Question: In what ways can Jesus make people whole?
Answer: Acting on our faith in Jesus Christ can make us whole. When our faith in Jesus Christ is sufficient to move us to action, we can receive His healing power, both spiritually and physically, in our lives.
1 After this there was a feast (Passover) of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these (porches) lay a great multitude of impotent (crippled) folk, of blind, halt (lame), withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole (healed) of whatsoever disease he had.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity (invalid) thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie (laying there), and knew that he had been now a long time in that case (situation), he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole (would you like to be healed)?
7 The impotent (cripled) man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me (when I try to get into the water first, someone else always beats me to it).
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9 And immediately the man was made whole (healed), and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath (this all happened on the Sabbath).
10 The Jews (religious leaders of the Jews, Pharisees) therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful (legal) for thee to carry thy bed.
11 He answered them, He that made me whole (the man who healed me), the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13 And he that was healed wist not who it was (didn’t know the name of the man who had healed him): for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place (Jesus had left right after healing him and was quickly lost in the crowd by the pool).
14 Afterward Jesus findeth him (the man he had healed) in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole (you have been healed): sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
15 The man departed, and told the Jews (the Pharisees) that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
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Elder Matthew L. Carpenter has taught:
A few months into his mission, our youngest son and his missionary companion were completing their study when our son felt a dull pain in his head. He felt very strange; at first he lost control of his left arm; then his tongue went numb. The left side of his face began to droop. He had difficulty speaking. He knew something was wrong. What he didn’t know was that he was in the middle of a massive stroke in three areas of his brain. Fear began to set in as he became partially paralyzed. How quickly a stroke victim receives care can have a dramatic effect on the extent of his healing. His faithful missionary companion acted decisively. After calling 911, he gave him a blessing. Miraculously, the ambulance was only five minutes away.
After our son was rushed to the hospital, the medical personnel quickly assessed the situation and determined they should administer a medicine to our son that could potentially reverse the stroke’s paralyzing effects over time. However, if our son was not having a stroke, the medicine could have severe consequences, such as bleeding in the brain. Our son had to choose. He chose to accept the medication. While full recovery required more operations and many months, our son eventually returned and completed his mission after the effects of the stroke were substantially reversed.
Our Heavenly Father is all-powerful and all-knowing. He knows our physical struggles. He is aware of our physical pains due to illness, disease, aging, accidents, or birth disorders. He is aware of emotional struggles associated with anxiety, loneliness, depression, or mental illness. He knows each person who has suffered injustice or who has been abused. He knows our weaknesses and the propensities and temptations we struggle with.
During mortality we are tested to see if we will choose good over evil. For those who keep His commandments, they will live with Him “in a state of never-ending happiness.” To help us in our progression to become like Him, Heavenly Father has given all power and knowledge to His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no physical, emotional, or spiritual ailment that Christ cannot heal.
From the mortal ministry of the Savior, the scriptures recount many miraculous events where Jesus Christ used His divine power to heal those who suffered physically. The Gospel of John recounts the story of a certain man who had endured a debilitating infirmity for 38 years.
“When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?”
The impotent man responded that no one was around to help him when he needed it most.
“Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
“And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.”
Please note the juxtaposition of how long this man suffered on his own, 38 years, and how quickly the healing came once the Savior became involved. The healing was “immediate.”
Through His ministry, Christ taught that He had power over the physical body. We cannot control the timing of when Christ’s healing of our physical ailments will occur. Healing occurs according to His will and wisdom. In the scriptures, some suffered for decades; others, their entire mortal lives. Mortal infirmities can refine us and deepen our reliance upon God. But when we allow Christ to be involved, He will always strengthen us spiritually so we can have greater capacity to endure our burdens.
Ultimately, we know that every physical ailment, malady, or imperfection will be healed in the Resurrection. That is a gift to all mankind through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ can heal more than just our physical bodies. He can heal our spirits as well. Throughout scripture we learn how Christ helped those whose spirits were weak and made them whole. As we ponder these experiences, our hope and faith in the Savior’s power to bless our lives increases. Jesus Christ can change our hearts, heal us from the effects of injustice or abuse we may experience, and strengthen our capacity to bear loss and heartache, bringing us peace to help us endure the trials of our lives, healing us emotionally...
The missionary companion and the medical professionals who helped our stroke-afflicted son in the mission field acted quickly. Our son chose to receive the stroke-reversing medicine. The paralyzing effects of his stroke that could have followed him for the remainder of his mortal life were reversed.
My brothers and sisters, God is our loving Father in Heaven. He has given all power and knowledge to His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Because of Him, all mankind will one day be healed of every physical ailment forever. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, if we choose to repent and turn our hearts fully to the Savior, He will heal us spiritually. That healing can begin immediately. The choice is ours. Will we be made whole?
I testify that Jesus Christ paid the price so that we can be made whole. But we must choose to take that healing medicine He offers. Take it today. Do not delay. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Source: Come, Follow Me–For Individuals and Families, p. 51; The New Testament Made Easier, Part 1, Volume 2, by David J. Ridges, 270; Excerpts from General Conference, October 2018, “Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?” by Elder Matthew L. Carpenter Of the Seventy.