Jesus’ Healing Work Today


The glory of the Christian life is that Jesus carries us as tender lambs through our infirmities and in our old age.

Mark 1:32-34


I suppose that village was the healthiest place on the face of the earth. When the Lord Jesus Christ heals, it’s not the type of thing that people today call “divine healing.” Years ago, when I first began my radio ministry, I had lunch with a dear Christian man. As we ate, he said, “Dr. Barnhouse, you have no idea how the conservatives of this city rejoice that there’s a fundamental voice on the radio,” because at that time there was no other. “You know, it’s so wonderful,” he continued, “if you had just one more doctrine, it would be perfect.”

Now when anyone comes to me with “one more doctrine,” I am wary. I said to this fellow, “And what is this one more doctrine?”

He said, “Divine healing.” 

I looked at him and said, “You don’t believe in it yourself, do you?”

“Oh, yes.” 

I said, “You’re wearing glasses. I see the glint of a gold filling in your teeth. I see that your hair is partly gone and turning gray, and that you have wrinkles.”

“Oh, but,” he said, “five years ago my kidney—” 

“Wait a minute,” I said. “If divine healing is for the kidneys and not for the hair and the eyes and the teeth, I want none of it.

When God saved Naaman the leper, Naaman went and washed in the Jordan seven times, “and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child” (2 Kings 5:14). There that day in Palestine, the whole village had been restored to robust health by the Lord Jesus. Peter’s wife’s mother was feeding the crowd. Everybody was at the peak of strength and health.

Someone may ask, “Is that for us today?” The answer, I believe, is no. People argue that healing is in the atonement. I respond by saying that even the Second Coming of Christ is in the atonement, but it hasn’t happened yet. The redemption of our bodies is in the atonement, but in Romans 8:23 we read, “We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Second Corinthians 5:2 reads, “Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling.” Some blessings of the atonement are still to come.

This is not to say that the Lord does not answer prayer and heal very definitely in some instances. That is, He may heal an inward malady without also giving you a fresh head of hair. The point I am making is that there is nothing in the Bible that gives a so–called healer the right to say to a person, “If you have anything wrong with you, it is because you do not have enough faith.” The glory of the Christian life is that Jesus carries us as tender lambs through our infirmities and in our old age. Henry Twells has given us a hymn based on this passage, which describes in a most moving way Jesus’ love, power, authority, and identification with man as we see them here displayed.

At evening when the sun had set, 

The sick, O Lord, around Thee lay, 

Oh, in what divers pains they met; 

Oh, with what joy they went away.


Once more ‘tis eventide and we 

Oppressed with various ills draw near. 

What if Thy form we cannot see? 

We know and feel that Thou are here.


O Savior Christ, our woes dispel, 

For some are sick and some are sad, 

And some have never loved Thee well, 

And some have lost the love they had.


And some are pressed with worldly cares, 

And some are tried with sinful doubt, 

And some such grievous passions tear 

That only Thou can’t cast them out.


And some have found the world is vain, 

Yet from the world they break not free, 

And some have friends which give them pain, 

Yet have not sought a friend in Thee.


And none, O Lord, have perfect rest, 

For none are wholly free from sin, 

And they who fain would serve Thee best 

Are conscious most of wrong within.

O Savior Christ, Thou too art man; 

Thou hast been troubled, tempted, tried; 

Thy kind but searching glance can scan; 

The very wounds that shame would hide.

Thy touch has still its ancient power, 

No word from Thee can fruitless fall; 

Hear in this solemn evening hour, 

And in Thy mercy heal us all.

(Henry Twells, 1823–1900)


  • Why are divine healings not for us today?
  • What was their purpose in the New Testament?
  • What is the main message behind the healing ministry of Christ?
  • Do we see these types of miracles in the Old Testament?


  • In the following stanza what is being referred to by Henry Twells? How does this impact our understanding of Christ’s ministry to humanity?

O Savior Christ, Thou too art man;
Thou hast been troubled, tempted, tried;
Thy kind but searching glance can scan;
The very wounds that shame would hide


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