What are the gifts (plural) of healing?

Jesus healing a woman with an issue of blood
by Paolo Veronese, 1560s, Wikipedia, Public Domain

In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul lists the various spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit hands out to Christians, and he specifically states that each believer has received at least one of these gifts.

This includes the gift of prophecy, the gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, the working of miracles, the gift of faith, the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, and the discerning of spirits.

However, Paul does something odd in 1 Corinthians 12:9, when he says this also includes ‘gifts of healing’.

Notice how ‘gifts of healing’ is in the plural. Paul says that there are multiple ‘gifts’ of healing.

It suggests that people may be given several gifts of healing, but also implies that a believer may have one particular gift of healing and another Christian will have a different kind of gift of healing.

So, what exactly is the Apostle referring to when he says there are many ‘gifts’ of healing?

Some suggest this refers to the varying methods of healing we see in the Bible. For example, we see people being healed through the laying on of hands (Acts 28:8) and then by the elder’s anointing with oil (James 5:14).

Certainly, that is a possibility, but I wonder if Paul is referring to something peculiar that happened to Philip as he was ministering in Samaria.

Luke writes, “For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed” (Acts 8:7).

Notice how Luke focuses on Philip’s unique anointing to heal the paralyzed or lame. Oddly, there is no mention of the blind being healed, the sick, or even the deaf.

Did Samaria just have an overabundance of lame people, and these were the only ones who came for prayer?

Or is it possible that Philip was having the most success with this one particular type of affliction?

Did Philip have a specialized gift of healing that focused on a particular group who struggled with lameness and paralysis?

We know that Jesus healed people with all sorts of issues.

This included healing those with physical problems such as lameness, blindness, deafness, withered hands and feet, and the paralyzed.

The Lord also healed people with medical issues that included uncontrollable bleeding and seizures, as well, as those who were sick from diseases, such as leprosy or a fever.

In other words, Jesus had the power to deal with every kind of affliction. However, John also tells us that Christ had a full measure of the Holy Spirit (John 3:34). The Lord had the full arsenal of Holy Spirit power, that could deal with every scenario.

These different categories of healing power seem to show up again when the Lord sent out His 12 disciples to heal the sick.

Matthew words it rather oddly, stating that Jesus “gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease” (Matthew 10:1).

Why did Matthew state that they had the power to heal all kinds of diseases and all kinds of sicknesses, rather than just saying they could heal the sick?

Does this indicate that different types of healing power are needed for different kinds of diseases and sicknesses?

In other words, the power necessary to heal a fever may be different from the power required to heal a withered hand. This doesn’t necessarily imply that one is more powerful than the other, but rather they just require a different type of healing.

If so, does this difference also show up when the Holy Spirit dispenses ‘gifts of healing?’

Source link

Add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Keep Up to Date with the Most Important News

By pressing the Subscribe button, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use