Why does God not heal amputees?


God can and even has healed people with disfigured limbs.  There are a number of examples in the gospels of Jesus healing a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years (John 5:1-15), a crippled man who was let down through a roof to where Jesus taught (Mark 2:1-11) and others.  The question is not whether God can heal amputees or any other physical disability for that matter.  The question is whether he will do so in any particular case.

From God’s perspective, our problem is not physical disability.  It is spiritual disability.  Illness, pain and even death are not what concerns God.  His concern is our spiritual health.  Jesus makes this clear in John 9.  Here he heals a man born blind.  He does this, not so much out of pity for the man’s blindness, although obviously God cares about our physical suffering as well.  He healed the man so that it might bring glory to God (John 9:4).  After the healing, Jesus said to the man who had been healed, "I came into the world for judgment, in order that thowe who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind."  Some of the Pharisees wo were wit hhim head these things and asked Him, "We aren’t blind too, are we?"  "If you were blind," Jesus said, "you wouldn’t have sin.  But now that you say ‘We see’–your sin remains." (John 9:39-41).  In other words, these hypocrites who are able to see physically are blind spiritually to their own sin problem.  Because they claim they can see, they remain blind.  Jesus’ concern is always for us to be cured of spiritual blindness.  Jesus is not terrifically concerned if we are unable to walk physically, but whether we can walk with God spiritually. 

It is not that Jesus did not care (and God does not care still today) about physical ailments.  God cares about this, but he will not work a miracle just to impress people.  Paul had a physical impairment of some kind.  He asked God several times to remove the physical problem, but God said no.  He said "My power is made perfect is weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).  God did not see a physical limitation as a spiritual limitation for Paul and therefore he did not heal him, despite being asked in tears.  Jesus said that it would be better for us to go to heaven crippled than to enter Hell having had a perfectly healthy body (Mark 9:42-48).  I believe Jesus was quite serious about this.

So, God can heal amputees if he so chooses.  However, that is apparently not his usual way of working apparently.   I had a friend in college who had been an outstanding athlethe.  He had an accident which resulted in his loss of the use of his legs.  He told me that if not for this accident he would most likely never have woken up spiritually and been saved.  He felt that although he was very sad for the loss of the use of his legs, it was worth it if it lead to his salvation. 

By the way, I have a book published about the miracles of Jesus which goes into this question in more detail.  It is called.  "
That You May Believe."  It is available at

John Oakes, PhD

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