Briefly, we may say that healing miracles
- provide ‘signs’ to authenticate the gospel message.
- show God’s mercy and compassion in bringing relief and comfort to the suffering.
- equip and strengthen people for God’s service.
- give opportunity for God to be glorified as people see concrete evidence of his goodness, love, power, wisdom and presence.
According to N.T. Wright (Jesus and the Victory of God) the healing miracles of Jesus went further than the relief of physical suffering, or even social acceptance. He notes that many of those healed by Jesus were those who would have been regarded as blemished or unclean, and therefore less than full members of Jewish community – the blind (Mt. 9:27–31; Mt. 12:22; Mk. 8:22; Mt. 20:29–34/Mk. 10:46–52/Lk. 18:35–43; Mt. 21:14), the deaf and dumb (Mt. 9:32–3; Mt. 12:22/Lk. 11:14; Mk. 7:32), those with leprosy (Mt. 8:1–4/Mk. 1:40–5/Lk. 5:12–16; Lk. 17:11–14), a woman with haemorrhage (Mt. 9:20–2/Mk. 5:24–34/Lk. 8:42–8), a crippled woman ‘whom Satan had bound for eighteen years’ (Lk. 13:10), and so on. So too his touching of the dead and bringing them back to life (Mt. 9:18–19, 23–6/Mk. 5:21–4, 35–43/Lk. 8:40–2, 49–56; Lk. 7:11–17), and his miracles performed for Gentiles (Mt. 8:5–13/Lk. 7:1–10; Mt. 15:21–8/Mk. 7:24–30), and for a Samaritan (Lk. 17:11–19): he is bringing the gift of wholeness, shalom; he is restoring to membership of the people of God those who had been considered outsiders.