Faith and Authority of Jesus in His Healing Ministry

The WORD in Other Words by Fr Joseph Miras SVD (Canada) for Thursday 13th Week in Ordinary Time

If the preaching of Jesus was not enough, he added his miracles to back it up. If he taught that the kingdom of God was present in the people’s midst, he showed this presence more emphatically through his many miracles (healing, expulsion of evil spirits, nature miracles, etc.). For example when he cast out the evil spirit and claimed that by the finger of God he cast out demons, then it only proved that the kingdom of God was already present (Lk 11:20). 

Jesus’ healing miracles might not have been unprecedented since there were also many healers during his time. But what stood out from among his many healing miracles were (1) their connection with the recipients’ faith and (2) the question about his authority.

The beneficiaries of  Jesus’ healing were always commended for their faith and effort. What healed them, it seemed, was not God’s action alone or their healing happened in partnership with God. This is just a confirmation of what St. Augustine said, “God cannot save us without us.”

Jesus’ authority was a major issue for his critics and opponents. Jesus, like John the Baptist did not come from a family of priests. His words and actions having come from “unofficial” sources just didn’t come out authentic in the eyes of his critics. But Jesus expanded their understanding of God’s grace. Grace abounds well and is available to everyone everywhere. The paralysis that afflicted his critics and opponents did more harm than the paralysis of the man whom he  healed.. Thus, it would do well to remember always, “He who is not against us is for us.”(Lk 9:50)

Source: Bible Diary 2020

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