Jesus Forgives, Exorcises, and Just Plain Doctors Up the Hurt •
Matthew 9:1-2, 19-22, 32-33 (and other healing miracles)
We all know that Jesus heals the sick and infirm. Christ performs miracles, and sometimes those miracles involve healing an individual with physical affliction of body or mind.
We take further note in our reading of the four gospels that these physical maladies come in three types. Our claim is that we can categorize the origins of these expressions of physical ailment into those of:
2) Demon Possession
3) Plain ol’ injury or natural condition
Let’s consider a hypothetical Dave. Dave walks with a limp. Dave’s hip hurts.
Dave’s hip pain might be caused by sin. Dave suffers from sin, and this sin manifests itself in the limp and hip pain. Perhaps Dave’s conscious is bothered by some unhealthy, hurtful activity in his present and past, and Dave is ashamed or conflicted and suffers from suppressed anxiety. Perhaps this sin is of Dave’s own actions, or perhaps is the victim of another person’s sinful actions. Whatever the case, this sin expresses itself in Dave as a bum hip.
Dave’s hip pain might be caused by a demon. A supernatural demon has invaded Dave and torments Dave with an affliction in his hip. Dave did nothing other than be the unfortunate body occupied by the demon. The demon hurts Dave’s hip.
Dave’s hip pain might be caused from falling down the stairs yesterday. Or perhaps Dave suffers from a congenital deformity. In either event, something natural and physical has touched Dave. Falling down the stairs hurt Dave’s hip.
The gospels show Jesus healing persons suffering from each of these three source types. Here are examples taken from chapter 9 of Matthew in the New American Standard Bible:
Matt 9:1-2 Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over [the sea] and came to His own city. 2 And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” (NASB)
Matt 9:32-33 As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him. 33 After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, [and were] saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” (NASB)
Matt 9:19-22 Jesus got up and [began] to follow him, and [so did] His disciples. 20 And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; 21 for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” 22 But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well. (NASB)
In these three samples, 1) a paralyzed man was healed not by repairing his paralysis, but by forgiving his sins, 2) a man made mute by a demon dwelling within him was healed not by repairing his brain and voice, buy by removing the demon, and 3) a woman suffering from the naturally-occuring condition of excessive bleeding was head by repairing the natural, anatomical cause of that bleeding.
We submit that there is theological difference in each of these three scenarios, but will not here attempt to flesh these out. There is also, of course, much to be added to this entire area of miracles and healings.
We ask that you ponder our claims, and test it against the word in the four gospels. You can flesh out the details. How else can all this be sliced and diced?
Can you find commentary which weighs-in on our claim? If so, we’d like to hear your synopsis of this interpretation and have you credit the author.
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God’s blessings to you! And read the actual Bible for yourself!