Why doesn't God heal amputees/the lame when it is explicitly mentioned in the Bible that he has the capacity to do so?

The first verse that comes to mind is Matthew 15:31;

The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

In fact, since most are Christians here, why does there appear to be a lack of miracles today as seen in “biblical times”?

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Nick and several of us are going around with each other on this very question in a neighboring thread, in case you want to check out some of the exchanges there.

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I don’t recall any such healings claimed in the OT. The odd resuscitation resurrection and dry leprosy healing, that’s it. The NT has a significant precursory claim in it that contextualizes its subsidiary claims.

In the Bible, miracles are signs that lead to belief. If you go to parts of the world where the gospel is unfamiliar in a community, there are often accounts of “signs and wonders” that lead to many conversions. Modern Western Christians tend to write them off, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.

I personally know multiple people who have experienced medical “miracles.” But again, people in the West tend to assume that doctors must have made a mistake with their initial diagnosis or that there is some explanation that doesn’t involve God. So, I think the lack of faith affects the prevalence of signs from God, both because people don’t recognize miracles as miracles and because God doesn’t perform a show, just to wow people.

Modern diagnosis is less and less mistaken. So where there is no mistake, where are the supernatural healings?

We’ve discussed this multiple times. Claims of supernatural healing are all over the place. People who are convinced they don’t happen won’t be convinced. I personally have zero interest in providing accounts for people to say why they don’t count.


Oftentimes faith comes first, at least in the Gospels and for the person healed. One that comes immediately to mind is the paralyzed man lowered through the roof. Another is the woman in the crowd who touched Jesus’ robe. Or how about the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter.

But Jesus first asked “do you believe it is possible” or some way had gained the person’s involvement.
God has given us free will so we need to be able to be involved in healing. It is not simply given without our involvement.

I personally don’t believe it happens because scripture teaches it’s not longer happening. There is zero evidence for it happening. In the Bible, unbelievers believed because of it. It was something fb anyone who had the gift could do at any time. It was instant. Dead coming back to life. Demons cast out. Prophecies of future events within that lifetime and so on. Shadows of those with the gift healed people. We don’t see it anymore.

As mentioned it’s discussed in several places and so I basically now just chime in and don’t jump into the discussions.

But there is a lot of work focused on theology.
The subject is called cessationism. That’s why you don’t see it anymore and that why not a single person can provide hard evidence of it that they can do this. This belief is also not western. It’s found in every nation.

This is a site that professes to pursue faith and science. Wherever they lead. This is where they lead. I find it fascinating that non-scientific claims of divine intervention in nature, now, can be of zero interest. That the rational, honest, intellectual claim of fideism is not of interest.

I didn’t say the claims were of zero interest, I said I wasn’t interested in hunting them down and posting them for people to dismiss.

Nobody is asking you to Christy. Except rhetorically. The fact that it would be an utter waste of time speaks for itself. If it could be done, it would have been. Like interstellar and time travel. Belief in statistically invisible miracles, the false claiming mechanism, that is of interest. That has to be addressed.

Here is another more specific direction that could be pursued by those obsessed with this topic: what sorts of miracles do we see accounts of in the Bible (and what sorts today)? And what sorts of miracles never seem to come up in the bible (and also never come up today - as atheists correctly - so far as I know - are fond of pointing out?)

Healings generally consist of internal sorts of things - life-threatening in some cases. But never do we see an entire missing limb restored, a cremated or burned person, or decapitated person brought back to life. Nor does this seem to happen in any biblical accounts. Jesus doesn’t make any attempt or express any interest in restoring the beheaded John-the-Baptist. I’m not aware of any incinerated people being brought back. It’s also interesting to me that the scriptures do seem to make much (for prophecy fulfillment purposes) of the fact that Jesus never suffered a broken bone (much less a lost limb); unlike his comrades crucified at his side that had their legs broken. Now … I’m not saying that therefore there must exist certain extreme injuries or destructions which will forever stymie any possibility of resurrection in the end - the believer is obliged to believe that no kind of death can be permanent against the possibility of resurrection. But what I am pointing out is that it is interesting that what cessationism most obviously seems to apply to today, seems to have already been in force back then too during these supposedly halcyon “heydays” of miracles that Nick thinks was going on with Jesus & Co. Skeptics complain that no amputees have been restored. No mountains have been suddenly cast into the sea. And I’m left scratching my head then, wondering why people are under the impression that these sorts of things were happening back then. As near as I can see from scriptures, they weren’t. So what exactly is it that cessationists insist might have ceased? Or is it that God doesn’t just do anything and everything that might ever occur to us? Maybe in God’s created order, there is still an order of how things happen - that includes certain possibilities and even some rare and faith-driven events as well, but not every imagined possibility?

Just food for thought.

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I don’t think we read about a lot of it. Most of them are ambiguous in my opinion. Some are very crazy like waking on water, speaking unknown languages, prayers that control the weather and draw down fire, and people not dying in fire but dance within. Jesus replaced a ear, maybe a head or limb was reattached. Bringing a corpse back to life with your fingertips alone can cover any type of death I imagine. But it’s all still solved by my previous statement.

Yeah - I forgot about that one … While it isn’t an entire limb, I guess that account comes closest (unless there are others I also forgot about) to speaking of a missing thing being restored. If the (entire?) ear was completely severed, one wonders if Jesus would have asked for somebody to “pick that up - and let’s get it reattached.” … or would it be instead… “nevermind that bloody thing, I’ll just give’m a new one here.” But of course those sorts of questions are what tickle our 21st century ears. All the original writers knew was people were being healed and restored - in whatever ways were significant and real to them.

I see a difference in this thread from the other one because of the title.

Why doesn’t God provide undeniable proof for His own existence?

Because religion is dangerous!

Religious people already do so much damage, mayhem, and murder with the justifications they already have. God help us if they had any more. Wait a minute… God is helping us by providing no such thing as the fanatics would like.

I believe in the involvement of God in events ACCORDING to the laws of nature which He created and not in violation of them. The laws of nature are the structure and substance of life itself, without which there would be no life. What life certainly is not is some magical addition to the laws of nature.

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Which laws did He make up then?

Great question…you’re right there are tons of miracles in the Bible, and not all that many these days (or at least not like the ones in the Bible).

Hebrews 2:3-4 might be salient here:

How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Maybe God decided to give credibility to the early church movement by miracles and wonders, and then decided to cut back on that type of miracle business once the church gained momentum.

I know that doesn’t satisfyingly answer everything, but that’s a thought I’ve heard that seems to make some sense.

P.S. the Wikipedia article on Cessationism versus continuationism is a nifty exploration of this question.


A nice summary by yourself their Garrett, and wiki is good as ever, giving an historical summary.

Your summary is the only one that makes faith sense.

We are 40-60 laying on of hands away from the Apostles and there was at least an inverse square law going on from Jesus to them and onward. There are no claims of the feeding of the 50 three centuries on. It’s somewhat obvious that it ended with them.


That’s the same conclusion I came to as well. The study of apostleship ( or rather the study of laying on of hands by the 13 chosen by God, including Matthias and Paul ) , the fall of the temple prophecies by Jesus and the “coming of the kingdom within that generation all points towards spiritual gifts ceasing after the death of those 14 and the deaths of those they laid their hands on as scripture was being completed.

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