Jesus’ healing ministry
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened…
Isaiah 35:5 (NKJV)
It’s almost 2000 years since Jesus Christ commenced his ministry in Israel. As the incarnate Son of God his mission, in major part, was to preach the good news of salvation and to heal the spiritual brokenness of people. (Isaiah 61:1-2)
Many at that time suffered from physical infirmities such as blindness, deafness and leprosy; Jesus was moved with compassion at their plight. He reached out in godly love to heal all who sought his help. Oftentimes he would simply touch sick people, or say the word, and they were healed. Some, by even touching the hem of his garment, were miraculously cured of their afflictions. (Matthew 9:20-22; 14:36)
At times, immediately prior to healing people of blindness Jesus did something seemingly unorthodox; some might even consider it unhygienic today. One such example is found in John 9:6-7: ‘When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.’ Another example can be found in Mark 8:22-25, where Jesus spat on a blind man’s eyes, and after touching them twice, restored his sight perfectly.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered why Jesus would perform such a ritual rather than just speak the word and perform the miracle. In Jesus’ day it was not uncommon for people to believe in the healing properties of saliva and certain clays. Had these men experienced people who previously applied saliva and clay to their eyes as a kind of balm? Perhaps, we cannot know for sure, but what we can be certain of is that Jesus never did anything without good reason.
Modern science has discovered that the main healing properties of saliva are histatins. Although beneficial for helping to close over skin cuts and bruises, histatins have never been known to cure blindness. Only Jesus, by the power of God’s Spirit, could open the eyes of blind people.
Today we don’t see many astounding healings as in Jesus’ day, but we do witness lots of spiritual healings. The gospel of Christ is being proclaimed around the world, and countless people are repenting of their sins, having their ‘eyes opened’ and finding new life in Jesus. (Luke 24:46-47). As valuable and encouraging as physical healings are, they cannot replace the satisfaction that comes from experiencing the salvation and spiritual healing we receive when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives.
Thank you Jesus for the wonderful miracles of healings you performed when you walked this earth long ago. Thank you especially for the miracle of opening our eyes spiritually to the wonderful truths of almighty God. Amen.
Study by John Magowan
About the writer:
John Magowan attends the Lisburn congregation of Grace Communion International, Northern Ireland.
Lisburn Grace Communion
Ballymacbrennan School House
129A Saintfield Road
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