Some Of The Bible's Accounts Of Miracles In The Time Of The First Christians; And Could This Have Been A Modern-Day Healing Miracle?

Skip to articles warning of the dangers of being too quick to trust people who claim to be faith healers, even if they're very popular.

The Bible says that Jesus said:

Mark chapter 16 (TEV)

17 Believers will be given the power to perform miracles: they will drive out demons in my name; they will speak in strange tongues; 18 if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed; they will place their hands on sick people, and these will get well."

Some people think that passage is a forgery, since it appears in some manuscripts but not others. They theorise that it was added later. To read some discussion of the issues, visit Did Mark's Gospel end at 16:8?

In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament, which describes the activities of the first Christians, which began in Israel, the Bible says:

Acts chapter 2 (TEV)

43 Many miracles and wonders were being done through the apostles, and everyone was filled with awe.

Acts chapter 3 (NLT)

1 Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o'clock prayer service.

Acts chapter 3 (TEV)

2 There at the Beautiful Gate, as it was called, was a man who had been lame all his life. Every day he was carried to the gate to beg for money from the people who were going into the Temple.

3 When he saw Peter and John going in, he begged them to give him something.

4 They looked straight at him, and Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So he looked at them, expecting to get something from them. 6 But Peter said to him, "I have no money at all, but I give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I order you to get up and walk!" 7 Then he took him by his right hand and helped him up.

At once the man's feet and ankles became strong; 8 he jumped up, stood on his feet, and started walking around. Then he went into the Temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. 9 The people there saw him walking and praising God, 10 and when they recognized him as the beggar who had sat at the Beautiful Gate, they were all surprised and amazed at what had happened to him. 11 As the man held on to Peter and John in Solomon's Porch, as it was called, the people were amazed and ran to them.

12 When Peter saw the people, he said to them, "Fellow Israelites, why are you surprised at this, and why do you stare at us? Do you think that it was by means of our own power or godliness that we made this man walk?

13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has given divine glory to his Servant Jesus. But you handed him over to the authorities, and you rejected him in Pilate's presence, even after Pilate had decided to set him free. 14 He was holy and good, but you rejected him, and instead you asked Pilate to do you the favor of turning loose a murderer. 15 You killed the one who leads to life, but God raised him from death-and we are witnesses to this.

16 It was the power of his name that gave strength to this lame man. What you see and know was done by faith in his name; it was faith in Jesus that has made him well, as you can all see. 17 "And now, my friends, I know that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was due to your ignorance. 18 God announced long ago through all the prophets that his Messiah had to suffer; and he made it come true in this way.

Acts chapter 3 (NLT)

19 Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins.

Acts chapter 3 (TEV)

19 ... If you do, 20 times of spiritual strength will come from the Lord, and he will send Jesus, who is the Messiah he has already chosen for you. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for all things to be made new, as God announced through his holy prophets of long ago.

Acts chapter 9 (NLT)

32 Peter traveled from place to place to visit the believers, and in his travels he came to the Lord's people in the town of Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up and make your bed!" And he was healed instantly. 35 Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon turned to the Lord when they saw Aeneas walking around.

36 There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. 37 About this time she became ill and died. Her friends prepared her for burial and laid her in an upstairs room. 38 But they had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, "Please come as soon as possible!" 39 So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other garments Dorcas had made for them. 40 But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, "Get up, Tabitha." And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! 41 He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he showed them that she was alive. 42 The news raced through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. 43 And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a leatherworker.

Elsewhere in the New Testament, the Bible says:

1 John 5 (TEV)

14 We have courage in God's presence, because we are sure that he hears us if we ask him for anything that is according to his will. 15 He hears us whenever we ask him; and since we know this is true, we know also that he gives us what we ask from him.

In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament, the Bible says:

Acts chapter 14 (NLT)

1 In Iconium, Paul and Barnabas went together to the synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Gentiles believed. 2 But the Jews who spurned God's message stirred up distrust among the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas, saying all sorts of evil things about them. 3 The apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. The Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders. 4 But the people of the city were divided in their opinion about them. Some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 5 A mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them. 6 When the apostles learned of it, they fled for their lives. They went to the region of Lycaonia, to the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding area, 7 and they preached the Good News there.

8 While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. 9 He was listening as Paul preached, and Paul noticed him and realized he had faith to be healed. 10 So Paul called to him in a loud voice, "Stand up!" And the man jumped to his feet and started walking.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Christians in Rome:

Romans chapter 15 (NLT)

17 It is right for me to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God. 18 I dare not boast of anything else. I have brought the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I lived before them. 19 I have won them over by the miracles done through me as signs from God - all by the power of God's Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ all the way from Jerusalem clear over into Illyricum.

In the Letter of James in the New Testament, the Bible says:

James chapter 5 (NLT)

13 Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord. 14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years! 18 Then he prayed for rain, and down it poured. The grass turned green, and the crops began to grow again. 19 My dear brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back again, 20 you can be sure that the one who brings that person back will save that sinner from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.

In a 1990 edition of the Christian periodical "Evangelism Today", there was an article by someone who said she'd had a personal experience of being miraculously healed. The article is entitled:

by Jennifer Rees Larcombe

It says:

[Jennifer Rees-Larcombe is the mother of six children. She always found that she had more than enough to do, both looking after her own home and running round after other people. She admits that sometimes she was uncertain about what God actually wanted her to do, but her life was so busy that she had not much time to think about it. Then a very serious illness struck which was to leave Jennifer unable to do hardly anything for herself, her family, or other people. Was there any hope that she would regain full health?] Read on!

The other day I was flipping through last year's Prayer Diary when I came upon this entry in October: "Lord, I've seen people recover gradually after prayer, but never anyone instantly healed in the New Testament way ... Walking ... Leaping ... Praising, etc. Please will you allow me to see someone I know healed like that?"

I think God must have a sense of humour. He answered that prayer a month ago (13th June 1990) and healed someone I know very well indeed: me!

For eight years now I have been in constant pain and increasing disablement through repeated, life-threatening attacks of encephalitis. I was officially registered "Disabled" and awarded the Attendance Allowance at the top rate, severe disability and mobility allowances. Usually these are renewed regularly but the panel of NHS doctors felt that was unnecessary in my case and signed me off for life. Medically it was thought I would not recover. The NHS provided us with a lift, a smart wheelchair, a home help and many helpful gadgets.

I asked a doctor in hospital once if all the morphine I was given would make me a junkie. "We don't bother about that with terminal cases," was his bland reply.

As a mother of six young children I found this sudden devastating loss of freedom and identity quite ghastly and the first two years of the eight were a nightmare of depression, guilt and resentment. I believed in God's ability to heal, so why didn't He? What sin had I committed to cause all this? My marriage felt as if it was falling apart with the strain, my children were becoming insecure and we were having to leave our home in the country because I simply could not cope with life there. I felt I was losing everything I valued, yet if God would stir Himself and heal me, everything and everyone would be all right again and we could go back to serving Him.

I sought healing with total determination, my mind became obsessed with this one thing as I consulted everyone with a healing ministry and avidly read their books. This generation worships health and often treats God as a lucky charm - I certainly did, but He is bigger than that. The day I reached the point of despair He met me and showed me that I had pushed Him out of the central place in my existence. I wanted only to manipulate Him into doing my will, and was not resting in the fact that His will was best for me and for my family. I asked Him back into the central place that day, and after a week of fasting, repentance and prayer, we called the elders of our church (James 5) and asked for prayer.

That night I wrote in the cover of my Bible:

"31 March 1984. The elders came to pray for my healing: I promise You, Lord, I will never ask again. I present my body a living sacrifice to You (Romans 12:2) as You gave Yours broken for me. Mine is broken now. Mend it if You wish or use it as it is. Thine be the glory."

That was when God did a far greater miracle than the one He did four weeks ago. He gave me and the family His peace-joy. He did not change the circumstances that were destroying us, He changed us so the circumstances no longer overwhelmed us.

I did not recover physically; in fact I grew progressively worse, but I can honestly say the last six years have been deeply happy and fulfilling. Many people have been won for the Lord through the books I have had the time to write and chances I have been given to speak at gatherings all round the country.

Two days after I was miraculously healed, someone said to me, "What a shame you wasted all those years. If only you had developed more faith earlier on." Believe me, it takes far more faith to go on loving, trusting and serving God in a wheelchair than ever it does to walk out of one. Yet disabled and ill Christians are so often treated like sinful outcasts by their healthy, wealthy and successful brethren.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian christians in his letter to them in the New Testament:

Galatians chapter 4 (NLT)

12 Dear brothers and sisters, You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you. 13 Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News of Christ. 14 But even though my sickness was revolting to you, you did not reject me and turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. 15 ... In those days, I know you would gladly have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible.

He wrote to his fellow Christian worker Timothy:

1 Timothy chapter 5 (TEV)

23 Do not drink water only, but take a little wine to help your digestion, since you are sick so often.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians:

2 Corinthians chapter 12 (GWT)

2 I know a follower of Christ who was snatched away to the third heaven fourteen years ago. I don't know whether this happened to him physically or spiritually.
Only God knows.
3 I know that this person 4 was snatched away to paradise where he heard things that can't be expressed in words, things that humans cannot put into words. I don't know whether this happened to him physically or spiritually.
Only God knows.
7 ... Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, I am forced to deal with a recurring problem. That problem, Satan's messenger, torments me to keep me from being conceited. 8 I begged the Lord three times to take it away from me. 9 But he told me: "My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." 10 Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It's clear that when I'm weak, I'm strong.

The article "I PROMISE YOU, LORD, I WILL NEVER ASK FOR MY HEALING AGAIN" by Jennifer Rees Larcombe (Taken from a 1990 edition of the Christian periodical "Evangelism Today") continues:

Surely healing, like all God's gifts, is not earned or deserved? No one, to my knowledge, was "storming heaven" when this wonderful thing happened to me. I was actually speaking at a meeting in my wheelchair. I had felt sure for three months that God was about to heal me, and would send someone "out of the blue" to confirm this conviction and then pray for me. I did not ask for it or seek it, it was simply His time. Perhaps I would have preferred Him not to do it quite so publicly!

A young girl, who had only been a Christian a few months, suddenly stood up as the meeting was closing and said she felt God wanted her to say I was going to be healed. I knew inside that this was the person for whom I had been waiting and when the meeting was over, I asked her to pray for me as many gathered round us. She was most reluctant, never having done such a thing before. Her hands shook with fear and she did not use any of the "right words" the healing books say should be used. I was not "slain in the Spirit" and I don't think I did any of the "right things" either! Yet God healed me, and I stood up instantly.

When I arrived home I did not need any of my powerful pain killers - for the first time in years I had no pain. I iced my daughter's eighteenth birthday cake - the first I had done in eight years. I blew up balloons and climbed on the table to tie them to the light. I picked armsful of flowers and arranged them everywhere and then I did the ironing!

Words can hardly describe what life has been like for us as a family during the last few weeks. To go swimming, walk together in the country, ride on a double-decker bus and plan a holiday without the constraints of a wheelchair have felt intoxicating. My husband comes home now to read the paper, while I do the chores for a change. Only someone who has lived with a disabled or permanently ill person can possibly comprehend the sheer joy of our family miracle. Yet I know that this is not such a great thing as God did when He mended our broken, hurting lives six years ago, put our marriage back together again and gave our children security in the middle of our difficulties.

We know we stand in far more spiritual danger now. Pain, weakness and uncertainty over the future are actually a gift, a blessing straight from God, not some nasty work of the Devil, because these unpleasant things can cause us to trust God more, make us turn to Him for help and comfort constantly and seek our joy in Him alone. Happiness, freedom and health on the other hand can often make us feel independent and so full of busy plans we lose sight of Him. Please pray for our protection.

Yes, God has healed me completely and totally, and yet I still do not believe that physical healing is of paramount importance. If instant healing was His will for all of us He would do it much more often! I hope He will use this physical miracle to show my astonished friends and neighbours that He also has "power on earth to forgive sins" (Luke 5). It is wonderful when He mends a broken body, but even more amazing when He mends a broken spirit and releases people from the power of guilt, fear and bitterness.

I do not know why He should have done something so wonderful for me, when I did not ask, expect or really even want such a thing. This is as humbling as salvation itself. I do not know why He did it for me and left other people in that same meeting to go home in their wheelchairs. But we are not required to understand Him, simply to trust that He really does work all things together for good to those that love Him (Romans 8:28).

In the Book of Proverbs, the Bible says:

Proverbs chapter 18 (NLT)

14 The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear it if the spirit is crushed?

Caution Against Putting Too Much Trust in Faith Healers

The main Bible pages on this site:

Bible Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories
Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites
Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.
If you'd like to read the basics of what the Bible teaches about the way God's Holy Spirit can transform people's lives, helping to turn them into better, less sinful people, visit : What The Bible Says About The Life-Changing Power Of The Holy Spirit.
Or go directly to the next in the series: Some Possible Reasons Why God Allows Pain and Suffering.

The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.

Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).

Other initials:

Warning Against Believing Everything you Hear or Read

Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:

The Beauty of the New Testament's Moral Teaching and Other Important Pages on this Website

Are you up to trying the challenges of the New Testament's moral guidelines, and would you like to know more of what it says about the love of Jesus? Here are some links to Bible quotes about the beautiful ideals the New Testament encourages Christians to try to live up to:

There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:

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