I’ve been reading through the Gospels lately and noticed something I never noticed before: there actually are people Jesus didn’t heal. And it’s recorded in the Gospels. Now, I’m all about healing. I’ve written a manuscript that I’ll shop around eventually that for now is called “Lies People Believe About Divine Healing.”
I’ve taught healing to pastors and seminary students in Peru, and produced many episodes of my podcast that dealt specifically with the subject of faith healing.
Whenever people want to oppose or argue against it, they usually present the same three Scriptural insights, whether they know the reference or not
- Paul had a thorn
- Paul left someone sick somewhere (it’s Trophimus in Miletus, see 2 Tim 4:20) and
- Paul told Timothy to drink wine for his frequent stomach problems (1 Tim 5:23).
That’s the best most people can come up with in the face of entire Gospel accounts of Jesus, time and again, healing all who came to him.
But there’s an even more important Scriptural observation that I’m surprised more anti-charismatics don’t present to me when making their case that — from their perspective — God doesn’t heal everybody.
The People Jesus Didn’t Heal When He Could Do No Mighty Miracles
1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6And he marveled because of their unbelief. (Mark 6:1-6, ESV)
Some simple observations;
- This was Jesus’ hometown, where the people most likely knew him for years before he ever entered public ministry of any kind.
- The end of verse 3 says they took offense at him seemingly in part because of their familiarity with him. “Is not this the carpenter?”
- Verse 5 doesn’t say that he could do no miracle at all, but that he could do no ‘mighty‘ work there. Many people don’t read the rest of the verse — the rest of the sentence even — to see that he did perform healings there, amongst those who were brought to him, who got healed of sickness, whatever that sickness or those sicknesses may have been.
It’s worth noting that if we have multiplied accounts throughout the Gospels of Jesus healing all that were brought to him, then that means coming to Jesus or being brought to him was the first step towards getting healed of any and all manner of sicknesses.
That being said, the reverse must also be true:
those that didn’t go to Him didn’t get anything from Him.
These are the people Jesus didn’t heal.
Just because He was alive, and maybe entered their town, doesn’t mean everybody who needed healing magically got it with no part to play on their own.
This part trips up my more Calvinistic grace-of-God focused friends who believe any initiative we take into the realms of God is “works of the flesh” or some other unbiblical notion. The fact of the matter is that we do read of accounts like in John 5 with the pool of Bethesda, where the first person into the pool would get healed — not that just the fact they needed healing made some angel come down and heal them.
You Have Not Because You Ask Not
6But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:6-10)
If you are offended with God, because He has healed someone else but not you, then you need to repent — your offense is an easy way to block the outflow of the grace of God into your life, and your body. I have seen people seek after healing repeatedly and seemingly nothing changed, but when they realized this or changed their mind and their confession about how God was dealing with them, the breakthrough came instantly.
The only people that never got healed by Christ in the Scriptural accounts are those who never came to him.
We see in this one account, they were offended, and He did no mighty miracle.
Only those who went to Him in faith got what they needed.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you, but you must take that step of faith.
If you’d like to visit this topic further, get yourself a copy of my book 6 Lies People Believe About Divine Healing for the price of a cup of coffee (or a few Tim Horton’s coffees).