A fundamental part of the life of Jesus was his ability to cure disease.
His healing method was more than just calming the thought with nice platitudes while leaving the body in a state of suffering and disease. Rather, his healings were acts of deepest compassion.
It would be impossible to rewrite the four Gospels of the Bible by cutting out all the Christian healings and leaving only the words. Christ's words and works were one. They brought into view a divine harmony. An undecaying substance that was and is of God. Jesus demonstrated in a practical way that there is power in understanding the omnipotence and omniaction of God. Why? Because God is absolute good, and He cares for all His children, you and me included.
Jesus expected his followers to do as he did - to heal. Actually, he promised that they all would be capable of accomplishing spiritual healing. "And these signs shall follow them that believe," he said. "In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17, 18).
The power behind Christian healing is not personal. God is the healer. We can expect the divine Spirit to heal. And each spiritual healing brings with it a new view of God's love within us. We see more of our identity as being in and of God - spiritual.
Some years ago a friend was my house guest for a while. One morning I found her bent over and sobbing with pain. She managed to communicate to me that this was usual for her on the first day of her period. And on top of that, she was also suffering with diarrhea.
I felt compassion for my friend. And at once I prayed to God for some guidance. I was inspired to read passages from the Bible concerning the blessing and cursing of woman. I also read some things from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, that bring spiritual perspective to these passages.
The Bible first explains that the children of God are created male and female, in His spiritual image and likeness. In other words, good and perfect. In a flash, I perceived that the female identity that is truly of God is blessed.
The subsequent biblical discussion of the creation of Adam and Eve, who were eventually cursed by God, does not represent the real identity of man or woman.
Without a comment, I read these passages to my friend. And she got up. She was healed - permanently. The whole scene took place in five minutes.
That instantaneous healing serves as a good example in explaining how spiritual healing takes place. At no time did I touch my friend; I did nothing to her body. But her thought was touched - inspired by the truth of how God made her. What we had both been taught to believe about ourselves as women - that we had to suffer in menstruation - became untrue for us, in the light of the spiritual fact that God had only blessed us.
The inspired truth reveals a perfect concept of ourselves as the image of God. In the instant in which we accept this as the truth of our being, of how God sees us, physical discord ends. Healing occurs. So it proved that day. God's message of truth had worked in thought; and it was in thought that the actual spiritual healing had taken place. The physical relief had followed inevitably.
What about Jesus' words "They shall lay hands on the sick ..."? Does this mean the actual touch of hands can assist in healing? I don't think so. To me, laying on of hands really signifies the gentle compassion that God motivates in us, and which allows us to follow the example of Jesus; to allow our understanding of the truth to heal.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "Hold perpetually this thought, - that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being" (Science and Health, pg. 496).
Articles like this one appear in 13 different languages in the publication The Herald of Christian Science.