A considerable weight is given in Christian doctrine and tradition,
to the concept of a God who intervenes in human affairs to heal the sick.
A more considered approach must realise that this is unrealistic.
Where healing does occur it derives from mental assent
to the charisma of the healer; to faith in his power,
rather than to any magical power itself.
Maybe also from loyalty to literal biblical inerrancy
and even the common view that there is a link
between sickness and sin.
Physical healing seems to be reported repeatedly in the Bible,
perhaps because, without modern medicine, this was the only hope.
The shaman, or priest, was expected to offer a healing ministry.
It was, and is, a key part of the religious package
and sometimes it worked, and works.
However the Greek word used "sozo"
can be translated as meaning either "heal" or "save.".
Whilst Bible commentaries generally assume the former,
the latter is a more practical interpretation.
So we might suspect that many of the Gospel reports cover another change,
which is aligned to a change of heart rather to a physical healing;
A change of allegiance that needed to be hidden from authority;
A report of a change to a person's politico-religious allegiance.
Salvation from the soul-destroying nature of peasant life.
Here, in the Gospels, we may see the message of Israel's salvation
from the domination of Rome, the brutality of the Roman army.
Here we also see a reflection of the reports and messages
circulated around the country undetected by authority.
This could be a truer explanation, for some is needed,
of many of the healing miracles that the Gospels report;
unless the whole story is contrived to build our faith
and no practical reality is reflected here.