Was Jesus ever ill?

cold winter tablet hot
We feel rubbish sometimes – we catch diseases, have accidents  – thinking about Jesus being both fully human and fully divine my question is –  was he ever ill?
 I’ve often wondered if Jesus was ever ill-  we do not hear about any times in the bible when he struggled having caught flu or tripped and broke his leg.  Was he more divine then and therefore free of any disease or did he enter this world so fully human it was inevitable that he was ill at times and we it was not simply recorded?  The gospels are biographies and biographies at this time were written telling of achievements and competence forming history  – for example of Caesar and therefore recording details about getting flu wouldn’t be recorded. The gospels are short factual accounts.  They do tell us Jesus was hungry at times, he took himself off into the desert and fasted, he moved around a lot and healed others of diseases.  We never hear that he was too unwell to get up one day and the healing and miracles paused whilst he got better over a few days.
I have been challenged this week on a course entitled “Knowing God”  with the speaker Jane Williams.  We have faith that seeks understanding.  It is not unfaithful to explore the reality of God in fact it is our job to discern the character of God so we can act accordingly. So going back to the question about was Jesus ever ill?   I had thought about this before and concluded that no-  he was God so he would not have any diseases just as he has no sin but my thinking has changed if we accept that the reality of Jesus was fully human.  If God kept bits of humanity from Jesus (such as illness) then what other bits did he keep from him and does this make him more divine that human?  Jesus accepted the sign of baptism –  the sign of the fall and renewal so it makes sense to me that Jesus the  Emmanuel  “God with us” caught flu and had down days too.  Sin is different. Jesus was without sin so he definitely was not fully human in that respect but living amongst us, getting his hands dirty and catching diseases is another question.
How does that affect anything?  Well, somehow it delves into the character of God –  of Jesus sharing  life with us humans in the depths of our illness and struggles knowing that in him new and restored life is created.  It throws out the challenge to celebrate being human in every way and at the same time being children of God and not hanker after being more of one than the other.   Mmmmm what do you think?
   inPhoto by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Author: Vicar Jane's Reflections

Vicar of Sway in the beautiful New Forest. Passionate about sharing Jesus and in the renewal and reform of the church.

2 thoughts on “Was Jesus ever ill?”

  1. You wrote ‘… Sin is different. Jesus was without sin …’ I guess it all depends on how one defines ‘sin’. I have struggled with the word / concept off and on for many years. One of the most believable definitions I have heard relatively recently is that sin is ‘separation from God’. If that is a true definition, then Jesus was fully human but without sin, because he was never separated from God. And surely the whole point of his life and teaching was to show the way (The Way) for his followers to do/be the same.


    1. Thanks Wendy- really helpful comment. The word sin is so difficult to understand- (an ongoing process) and like you struggled with the concept- surely we can’t be that bad? I remember even as a child saying the words in a church service . “I am not so worthy to gather up the crumbs under thy table…” and refusing to say them because I believed God made me in his goodness and if he loved me he wouldn’t want me so unworthy… Yes I agree when ” separation from God ” became an explanation for sin and putting that into the whole context of the fall in Genesis and then purpose of the life death
      and resurrection of Jesus made sense.


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