The King James Version of the Bible records Jesus saying that “thy faith has made thee whole” or “thy faith has saved thee” seven times. In the New King James Version and New Living Translation it’s translated as “your faith has made you well” or “your faith has saved you”.
Matthew 9:20-22 (NKJV)20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.21 For she said to herself, "If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well."22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour.
Mark 10:46-52 (NKJV)46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, "Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you."50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.51 So Jesus answered and said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" The blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight."52 Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Luke 7:44-50 (NKJV)44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."48 Then He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"50 Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."
Luke 17:11-19 (NKJV)11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.13 And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"14 So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.17 So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?"19 And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."
**There are only four scriptures here because the other three are the same incident recorded in multiple books. The seven scriptures are Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, Mark 10:52, Luke 7:50, Luke 8:48, Luke 17:19, Luke 18:42
The words translated whole, well, and saved are the same Greek word sōzō. Here is how Strongs Greek and Hebrew Dictionary defines sōzō; from a primary sos (contracted for obsolete saos, “safe”); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literal or figurative) :- heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole. - Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
It’s clear that when He told the woman who had the issue with her blood flow, and blind Bartimaeus that their faith had made them whole, that He meant their physical healing. However when He told the woman who washed His feet with her tears there is nothing to indicate that she had any physical ailment. It is also clear that Jesus did not revoke the healing of the nine lepers that did not come back to thank Him when He said to the one who returned that his faith had made him whole (well). In those two instances their being made well or saved meant something else. Jesus was telling them that salvation had come to them and they were completely whole inside and out. How can I say that? Jesus Himself said that whoever believed (had faith) in Him would be saved.
John 3:16 (NKJV)16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 14:6 (NKJV)6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
What’s important, in these and every other instance where your faith in mentioned in connection with healing, salvation or anything else, to realize that the word faith has no power to do anything. It’s in what or in whom you place your faith that things happen.
Here are some definitions of faith;
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
Belief, trust, and loyalty to a person or thing. Christians find their security and hope in God as revealed in Jesus Christ, and say “amen” to that unique relationship to God in the Holy Spirit through love and obedience as expressed in lives of discipleship and service.
The writer of Hebrews says;
Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV)1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
The dictionary definitions say essentially the same things but the definition in Hebrews really clarifies it. The Greek word that is translated to faith is pistis, which has primarily means, “firm persuasion”, a conviction based upon hearing. It is used in the New Testament always of faith in God or Christ, or in things spiritual.
It’s what or whom you have your faith in that really has the power you attribute to what you say in faith. It's not the saying of it, it's saying it because you have evidence that what you say has happened in the past and will happen again (see my post, "Is Christian Faith Blind Faith?", for the evidence of faith in God). For example I have faith in this chair that I’m sitting in right now and as long as it’s not broken it will keep me off the floor. I have faith that as long as I have gasoline in my car and it’s in working condition it will start and I can drive it to where I want to go. It’s not my faith that keeps me from falling, it’s the chair; it’s not my faith that takes me where I want to go it’s my car. It’s not my faith in the word faith that heals or saves me it’s my faith in Jesus who said that His Father loved the world and sent Him, and if I believe in Him I will be saved.
It’s your faith in God who says that He will always be with you no matter what.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
It’s your faith in God who says His plans for you are for good.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
It’s your faith in the One who promised to meet all of your needs.
Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
It’s your faith in the One whose purpose is for you to be conformed into the image of His Son.
Romans 8:28-29 (NKJV)28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
The next time somebody tells you that your faith has power and all you have to do is to speak it and it will happen, or that you don’t have something because you don’t have enough faith remember that it’s not faith in faith that has power it’s faith in God who is the POWER SOURCE. It’s God who calls things into existence that didn’t exist before, not your faith.
Romans 4:16-17 (NKJV)16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
It’s not your faith alone it’s your faith in the God who heals you, who comforts you, who is with you in the good times and bad times, who loves you more than words can describe. It’s your faith in the only one that can truly make you whole.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.