But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given … gifts of healing. 1 Corinthians 12:7–9
The gift of healing is probably the most sought-after of all the spiritual gifts. At one time or another, we have all longed to be healed or to see someone we know healed. What exactly is the gift of healing? Does it still take place today? Do all of the people who claim to be anointed by God to heal the sick have this gift? Has the rise in modern medical technology replaced the need for divine healing? These are all questions that must be addressed when considering the subject of healing.
The Meaning of Healing
Let’s first look at what the word healing means, according to the Bible. Healing is the restoration of the body from a state of damage or disease to a state of wholeness. When the Bible refers to Jesus or to one of the apostles healing the sick, it means that the sick were restored to health by the miraculous intervention of God. Jesus said to the disciples of John the Baptist, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear” (Matthew 11:4–5).
Luke tells us in the book of Acts that when Peter said to the lame man, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. … immediately his feet and anklebones received strength” (Acts 3:6–7). That is the gift of healing! Whether instant or gradual, when God heals, the sick are made well.
Does Healing Happen Today?
Does healing still take place today? There is certainly nothing in Scripture that would indicate otherwise. And since “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), I think we can say with confidence that just as He healed people while He was on earth, He still heals people today. Sometimes He uses human instruments; sometimes He heals completely independent of human agency.
This brings us to the issue of people being anointed by God to heal the sick. Are there people who have been given “healing ministries”? Are there people who can simply choose to heal anyone, anywhere, at any time? I think all of the evidence is against this, and we will tackle that subject next week.