Healing, Part 2

Luke 4:38-41 

Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them. 

While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. 


Here’s what’s happening with Jesus while in Capernaum: within an approximate 24-hour period of time,  

  • He publicly casts out a demon in the synagogue, Luke 4:31-37 
  • He privately heals Peter’s mother-in-law of a high fever, Luke 4:38,39 
  • He publicly cast out demons and healed everyone in the village who was sick, Luke 4:40,41 


The public casting out of a demon and the private healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (which probably went public through word-of-mouth), set the stage for a good ol’ fashion healing service. That afternoon, all the people of the village gathered outside of Peter’s home after the word spread about the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. They brought any and all of their loved ones who were sick or oppressed to Jesus.  


And laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. Luke 4:40b 


Lessons vs. Absolutes  

Let me give you a hint about understanding the narratives of the gospels: the stories of the gospels teach lessons; they don’t teach absolutes (Doctrine).  

As an example, here’s a mistake some make when they view narratives as absolutes. In this story, Jesus healed everyone from the village of all diseases and affirmatives. Therefore, Jesus will heal everyone who asks. 

Some people prefer to embrace these stories and claim absolutes. TV preachers will proclaim that Jesus wants to heal everyone and then as ‘proof’ they read these verses of Jesus healing everyone. That is a mis-use of the Bible and of the principles of sound interpretation of the God’s Word. 


The Spiritual and the Physical 

To understand the Bible correctly, we should realize that certain parts give lessons and others give absolutes. 

  • The 10 Commandments are absolutes. The narrative account of the Exodus provides lessons. 
  • When Jesus teaches, He provides absolutes. The narratives of Jesus provide lessons.
  • Proverbs contain absolutes. The stories of Solomon’s life in 2 Samuel contain lessons.
  • The epistles of the apostles contain absolutes. The stories of the apostles of Acts contain lessons. 

Additionally, there are absolutes that are true of us ‘spiritually’ but are not yet fully true ‘physically’. For example, Paul teaches an absolute truth by saying that spiritually, we are holy and blameless before Him, Ephesians 1:4. He also teaches that as long as we have a fleshly body, we are going to sin, Romans 7:14-17. Spiritually we are holy and blameless. Practically, as long as we are on this earth, we will still sin. 


A strange story of healing (not). 

I recently heard a pastor tell of a strange experience he encountered regarding the false view of healing that some Christians have. He was visiting some family in a town where he didn’t live. Some friends of his family, knowing he was a pastor, asked him to go to the hospital and visit with an elderly man who was close to death. He agreed. 

When he entered the hospital room, he found an elderly man in the hospital bed, wheezing and fighting for every breath. His family was surrounding his bed but the oddest thing was happening. They were all joking and laughing. The pastor described the scene as awkward, strange and very uncomfortable.  

As the pastor began to interact with the family, he discovered that they all believed that their father would be miraculously healed. Their view of Jesus was that He always heals when we pray. They felt they needed to laugh and enjoy this time because it would reveal to God how strong their faith was. 

Yes, when someone is sick, we should pray for healing. Yes, absolutely. Call the elders and call everyone to pray. But pray with Jesus as your example. He said, not my will but thine be done. Spiritually, when we are in Christ, we will not die. But physically, we will die and therefore, sickness, illness and suffering are a part of our earthly existence. 

Finally, the pastor took the older son out in the hallway and reasoned with him. ‘Your father is about to die and you as a family need to say goodbye. If you don’t, he could die while you guys are telling jokes.’ The son took it to heart and led the family to grieve and say goodbye before their father passed. 


I believe  

Note: I believe that God heals today, as well as in the past and certainly in the future. We all know of miraculous healings and/or have heard stories from reliable sources of God healing. But that doesn’t mean that we can boldly claim, as application of these stories in the gospels, that Jesus will heal everyone. 

Next time, we’ll dig deeper into the fulfillment of prophetic healing found in Isaiah 53. 


Father, as Paul said, while in this body we groan because we long to be clothed with the body that is guaranteed to us in heaven, (I Corinthians 5,4). We long for or physical bodies to be fully redeemed the way You have already redeemed our souls. This longing reminds us that our true home is in heaven. However, while we are here on earth, may we be useful to You, ready to do Your will and share our faith with others. Amen!