Did Jesus Really Heal People Or was It a Placebo Effect?
The Placebo Effect
Copyright 2005 VVeasey Publishing
Placebo is from the Latin ‘placare’, ‘ to please’.
Anesthetist Henry K. Beecher coined the term placebo effect in 1955. He stated that, about a third of patients with a host of conditions improved when given placebos.
A placebo is any non-effective drug, substance, act or procedure that a subject or patient believes is effective.
The placebo effect, is so powerful and pervasive, that every drug put on market, has to show a significant improvement in those taking it, compared to those taking the placebo.
A meta-analysis of clinical studies, using antidepressants, found a 30% reduction in suicide and attempted suicide, in the placebo groups, and a 40% reduction in the antidepressant treated groups.
The fascinating thing to me is, that 30% of the placebo groups, showed a reduction in suicide and suicide attempts, because they believed they were taking the antidepressant. A certain percentage of those, taking placebos, always show some improvement.
The FDA requires that every drug it approves, be tested for effectiveness against a placebo, before it can be put on the market. I called the placebo effect the mind affecting body effect.
On Of The Most Striking Examples Of The Placebo Effect
One of the most striking examples of the placebo effect (mind affecting body) is the case of a cancer patient, treated by Dr. Bruno Klopfer, a researcher in 1950, who tested the cancer drug Krebiozen, on one of his patients. The patient, a Mr. Wright, body was filled with large tumors. When he heard Dr Kloper was testing Krebiozen. He begged to be put on the drug. Dr Kloper started treatment and soon, Mr. Wright’s tumors, started melting away, until they were half their original size. With further treatment, Mr. Wright regained his health, and was released from the hospital to lead a normal life.
A few months later, a report surfaced stating that Krebiozen was not effective, upon hearing this, Mr. Wright's health quickly deteriorated to its former state. Dr kloper, was curious to see, if Mr. Wright’s mental state, had anything to do with his improvement and now the reversal of his health. He told Mr. Wright that, Krebiozen had been improved, and with much pomp and ceremony, began to treat him again, with injections of a saline solution, that Mr.Wright believed to be the new improved drug. His tumors melted away again and he regained his health.
A few months later, a new report was released by the AMA, stating that Krebiozen was worthless and had no medicinal effect. Within days, Mr.Wright, was admitted to the hospital in a critical state, his faith shattered, his hope gone, within days he was dead. Belief can be a powerful thing!
What does all of this have to do with Jesus?
Some Examples Of Jesus' Healings
Well lets look at a some examples of Jesus’ healings. The first one deals with his healing of a centurion’s servant. “And Jesus said to the centurion, Go your way; and as you have believed, so be it done in to you. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour”. Matthew 8:13
Is this an example of the placebo effect? Jesus told the centurion “and as you have believed, so be it done in to you”. And the centurion’s servant was healed. As we saw above, belief, is the motor of the placebo effect. So is this healing a placebo effect?
Let’s look at another of Jesus’ healings. A woman who had some type of hemorrhaging problem for twelve years, believed if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes, she would be healed. "And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; your faith has made you whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour”. Matthew 9:20.
Was this also a placebo effect? “If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole” shows the woman really believed all she had to do was touch Jesus’ garment to be healed. Jesus telling her your faith, has made you whole, confirms that her belief/faith was the healing force. What do you think?
Ok one more.
Jesus healed two blind men but before he healed them, he did something interesting; he asked them if they believed he could do it. When they said yes, he healed them. But! He made sure they believed he could heal them before healed them. “And when Jesus departed there, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, You son of David, have mercy on us.28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus said to them, Believe you that I am able to do this? They said to him, Yes, Lord.29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith let it be done to you. 30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straightly charged them, saying, See that no man know it”. Matthew 9:27.
This, healing, really makes it plain, that the belief of the person, is the thing required for the healing to take place. Jesus asks them if they believe he can heal them. They say yes! He touches their eyes, and tells them, according to your faith, let it be done to you and they were healed.
Did Jesus heal them or did their belief heal them? What do you think?
The Final Nail In The Coffin
The final nail in the coffin, is that Jesus was not able to do perform and healings in his hometown, because the people knew him, and didn’t think too much of him, or that he was “all that”. Lets look at the text: "54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, From where has this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brothers, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? From where then has this man all these things? 57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief".
The people who knew, Jesus, are saying, who does this guy think he is! He’s just the carpenter’s son! They didn’t even refer to him by name. They were offended that he tried to teach them, show his wisdom, and tout his mighty deeds.So He wasn’t able to do any mighty works there, because they didn’t believe in him, had no faith in him, saw him as nothing special, just the carpenter’s son, Shocking!
If this isn’t, shocking to you true believers out there, it should be! Because, if Jesus is the lord, the savior, and the very creator of the universe in the flesh; why is it that peoples', belief, have anything to do with his ability, to heal them or to do great works? And why does his homies dis him?
Doesn't their responses show that Jesus' power to heal was really a placebo effect?
I'm really looking forward to hearing your comments on this one with great anticipation!