I might have ignored this fact except for a visit a week ago to a church that’s conducting special prayer this Wednesday for various healings—because, said the pastor, Jesus healed during Passion-week.
Hm? With that in mind as I read through the gospels, I noticed Matthew 21:14. Otherwise, I well might have rushed by, paying little attention.
Why was this significant enough for Matthew to mention? One reason that occurs to me is that the healings testified to who Jesus was, by fulfilling Old Testament prophecies. Compassion for the suffering always played a role in His ministry, but verification of His identity as Messiah (Christ) was of key importance.
Back in His own hometown synagogue, early on, He had declared Himself the fulfillment of the Isaiah passage He was then reading (Lk 4:17-18). Among other things, it prophesied that He’d heal the brokenhearted and give sight to the blind. Matthew 8:17 mentions another prophecy of His miraculous healings in Isaiah (Is 53:4 HNV, NIV, and NASB fn).
On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus healed Bartimaeus’ blindness. In nearby Bethany, shortly before entering the city, He even raised Lazarus from the dead! And now in the temple He was healing some more.
Earlier, when John the Baptist, discouraged in prison, sent to ask Jesus if He was, after all, the promised One, Jesus told the messenger to inform John of how “the blind see and the lame walk; lepers are cleansed and deaf hear; dead are raised up and [the] poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Mt 11:2-5). These miracles attested to Him being Christ.
Now, in the temple, the religious leaders were questioning His “authority” to do the things he was doing there–like driving out the money-changers, and teaching authoritatively (Mt 21:23). His prophecy-fulfilling miracles of healing served as part of the evidence that He had all the authority in the Universe!
Who Desires Healing?
The “odd” thing was how opposed the leaders were to His healing and speaking truth there. But their concern was not for the needs of the masses, nor the real Truth of God, but that their apple cart not get upset—or their money tables—and that was what Jesus and His healings were doing.
Part of the essential Jesus Christ is His anointing to heal, and His compassion for those in need of it. He healed then, and still heals today, sometimes astoundingly. I’ve seen it, and experienced it myself.
All those people that He healed then, died later. The inevitable happens, and all ills do not get healed in this earthly life. But in that great resurrection still to come, our glorified bodies will be free from all disease, our hearts from all sorrow, our souls from all sin (1 Cor 15:42-44,49). The Great Physician heals completely, in His time. “By His stripes we are healed” (Is 53:5).