A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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reading of Mark (xvi, 9 to end) Jesus is made to claim that miracles are signs of His Messianic authority; but this reflects the beliefs of the primitive Christian Church, not of the Miracle-Worker Himself. Actually, Jesus stood far above His contemporaries in this matter ; and, indeed, above His disciples in every succeeding age, even including many twentieth-century Christians. He did not regard faith in miracles as constituting an essential basis for the moral and religious life.
Many of the acts of healing related in the Gospels are undoubtedly historical. Although the Messianic mission of Jesus consisted primarily in the proclamation of His Gospel of the Kingdom, the ministry of healing did secure a subordinate place in it; subordinate, that is, in the mind and will of Jesus, but very often supreme in the estimation of the multitudes- of sick and diseased who flocked to Him. These miracles were said to be achieved by faith and to-day we are able to regard this explanation as credible.
The healing narratives are of two kinds. Sometimes it is merely stated in general terms that Jesus healed all the sick that were brought to Him from a whole region ; that He healed ' all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people ' ; or ' all sick persons that were taken with divers diseases and torments ' ; or that ' great multitudes followed Him and He healed them there \ Such statements show both the strength of the tradition that Jesus was a great and popular healer and also the Evangelists' lack of detailed knowledge. But nothing can be inferred about the methods used by Jesus or the nature of the diseases He treated from such vague statements. In the second class, however, the circumstances are described with greater precision. True, there are no detailed clinical records with diagnosis and subsequent history ; but the accounts which are given