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“Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” —Luke 10:8-9
When Jesus sent seventy disciples on ahead of him, part of their mission was to heal the sick. In fact, they were supposed to heal the sick before they preached the Gospel. Best-selling author Mike Aquilina calls this command the healing imperative. And it’s an imperative that ushered in the world of modern medicine. The Healing Imperative: The Early Church and the Invention of Medicine as We Know It reconstructs the fascinating history of a uniquely Christian institution: the hospital. Underlining how the virtues of charity and hospitality motivated the first generations of Christians, along with Jesus’ explicit command to heal the sick, Aquilina shows just how revolutionary the actions of Christian doctors and nurses were and how they transformed society in ways that still reverberate today.
The radical developments in health care spearheaded by Christians influenced culture, society, and civilization. As The Healing Imperative proves, now more than ever, the compassion of Christians is needed to guide the world of medicine. Jesus’ command still resonates, and Aquilina urges us to respond.