Introduction: The Bible recounts many, in both the Old and New
Testaments, who were miraculously healed. What the Bible does not
explain is the mechanism by which this happened. Sometimes Jesus
used mud, other times spit, sometimes Jesus healed from a distance.
What should we conclude from that? The logical conclusion is that
mud and spit had nothing to do with it. So why would Jesus use them?

Consider something else. Physicians do not really heal
sickness, they merely improve the conditions for the body to heal
itself. What should we conclude from that? The logical conclusion is
that God created our bodies to heal themselves. Thus, the question
about faith healing is this: what part of the healing process is
connected with the mind? I recently read a book about the operation
of the brain and it cited several scientific studies which showed
that placebos (sugar pills) were effective in healing because people
believed the pills were medicine, not sugar. Did God wire our
brains to boost healing when we believe in healing? Let’s jump into
the Bible and see what it teaches us!

  1. Mind and Body

    1. Read Proverbs 17:22. Do you think this is counsel about
      health? (It uses terms connected with health: “medicine”
      and “dried up bones.”)

      1. When the Bible says “cheerful heart,” is it actually
        speaking of the heart? (No. The idea is that the
        heart is the seat of our emotions. We understand
        emotions to be connected with the mind. When
        someone says “my heart was broken,” we understand
        them to be speaking about an emotion.)

      2. If we are talking about the mind and health in this
        text, what does this teach us about the relationship
        between our emotions and health? (That our mind has
        an impact on our health.)

    2. Read Proverbs 18:14. What does this suggest about
      attitude and sickness? (That our mind helps us through

      1. How can that be? (The Bible tells us there is a
        connection between our thoughts and our health.)

      2. When Proverbs 18:14 says, “But a crushed spirit, who
        can bear?” what does it mean? (If the mind is
        wounded, what chance does the body have?)

      3. Proverbs 18:14 does not answer the question.
        Presumably the answer is “you cannot bear illness
        with a crushed spirit.” So, what is the solution to
        a crushed spirit?

    3. Read Romans 5:1-5. We read here several “mind” terms:
      faith, peace, rejoice, hope. What do “rejoicing” and
      “hope” have to do with our spirit? (They are just the
      opposite of a crushed spirit.)

      1. How do we get to rejoicing and hope? (We start with
        faith in Jesus. The way to a positive spirit, which
        has a decided impact on our health, is faith in

  2. Faith and Jesus

    1. Read Matthew 9:27-30. If you were just observing this
      miracle, what would you say were the elements of the
      miracle? (A mental conviction that Jesus could do cure
      their blindness, and Jesus’ touch on their eyes.)

    2. Read Mark 9:17-19. Was a miracle performed here? (No.)

      1. Why were the disciples not able to heal the man’s
        son? (Jesus must have been speaking to His disciples
        when he said “unbelieving generation.” Thus, the
        disciples did not have sufficient mental

    3. Read Mark 9:20-24. What does Jesus say is the key to
      healing? (A mental conviction: “everything is possible to
      him who believes.”)

      1. What did the father think was the solution if he was
        a bit short of the mark in his mental conviction?
        (That Jesus could help him overcome unbelief.)

        1. Was the father right? (Read Mark 9:25-27. Jesus
          healed the son. This obviously strengthened the
          belief of the father.)

    4. Read Mark 9:28-29. This is a most interesting passage.
      The disciples want to know more about the mechanism for
      healing – why could they not heal this boy. What does
      Jesus say is the mechanism for healing? (Prayer.)

      1. How does that make any sense? So far, we have
        learned that a mental conviction is the important
        part. What does prayer have to do with a mental
        conviction? (This opens up a new view of mental
        conviction. The mental conviction comes as a result
        of spending time with God.)

        1. How can this be true when the father was asked
          to instantly believe? (The only logical
          conclusion is that a greater degree of faith
          (understanding, mental conviction) is required
          of those who perform the miracle than for those
          who request the miracle.)

        2. Now the important question: If God created our
          minds to help heal our bodies through faith,
          how does the mental conviction of the healer
          have anything to do with the healing? (This
          tells us that there is a supernatural element,
          beyond the logical/scientific connection
          between mind and body.)

    5. Read Mark 8:22. What do you think the people meant when
      they asked Jesus to “touch” this man? (They wanted Jesus
      to heal him by means of putting His hands on him.)

      1. Whose minds are first involved in this potential
        healing? (The blind man’s friends. They believed
        that touching would be needed.)

    6. Read Mark 8:23-24. Jesus both touched the blind man and
      put spit in his eyes. In the Matthew 9 healing of two
      blind men, Jesus just touched them. According to the
      record, no spit was involved. The friends in the Mark 8
      miracle just expected a touch. Why did Jesus add spit?

      1. Barnes’ Notes on John 9:6 (involving another miracle
        using spit and mud) reveal that the Jews “regarded
        spittle as medicinal to the eyes when diseased.”
        Would any of the observers believe that spit would
        immediately heal blind eyes? (No. But, it was the
        logical thing to use.)

      2. When the man said that he saw walking trees, what
        did he mean? (After decades of heavy reading in
        college, law school and law practice, my distance
        sight was terrible before I had surgery on my eyes.
        I know what it means to say that people look “like
        trees walking around.” It means the miracle did not
        work properly. The blind man’s sight was improved,
        but not perfect.)

    7. Read Mark 8:25. Is putting your hands on someone a second
      time (this time no spit) the “fix” for a botched miracle?

      1. By now you should be very troubled by this faith
        healing. Why does Jesus have to use spit once,
        touching twice and why can’t Jesus get it right the
        first time?

        1. Indeed, why does Jesus ask the man “Do you see
          anything” – as if the outcome were in question?
          Isn’t Jesus the power of the universe?

    8. If you start out with two assumptions, that Jesus had the
      power to speak sight to this blind man, and that God
      works through the mind to heal, can you explain all of
      these odd facts? (In the beginning, it was the faith of
      others who brought the blind man to Jesus. When Jesus
      applied “traditional” remedies, touch and spit, His
      purpose was to help instill faith in the blind man. When
      the blind man first saw imperfectly, he was strengthened
      in his faith that Jesus could do something for him. The
      spit, touch and the two-stage miracle had nothing to do
      with Jesus, and everything to do with the blind man’s

    9. What lessons do we find in this for us and faith healing?
      (1. That when it seems that God has not perfectly solved
      our problems, perhaps it is to cultivate our faith. 2.
      Traditional healing techniques can create a faith
      partnership with God to heal our bodies.)

    10. Is faith healing possible today? Can our minds heal our
      bodies when we believe in Jesus? Or, do we also need
      Jesus to be here? (Read 1 Corinthians 12:7-10. To
      whatever degree God has created our minds to heal our
      bodies, we are taught that the power of God (in the form
      of the Holy Spirit) is still present to perform healing.
      We do not need to doubt that.)

    11. Friend, God has created your body to heal itself. God has
      created your mind to work in partnership with the power
      of God to heal through faith. Have you neglected such a
      great weapon against illness and disease? Why not, right
      now, commit your mind to trusting God to do miracles in
      your life?

  3. Next week: Rest and Restoration.