Matthew 4:23, Jesus, the Healer

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

//Few incidents provide more insight into the compassion and mission of Jesus than his healings. Jesus was absolutely convinced about the imminent arrival of the Kingdom of God, and pointed to his miracles as evidence of that arrival. At one point, Jesus explains that his healings are accomplished by “the finger of God.” This ability to heal wasn’t a gift given only to Jesus: He taught his techniques to his disciples as well, and instructed them to teach that their healings were proof of the Kingdom’s arrival.

Luke 9:2, [H]e sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Jesus’ methods may have been similar to other healers. Once, he put his fingers into the ears of a deaf mute, then spat on his fingers and touched the man’s tongue. Another time he cured a blind man by putting saliva on his eyes and laying his hands on him. Saliva was known to have healing properties. These two stories appear only in Mark. Matthew and Luke, though they copied most of Mark, leave these stories out, probably because they sound like acts of magic.

But one point about Jesus’ miracles seems clear: He touched. Even the lepers. In an era where sickness was misunderstood as a punishment sent by God, Jesus did not shy away from the unclean and marginalized. His hands brought blessing to those who thought they were cursed, and caressed those who were excluded from human contact because of their sickness. Jesus healed not by magic but by compassion.

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