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Why does God heal some people but not others?


Why does God heal some people but not others?

Steve Answers:

It’s all a matter of faith!

When a woman who’d been bleeding for 12 years touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, her bleeding stopped. Jesus also stopped, identified the woman, then said, “Your faith has made you well” (Luke 8:48, RSV).1

Here’s how Jesus responded to two blind men who came to Him for healing: “Because of your faith, it will happen.” According to the next verse, “Suddenly they could see!” (Matthew 9:29, 30, NLT).2

Even a Gentile woman was granted her request for a demon to be cast out of her daughter because of the mother’s faith. Jesus told her, “‘Your faith is great. Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was instantly healed” (Matthew 15:28, NLT).

The next few verses describe healings on a massive scale. “A vast crowd brought him the lame, blind, crippled, mute, and many others with physical difficulties, and they laid them before Jesus. And he healed them all” (Matthew 15:30, NLT).

Without question, Jesus was the all-time greatest healer!

It’s not surprising that Jesus equipped His disciples to do the same. He sent them out and instructed them to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons” (Matthew 10:8, NLT).

So it’s a matter of faith. Some may wonder, Whose faith? Is it the faith of the person who does the healing? Or is it the faith of the person who needs healing?

Jesus is the healer. Yet Jesus told some of those He healed that it was because of their faith. And some were healed, and there is no mention of faith at all (Luke 14:1-6).

The Gentile woman mentioned above is the one with the faith, not the daughter Jesus healed. A similar thing happened with the paralyzed man whose friends lowered him through the roof. Jesus noted the faith of the friends, not the faith of the one He healed (Mark 2:1-12).

What role does faith play when it comes to healing? As long as somebody has enough faith, will a healing happen?

If I could get on TV as a “faith healer” because I did some quick “God talk” and placed my hands on someone to heal them or maybe jolted them with a shout of “Be healed,” would it be my faith, the faith of the sick person, or someone else’s faith, such as the person who brought the sick person to me, that caused the healing?

Would you believe I was a faith healer if the person was healed? Or would you think it was all a setup? If I wasn’t able to heal somebody, I could always say, “It’s because they didn’t have enough faith.” Then I could quote Matthew 13:58: “He [Jesus] did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief” (NLT).

Perhaps we need a broader perspective than simply sickness versus healing. Sickness stands in contrast to life and vitality. It ends in death, the opposite of what God intended at creation when He provided a tree of life. But even those God heals will eventually die.

You might be healed a thousand times, but you will still die. So even those who are healed from sickness aren’t cured from death. And that’s the way it will be until Jesus returns. The last enemy to be destroyed will be death
(1 Corinthians 15:26).

As a foretaste Jesus provided an example with the death of Lazarus. You can read the story in John 11. Even though the message was delivered to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, Jesus delayed His arrival at Bethany. Were Mary and Martha lacking faith? Did Lazarus lack faith?

Jesus provided the reason for this particular sickness that He claimed would not end in “death”—it was to increase the faith of the disciples (John 11:15). It was also to increase Mary and Martha’s faith (John 11:25, 26, 40). In fact, it was to instill faith in all the people who were present (John 11:42).

See, it’s all about faith. It takes faith to be healed. It takes even more faith to keep trusting Jesus when healing doesn’t occur.

I can’t tell you why some people are healed and some aren’t. I don’t know why Jesus healed only one man out of the many at the pool of Bethesda. And there seemed to be no faith on the part of that one man Jesus healed (John 5:1-15).

I’m not able to explain why it says in Mark 6:13 that the disciples cast out “many demons” but couldn’t cast just one out of a boy three chapters later in Mark 9:18.

In the next verse Jesus called the entire generation of people “faithless” (Mark 9:19). The boy’s father said he believed Jesus could heal his son, but he also asks for help for his unbelief, which sounds like double-talk to me (Mark 9:24).
Later, when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon, instead of saying they lacked faith, Jesus told them, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer” (Mark 9:29, NLT).

Here’s what I can tell you. Your faith is more important than your life. I can also tell you that a person’s eternal life in heaven is more important than their physical life on earth. And I can tell you that life is all about glorifying God, whether or not you’re sick or healed, whether or not you’re alive when Jesus comes. It’s all about Jesus, not about you.

Do you have that kind of faith?

1Bible texts credited to RSV are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, 1971, by Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission.
2Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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