It becomes of intense interest to note why Christ healed, so far as the Gospel record goes. It is never intimated that He did it to let people know that He could. He never used power simply to let men see He had it.
It is never suggested that He did mighty works to prove His distinctive personality, who He was. This simply is not referred to. Incidentally it is made clear that He did have the exceptional power, and that He was the Son of God in the distinctive sense that was true of no other.
Even when John, in the dark of the prison cell, puzzled to know why Christ didn't fill out the official side of the Messiah's task, as well as the personal side, even to him Christ simply points out what was being done as evidence that the old prophetic picture was being lived out.
He comforts the lone prison vigil with word that John had been true. And that there was a waiting time ahead for both of them.
No, Christ healed men because He couldn't help it. Their sore need, so sore, tugged desperately at His heart. He healed men because they needed healing. This stands out first and foremost. There is more, a big more, but in the Gospel narratives it is always incidental.
It is true, broadly, as a principle, that miracles, the supernatural, came into action, throughout Scripture, to meet some emergency. But, when it comes to the immediate reason why Christ healed, as the narrative runs, it was to meet the personal need of suffering men and women.
There is a strong, tender word constantly on His lips, and spoken of Himself, "compassion." It means to have the heart tenderly drawn out by need. It really means to suffer in heart because of the suffering of others.
This gives the "why" of Christ's healing. One key passage may be given as an index to the others, "He had compassion on them, and healed their sick"(Mat_14:14; see also 15:22; 20:34; 9:36 with 10:1; Mar_1:41; Mar_6:34; Mar_8:2; Luk_7:13-15).
He healed because He couldn't help it. He could heal, and He couldn't help healing, with such suffering before His eyes. His heart must answer to such needs. The healing is a window into Christ's heart. And Christ Himself is the open window into the Father's heart.
One afternoon late a gentle-faced woman came at the close of a meeting and ask abruptly, "Does God answer prayer?" She had a thoughtful face, and looked like one well cared for.
I didn't say "yes." A mere yes seemed too tame with that tense face, and those suffering eyes. I merely said "Sit down for a moment."
And with a bit of prayer for guidance, I said, "Has He ever answered a prayer for you? Just once? For, you remember, one fact establishes a law of action.
Instantly a startled look came into her eye. And in a low hushed voice she said, "Oh! I forgot." Then she told in a few words of when her daughter, years before, a child of ten or so then, had been critically ill. And the physician had said that the knife must be used.
Her mother's heart drew back from having a surgeon's knife cut into the precious little body. Could she have a little time to thank about that, she had asked. Yes, there was no immediate pressure, was the reply.
That night she had retired for sleep. She spent much more time than usual on her knees. She didn't ask for healing. She had not been taught that she might.
She simply poured out her heart. God was a father. He was so good. It troubled her so sorely to have the knife used. Just a cry out of her heart, a yearning cry, inarticulate as the how.
Then she slept quietly. The morning came, and the physician. And after the examination a puzzled look came into his eyes.
And he said quietly, "I don't just understand this; but a distinct change has come into your daughter's condition. I won't need to use the knife. She will get well without it. And she did. And the woman said with a changed voice, "I forgot." Her own experience answered her question.
Is it a winsome bit out of life? Christ has not changed. His power is at our fingertips now. No need need go unsupplied, if He may have His way.