Silence and the "Gift" of Healing
I’ve often heard cessationists say that it is significant that the NT does not provide examples of the operation of such miraculous gifts as healing. From this they draw the conclusion that few, if any, in the early church had a special healing ministry.
But neither does the NT provide explicit examples of the operation of such gifts as mercy or giving or faith or leading. People undoubtedly showed mercy and gave and led and the like, even as they prayed for the sick (James 5), but in none of these instances is the word charisma used. Surely cessationists would not, for that reason, deny the validity of the gift of mercy or the gift of giving or the gift of leading. Why then question the validity of the gift of healing or the gift of working miracles? We should be no more surprised by the lack of reference to people with a special healing ministry than by the lack of reference to people with a special evangelistic ministry or a special encouraging ministry.
[Adapted from my contribution to Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Four Views (Zondervan), 161.]