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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Healing


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Ultimately God is the only one who can heal, because he is the only one who can undo the effects of sin. Sickness and suffering are characteristics of a world that has been spoiled by sin (Genesis 3:16-19), and healing is part of God’s gracious work in caring for his wayward creatures (Exodus 15:26; 2 Kings 1:3-4; Psalms 103:3).

Jesus’ miracles of healing showed his power over all the evil consequences of sin, and indicated that the kingdom of God had come (Matthew 4:23; Matthew 8:17; Matthew 9:35; see MIRACLES). When that kingdom reaches its fulfilment in the new heavens and the new earth, all healing will be complete (Revelation 22:1-4; cf. Romans 8:19-23).

Usually it is not possible to give a specific theological explanation of a particular suffering that a person experiences. However, in those cases where the suffering is a direct result of personal sin, God’s healing is a sign also of his forgiveness (Psalms 32:1-5; Psalms 41:3-5; Psalms 41:11-12; John 5:13-14; James 5:15-16; see SUFFERING).

God may choose to heal people miraculously (Numbers 12:1-15; 2 Kings 5:8-14; Matthew 8:2-3; John 4:46-54; John 5:8-9), or by normal processes (2 Kings 20:1-7; Philippians 2:27-30; 2 Timothy 4:20), or not at all, depending on his sovereign will (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). He may protect people from diseases or he may not (Exodus 15:26; Exodus 32:35; Job 1:12; Job 2:5-6; Jeremiah 24:10). On some occasions God may heal out of his love and compassion, without a request from the afflicted (Matthew 14:14; Luke 4:40); on other occasions he may heal in response to the faith of the afflicted (Matthew 9:27-30; Mark 5:34; Mark 10:52; James 5:14-15). He heals those who have ordinary diseases and those who are demon possessed (Matthew 8:16; Luke 4:41; see DISEASE; UNCLEAN SPIRITS).

Jesus gave his disciples a share in his healing powers, so that they could help him spread the message of the kingdom of God throughout Israel (Matthew 10:5-8). These disciples continued this healing ministry in the early days of the church (Acts 3:1-11; Acts 9:33-34). As the church spread, God gave similar gifts to other people (Acts 8:5-7; Acts 14:9-10; Acts 28:8-9). God’s desire was that, as such people used their healing gifts in cooperation with other gifts he had given to other people, the church would enjoy well balanced growth (1 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Corinthians 12:28-31).


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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Healing'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/bbd/h/healing.html. 2004.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 27th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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