Have you ever wondered why healing played such a big role in Jesus’ ministry? Probably not, because it seems like the most natural thing to do. What would you do if you had the power to make the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk? Wouldn’t you go down to visit your local hospital and straighten out a few problems?
But the real mystery may not be why Jesus healed, but as to why, often, he did not heal. When you realize that Jesus did not empty every sick bed in Israel, you suddenly bring into focus the truth that when he did heal he apparently had some reason in mind or some motivation for it beyond mere compassion. Jesus’ compassion cannot be called into question, but there were times when he did heal and times when he did not.
One thing that Jesus’ healing did is prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he had the power to forgive sin. Healing is, in a way, a metaphor for salvation. No, it’s more than a metaphor—it’s what salvation is: a repairing of destruction, a putting right of things gone wrong, the healing of a life, the giving of the beginnings of hope. The healing of a withered arm is one thing; the healing of a withered life, a withered soul, a withered heart is another. In his healings, Jesus proved that he had the power to do both.