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Numbers 21 - A Powerful Bible Passage for Healing

Do you need healing, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual? The Bible is full of wisdom and guidance, and it contains a powerful bible passage for healing. In this blog post, we'll explore the typology of the cross and how it relates to healing, drawing inspiration from Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-17.

We'll also look into the meaning of "Sozo" in the New Testament and how it relates to salvation, healing, and deliverance. So, let's embark on a journey of faith and healing through the pages of the Bible.

Bible Passage About Healing

Numbers 21 - A Powerful Bible Passage for Healing


Lets read Numbers 21:4 - From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food." 6 Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

Our study begins with a story from the book of Numbers, a narrative that holds a profound message about healing. In this passage, the Israelites are in a state of sin, leading to a divine consequence. God sent venomous snakes among them, and these snakes bit the people, causing illness. It's important to note that the scripture says, "many people of Israel died" which implies that not everyone perished. Some were severely afflicted, but they did not succumb to the poison.

As we continue through the story, the children of Israel recognize their sins and repent. God, in His wisdom, offers them a conditional remedy—a bronze snake on a pole. Those who looked upon it were restored to physical health. This act of looking at the bronze snake, established by God, was a powerful means of immediate healing. Notice that God did not eliminate the snakes here; instead, He provided an instant remedy through faith.


This passage from Numbers 21 speaks not only about spiritual repentance and forgiveness of sin but also about physical healing. It serves as a type, or picture, of Calvary, a foreshadowing of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Just as the bronze snake offered a solution for spiritual and physical healing in the Old Testament, we can draw a parallel to Calvary in the New Testament.

John 3:14-17 - 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

The world today mirrors a similar pattern. The consequences of the fall and sin have resulted in physical sickness and disease afflicting humanity. Just as in the story from Numbers, some people die due to illness, while others remain seriously ill. In Numbers, the bronze snake was a solution without exception for everyone who looked upon it. If this pattern holds, everyone who looks to Jesus can receive spiritual and physical healing today. The good news is that sickness has not been eradicated from the world, but God has provided a remedy.


To delve deeper into the concept of healing in the New Testament, let's explore the Greek word "Sozo." This word is translated as "saved" in John 3:17, and its meaning encompasses deliverance, protection, healing, preservation, and wholeness for the entire being—spirit, soul, and body.

"Sozo" is used throughout the New Testament to describe various aspects of salvation, healing, and deliverance. It's referenced 110 times in 103 verses, with 20 instances specifically relating to physical healing. Let's look at a few examples:

Speaking about salvation – Mark 8:35 - For whoever would save (sozo) his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save (sozo) it.

Speaking about healing – Luke 6:6 - On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7 And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. 8 But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, "Come and stand here." And he rose and stood there. 9 And Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save (sozo) life or to destroy it?" 10 And after looking around at them all he said to him, "Stretch out your hand." And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Speaking about deliverance – Luke 8:36 - And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed (sozo).


In Acts 4:12, we encounter a derivative of the same word, "Soteria." It says in Acts 4:12 - And there is salvation (soteria) in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (sozo).

This term, often translated as "salvation," means rescue, safety, and deliverance, both physically and morally. It includes concepts of health and well-being. In this context, Peter addresses the Sanhedrin, and his statement in Acts 4:12 pertains to the physical healing of a lame man at the Gate Beautiful through the name of Jesus Christ.


The Bible passage for healing, as seen in Numbers 21:1-9, John 3:14-17, and various New Testament references to "Sozo" and "Soteria," conveys a powerful message of healing through faith in Jesus Christ. Just as the bronze snake on the pole provided healing for the afflicted Israelites, the cross of Calvary offers spiritual, emotional, and physical healing for all who believe.

In today's world, where sickness and disease continue to afflict humanity, the message of healing remains as relevant as ever. God has not removed sickness from the world, but He has provided a remedy through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. By looking to Jesus in faith, we can experience healing and wholeness in spirit, soul, and body.


Finally, here are three practical steps that you can take and apply from the text:

Recognize the Need: The first step is to acknowledge your need for healing, whether it's physical, emotional, or spiritual. Just as the Israelites in Numbers recognized their sin and the consequences of their actions, it's essential to be honest. The Bible encourages us to come before God with our needs, knowing that He is a compassionate and loving Father who cares for His children.

James 5:13-16 - "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up."

Look to Jesus in Faith: Just as the Israelites were instructed to look at the bronze snake on the pole to receive physical healing, we are encouraged to look to Jesus in faith for our healing. In John 3:14-17, Jesus parallels the bronze snake and His crucifixion, emphasizing that belief in Him leads to eternal life. Trusting in Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross is a crucial step toward receiving healing.

Call for Prayer: As the above scripture from James says, "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church." When facing suffering, illness, or challenges, consider prayer your first step. Call for the support of the church community by involving the elders, who will anoint with oil and pray. In times of sickness, gather fellow believers who can join you in prayer and provide spiritual support. The passage also emphasizes the importance of the "prayer of faith." As you pray, do so with genuine belief in God's power to heal and restore. Trust that the Lord will respond and raise you up.


As you reflect on these biblical truths, may you find hope and encouragement in the promise of healing through faith in Jesus Christ. Remember that the word "Sozo" encompasses not only salvation but also complete well-being and restoration. Look to Jesus, in faith, for what you need.

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