Many believers seem to find a conflict between exercising faith for healing and taking medication. Because they live in the age of modern medicine, they may condescend to using medication, but feel guilty doing so. Let me state unequivocally that I see no such conflict. When we consider the healing ministry of Jesus it is evident that he too used what was considered effective medication in those days. In this way the Son of God accommodated himself to the limited understanding of the sons of men. We read this report concerning the ministry of the twelve disciples whom Jesus sent out:
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. — Mark 6:12-13
Olive oil was symbolic of the Holy Spirit, but was also considered to have healing properties. Anointing the sick with oil and healing them apparently went hand in hand. Although no mention is made in the Gospels of Jesus personally administering oil, it is safe to assume that his disciples did so by following his example. In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus tells how the Samaritan took care of the man who fell into the hands of robbers:
But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. —Luke 10:33-34
Oil and wine were considered to have healing properties and were medicines of the day. In the same vein, Paul also advised Timothy to drink a little wine to overcome his frequent tummy ailments:
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. —1Ti 5:23
Jesus also used his spittle in a number of healings; for instance, in the case of the man born blind:
…he [Jesus] spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. —John 9:6-7
The man’s faith and obedience no doubt played a key role in his healing, but why the use of saliva? Could saliva have healing properties? This is not an isolated incident. On at least two other occasions Jesus used a similar methodology. (See also Mark 7:33 and Mark 8:23).
In my opinion, saliva has definite healing qualities; that is why in nature many animals lick their wounds. I’ve found that a good way of getting rid of warts is to put saliva on them periodically and to leave it to dry. Jesus seemingly employed the commonly used “medicines” of the day; agents believed to have healing properties. He did not drive a wedge between faith and the use of medicinal agents and neither should we.
The late John Wimber was of a similar opinion:
Whether or not these treatments possessed scientific healing qualities is not the issue. Jesus associated with medical treatments; in fact, he seemed to sanction them. (1986:151)
Wimber J with Springer K 1986. Power Healing. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Page 151
This is an excerpt from the book “Going Against Goliath” (How to fight cancer and win) by Philip Robson.
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