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Epilepsy: What did Jesus say about Epilepsy

Jesus’ teachings and actions regarding epilepsy can be found in the context of His healing miracles in the Bible, rather than direct teachings or statements about epilepsy. The most relevant account is found in the Gospels, where Jesus heals a boy with symptoms that modern readers might recognize as epilepsy. This story is recounted in three of the four Gospels:

  1. Matthew 17:14-18 (NIV): “When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. ‘Lord, have mercy on my son,’ he said. ‘He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.’ ‘You unbelieving and perverse generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.’ Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.”
  2. Mark 9:17-29 (NIV) provides a more detailed account, including the symptoms that resemble epilepsy and Jesus’ conversation about faith with the boy’s father.
  3. Luke 9:37-42 (NIV) also recounts this event, emphasizing the amazement of all the people at God’s greatness when Jesus healed the boy.

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. Healing as a Sign of Divine Authority: These accounts highlight Jesus’ power over illness and spiritual forces, reinforcing His authority and divine nature. They show that Jesus’ miracles were signs pointing to His identity as the Son of God and the coming of God’s kingdom.
  2. The Role of Faith: In the account from Mark’s Gospel, there’s a particular emphasis on the importance of faith. Jesus responds to the father’s plea for help with, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” The father’s honest confession, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” reflects a universal struggle with faith and a plea for Jesus’ assistance in overcoming doubt.
  3. Compassion and Mercy: Jesus’ reaction to the suffering of the boy and his father reflects His compassion and readiness to bring relief to human suffering. His healings are not just demonstrations of power but also of His deep compassion for individuals and His responsiveness to their faith and pleas for help.

These passages, while not explicitly teaching about epilepsy as a medical condition, offer insight into Jesus’ approach to healing, faith, and compassion.


  • Greg Gaines

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