and timely…the root word is ὥρα hōra, which means a time or period, an hour.
    What I have come to understand is that this “lame” man had an appointed time with His healer our Lord Jesus through us the saints (Peter and John). Knowing that Jesus only did what His father, our ABBA did.
    The question that I have meditated on and come to understand is “when does the Father desire to heal someone or call a person to Himself?” As the blind man in the gospels was born unable to see and neither his parents nor himself sinned, but was blind for the revealing of the glory of the Lord, there are appointed season and times for which the Lord is glorified!
    In other words, we are to go heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons with the knowledge of what the Father is doing…at appointed times and seasons.

  • http://www.TheBibleSpeakstoYou.com James Early

    Sorry for the slow reply. I love your thoughts. To me, God is the divine Choreographer. That explains a lot. We must follow His ”
    stage directions.”

  • David Brock


  • http://www.TheBibleSpeakstoYou.com/ James Early

    David, Who is the nephilim boy you refer to? And where in the Bible do you get the name of the fallen angel? Was Jesus’ mission just to save the seed of Abraham? Jesus said to go to all nations, not just the children of Israel, and preach the Gospel.

  • David Brock

    nephilim are the kids of fallen angels and human women. they are not human .nephilim are mentioned over 160 times in the holy bible and you ask stupid questions like this? obviously you are like every other american ,just eat your dogma.ddo some dd bro.!!

  • David Brock

    Numbers 13:33 – And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
    ananoki were fallen angels from the planet nibiru when they mated with human women they were giant nephilim with 6 fingers and toes often having a cone shaped skull.. the nibiru ananuki created adam and eve from gene splitting with homo robustus and ananuki dna and eve was created from dna from adams rib.

    Genesis 6:4 – There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown…sons of god are ananuki fallen angels get used to it.

    Genesis 6:12 – And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
    the corruption was the fallen angels fornicating with our human females bringing on non humans who looked fairly human but were not. the corruption had nothing to do with a man and a woman, it was 200 or so fallen angels corrupting our bloodline.

  • David Brock

    nephilim read and weep. god has many that have turned from him including angels

  • David Brock

    read the whole book of john and thee will see what thee will.

  • James Early

    David, you are very strong in stating your views and are certain that you are right. But you did not answer my question, specifically which nephilim boy do you refer to that Jesus would not heal? I do not profess to understand the whole Bible, every jot and tittle. But much of what you affirm as absolute truth is debated by many Bible scholars as the article on nephilim you referred to states. I am not saying the nephilim didn’t exist. I am aware of the passages you quote. But very learned scholars who know the Bible much better than I, do not agree on what they mean. For example, if the flood destroyed all flesh but Noah’s family, how were there still descendants of the original nephilim?

    You say, “ananoki were fallen angels from the planet nibiru when they mated with human women they were giant nephilim with 6 fingers and toes often having a cone shaped skull.. the nibiru ananuki created adam and eve from gene splitting with homo robustus and ananuki dna and eve was created from dna from adams rib.” This is NOT in the Bible. I don’t know what other sources or what else has influenced you here, so forgive my ignorance if you know something I do not. But where on earth, or out of earth, as the case may be, did you come up with the planet nibiru? Adam was created by the nibiru ananuki? Not according to the Scriptures which clearly states the Lord God Jehovah formed man of the dust of the ground. What you claim is not based on the Bible as far as I can tell. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that you have taken bits and pieces of Holy Writ and mixed it with other sources and theories.

    Now you can do one of several things. You can get upset that I don’t see the light as you do and write some rant here on my blog and claim I am just wallowing in my own dogma, as you have already done. Or you can simply appreciate that I am trying to understand the Bible more and share some insights I get on a particular passage or idea. The purpose of this blog is to share ideas and create dialogue that are helpful to following Christ more closely in our daily lives. It is NOT to nitpick on doctrine or dogma, yours or mine or anyone’s. Obviously I share things as I see them, but I try to be open to new light that others share in these pages.

    I guess my real question for you is, why are the nephilim so important to you? How does your focus on them help you follow Jesus better and love your enemies and do good to them who hate you, as Jesus told us to do? This is my goal, to obey Jesus in my daily life and to encourage others to do the same.

    Let us walk together hand in hand in that purpose.

  • TX momma

    Are you the same “David Brock” who serves on John Hagee’s “Christians United for Israel” Board of Directors?

  • Adam Birtas

    Sorry bro. There is no mention of them being from a separate planet. And how can you say they created Adam and Eve?????

  • James Early

    David, this blog is not a forum for the kind of conversation you are having with Adam B. The name calling is completely unacceptable. A civil and courteous disagreement is fine, but you both have gone too far. I am deleting the entire dialog between the two of you. If you want to have that kind of discussion, take it somewhere else.

  • James Early

    Adam, this blog is not a forum for the kind of conversation you are having with David B. The name calling is completely unacceptable. A civil and courteous disagreement is fine, but you both have gone too far. I am deleting the entire dialog between the two of you. If you want to have that kind of discussion, take it somewhere else.

  • Nehemiah

    It is clear from scripture that not everyone gets healed. However, it is also clear that not everyone will be saved. However, Psalm 103 says “…Praise the LORD oh my soul and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases…” Those who will not be saved will not have their sins forgiven either. Why? Because they have hardened their hearts against God and refused to pick up the lifeline he has thrown us in Jesus. They are in absolute unbelief and it is an act of will “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that man is without excuse” (Romans 1: 18). Unbelief, where God’s word is concerned, is an act of will through failing to either properly study, or believe, God’s testimony about himself, which is why scripture attributes it as sin (Romans 14: 23).

    God, the Father, being a “gentleman” has covenanted with us not to force his will upon us. As such, whilst we must acknowledge that He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, he will not invade our lives with his power unless he is invited to do so. That invitation, from us to God, comes by way of our acceptance of and belief in the one he sent, Jesus Christ. So, before God will (not can) do anything in our lives we must believe his word, both written (the Bible) and living (Jesus) and by faith, we are saved and can receive healing.

    As I said at the beginning, it is true to say that not all will be healed, just as it is true to say not all will be saved (forgiven). But to say that it is ever not God’s will to heal all, is contrary to scripture, just as it would be contrary to scripture to say that it is not God’s will to save (forgive) all. The statements in Psalm 103 are not differentiated by any tense, grammatical influence or context and, as such, both are equally true, but both are equally dependent on our belief (faith) in the one the Father sent to be a propitiation for our sin.

    God is the LORD our healer, the LORD our salvation, the LORD our righteousness etc, etc. these qualities are not just things he does – they are an intrinsic part of his character, they are who he is. He can’t help but love, save, forgive and heal, but we still have to receive, in faith.

  • JonX

    Lol I wouldn’t bother, one can’t reason with the unreasonable. Waste of time and energy.

  • But-dusty

    I was preparing to teach this passage tonight and came upon your post. I really enjoyed your insights especially your comment about Jesus not healing everyone in His hometown and the reasons He could not or would not particularly your comment that if he had ” Or they might have become blind and fanatic followers without understanding the truth of who Jesus was” So very true, though Jesus healed the blind He would have shunned gathering to himself ‘blind followers’. Your comment was a real gem with ramifications that I don’t think many of us have considered.

  • G David

    Greg the Mormon here. I enjoyed your post, thank you!