The last two weeks I’ve been studying the cleansing of the leper and the healing of the paralytic. While doing so I couldn’t help finding myself contrasting Jesus’ miracles with the supposed healings of self-declared miracle workers, such as Benny Hinn. The differences between them seem so obvious, it begs the question, why are thousands of people in attendance at his events? Why do so many people give him millions of dollars? These people should consider…
First, Jesus’ healings were complete and immediate.
When Peter’s mother-in-law was healed Luke 4:39 says, “Immediately she arose and served them.” In Luke 5:13 when Jesus cleansed the leper it says, “Immediately the leprosy left him.” In Luke 5:25 when Jesus healed the paralyzed man it says, “Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house.” But if you ever watch some of today’s “miracle workers” people are practically lifted out of their wheelchairs and held up as they take their first steps. Other times some part of the body is healed, while the rest of the body is left unhealed. That’s nothing like how Jesus healed: He healed immediately and He healed completely.
Second, Jesus’ healings were testable.
The leper had leprosy, and then he didn’t; there was no wondering about whether he was cleansed. The paralytic couldn’t move, then he picked up his bed and walked away. Blind people couldn’t see; then they could see. My personal favorite: people were dead, but then they were alive. These are nothing like the healings of the “miracle workers” where you’re left wondering, “Was his heart…or back…or knees really healed? Were his headaches really taken away?”
Third, Jesus WANTED His miracles verified.
In Sunday’s sermon in Luke 5:15 Jesus tells the leper, “Go and show yourself to the priest…as a testimony to them” (something He also told the lepers in Luke 17:14). If today’s “miracle workers” wanted their healings validated like Jesus did, things would look WAY different!
Too much of what passes for the miraculous today receive no healthy evaluation and it makes the whole church look bad. Antony Thomas produced a documentary called A Question of Miracles that followed people like Benny Hinn, and in an interview with the New York Times, Antony said, “they do more damage to Christianity than the most committed atheist.” The solution is for their healings to face some scrutiny. If they were really doing what they claim to be doing they should say, “Go and show yourself to doctors and others who can verify it, and so it can be a testimony to them.”