Health and wealth prosperity gospel types love to accuse you of not believing all of scripture if you believe we’ll do less healing than Jesus did. Such an assertion is incorrect. I’m going to debunk it by looking at scripture written by Paul.
Paul wrote 13 of the 27 books in the new testament. A man who wrote almost half of the new testament is a good source to look for commonly held beliefs and practices of the new testament church.
Paul did not teach, practice, and expect the same amount or more healing than Jesus did.
Timothy had some kind of stomach issue, and Paul didn’t decree and declare Timothy’s healing. Instead he instructed him to take wine.
1 Timothy 5:23
23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)
Wouldn’t a man with as much revelation on things as Paul heal Timothy if the normal practice was to have as many healings as Jesus did?
Paul had some kind of body ailment that lead him to the Galatians.
13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first,
Paul didn’t name and claim his healing. He had some sort of ailment. Again, if it was common practice to have as many or more healings than Jesus, then surely a man who wrote almost half of the new testament, who had that amount of revelation, would have simply claimed his healing. The fact that he didn’t, shows that it wasn’t common practice.
I doubt anyone would claim Paul was simply failing to believe all of scripture, after all, he wrote almost half of the second part of scripture.
In Romans 8 Paul said it would be normal and common for Christians to experience weakness and the groaning pains of creation, meaning healing on the same level or more than Jesus wasn’t the common expectation and practice.
22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
It’s simply incorrect to claim that you’re not believing all of scripture if you expect less healings than Jesus did.
What about John 14:12?
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
Doesn’t that mean Christians will do even more miracles and healings than Jesus did? Clearly it doesn’t, because the man with enough revelation to write almost half of the new testament didn’t teach and practice it.
Some commentary from Matthew Henry on John 14:12
In the kingdom of grace. They should obtain greater victories by the gospel than had been obtained while Christ was upon earth. The truth is, the captivating of so great a part of the world to Christ, under such outward disadvantages, was the miracle of all.
What about James 5:14-15?
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Doesn’t this indicate that everyone who prays with faith will be healed? John Piper offers some helpful insight on this passage. You can read the full sermon here, I’ll give a summary.
James isn’t writing about someone who musters up enough faith on their own to believe. Piper believes this is referring to the spiritual gift of faith mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12.
7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
James is saying that when the elders are praying for the sick, and the Spirit decides to work through the gift of faith, then the person will be healed. The scripture seems so absolute and certain on healing, because when God decides to do something, you can’t stop it. So yes, of course the prayer of faith will heal the sick, because there were times God granted the exercise of that gift. Results were dependent on God’s will, not man’s ability to muster up faith.
The amount of miracles and healings Jesus did was unique to him, and you’re not somehow shredding part of scripture to believe such. Paul certainly believed, taught, and practiced such, and he had a lot of revelation for belief and practice for the church.