Faith for Healing.

Healing is received by faith. Our Lord Jesus would often say, “Your faith has made you well,” after He healed the sick.

In Luke 17, He says this to a leper He had just healed, “And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. YOUR FAITH has made you well” (vs. 19).

Also in Mark 5:34, He reiterates to the woman with the flow of blood, “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WELL. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.'”

Then to blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WELL.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road” (vs. 52).

Jesus also made mention of “great faith.

Matthew 8:10 (NKJV)

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found SUCH GREAT FAITH, not even in Israel! 

Jesus is referring to the centurion here (Luke 7:9 records this as well). Recall that the centurion had just believed for his sick servant to be healed.

Also in Matthew 15:28, “Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, GREAT IS YOUR FAITH! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” This was to the Syro-Phoenician woman who sought healing for her daughter.

So there is an element of faith to receiving healing. James 5 mentions that it is the prayer OF FAITH that will save the sick, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them PRAY OVER HIM, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And THE PRAYER OF FAITH will SAVE THE SICK, and the Lord will RAISE HIM UP. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (vv. 14-15).

Peter also speaks of “faith in His Name” in Acts 3. He had just healed a lame man at the Beautiful Gate (vv. 1-15), and he makes it clear that this man was healed by faith in the Name of Jesus, “And HIS NAME, through FAITH IN HIS NAME, has MADE THIS MAN STRONG, whom you see and know. Yes, THE FAITH which comes THROUGH HIM has GIVEN HIM THIS PERFECT SOUNDNESS in the presence of you all” (vs. 16).

Matthew 9 records Jesus healing two blind men and faith is involved as well.

Matthew 9:27-30 (NKJV)

27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” 28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “DO YOU BELIEVE THAT I AM ABLE to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH LET IT BE TO YOU .” 30 And THEIR EYES WERE OPENED. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.” 

Jesus healed them ACCORDING TO their faith (or in line with what they believed).

We find similarly in Luke 8, which records the story of Jairus’ daughter, as well as the woman with the flow of blood simultaneously.

In this story, the sick woman receives her healing by faith (vv. 43-48). Luke records that a lot of people thronged and touched Jesus (vs. 45), yet only the touch of faith could direct His power to this woman.

In the same vein, Jesus resurrects Jairus’ daughter, who was now dead (vv. 54-56). But before He does so, He asks him to BELIEVE (vs. 50). This was important because the negative news of his daughter’s death could have inspired unbelief in his heart (vs. 49). So Jairus remained in faith, even at the bad report, and he received a miracle. Faith RECEIVES what God gives.

Unbelief, on the other hand, would hinder from receiving. Mark 6 serves to illustrate this point. Vv. 1-6 record how Jesus could do no mighty work (miracle) in His hometown of Nazareth, save that He healed a few sick people. The reason for this was their unbelief (vs. 6). The one who will be healed must BELIEVE to receive that healing.

Acts 14 speaks of a lame man at Lystra who had faith to be healed.

Acts 14:8-10 (NKJV)

8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had FAITH TO BE HEALED, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” AND HE LEAPED AND WALKED.

So it is clear from Scripture that faith is required in order to receive healing. But the nature of that faith has been mistaught and misunderstood over the years. Many Christians have succeeded in turning faith to works. Many have transmuted faith into legalism (e.g. “you were not healed because your faith wasn’t big enough”).


What is Faith?

The word “faith” translates the Greek word “pistis” (πίστις). It simply means “trust, confidence, to be persuaded about something.

This definition (of faith) already presupposes revelation. You cannot have confidence in nothing. You exercise confidence in some truth or reality you already know. So faith is not expressed/exercised in a vacuum. You cannot “have faith” without something or someone to rest your faith upon.

Faith might be likened to a ladder placed against a wall. The ladder does not hold itself up, it is held up by the platform (the wall) on which it rests.

So really, faith is NOT about YOU! It is about the Object you are putting your trust on. Faith deals more with the object than the subject—in faith, you look less at yourself and more on the Lord. It CANNOT be about YOU! We can say faith is depending ON another (like the ladder rests on the wall). Faith is therefore PASSIVE, by nature.

Now, we proceed to examine three Bible characters which help us understand faith and healing:

1) The woman with the issue/flow of blood (Mark 5:25-34).

2) The Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13).

3) The Syro-Phoenician woman (Matthew 15:21-28).

An examination of these people would help foster a better understanding as to what it means to have “great faith.

Beginning with the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25-34).

Mark 5:25-26 describes her bodily condition, “Now a certain woman had A FLOW OF BLOOD FOR TWELVE YEARS, and had SUFFERED MANY THINGS from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and WAS NO BETTER, but RATHER GREW WORSE.

The word “flow” used in vs. 25 translates the Greek word “rhusis” (ῥύσις). It refers to an hemorrhage; an outflowing of blood. Usually, a woman’s monthly flow is not reckoned abnormal. But this case had escalated beyond the ordinary—it continued for 12 years!

The Law of Moses had specific instructions for such a case. Leviticus 15, for example, says, “‘If a woman has a discharge of blood for MANY DAYS, OTHER THAN at the time of her CUSTOMARY IMPURITY (that is, her menstrual cycle), or if it runs BEYOND HER USUAL TIME of impurity, ALL THE DAYS OF HER UNCLEAN DISCHARGE shall be as the days of her CUSTOMARY impurity. SHE SHALL BE UNCLEAN. EVERY BED ON WHICH SHE LIES all the days of her discharge shall be to her AS THE BED OF HER IMPURITY; and WHATEVER SHE SITS ON SHALL BE UNCLEAN, as the uncleanness of her impurity. WHOEVER TOUCHES those things SHALL BE UNCLEAN; he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening” (vv. 25-27).

Because of her incessant bleeding, this woman would have been continually regarded as a “niddah” in the Jewish Law. “Niddah” in the Jewish Law describes a ritually impure or filthy woman, during her period (see Lev 12:2, 5, 15:19, 20, 24, 25—used 3 times, 26—used 2 times, 15:33, 18:19). Everything she touched would automatically be made unclean. So the Mark 5 woman was to be ostracized under the Law—she had no business being in a crowd of people. She was condemned by the Law already, by being present there.

But observe what Mark records about her, “When SHE HEARD ABOUT JESUS, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment” (Mark 5:27).

Notice that she heard about Jesus, not the laws that condemned her. The word “heard” translates the Greek word “akouó” (ἀκούω). It means to come to understand, to comprehend. So she came to understand something about Jesus.

What did she understand about Him? Some have opined that she heard and understood that He was a Healer. This is true. But it has to be more than that. Because she touched Him (even though the Law of MOSES prohibited this). So she MUST have heard that this SAME Jesus who is a Healer, was also full of Grace!

Unlike the scribes and Pharisees (the teachers of the Law), He does not condemn people. He would not upbraid her for breaking Moses’ Law and touching Him. The Pharisees would not have healed her in her unclean state, but she heard of Someone who does not operate that way—He heals FREELY and without conditions. She would not suffer reproach from Him BEFORE He healed her.

How do we know that? Because of what she did next, “When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and TOUCHED HIS GARMENT” (vs. 27). She touched Him! Whatever she had heard about Him must have emboldened her to do so! If she had heard that He was judgmental and fault-finding, she would never have done that. But she saw Him as gracious to heal her, even though she was breaking the Law of Moses by touching PEOPLE.

Vs. 28 records her thoughts as she approached Him, “For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’ Actually, the Greek says, “FOR SHE WAS SAYING, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’” Her speaking is continuous in the Greek (i.e. she kept on saying to herself). So instead of expecting punishment for breaking the Law, she was expecting to be healed!

And immediately she touched the hem of His clothes, her infirmity ceased, “Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction” (vs. 29).

This incident grants great insights concerning faith: What was this woman conscious of? Her faith or the Grace of Jesus? The Grace of Jesus! When she saw His Grace, He turned around and saw her faith, “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, YOUR FAITH has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction‘” (vs. 34). What did He call faith? Simple, the woman seeing Him as gracious!

So that teaching that you need to “conjure up” faith is wrong! Faith is simply seeing Jesus as gracious—as the One, Who cannot only heal, but Who is WILLING also to heal. When you see Him in His Grace, He sees that as faith!

Faith, therefore, is to simply trust in His goodness and willingness to heal you. This should not be a struggle AT ALL—faith is a revelation. You simply see Jesus as good. The one Jesus sees with faith is he who has refused to allow the Law condemn him. He does not see himself as unworthy.

This understanding of faith is also obtainable in the last two stories we are examining, the story of the Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13) and of the Syro-Phoenician woman (Matthew 15:21-28). Note that these are the only two Jesus said had “great faith.

Jesus says this to the Roman Centurion, in Matthew 8:10, “When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found SUCH GREAT FAITH, not even in Israel!’

Similiarly to the Syro-Phoenician woman, in Matthew 15:28, “Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, GREAT IS YOUR FAITH! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Now, to understand why/how they both had great faith, we must first of all determine the common denominator between these two. What did they both have in common?

Some have suggested that they both had a persistent attitude, not necessarily. The glaring fact is that they were both Gentiles! The man was a Roman, the woman was a Canaanite. So neither of them was conversant with the Law of Moses.

Remember, the Law of Moses reveals sin to man, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for BY THE LAW IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN” (Rom 3:20).

The Law reveals to you that you have sinned, then it condemns you for sinning. In 2 Corinthians 3:9, it is called “the ministry of condemnation.” This is what the Law does—it judges/declares men as guilty! The Law tells you that you are not worthy to receive God’s blessings because you have sinned.

And remember, the Law was given primarily to the Jews (see Deu 5:1-3), so they were well conversant with the same. These two Gentiles (the Roman Centurion and the Syro-Phoenician woman) however, did not know the Law of Moses, being Gentiles. Hence, they were not living under any sense of condemnation. It was therefore easier to believe on God for healing. They were not aware of any laws that they had broken (the Syro-Phoenician woman was more aware of ethnic bias, than any broken statutes. Read about this here).

So we find a common denominator amongst those who exhibited great faith—the woman with the blood sickness (who knew she had broken the Law) had to look past her law-breaking and see God’s Grace. The other two Gentiles were not even aware of the Law at all. So all three were DEPENDENT on God’s Grace to receive the miracles they desired. They were not living in condemnation! They did not expect not to be healed because of some sin in their lives.

Faith, therefore, is SIMPLY RELYING on God’s goodness and willingness to provide what we need, without any form of condemnation (i.e. knowing that our wrongdoings won’t stop God from healing). This is the attitude we must have to receive healing from God.

We can be confident when we ask.

1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)


Mark 11:24 (NKJV)

24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, BELIEVE THAT YOU RECEIVE them, and you will have them. 

We are to believe we have our desires because we can trust God’s character—He is gracious and giving! So actually, the more we focus on the Grace of Jesus, the more unconscious faith will be. Faith should not be “conjured up.” Faith is this simple—once you see Jesus as gracious, you have faith!

Some Christians make the mistake of putting faith IN THEIR faith—”do I have enough faith to receive my healing?” It won’t work that way! Faith should be on THE HEALER, not yourself. Remember, faith is PASSIVE. It is simply RESTING and RECEIVING.

Once you continually focus on the Healer, His power to heal and His willingness to heal found in the Scriptures, faith (which is confidence in Him) will be released EFFORTLESSLY! The best kind of faith is effortless faith.

A child exercises effortless faith. In a sane home, a child does not have to HOPE food will be in the kitchen. He goes to the kitchen EXPECTING food because he knows the character of his parents.

This is how God wants us to be on the subject of healing. He wants us to have an unconscious faith, whereby since we know His character, we believe by default.


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.


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