Well known are the healings of blind Bartimaeus, the woman with the issue of blood, the paralyzed man lowered into a house through the roof, and the raising of Lazarus. But it begs a question – what purpose do these healing miracles serve? We could say that Christ healed because He had compassion on those with infirmities. He also healed to demonstrate that He is the Son of God (His deity). Both are true.
Within these two realities, Jesus healed the sick in order to picture His work of salvation. Each of the physical infirmities He encountered reflects the spiritual condition of fallen human beings. It is from these conditions we are graciously delivered by the power, love, and mercy of Christ in the Gospel. Consider the following examples.
* Blindness: human beings do not naturally receive Biblical truth as an eye naturally takes in the images around it. There is resistance. 1Cor 2:14, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” 2Cor 4:3-4, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, (4) whose minds the god of this age has blinded……” Salvation is to be given the ability and desire to receive the things of God.
* Disease: original sin means that we are morally polluted and unfit for the presence of a holy God. Like lepers removed from society, we are alienated from our Maker. Isaiah 53:5, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed” Salvation involves spiritual healing – our diseased souls are cleansed and made whole.
* Lameness: just as the lame cannot walk, so in our natural state we cannot come to God; we do not want to come to God because we do not want to submit to His claims. John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” Salvation is to be drawn to Christ so that we are willing and desirous to embrace Him by faith and repent of our sins.
* Death: the ultimate expression of the sinful condition is death. We are born dead to God. We live to please ourselves. Eph 2:1-2, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (2) in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience……..” Salvation is to be made spiritually alive. No longer do we want to live independently of God, but to serve, worship and obey Him.
These kinds of infirmities point us to the helplessness and the hopelessness of fallen humanity. Salvation is the gracious work of God for us and within us. We contribute nothing – not according to our wisdom, our righteousness, or our desire are we saved. On the contrary we were blind, diseased, lame and ultimately dead.
The glory of salvation is to be found in free and sovereign grace – He loved me when I did not love Him; He gave His Son for me when I lived for self; He lifted me out of the pit; He granted me new life; He restored me to Himself. Mine was the guilt, His was the gift. May the grace of God ever be the song of our hearts.