The Healing Ministry of Jesus

It is often thought that, because Jesus was the divine Son of God, He could work a miracle or heal anyone anytime He desired. But as we examine the Scriptures closely, we discover that, although Jesus was certainly divine, He was apparently self-limited during His earthly ministry. He once said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing” (John 5:19). That clearly shows that Jesus was limited and dependent on His Father.

According to Paul, when Jesus became a human being He “emptied Himself” of certain things that He would have previously possessed as God:

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:5-7, emphasis added).

Of what did Jesus “empty Himself”? It wasn’t His divinity. It wasn’t His holiness. It wasn’t His love. It must have been His supernatural power. Obviously, He was no longer omnipresent (existing everywhere). Likewise, He was no longer omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipotent (all-powerful). Jesus became a man. In His ministry, He operated as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit. This becomes abundantly clear as we look closely at the four Gospels.

For example, we might ask, If Jesus was the divine Son of God, why was it necessary for Him to be baptized in the Holy Spirit when He began His ministry at age thirty? Why would God need to be baptized with God ?

Clearly, Jesus needed the baptism of the Holy Spirit in order to be anointed for ministry. That is why, soon after His baptism, we read of Him preaching these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach….to proclaim…to set free…” (Luke 4:18, emphasis added).

That is also why Peter preached, “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power , and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38, emphasis added).

That is also why Jesus did no miracles until He was baptized in the Holy Spirit at about age thirty. Was He the Son of God at age twenty-five? Certainly. Then why did He do no miracles until age thirty? Simply because Jesus emptied Himself of the supernatural power that God possesses, and He had to wait for the time when He would be empowered by the Spirit.