Jesus, healing and community

October 11th, 2008

I was reading through some of the healing miracles that Jesus performed in the Gospels recently. It is interesting that many of Jesus’ miracles not only restored the person to health, but also restored them to community life.

Here are three examples:

1. A man with leprosy (Mark 1:40-44) – In this miracle Jesus healed the man with leprosy. Someone with leprosy was treated as a social outcast as they were considered unclean. When Jesus healed him He told him to go a be checked by the Priest. In the culture of the day the Priest could declare someone “clean” and then they could be restored to society.

2. A woman with bleeding (Mark 5:25-34) – This woman was also considered unclean due to her continual bleeding. When she heard Jesus was coming by she reached out and touched His cloak and was instantly healed. Like the man with leprosy her healing restored her to society as she was now considered clean.

3. A man born blind (John 9:1-12) – This man was considered an outsider to society as many thought that he or his parents had sinned and he was blind as a punishment. When Jesus healed him he said he was blind to show God’s work in his life and to teach about spiritual blindness. As a result of his healing his neighbours accepted him back in to society.

As we can see from these examples Jesus healed out of compassion for the person and to relieve their suffering. But He also healed them so they could become functioning members of the community they lived amongst and no longer outcastes.