Reading healing stories in the Bible brings us comfort in times of profound tragedy. They remind us that God performs miracles of healing and deliverance even today. These healing stories in the Bible point us to the God who loves and cares for us forever.
Sickness, struggle, and suffering are realities everyone faces. Maybe you or a family member is dealing with a chronic illness. Or, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may feel that you come face to face with death every day. Perhaps you are enduring struggles that no one knows you are facing. You may also be suffering from depression, anxiety, loneliness, fear, and grief.
You may look at your surroundings and may feel disheartened and hopeless. You may be wondering what God thinks and says about sickness and brokenness. These are questions that wander in our minds at a time of affliction and grief. But we can peer into God’s heart as we read healing stories in the Bible.
What are Healing Stories in the Bible?
Healing Stories in the Bible are narratives of God’s healing power as it touches His people. These are stories of real people who have overcome sickness and suffering through the grace of God. These healing stories in the Bible are found both in the Old and New Testaments. There are about 12 healing stories in the Old Testament and 22 healing stories written in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke).
Significance of Reading Healing Stories in the Bible
To show that God is a healer and to give Him glory
God is called different names in the Bible. These names show a glimpse of the characteristics He possesses. One of the names God is known for is Jehovah-Rapha or Yahweh-Rapha. This name means “God who heals.”
God is not only the Great Physician who heals illnesses and diseases among His people. He also redeems and restores people’s souls. He comforts them from mental anguish, anxiety, despair, and fear as He is our wonderful counselor. Through the blood of Jesus, God’s people are ultimately saved from spiritual deadness and brought to everlasting life.
Healing was part of the ministry of Jesus
Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus delivered the sick, healed the hurting, and even raised the dead. The gospels account for many instances where Jesus healed people individually and by large numbers. The people during His time followed Jesus because of His preaching and the many miracles He performed. These healing stories in the Bible, specifically in the gospels, also revealed miracles performed by Jesus that only the Messiah can perform. These miracles include raising an individual from the dead.
Part of God’s love and compassion for His people
God’s love for His people is manifested in many ways. One of the ways God shows His love for His people is through healing and delivering them from sickness and pain. From Genesis to Acts and up until today, we are witnesses of God’s might and love as He extends His healing hands on His people. The greatest act of love of God is, of course, giving His Son to die for our sins. By the blood of Jesus, we are healed from the greatest affliction of our soul.
Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus was not only sympathetic toward the suffering and sicknesses of people; He was moved to compassion. He did not merely stand on the sidelines and watch people struggle. He acted toward helping and healing them. Most importantly, He paid the ultimate price – death on the cross – to redeem, restore, and save us.
What are Examples of Healing Stories in the Bible?
The Old Testament recounts several healing stories. The Israelites especially were recipients of God’s healing power. His people gained confidence and trust in the God who delivered and healed them. Some examples of these healing stories in the Old Testament are the following:
1 Samuel 1 narrates Hannah, one of Elkanah’s wives, who could not bear a child for God closed her womb. After pouring her heart out to the Lord and after Eli’s declaration, Hannah conceived a child and named him Samuel.
There are also great healing stories from the prophets Elijah and Elisha. As ones who are called to proclaim the word of God, they become instruments for God’s healing. God, through Elijah, raised a widow’s child from the dead (1 Kings 17:22-23). Elisha cured a Shunnamite’s barrenness and raised a boy from the dead (2 Kings 4:8-37).
There were also instances when healing happened for a large group of people, such as when the plague stopped when Aaron offered incense and made atonement for the people (Numbers 16:46-50).
There are even more healing stories in the New Testament. We can find them in the ministry of John the Baptist, the ministry of Jesus, and the works of the disciples in the book of Acts. Some well-known New Testament healing stories include:
The Bleeding woman, Jesus heals the daughter of Jarius, Jesus heals the blind and the mute
Matthew 9 narrates several healing miracles of Jesus. First is the woman who bled for 12 years who touched the cloak of Jesus and was healed as Jesus said that her faith had healed her (Matthew 9:20-22). Second is the daughter of the synagogue leader, Jairus, who died and was raised by Jesus from the dead (Matthew 9:23-26), and lastly, Jesus healed two blind men and a demon-possessed man who could not speak (Matthew 9:27-33).
Jesus heals the paralyzed man
Jesus healed the paralyzed man carried by his friends and put through an opening in the roof. (Mark 1:-15).
The healing from leprosy
In olden times, people with leprosy were cast away from society. People believed that individuals with leprosy were unclean. Therefore no one came near them. Matthew 8:3-4 and Luke 17:11-19 show the compassion and might of Jesus as He healed the lepers.
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead
This event is one of the best-known stories of Jesus raising a man from death. Lazarus was already dead for four days, and people around him believed there was nothing anyone could do. Jesus then called for Lazarus to come out from the tomb. Lazarus came walking out, and the people were amazed (John 11:38-44).
John and Peter healed the paralyzed man
By the power of the Holy Spirit, the disciples of Jesus were able to heal and continue the ministry Jesus started. There was a man, paralyzed for all his life, who begged for his needs at the temple. After declaring the man’s healing, Peter took him by the hand. The man was able to rejoice as he leaped in praise to God (Acts 3:1-11).
How are Healing Stories in the Bible Related Today?
Encourage us to know that God heals even today
Our hope of healing in Jesus is a hope that is not dead. Healing Stories in the Bible are not obsolete or irrelevant. God’s power and healing might are present even today. The same God who delivered the Israelites from plagues is the same God who works in our lives now.
There are countless stories of people who are supernaturally cured of illness and delivered from strongholds in various parts of the globe. Especially now, when the world is stricken with a pandemic, healing stories in the Bible encourage us of God’s healing. God cares for us. He is compassionate to heal and deliver then and now.
Allow us to trust and surrender to God
The healing stories in the Bible show us that faith can move mountains. Jesus Christ was driven by the faith of the bleeding woman, the friends of the paralyzed man, and the lepers. He would tell these people that their faith in a God who is loving and powerful heals them. When we put our faith in God to heal us, we do not wish in vain. We allow God to work in and through our lives. Even if healing comes in a way that we don’t expect, we trust that God is not against us. But He is for our welfare and good.
Convict us to repent
The Bible tells us that there is an association between sin and sickness (1 Peter 2:24). Although not all illnesses result from sin, God commands us to be accountable and repent (James 5:16). The salvation offered to us through the death of Jesus heals us from the penalty of our sins. God is in the business of healing the root cause of all pain and sickness – sin. Accepting Christ as our Savior and Lord guarantee the joy and hope in having eternal life – a life free from pain, disease, and mourning.
Remind us to not tire of praying for healing
We can go to God in confidence as we are sure it is in His heart to heal and deliver us. When we say a prayer of healing, we can pour out our pains to God. We can freely tell Him what is going on in our bodies, minds, and hearts. He is a God who listens and cares. When we say a prayer of healing, we anticipate how God will move in our lives. We stay patient to know and accept His answer and response. It is also vital that we do not cease to pray and have faith that God is sovereign over every pain and illness.
What Does the Bible Say About Healing and Sickness?
Bible verses for the sick
Illness and disease can render us helpless and hopeless. But the Word of God offers encouragement for those who are struggling with sickness. Here are a few Bible verses to remind you of God’s compassion and healing.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. (James 5:13-15)
If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer. (Exodus 15:26)
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. (Jeremiah 17:14)
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. (3 John 1:2)
Bible verses for those who are grieving
The world has witnessed and experienced unimaginable loss and grief in the past years. Wars and pandemics are tragedies we encounter. As we immerse ourselves in the Word of God, we are comforted in times of disaster.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. (Psalm 116:15)
For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. (Lamentations 3:31-32)
Bible verses for the brokenhearted
This fallen world will not run out of things that sadden and break us. But the grace of the Lord gives us the strength to overcome and prevail. These Bible verses remind us that God is near. He comforts us, and He is our refuge.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
My flesh and my heart may fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)
Bible verses for those who are lost
We are all faced with the question of our purpose at one point or another in life. Some of us seek the answers in worldly pursuits and false assurances. We can go back to the Word of God and know that we find our purpose in Him alone.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders rejoicing. (Luke 15:4-5)
Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:1-2)
We tend to be overcome by fear and anxiety when we face illness, depression, and grief. We gaze at the state of the world and find no hope and consolation. We become helpless and resentful, knowing there are many things we cannot control. But we find healing stories when we go back to the Bible. We read narratives of healing and deliverance completed by our Almighty God.
These healing stories in the Bible show us that the Lord is a mighty God, and through His Son, we can enjoy eternal life with Him. In our pains and afflictions and our triumphs and healing alike, God gets the glory. Reading stories of healing in the Bible brings us comfort in times of profound tragedy. They remind us that God performs miracles of healing and deliverance even today. These healing stories in the Bible point us to the God who loves and cares for us forever.