Have you ever wondered: How did Jesus heal the sick?
Today we’re going to talk about how Jesus healed. We’re also going to talk about how we can follow his example and do the things he did.
I talk about healing a lot on the Bible Speaks to You Podcast. It’s an important part of Jesus’s ministry and it should also be an important part of our ministry today.
So, how did Jesus heal people?
There are so many ways to talk about this, and there’s no way to go into great depth in a single podcast episode. But there are a few main points I will emphasize.
First, Jesus was completely aware of God’s healing presence
Jesus knew the Scriptures, so we can assume he knew this verse
I am the LORD who heals you. (Exodus 15:26)
And this comes to mind as well. David is referring to God when he says,
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. (Psalm 103:3, 4)
Jesus knew God was the source of healing, of health, and wholeness.
That’s really the first step in understanding how Jesus healed and being able to heal as he did.
Second, Jesus depended on God completely
The second thing I want to emphasize is something I mention a lot on the podcast. It’s the way Jesus described his ability to accomplish something.
I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will. (John 5:30)
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. (John 14:10)
And he added for clarity,
So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. (John 5:19)
Jesus repeats that he can’t do anything on his own. He only does what he sees God doing and it is God working through him to accomplish whatever he does, including healing.
Let that sink in a minute.
Can we follow Jesus’s example?
How does this apply to you and me? Can we say the same things? Can we follow Jesus’s methodology here? Can we adopt this mindset?
The answer is yes, but it’s not necessarily easy.
Because we have to give up our own will, our own perspective and personal opinions.
Let’s come back to John 5:19. Jesus says he only does what he sees the Father doing. Jesus saw God doing things that others did not see then and still don’t see today.
What did Jesus see the Father doing?
Well, lots of things, but in this context, he saw God as the source of healing, the source of health and wholeness.
Jesus said his purpose was to bear witness to the truth. (John 18:37)
Let’s put these two verses together. The truth he bore witness to is what he saw the Father doing, and therefore could also do.
Jesus could see, or bear witness to, God as the source of wholeness and health. He saw people from the perspective of how God originally created them in the image and likeness of God. He saw people from the perspective of what was true in the kingdom of heaven, where there is no sickness or disease.
When he did this, people were healed. Or rather, that’s what it looked like to everyone watching.
But to Jesus, he was just seeing what God had already ordained in heaven from the beginning, wholeness.
Jesus saw what God was doing and had already done. So, the question then come to us: What can you see God doing?
What did you learn from your father?
When I was a little kid, and all the way through high school, my dad was always fixing things around the house. He had a pretty cool tool set, including an electric drill and the most amazing screw driver set I’ve ever seen.
He often asked me to help him with the repairs. I would watch him. I would hold the tape measure, or a piece of wood while he cut it. As I got older, he encouraged me to do some of the tasks, with his supervision. I learned to do so much simply from watching him at work.
Today, there’s always something around the house to fix and I think of my dad often because not only did I learn how to do specific things, but I have embraced the mindset that I can figure out how to do something.
Who did Jesus learn from?
This is a simple example of what Jesus is talking about. He learned how and what to do by watching his Father.
So again I ask: What can you see God doing?
Let’s start with something simple and ask the question this way. How do you see God loving the world?
Can you see God’s love shining “on the just and the unjust”? (Matthew 5:45)
Can you see God’s love shining equally to the democrats and the republicans, or whatever the opposite political parties are in your country?
Can you see God loving equally the Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists?
The people you trust and the people you don’t trust.
Law abiding people and criminals?
Can you see God loving everyone in your family, at work, at church, in the government, in all different countries?
God loves everyone equally and unconditionally
How much of that can you see? Whatever your answer is, that’s how much you will love these people. You can only love those whom you see God love.
This is the rule Jesus has established, that we can only do what we see God doing.
All the things we do that are not what God is doing, really don’t amount to much, if anything, in eternity.
And if you are looking at God through a dirty or distorted lens and think you see God hating certain people, you will think it’s okay to hate those people.
God loves all His children equally. But just to be clear, He doesn’t love what any of us do wrong.
Jesus emphasized God’s universal love for everyone. In fact, that’s why God sent Jesus, because He loved the whole world. John 3:16
Can you see God loving everyone? Jesus emphasized the need for this when he says: love your neighbor as yourself.
The next step toward healing like Jesus
When you can see this infinite love God has for the whole world, then you have taken the next step to healing like Jesus did.
Healing is really about how you see someone
- how much you can see that God loves them fully and unconditionally
- how clearly you can see them as a child of God, originally made in His image and likeness
- how clearly you can see them from the perspective of what is true about them in the kingdom of heaven where there is not sickness, sin, disease, or death
The more you see yourself or someone else this way, the more you will witness the healing power of God.
Prayer for healing
One time a young man asked me to pray for him. He had sprained his ankle and was in a lot of pain. I don’t remember what I said to him, but I remember some of the things I prayed about.
The quieter I got, the more I could hear what God was telling me, the more I could see what God saw. It became so clear to me that this sprained ankle was not part of the original image and likeness of God, that God made this man to be. It literally was not part of who we was as a child of God.
I quit praying to heal this problem and focused more on seeing this man as complete and whole in God’s eyes. There were also some other issues that had come up in our conversation and I saw that the mental tug-of-war he was experiencing was not part of him either.
It was like a bucket full of mud someone had thrown at him. It made a mess, but it wasn’t permanent and it wasn’t part of who he was.
The moment I saw clearly that none of these things had ever really touched who he was as a child of God, I could sense that healing was taking place. I could see, to some degree, how much God loved this man.
He called back. He was perfectly fine. There was no pain and no swelling. He could walk and run freely.
This is just a tiny example of how we can follow Jesus’s example of healing when we see what God is doing, what God is seeing and how God is loving the whole world.
How did Jesus heal? = What did Jesus see God doing?
I’ll leave you with this question: What can you see God doing?
Related blog post: How Did Jesus Heal the Sick?
Podcast Episode 98: It Is God’s Will to Heal You
James Early is a Bible teacher, speaker, and podcaster and conducts Bible workshops online and in person. His focus is on getting back to the original Christianity of Jesus by embracing the mindset of Christ in daily life. Contact him here.
Bible references in this episode:
John 14:12 NLT
12 I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.
Exodus 15:26 NLT
26 I am the LORD who heals you.
Psalm 103:3, 4 NLT
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
John 5:30 NLT
30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.
John 14:10 NLT
10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.
John 5:19 NLT
19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.
John 18:37 KJV
37 To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Matthew 5:45 KJV
45 for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
John 3:16 NLT
16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Mark 22:39 NLT
39 Love your neighbor as yourself.