Healing and Christianity: A Classic Study

By Morton Kelsey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
The Unique Healing Ministry
of Jesus of Nazareth

Modern medicine has tended to look back to Hippocrates and Galen as the only ancient source and inspiration of modern medical practice. But this presents a very incomplete picture. As one physician pointed out,

It has become traditional to identify modern doctors in spirit with a long line
of historic greats reaching back to the impressive Hippocrates. This notable
Greek, a veritable pinnacle in ancient medicine, often called the “Father of
Medicine,” largely set the pattern for current professional attitudes and rela-
tionships. But sometimes it is forgotten that medicine owes its greatest debt not
to Hippocrates, but to Jesus. It was the humble Galilean who more than any
other figure in history bequeathed to the healing arts their essential meaning
and spirit. … Physicians would do well to remind themselves that without
His spirit, medicine degenerates into depersonalized methodology, and its eth-
ical code becomes a mere legal system. Jesus brings to methods and codes the
corrective of love without which true healing is rarely actually possible. The
spiritual “Father of Medicine” was not Hippocrates of the island of Cos, but
Jesus of the town of Nazareth.1

Few religious leaders have had more influence on the basic ideas of our modern age then Jesus of Nazareth. The effect of his teaching, his thoughts, is felt not only by nine hundred million avowed Christians but among all peoples touched by Western civilization. Oddly enough, his thinking was in some respects the most materialistic of any of the important religious leaders, particularly in relation to health. The interest Jesus showed in the physical and mental health of human beings

1 J. W. Provonsha, M.D., “The Healing Christ,” Current Medical Digest (December 1959), p. 3. See Appendix A for Dr. Provonsha’s complete article.

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