Did Jesus Ever Get Sick?

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Did Jesus ever get sick?

An Anonymous Reader

The Bible doesn’t record Jesus being sick, and it doesn’t say that He never got sick…so we don’t really know.

Some presume that He never got sick because He is God, but they forget or ignore that He is also fully human. He grew in wisdom and stature, got hungry, got tired, got frustrated, felt pain…so there’s no reason to assume that He never got sick. Hebrews 2:17 says that “He had to be made like His brothers in every way”.

Some have suggested that Jesus simply healed Himself whenever He started getting sick. That doesn’t seem to be a good answer, because Jesus says over and over in John that He did nothing on His own…it was His Father who was doing His work through Jesus. The Father could have kept Jesus from getting sick, but we have no evidence that He did or did not.

So: the answer to your question is “I don’t know”…but – from what I can tell – it’s also “Probably”.


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12 responses to “Did Jesus Ever Get Sick?”

  1. Steve Morris says:

    Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 

  2. Susan says:

    Your answer is short and great. Thanks

  3. Henry says:

    Yes he must have been sick to understand how we feel ..Hebrews 2:17 says that “He had to be made like His brothers in every way”.so if we re sick atimes as human am sure he felt what is like to be sick.

    • Tony says:

      Henry:

      Thanks for writing! Your response is the most common one. I’m not sure that Hebrews 2:17 means quite what you’ve suggested, though. First, let’s look at the verse in context, from verse 11 to 18:

      Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters… Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

      Thinking about it carefully, there’s at least ONE way in which Jesus was NOT made like all of us “in every way.” You and I were born broken, with a sinful nature inherited from Adam. We have sinned, you and I… and we have felt the guilt and shame that rightfully comes with it. That is, I would suggest, one of the defining characteristics of humanity as we exist today. Jesus never sinned, so He never felt the disgrace of disobedience. Jesus – in a strictly human sense – could never understand what spiritual failure is like. If Hebrews 2 suggests that Jesus understands EVERYTHING that we feel, I would suggest that Hebrews 2 is wrong because it contradicts passages that tell us Jesus never sinned, like 1 Peter 2:22 and 1 John 3:5 and 2 Corinthians 5:21.

      I would not suggest that Hebrews 2 is wrong, of course. I would suggest that it simply doesn’t say that Jesus understands everything we go through. He’s never personally known drug addiction, or had a gambling problem, or slammed His finger in a middle-school locker. It does say that Jesus was made fully human. While He IS like us in all of the ways that make us human, He is NOT like us in that He never sinned.

      I’m sure He was sick at some point. I’m sure He lived through most of what we have lived through… but there are many things that we can experience that He did not.

      Does that make sense?

  4. Caroline Griffin says:

    Jesus was not born into sin .,never sinned. Therefore sinless couldn’t get sick like us. If it is not in the bible don’t speculate. It was written If everything was written down in the Bible about Jesus, Jehovah God’s Son the information of books the world 🌎 🙏 couldn’t contain it.

    • Tony says:

      Caroline:

      With respect, your comment doesn’t make much sense. If something isn’t in the Bible, we can ONLY speculate about it. It IS a bad idea to make theological claims that don’t appear in the text… and you do exactly that when you say that Jesus couldn’t get sick because He was sinless. Yes, He was sinless… but that doesn’t mean He couldn’t get sick. That idea is based on the traditional view that sin in the Garden of Eden introduced death, but that’s not in the text either. It’s likely there WAS physical death for plants and animals before the Fall, but not spiritual death.

      The Bible doesn’t say that there was no physical death before the Fall. The Bible doesn’t say that Jesus couldn’t get sick. Both of those are speculative. That’s okay, but it’s never okay to take a stand on speculation alone. Does that make sense? There are things we simply don’t know, and that’s okay. We don’t have to have all of the answers.

  5. Moses says:

    Isaiah 53:3. He was a man of sorrow and “pain”, acquitted with grief and “sickness”. Isaiah 53:10 …He has put Him to grief and “made Him sick.” From amplified Bible. To me it’s clear if Jesus was bruised, experienced sorrow and pain, then sickness was part of it as mentioned in those scriptures.

    • Tony says:

      Moses:

      I appreciate your comment. I don’t see anything in Isaiah 53 to indicate whether Jesus ever got sick. It may seem clear to you (and to others) but I’m not convinced it’s a good idea to draw a conclusion in that way.

  6. Moses says:

    I think if Jesus was familiar with sorrow, grief and sickness as it is clearly stated as well as being put to grief and sickness as those scriptures state in amplified Bible, it is likely He experienced it all.

    • Tony says:

      Moses:

      We agree that it seems likely that Jesus was sick at some point. However: your own words highlight the trouble with drawing a final conclusion:

      • “To me it’s clear…
      • “if…
      • “I think…

      I would guess that you’re right… but it’s only a guess. Because Scripture isn’t clear, we must remain undecided.

  7. Brigitte Rosales says:

    Scripture is clear. As it is written:

    1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tendershoot, And like a root out of dry ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we would look at Him, Nor an appearance that we would take pleasure in Him. 3 He was despised and abandoned by men, A man of great pain and familiar with sickness; And like one from whom people hide their faces, He was despised, and we had no regard for Him. 4 However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore, And our pains that He carried; Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted, Struck down by God, and humiliated. 5 But He was pierced for our offenses, He was crushed for our wrongdoings; The punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him, And by His wounds we are healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the wrongdoing of us all To fall on Him. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off from the land of the living For the wrongdoing of my people, to whom the blow was due? 9 And His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. 10 But the LORD desired To crush Him, causing Him grief; If He renders Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, For He will bear their wrongdoings. 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the plunder with the strong, Because He poured out His life unto death, And was counted with wrongdoers; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the wrongdoers.

    • Tony says:

      Brigitte:

      First, welcome! Next, Scripture is always welcome here. =) For those who aren’t aware, this is Isaiah 53. Brigitte used the NASB, which is great. My link is for the NIV.

      Let’s assume that you and I agree that this passage is 100% true. That’s what I believe, and it appears that you believe it as well. We’re in agreement about the nature of Scripture, and we agree that the words you’ve posted are straight from the Bible. I’m sure we also agree that this passage is about the Messiah… and that Jesus IS that Messiah. My Bible and your Bible say the same things… so we’re 90% of the way to agreeing.

      Yet we don’t quite agree. Why? It’s not because I doubt the truth of Scripture. I don’t. It’s not because I think you’ve misquoted the passage. You didn’t. We disagree – a minor issue, to be sure – on how to understand the passage. I’ve written that we don’t know if Jesus ever got sick. You suggest that the Bible clearly says that He did, and suggest that this passage tells us that He did. Again: this isn’t a huge issue. I’m more concerned with how people handle Scripture than with convincing them that my position is correct. My question here is whether you’ve handled this passage as wisely as you might.

      You see, we have a tendency to find what we’re looking for in Scripture… and to overlook what we’re not looking for at that moment. For example, many teachers quote Malachi to support the idea that Christians should tithe… but they overlook the fact that Malachi was written to Israelites in the context of the old covenant, and that the tithe was used to take care of people who couldn’t own land in the Promised Land. If you and I lived there at that time, we would RECEIVE the tithes instead of giving them! These teachers find in Malachi instructions for tithing, but they overlook the context. For this reason, they draw a faulty conclusion and misapply the text.

      In a similar way, it seems that you’ve found what you were looking for… and possibly overlooked what you weren’t looking for. Why do I say that? I’ll divide into two groups what you found, and what you seem to have overlooked.

      FOUND:
      familiar with sickness
      it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore
      OVERLOOKED:
      He grew up before Him like a tender shoot
      like a root out of dry ground
      despised and abandoned by men
      He did not open His mouth
      His grave was assigned with wicked men
      He had done no violence
      He will see His offspring
      He will divide the plunder with the strong

      If we’re to understand the “found” things in the same way as the “overlooked” things, we’re going to be in a bit of trouble. Again: you and I agree that Isaiah 53 is 100% true, and trustworthy, and accurate. It’s God’s Word. However: there are good and not-so-good ways to understand what God has said. Did Jesus grow up like a tender shoot? What does that mean? Was Jesus despised and abandoned by all men, or just some men? Was Jesus’ grave assigned with wicked men? Did Jesus do any violence? I’d suggest that He did, as recorded in John 2 when He made a scourge and drove both people and animals out of the temple courts. Did Jesus have offspring? Did Jesus divide any plunder?

      We recognize that some of the language used in Isaiah 53 must be figurative, rather than plain and literal. If being familiar with sickness, and bearing our sicknesses, means that Jesus was sick… then it must mean that Jesus had every sickness and every disease that any human being could ever have. That doesn’t make sense. Many people would say that Jesus took all of our sicknesses and diseases on the cross. That doesn’t make any more sense than the other. Why? Because Jesus’ body, after His resurrection, bore the scars from His torture and crucifixion. Had Jesus actually – literally – been sick with everything that any human being had ever been sick with, He would have had leprosy scars and acne scars and chicken pox scars and every other kind of leftover from everything we’ve ever suffered from.

      I don’t believe that you really believe that. You might, but I’m betting that you don’t. I’ll bet that you also see the “overlooked” parts as true, but not necessarily literally true. If that’s the case, then it makes sense to take the rest of the passage in the same context: true, but not necessarily literally true. I don’t mean that it’s symbolic or non-real. I mean that it’s a bit poetic in its true depiction of what the Messiah would – and later did – go through.

      Again: I don’t think that whether Jesus was ever sick is a very important topic. We should simply, as you’ve done, look to Scripture for those answers. What the Bible tells us, we can trust. We should avoid claiming what it doesn’t say. In this case, it doesn’t seem prudent to say that Isaiah 53 says that Jesus got sick. I wonder whether you can agree. If not, I’m okay with that. =)

      What do you think?

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