Why does Jesus physically heal some people and not others? I think that’s a question we all eventually wrestle with, in particular when we, or a loved one, or a child is ill and our prayers for healing seem to go unanswered. It’s a question that re-entered my mind as I read today’s Gospel passage from the Catholic daily Mass readings. I think it hints at why Jesus chooses to heal or not.
First, let me share the passage with you.
"As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.
There are a few key things I’d like to point out from this passage.
#1 Jesus Answers the Prayers of Others
Simon’s mother-in-law did not ask for healing for herself, that we’re aware of. BUT James, John, Simon, and Andrew did. They are the ones who took Jesus to the woman to rid her of her fever, in much the same way that the friends of the cripple confined to a mat lowered him through a roof to get in the presence of Jesus for healing. Remember that story? Blessed are those of us who have friends that will intercede for us when we’re in need of a touch from the Master. Never stop praying for your friends or loved ones.
#2 Jesus Doesn’t Heal All
Did you notice the use of the words “all” vs. “many” in the provided verses? People brought to Jesus ALL the sick and demon-possessed. It doesn’t say SOME but ALL. Every last one with leprosy, cancer, stomach ailments, deformities, etc… came to Jesus. I’m sure some of those people were already convinced Jesus was the Messiah and had high expectations that they’d be healed while others were just curious if he was truly a miracle worker sent by God. Nonetheless, the entire town gathered and what does scripture say? He healed MANY of those with various diseases and drove out MANY demons. Not ALL. If he was capable of driving out some, certainly he was capable of driving out ALL. So why didn’t he? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? I think the following verses give us a tiny glimpse into the answer.
#3 Jesus Came Not to Heal, But for Our Salvation.
The day after some people undoubtedly rejoiced over the renewal of their health while others struggled with disappointment, wondering why they were no better off than before they encountered the Savior, Jesus left to pray. The people followed him and I can just envision some were those he declined to heal. Can’t you hear it? “Jesus, you healed my neighbor, but what about me? Don’t you care?” But Jesus told the disciples, “Let’s go somewhere else so I can preach, that is why I have come.” Jesus was on a mission from the Father to help people understand the Kingdom of God. To help them understand what was necessary for salvation. I truly believe what scripture tells us, that God works ALL (there’s that word again) things together for our good – and the greatest good is that we receive salvation, to avoid the fires of Hell and to spend eternity with him. And it’s my belief that if withholding healing from us is what causes us to draw closer to him, and to draw OTHERS closer to him, then that is what he’ll do. THE GREATEST GOOD IS FOR OUR SOULS TO REACH HEAVEN.
Of course, there are other scriptures about healing that point to the importance of having faith as well as wanting to be healed. But know it’s never our faith alone, it must be coupled with God’s will for our life. Ultimately, we must TRUST him (trust is my word for 2019) to do what is best with our heart-felt petitions, knowing he loves us and our loved ones more than we do.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." ~ John 3:16
What a comfort that when Jesus chooses to heal, he does it with the ease used to heal Simon’s mother-in-law. He compassionately takes our hand. Nothing is too complicated for God.
Funny that the title "Author" appears above this description yet I have no idea what to share about myself in this space! How about my first name is Kim. My last name is Tisor. Tisor rhymes with miser, though I try not to be one.
For more information about me, please visit the author page.