In Luke 17:19 we have the story of Jesus healing a leper. After this miracle, Jesus said to the man "Your faith has saved you." In other words, the miracle healed his body but it was the man's faith in Jesus that saved his soul.
We do well to ponder this when observing the many claims of faith healers today. Luke's account teaches us that being the recipient of a miracle (even a legitimate one) doesn't necessarily save our souls. For example, all those who observed and ate the bread and fish miraculously created by Jesus in Matthew 14:13-21 were not automatically saved as well.
Faith healers today claim great powers and put on a good show. And yet, despite their signs and wonders, if there is no obedience to the gospel, those who believe in them are lost – even if they believe themselves to be healed.
The Bible teaches that the true power to save is in the gospel (Romans 1:16) and not in healings. Legitimate healing only pointed to the truth, the cure was not an end unto itself. Miraculous healings saved the body for a while but only the gospel could save the soul.
The true test for our modern miracle workers is the fee they charge for their services. Ever notice that unlike Jesus and the Apostles, modern faith healers always ask for money? Not only did the Apostles minister for free, they rebuked those who would even dare exchange money in return for their power (Acts 8:20).
Let's remember where the power to save comes from and not be seduced by those who promise to heal the body but have no power over the soul.
- What is the difference between God's providence and miracles?
- Why did Jesus and later on, the Apostles, perform miracles? Aside from healing, what purpose did they serve?
- Did miracles cease? If so, why? If not, why not?