Elementary Teachings: Laying on of Hands

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Laying on of Hands:

Jesus and His disciples laid their hands on people for various reasons.  Following are examples of miraculous and non-miraculous laying on of hands recorded in the New Testament:

Jesus lays His hands on children during prayer to bless them:

Matthew 19:13-15 -- "Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.  But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.   And after laying His hands on them, He departed from there."  (NAS)

Mark 10:13-16 -- "And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them.  But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.  And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands upon them."  (NAS)

Jesus lays His hands on others to heal them:

Matthew 9:18-25 -- "While He was saying these things to them, behold, there came a synagogue official, and bowed down before Him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live."  And Jesus rose and began to follow him, and so did His disciples.   And behold, a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak;  for she was saying to herself, "If I only touch His garment, I shall get well."  But Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." And at once the woman was made well. And when Jesus came into the official's house, and saw the flute-players, and the crowd in noisy disorder, He began to say, "Depart; for the girl has not died, but is asleep." And they began laughing at Him.  But when the crowd had been put out, He entered and took her by the hand; and the girl arose." (NAS)

Mark 5:39-42  -- "And entering in, He said to them, "Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep."   And they began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child's father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was.  And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!").  And immediately the girl rose and began to walk; for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded."  (NAS)

Mark 6:4-5 -- "And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his home town and among his own relatives and in his own household."  And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands upon a few sick people and healed them."  (NAS)

Mark 7:32-35 -- "And they brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they entreated Him to lay His hand upon him.  And He took him aside from the multitude by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva;  and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!"   And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly."  (NAS)

Mark 8:22-25 -- "And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Him, and entreated Him to touch him.   And taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes, and laying His hands upon him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?"  And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I am seeing them like trees, walking about."  Then again He laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly."  (NAS)

Luke 13:12-13 -- "And when Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your sickness.  And He laid His hands upon her; and immediately she was made erect again, and began glorifying God."  (NAS)

Luke 4:40 -- "And while the sun was setting, all who had any sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on every one of them, He was healing them."  (NAS)

Apostles also had the power to heal by the laying on of hands:

Acts 8:17-18 "Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.  Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money..."   (NAS)

Acts 28:8 -- "And it came about that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him."   (NAS)

Others coveted (desired) in vain this same power that the apostles possessed:

Acts 8:18-24 -- "Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."  But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!  "You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.   "Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.  For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity."  But Simon answered and said, "Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me."  (NAS)

Other references to the laying on of the hands by Paul or the other apostles:

Paul writing to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:14 -- "Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery."  (NAS)

Paul writing to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:6 -- "And for this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands."  (NAS)

Hebrews 6:1-2 -- "Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment."  (NAS)

Acts 19:6 -- "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying."  (NAS)

Laying on of hands for the purpose of correction, rebuke or capture:

Matthew 26:50 -- "And Jesus said to him, "Friend, do what you have come for." Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him."   (NAS)

Mark 14:45-46 -- "And after coming, he immediately went to Him, saying, "Rabbi!" and kissed Him.  And they laid hands on Him, and seized Him."  (NAS)

Luke 20:19 -- "And the scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them."  (NAS)

Luke 21:12 -- "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake."  (NAS)

1 Timothy 5:20-22 -- "Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning.  I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.  Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin."  (NAS)

Luke 22:52-53 -- "And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber?  While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours."  (NAS)

John 7:30 -- "They were seeking therefore to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come."  (NAS)

John 7:44-45 -- "And some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him.  The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, "Why did you not bring Him?"  (NAS)

Acts 4:3 -- "And they laid hands on them, and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening."  (NAS)

Acts 5:17-18 -- "But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy; and they laid hands on the apostles, and put them in a public jail."  (NAS)

Acts 21:27-28 -- "And when the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the multitude and laid hands on him..."  (NAS)

Laying on of hands for the purpose of blessing or commissioning for a new work:

Acts 6:3-6 -- "But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.   But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.  And the statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.  And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them."  (NAS)

Acts 13:2-3 -- "And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."  Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away."  (NAS)

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