The average life span for the people living in Jesus’ time was between 30 and 35 years. Some made it into their 50s and if they were fortunate, they might even live as long as 80. We know that people suffered from many skin issues. I imagine it being caused by exposure to the sun and other outdoor elements. Some of it may have been caused by bugs, irritating the eyes as they worked outside. To combat this issue, they would pour oil on their heads to keep the bugs away. (anointing with oil.) There are accounts of those with Leprosy, sores and boils. Different names to a lot of the ailments we know today. This disease would cause the loss of limbs and slow death of the body. It was also highly contagious. Separate communities were set up for people with this disease and they were isolated from the rest of society.
There is reference to female problems such as an issue of blood one woman was healed from as a result of her faith in Jesus. Husbands would stay away from their wives during the time of her period. Depending on the culture, many women were brutalized sexually. Sexual organs were mutilated as an act of dominance. It’s hard to believe, but this still goes on in certain areas of the world.
We hear about Peter’s mother-in-law being healed of a fever that had been plaguing her for some time. She immediately got out of bed and served Jesus. Fevers were common in this time and were considered an actual disease, rather than just a symptom. In fact the Talmud refers to fever as ”fire.”
We know there were physicians. Dr. Luke ministered to Paul when he was in prison – caring for his wounds as well as taking dictation for the book of the Acts of the Apostles. This was all done as Paul awaited his execution by beheading. Several people were healed from deafness, blindness, vocal impairment, lame bodies and demon possession. All of them by miraculous acts of Jesus and later his disciples.
Today there are cures for most of these things, but people still suffer being blind or losing their hearing. Some never learn to talk. Others have limbs which can be repaired, but there are still scars. Even though the devil has been defeated, he’s still allowed power in a sinful world. I believe he is in the center of mental and emotional illness which might be considered a form of demon possession. We have made many gains in health care today, but we still don’t have a cure for Cancer.
As we know, the Jews had strict laws regarding sanitation and cleanliness. They weren’t immune to sickness, however. They lived in a community of mixed cultures, so there was no shortage of germs. People were coming and going through Galilee on an ongoing basis, so they would bring disease with them. Since pain, suffering and death are all a result of man’s fall into sin, there is no escaping it.
Jesus may have seen many of his friends and relatives die at an early age from some disease. He would’ve seen suffering that we don’t see today, because of the advances in medical knowledge. He had the power to heal everyone, but the time was not yet right. Boys were confirmed in their faith at twelve and weren’t considered to come to the of age of manhood until they were thirty – precisely the age of Jesus when he started His walk to our salvation.
We may wonder if Jesus did anything miraculous when He was a child, but the Bible is very clear on that. When He performed His first miracle at the wedding of Cana, He told His mother that His time had not yet come – but then he changed water into the best wine ever created.
I believe that Jesus, the child, knew He was divine, because He’s God. I also believe He chose not to show that side of Himself until He reached the age of manhood. His childhood gave Him the experience of life as a human being. He experienced acne, growing pains, puberty, temptation and at the same time, He grew in knowledge and wisdom, never falling into sin.
This was all in preparation for the work He came to earth to do.