In our previous article we saw that the Prophet Isa al Masih (PBUH) had taught with great authority, using the authority that only the Masih could rightfully have. Right after he finished teaching the Sermon on the Mount, the Injil records that:
When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (Matthew 8:1-5)
So we see that the Prophet Isa (PBUH) now shows his authority by healing a man with leprosy. He simply said ‘Be clean’ and he was both cleansed and healed. His words had authority to heal as well as to teach.
But then it records that Isa (PBUH) had an encounter with an ‘enemy’. The Romans were the hated occupiers of Jewish land at that time. If you see how some Palestinians feel towards the Israelis today – that would be comparable to how the Jews viewed the Romans at that time. The worst of them (for the Jewish people) were the Roman soldiers who often abused their power by extorting people. Worse still were the Roman officers – the ‘centurions’ who commanded these soldiers under them. Isa (PBUH) now encounters such a ‘hated’ person. Here is what happened when they met:
Isa al Masih (PBUH) and a Centurion
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. (Matthew 8:5-13)
The words of the Masih had such authority that he simply said the command (from a long distance) and it happened! But what amazed Isa (PBUH) was that only this pagan ‘enemy’ had the faith to recognize the power of his Word – that the Masih had authority to Say and it would Be. The man we expect to have no faith (because he was from the ‘wrong’ people and the ‘wrong’ religion), by the words of Isa (PBUH), would one day join in the feast of paradise with Ibrahim and the other righteous, while those from the ‘correct’ religion and the ‘correct’ people would not. Isa (PBUH) warns us that it is not religion nor heritage that guarantees paradise.
Jesus raises the dead daughter of a synagogue leader
But this does not mean that Isa al Masih (PBUH) did not heal Jewish leaders. In fact, one of his most powerful miracles was when he raised the dead daughter of a synagogue leader. The Injil records it in this manner:
40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way … someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened. (Luke 8:40-56)
Once again, simply by a Word of Command, Jesus raised a young girl from death. It is not religion or lack of religion, being Jewish or not, that kept Isa al Masih (PBUH) from doing miracles to heal people. Wherever he found faith, regardless of their sex, race or religion he would use authority to heal.
Isa al Masih (PBUH) heals many, including friends
The Injil also records that Isa (PBUH) went to the house of Peter, who would later become the chief speaker among his 12 disciples (companions). And when he got there he saw a need and served. As it is written:
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Matthew 8:14-17)
He had authority over evil spirits which he cast out from people simply ‘with a word’. The Injil then reminds us that the Zabur had predicted that the miraculous healings would be a sign of the Masih’s arrival. In fact the prophet Isaiah (PBUH) had also prophesied in another passage by speaking on behalf of the coming Masih that:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me (Note ‘anointed’ = ‘Masih’ so this passage is about the Masih) to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61: 1-3)
The Prophet Isaiah had predicted (750 B.C.) that the Masih would bring ‘good news’ (= ‘gospel’ = ‘injil’) to the poor and to comfort, free and release people. Teaching, healing the sick, and raising the dead were the ways that the prophet Isa (PBUH) fulfilled this prophecy. And he did all these things simply by speaking a Word of authority to people, to disease, to evil spirits and even to death itself. This is why the Qur’an calls him:
Behold the angels said: “Oh Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of those nearest to Allah” Surat 3:45 (Al-Imran)
And the Injil, likewise says of Isa (PBUH) that
… and his name is the Word of God. (Revelation 19: 13)
The prophet Isa (PBUH), as the Masih, had such authority of speech that he was also called ‘Word from God’ and ‘Word of God’. Since this is what he is called in the Holy Books, we are wise to respect his authority and listen to his teachings.