Someone recently asked me the following question: "Why did Jesus feel the need to touch certain people when He healed them but other people He simply talked to?"
This is an interesting question and one to which I had not really given any thought. However, as I began to consider this question, it became clear that Jesus did deal with different people in different ways. Let's take a look at this.
In Matthew 9:27-29 5:41-42, Jesus touched the eyes of two blind men. "And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you."
In Mark 10:52, Jesus healed a blind man by restoring his sight. In this miracle, Jesus did not touch the blind man. He simply spoke the word, and it was done. "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way."
But, there is another example to consider. In John 9:6-7, Jesus healed yet another blind man. In this case, Jesus did not simply speak to him, nor did He simply touch this blind man. Instead, Jesus spit on the ground to make a clay that He used to anoint the eyes of this blind man. The blind man then went and washed his eyes in the pool of Siloam, and came back with his sight. "When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing."
In each of these three examples, Jesus healed a blind man, or more than one blind man. The physical obstacle was the same, the end result was the same, but the method of each healing was very different. The question that we must ask ourselves is "Why?"
For many of the Pentecostal/charismatic bent, the answer has to do with who had faith and how much faith they had. According to their teaching, a healing can only occur if the individual has enough faith. So, on the basis of their belief, a blind man who had a lot of faith was healed by Jesus' spoken word. A blind man who had average faith was healed by Jesus' touch. A blind man who had little faith was healed by Jesus' act of making clay. I am not saying that this is the case, but this is how this group believes.
There is a great truth that is presented to us by this question if we will take the time to look at it. If we look at the greater picture, recognizing that every born again believer has been healed of the blindness caused by Satan and their trespasses and sins (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) by the precious blood of Jesus, we see something precious.
We already mentioned that the physical ailment was the same, the healing was the same, but the method was different. This is also true of our salvation testimony. Every born again believer was blinded by Satan and sin. We stood justly condemned before a holy God. We were hopeless because we all fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
But, when Jesus came, we were healed of that blindness! Our sins were washed away in the blood of Christ, and our names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life! Where we were spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, we are now alive forevermore in Christ!
But, what of the method used to bring us to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? No two of us have the same experience of being born again. I was raised in a Pastor's home and trusted Christ as my Lord and Saviour following a Sunday evening service. My wife was also raised in a preacher's home, yet she trusted Christ beside a campfire during a youth camp. One of my sons trusted Christ in my office, while two others came to Christ in my bedroom. The salvation came through Christ alone, but we were not all dealt with in the same way.
You see, Christ recognizes the uniqueness of our character and personality, and works with us differently than anyone else to bring about our salvation. The same truth applies to our walk with the Lord after our salvation. The Lord teaches us different things at different points in our walk with the Lord. He also uses different circumstances to bring home the truths He wants us to learn. The truth is the same, and the Teacher is the same, but the method is different because He recognizes what we need when we need it, and how we will best learn His truth!
Going back to the original question: Why did Jesus heal different people in different ways? The answer is that Jesus did not deal with them like robots but as individuals. They were not cookie-cutter people so Jesus did not deal with them in a cookie-cutter manner.
Recognizing this truth ought to fill our hearts with joy. The Lord Jesus does not see us as a number, but as an individual with whom He will deal differently than anyone else because He made us different from anyone else.