One of the key elements of Jesus Christ’s mission was to obtain the power of resurrection. By allowing himself to die and then rise on the third day he was able to give the promise of new life to all of mankind.
But of course the resurrection of the dead is only one type of rejuvenation that Christ provides. His mission is to revitalize every aspect of us: our bodies, our minds, and our souls. We all get broken in one way or another throughout life, and we are all dependent upon the resurrecting power of Jesus to ever be whole again.
Beyond that, though, we also have a need to grow and develop. Even when we aren’t broken we still must improve and advance ourselves. Here again the enabling power of Jesus comes into play, lifting us to become our very best selves.
I’d like to take a closer look at how that process works. In what ways does Jesus resurrect and empower us? What is our part in accessing these blessings? I’ll start my research by focusing on the ways Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead.
Luke 13:11-13; Mark 10:47-49, 51-52; Mark 5:25, 27-29, 34
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him
He began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment
It immediately stood out to me that in all three of these examples the method for instigating the healing was different. In the first Jesus approaches the woman unbidden to give her healing, in the second the man calls to gain Jesus’s attention and then makes his request, in the third the woman performs the sole action of touching the hem of Jesus’s cloak.
Certainly I have been the recipient of healing I did not look for, other times I have had to cry out and ask, and other times I have performed some effort of my own to meet the Savior part-way. These records make clear that Jesus is a willing healer, one that wants to answer our pleas no matter what form they come in.
And immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
In each of these cases the healing was followed by good acts. The first woman glorified God, the man became a follow of Jesus, the third woman was command to be at peace. It is hard to do our best work when we are bent over in pain. It is hard to worry about cultivating one’s soul when survival itself is a struggle.
So much of people becoming their best selves is just in having their burdens taken off and then being able to let the natural Son or Daughter of God inside shine forth!
Mark 8:22-25; Matthew 8:5-8, 13
And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him…
…but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
In all of the accounts of Jesus’s healing he never seems to use the same method twice. In one instance he leads the blind man out to a private area and administers to him multiple times, healing him by degrees. In another he never even lays eyes on the sick, he merely gives the order from afar and the healing occurs. Previously we saw how the woman with the issue of blood didn’t communicate with Jesus prior to her own healing, she just determined that she needed to touch his robe to be healed and that is exactly what happened.
Often Jesus would ask the sufferer what they would like him to do for them, and that was exactly what he would do. “As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.”
I think this shows an immense respect from the Savior for the individuality of those he heals. We all learn and grow in different ways, and he isn’t going to constrain us to a single method. He is happy to meet us in a place that we are comfortable with, entirely adaptable to our personal needs.
Mark 1:40-42; Mark 5:22-24, 35-36, 41-42
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
There came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
And straightway the damsel arose, and walked.
If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Be not afraid, only believe.
We have already examined how the miracles of Jesus did not depend on a specific process. The approach to each miracle was different, the manner of administering was different, and even the stages of healing were different.
Even so, there does remain one element that is consistent through them all, and that is the requirement of faith. Usually when others instigate the healing process it is by some specific act of faith, and when Jesus instigates it first includes an instruction to them to be faithful.
In one instance (Matthew 9:29) Jesus even literally says ” According to your faith be it unto you.” The limiting factor in our healing and saving is not on his end. If we have the faith for it, he can provide whatever right thing we ask for.
Matthew 9:2-7; Mark 9:17-18, 23-27
And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
And Jesus knowing their thoughts said…whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
And he arose, and departed to his house.
And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee..arise, take up thy bed.
Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief…Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him.
In these two stories we find examples of Jesus performing multiple miracles in the same encounter. To the first man Jesus forgives him of his sins, and then Jesus heals him of the palsy. As anyone who has felt the burden of sins lifted can attest, obtaining forgiveness is truly a miraculous experience. Receiving real forgiveness is not merely a matter of words being spoken, it is of a broken spirit being healed.
In the second story there is, of course, the son who has his evil spirit cast out, but there is also the father who recognizes he is lacking in faith and asks to be lifted in that regard. Here we see an excellent example of the “enabling” power of Jesus in shoring up that man’s strength. Notice the wisdom of the father in recognizing his own lacking and asking the master of all to make a change in him. A common mistake we make is trying to “force” our faith, as if by clenching our fists and straining we could make it stronger.
I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not…
Our faith in Jesus requires us to be able to trust that he is empowered to do all that he promises to do. Where one doubts the ability of another, they will never be able to fully give their heart to follow.
These testimonies of how Jesus not only healed the blind, but also the deaf and mute and paralytic…that he not only healed the sick but also raised the dead…that he not only healed the sick and raised the dead, but also restored the soul of the sinner and strengthened the feeble…all of “these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:31)
John 9:1-3, 6-7; John 5:5-6, 8-9, 14
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked…
Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
Jesus is not confined to only healing the innocent, Jesus is not limited to only rescuing the sinner. When we are made the victim of circumstance or another’s cruelty it might be easy to assume this is just our lot in life and we have to bear it. When our suffering is due to our own guilty actions it might be easy to assume we have forfeited the right to be healed.
The simple truth is that no one is outside of the healing power of the Savior. The reasons for your anguish do not matter, the depth of that anguish does not matter. The Savior is not the Savior of some, he is the Savior of all.
He saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
When reading of so many miracles it can be easy to feel forgotten when we have endured our own afflictions without relief. Perhaps we have even asked for healing and still it has not come.
Perhaps it is that lack of healing that has leads us to those thoughts of “well I deserve this punishment” or “this is just my cross to bear.” It is helpful in these moments to remember that those Jesus healed had often been oppressed for a very long while, too. It does seem that God lets us bear our burdens for a time, lets us experience the natural consequences of our actions for a time.
But that doesn’t mean the Savior is either unwilling or unable to heal us. Indeed, we know that in the Resurrection every remaining burden will be unfettered by his miraculous resurrecting and healing power.
One of my favorite scriptures is one full of remarkable pathos, and it beautifully attests to exactly this. From Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
John 11:39-41, 43-44; Matthew 14:25, 27-31
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
And he that was dead came forth.
And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water.
Jesus is empowered to do the impossible and the improbable. As I’ve already mentioned, no matter what your own individual situation is, you are not so removed that his power cannot reach you.
Lazarus was dead. He was not sick, he was not wounded, he was not mostly gone but still holding onto a shred of life still. He was dead. Maybe you feel like parts of you have died as well. Not just parts that have been hurt, or parts are weak, but ones that are actually dead. No light and no life in them. Jesus can work with that, after all he is the life and the light.
Peter had never walked on water before. This wasn’t some skill that he had been struggling with and wanted to do better at. Maybe you feel at times like you are asked to do something you simply cannot do. It isn’t something that you are just weak or unskilled at, it is literally something you have never done before because for you it is impossible. Jesus can work with that, too. So long as you have the faith, he will empower you to do the things that couldn’t be done.
As with all gospel studies it is the life experience that matters more than the cognitive understanding. Knowing that Jesus can heal and even resurrect our broken hearts, minds, and bodies is valuable, but far more important is to actually feel this revitalizing influence in our lives. I have certainly felt him lift my weary spirit, restore my broken innocence, and embolden me to become more than I ever was before. While reading stories of how Jesus did the same for others in his day, I find myself seeing myself in their faces.
Jesus Can Heal Anyone of Anything
The scriptures “are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). Accordingly we have examples of Jesus healing the feverish, the blind, the lame, the possessed, and the dead. He encourages the brokenhearted, and restores guilty soul. He is not limited by the type of anguish, he is not limited by the magnitude of anguish.
In a world filled with people that cannot meet our every need it can be difficult to wholly trust in anyone. It is not surprising that it might go against our cynicism to believe that the Savior can save us. And that is why the first requirement of the gospel is simply to have faith.
Mark 9:18, 27- I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
All That is Required is Our Faith and His Will
Time and time again Jesus assured the recently-healed that it was their faith which set them free. Certainly he possessed the healing power, but because he respects his children he doesn’t force his healing on those who cannot accept it. He illustrated this centuries earlier when he instructed Moses to raise a bronze serpent and instruct the sick Israelites to look to it for healing. The bronze serpent is already there, it’s just up to us to reach to it.
Mark 5:34- Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Mark 1:40-41- If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
The Healing Will be Fitted to the Individual
If you read through the miracles of Jesus to find a specific formula to them you are going to be disappointed. Well, as we just said in the previous section there’s the necessity of him authorizing the healing of the individual, and the individual having faith in that healing, but after those criteria are met there’s no telling what the rest of the method will be.
The woman with an issue of blood believed she would be healed if she touched the robes of Jesus…and she was right. The centurion believed Jesus could just say the word and his servant would be healed…and he was right. Jairus felt that if Jesus came and laid hands on his daughter then she would be healed…and he was right.
In the ending being healed is a very personal thing. Our wounds are individual, and our restoration should be as well. I don’t hurt the same way you hurt, and I don’t want your healing. I’m so very grateful for a Savior that administers to me personally.
Matthew 14:28-29- And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come.
Mark 5:28-29- For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.