You’ve likely heard the phrase “the great physician” used in reference to Jesus Christ. As Christians, we believe that Jesus has the power to heal us not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually. In this post, we’ll explore the meaning behind this term and how you can experience Christ’s healing in your life.
In the Gospels, Jesus performs many miracles of healing and restoration. He gives sight to the blind, makes the lame walk, cleanses lepers, and even raises the dead. The crowds that flock to him are filled with the sick and downtrodden, drawn by his reputation as a healer. When people encounter Jesus, they often cry out to him using the title “Son of David.” This phrase indicates that they see Jesus as the Messiah who will usher in God’s kingdom. The promised Messiah was expected to heal the afflictions of God’s people, continuing the ministry of Israel’s great King David.
By performing miracles and acts of healing, Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 53:4 (NKJV):
Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities, bearing the punishment that brings us peace. The verse above indicates that He also takes on Himself our physical infirmities and diseases. According to Isaiah, the suffering Messiah would bring both spiritual and physical restoration.
The Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all emphasize Jesus’ miracles of healing to demonstrate that He is the promised Messiah. Jesus Himself points to His acts of healing as evidence of His identity:
Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. (Matthew 11:4-5 NKJV)
By healing the blind, lame, leprous, deaf, and even raising the dead, Jesus proves He is the one with power to usher in the kingdom of God. He has authority over both the physical and spiritual realms. As Peter proclaimed to the crowds after witnessing Jesus heal a lame beggar:
By faith in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…He whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. (Acts 3:16 NIV)
It is this power over sickness, disease, and infirmity that earns Jesus the title “the great physician.” But Jesus does not simply heal to prove His authority. He is moved by compassion for the crowds who flock to Him:
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14 ESV)
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” (Mark 1:41 NIV)
Jesus is not a detached miracle-worker, but a loving healer who is deeply moved by human suffering. His compassion reflects the very heart of God, whose desire is to restore what has been broken and wounded by sin.
- Jesus earned the title “the great physician” through His miracles of physical and spiritual healing while on earth.
- By healing the sick and afflicted, Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
- Jesus used His healing miracles to demonstrate His authority as the Son of God and usher in the kingdom of God.
- The Gospels emphasize that Jesus was moved by compassion to heal people and alleviate their suffering.
- Jesus’ healing ministry reflects God’s heart of compassion for a broken world.
Experiencing Christ’s Healing Power
You may feel that Christ’s healing miracles belong solely to the days when He walked the earth. However, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus’ healing ministry did not end with His time on earth. Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) declares, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” His compassionate heart and healing power remain unchanged. If you are suffering physically, emotionally or spiritually, Jesus offers you His healing touch even now.
Though healing cannot be guaranteed in every circumstance, you can still come to Jesus the great physician for healing of the physical body. Scripture encourages believers to call upon God when 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. (James 5:14-15 NKJV)
Through prayer offered in faith, you can experience Christ’s healing of afflictions in your mortal body. The apostle Paul echoes this truth:
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. (James 5:15 NIV)
Though healing is not guaranteed, as God’s sovereignty and perfect will must reign, these verses show that you can still approach Christ with hope of His touch. His healing power remains, flowing from His unchanging compassion.
Just as Jesus healed those crippled and paralyzed in body, He longs to bring restoration to your emotional wounds as well. The prophet Isaiah foretold this aspect of the Messiah’s ministry:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. (Isaiah 61:1 NIV)
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus sets you free from the darkness and bondage of sin. But He also binds up broken hearts, healing emotional wounds and negative thought patterns. You need only come to Him in vulnerable trust:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29 NIV)
In His gentleness, humility and compassion, Jesus offers you peace and rest from all that wearies your soul. On the cross, He bore not only our sins but our griefs and sorrows as well, as Isaiah 53:4 indicates. Lay your painful emotions and experiences at the feet of the great physician, and He will exchange them for wholeness.
Most significantly, Jesus came to heal the breach between humanity and God caused by sin. Though leprosy had physical implications, it also represented spiritual uncleanness and separation from God. When Jesus healed lepers, He restored them to both physical wholeness and spiritual communion. He came to rescue us from the ultimate consequence of sin, which is death and eternal separation from God. As 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV) affirms:
He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
Because Jesus bore our sins on the cross, we can be forgiven, cleansed, and made righteous before God. We no longer need to live in separation from our Father because of the great physician’s healing sacrifice.
Applying Christ’s Healing Today
You may feel unworthy to approach Jesus or doubt whether He could truly heal your pain and affliction. But Scripture says:
God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10, BSB)
Because God loved us first, we can come boldly into His presence to receive grace and find help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). You need only ask in faith, trusting Christ’s unending compassion and power.
Here are some ways you can apply Jesus’ healing in your life today:
- Pray for physical healing according to James 5:14-16. Ask others to join their faith with yours.
- Read gospel accounts of Jesus’ miracles to strengthen your faith in His healing power.
- Call upon Him in times of emotional distress, asking for His peace and rest.
- Thank Him for bearing your sins so you can be spiritually healed and united with God.
- Trust in His unchanging compassion, even when you feel unworthy of His love.
- Step out in faith and obedience to Him, believing He still performs miracles today.
Jesus Christ remains the same great physician who healed thousands during His earthly ministry. Through prayer and faith in His finished work on the cross, you can experience the healing touch of God. He longs to restore you to wholeness in body, mind and spirit. Call upon the great physician today!