Your Faith Has Made You Well: Jesus Heals In the New Testament
By Barbara Hosbach
This excerpt is the introduction to the book.
“There is not much profit in just thinking, ‘Wow, Jesus worked another miracle!’ But there is much profit in noting the changed status, self-image, courage, and relationship to family or community that the cure invariably entails. This is the real transformative message.” Fr. Richard Rohr
Although most of us may not be blind, deaf, or crippled physically, we might find ourselves blinded by denial. How many of us are deaf to things we don’t want to hear or to the needs of others, in society or even under our own roof? How many are crippled by depression, anxiety or any number of challenges not apparent to the naked eye?
Health involves so much more than the absence of physical problems. Those Jesus did heal physically were invited to further healing, to become well not only in body, but also in mind and spirit: a holistic approach, as we might say today. Jesus invited the woman healed of hemorrhaging to face him honestly rather than slink away unnoticed. He forgave the sins of the paralytic before healing his paralysis. Some healings weren’t on the physical level at all, such as the woman who anointed Jesus and, through her encounter with him, was healed of shame.
“Your Faith Has Made You Well: Jesus Heals in the New Testament” explores accounts of Jesus’ healing ministry taken from all four gospels. This collection of stories makes clear that there was no “one size fits all” healing method. Healings were as varied as the people seeking them. Jesus responded to different needs and circumstances in a number of ways. While many people sought him out, some were brought to him. In still other cases, Jesus initiated the healing on his own. Sometimes he simply gave a command and with a word the sufferer was healed. Some people he touched, laying hands on them or using his own saliva as an instrument of healing. At times he even healed people not physically present, as with the Roman officer’s servant. One blind man required a second treatment before he was able to see clearly. In another case, Jesus covered the eyes of a blind man with mud, blocking the man’s vision even more. This required him to go and wash; once he did, his eyesight was restored. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.
Jesus’ healing power speaks to all of us who are willing to turn to him and have our eyes, ears, minds and hearts opened to what he offers us. Each chapter of this book begins with the scripture account of a healing story and then takes a deeper look at what happened during the process. Chapters explore what those encounters might have felt like when viewed through the eyes of the people involved. Questions at the end of each chapter—which can be used for private reflection or group discussion—invite readers to identify with each story in a personal way and explore its relevance for them in the here and now.
This book invites you to relate to the biblical accounts of Jesus’ healing in a deeper way and to consider what they have to say to you and to those around you who may be in need of healing today.