Q: Can we do the things that Jesus did? In the acts of the apostles it accounts for several healings of Peter and Paul. Did they heal physical ailments? Raise from the dead?
A: Thanks so much for your note to TruthBook.com. I was very interested in your question, as I had not known of these Biblical accounts of healing by Peter and Paul. I found several references, including Acts 3: 1-10, 5:12-16, 9:31-43, 28:1-10 and 19:11-12.
I gather from this reading that all of these supposed miracles of healing were done after the Spirit of Truth had been bestowed at the day of Pentecost—after Jesus had ascended to heaven. The Urantia Book does not make mention of these healings by the apostles, but it does say:
(194:1.1) The apostles had been in hiding for forty days. This day happened to be the Jewish festival of Pentecost, and thousands of visitors from all parts of the world were in Jerusalem. Many arrived for this feast, but a majority had tarried in the city since the Passover. Now these frightened apostles emerged from their weeks of seclusion to appear boldly in the temple, where they began to preach the new message of a risen Messiah. And all the disciples were likewise conscious of having received some new spiritual endowment of insight and power.
In the days and weeks following Pentecost, the apostles made great headway in preaching and gathering and baptizing believers. There was an atmosphere of religious fervor following Jesus appearances after his resurrection, and many likely believed because of these events—their faith was ignited.
As you know, even when Jesus was alive, there were instances of people being “miraculously” healed; however, we are told that most of these healings were the result—not of miracles—but as a result of the faith of the ones who were healed.
I suspect that if healing was something that ordinary people could do, that we would have been told about it in The Urantia Book. I am not discounting these Biblical accounts, but I think that we cannot expect to be empowered to heal the sick and raise the dead as Jesus did. What we can do is to inspire faith in people so that this faith can be a powerful factor in their healing of themselves. Jesus showed the way, and we CAN strive toward that ideal.
From The Urantia Book, regarding cases of spontaneous healing:
(149:1.4) “We believe that many of these apparent miracles of healing, as they occurred in the course of Jesus’ earth ministry, were the result of the coexistence of the following three powerful, potent, and associated influences:
“1. The presence of strong, dominant, and living faith in the heart of the human being who persistently sought healing, together with the fact that such healing was desired for its spiritual benefits rather than for purely physical restoration.
“2. The existence, concomitant with such human faith, of the great sympathy and compassion of the incarnated and mercy-dominated Creator Son of God, who actually possessed in his person almost unlimited and timeless creative healing powers and prerogatives.
“3. Along with the faith of the creature and the life of the Creator it should also be noted that this God-man was the personified expression of the Father’s will. If, in the contact of the human need and the divine power to meet it, the Father did not will otherwise, the two became one, and the healing occurred unconsciously to the human Jesus but was immediately recognized by his divine nature. The explanation, then, of many of these cases of healing must be found in a great law which has long been known to us, namely, What the Creator Son desires and the eternal Father wills IS.
“It is, then, our opinion that, in the personal presence of Jesus, certain forms of profound human faith were literally and truly compelling in the manifestation of healing by certain creative forces and personalities of the universe who were at that time so intimately associated with the Son of Man. It therefore becomes a fact of record that Jesus did frequently suffer men to heal themselves in his presence by their powerful, personal faith.”
Even in our modern world, reports of “miraculous” healings can be found. And some have been proved to be true. I think that this is evidence that the power of faith is still quite active and relevant for mankind; it is faith that can move mountains. We don’t have the personal, physical presence of Jesus, but we do have the power of faith. As the above passage states: “Jesus did frequently suffer men to heal themselves in his presence by their powerful, personal faith.” That is something that, perhaps, we CAN do as Jesus did.
Thanks for this interesting question. I hope that my reply has been helpful.
Date published: 2013-05-23 13:50:21
Author: Truthbook Staff