02.04.10 Divine Healing
Both Greeks and Jews believed that illnesses came into one’s life because of affliction or anger from the gods / God. The Greeks, however, attributed sickness to bad luck, destiny, or displeasure of the gods. They also believed healing was available through the worship of Serasphis, Amphiaraus, Trophonios, and especially Aesculapius who apparently had at one point entered Jerusalem.
It should be noted that in Hebrew and Aramaic there is no distinction between “body” and “soul.” Therefore, Jesus always healed the whole person. For that reason, when He healed people of physical diseases, He made comments such as “Your faith has saved you,” or “Go in peace.” In Matthew is the phrase “Lord have mercy” wherein the gospel writer makes it clear that the entire person was healed, not only the body.
Early in the ministry of Jesus, people were healed who had no faith. This was because Jesus was unknown to them, and they had no understanding that He was the Healer sent by God. In the course of time, after listening to His sermons and watching Him perform miracles, many came to Him because they had developed faith. Some were healed because of the faith of others (i.e. Mk. 2:5), while in some places He could perform few miracles because of their lack of faith. Miracles are granted by the gracious love of God for the purpose of bringing people to Himself. Jesus never met a demon He could not exorcise or a sickness He could not heal; but He could not convert an unbeliever or skeptic who refused to believe who He was.
. Kelsey, Healing and Christianity. 37.
. i.e. Mk. 5:34; 10:52; Lk. 7:50.
. Mt. 9:27-29, 15:22, 20:31.
. i.e. Nazareth, see Mt. 13:58; Mk. 6:6.