The healings performed by Jesus addressed body, mind, and spirit. He healed not only physical maladies but addressed forgiveness of sin and relief from guilt.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” Here John confirms that physical well-being and spirituality are inextricably linked. He had witnessed the activities of Jesus involving the whole person. Perhaps, as John walked on the seashore of Patmos, he relived the indescribable fellowship of an early-morning breakfast prepared by the nail-pierced hands of his Savior. He may further have reminisced, with tender recollection, Jesus’ empathetic attention to detail after raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead, and when the Bread of Life “told them to give her something to eat.” He would never forget the miraculous feeding of thousands, where Jesus again revealed His concern for people’s physical well-being.
Jesus’ involvement with the whole person is described in the opening paragraphs of “The Ministry of Healing:” “Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man’s necessity. He ‘took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses,’ that He might minister to every need of humanity (Matthew 8:17). The burden of wretchedness and sin He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character.”
Jesus spent much time healing the sick. Matthew reports: “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” The Great Physician practiced and demonstrated the spirituality of health and blended healing, teaching, praying and preaching. Our Savior pressed on, saying, “… we must do the works of Him Who sent Me.”
The healings performed by Jesus addressed body, mind, and spirit. He healed not only physical maladies but addressed forgiveness of sin and relief from guilt; this was especially seen in the healing of the paralytic let down through the roof. He affirmed faith and even the motives that brought the needy one to Him. He advised changes in life values and admonished those whom He healed to turn away from sin.
Jesus emphasized the importance of wholeness. He recognized the vital interaction of body, mind, and spirit. It was only toward the latter quarter of the twentieth century that the World Health Organization said that the definition of health is not only the absence of physical disease, but that mental and emotional well-being are essential to wellness too. This is an emphasis reflected in the Old Testament: “… fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all His decrees and commands … and so that you may enjoy long life.”
The lens of Jesus’ ministry brings biblical teaching on disease and healing into clear and sharp focus. Jesus rebuked those who judged others; He contradicted the disciples’ hypothesis of cause and effect. He related acts of healing to forgiveness of sin and the exercise of faith. He very directly relates healing, faith and wholeness and performed healing miracles even on the Sabbath, as the Creator and the Redeemer. He confirmed that we are wholistic beings despite our inevitable brokenness during this life’s journey.
Visit andrews.edu/go/wholistic for information on the upcoming “Conference on Wholistic Healing: Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities for the Church” on the campus of Andrews University, Oct. 12–14, 2023.
Peter N. Landless, MB, BCh, MMed, FCP(SA), FACC, FASNC
Director, General Conference Adventist Health Ministries