Was Jesus ever sick?


Suddenly got stuck with this question. Did Jesus know sickness and pain, before his Passion, of course?

Did He even cry at birth?


I don’t see why he wouldn’t have - is there a reason you think not? :confused:


It’s the scandal of his humanity for many in his home town–that he was fully human in all ways except sin. They knew who his family was, that he certainly skinned his knees, probably collected odd things Mary didn’t want in the house, and no doubt ran and played like any other child. That’s the holy beauty of it all–that he was truly our brother, our new head, the Second Adam, like us and one of us in our daily struggles and lives.


The fact is that we can’t quite answer that question with certainty. We do know that Jesus was without sin, and pain, sickness, and death are all punishments due to sin.

Therefore, my best guess that Jesus never experienced sickness/disease, but He certainly could have experienced pain, both physical and emotional, since He entered this fallen world where pain and suffering exist.


Well, if Jesus wasn’t subject to the ills of the flesh he could never have died–not even on the cross. That’s the logical conclusion we’d have to reach with your premise. :slight_smile: Besides, illnesses often serve as nature’s way of innoculating us against the fatality of diseases. For example, once one has had measles you can never get it again. Polio spread widest where people were overly cautious about hygiene in the 20th century. We can’t know if Jesus ever had the common cold or ran a fever, but it’s quite possible since he subjected himself to being tired, and hungry, and footsore just like the rest of us.


Interestingly, that’s not true. Jesus did not die from His wounds on the cross. He surrendered His spirit and died at the moment He willed it. His soul left his body not due to any natural means, but due to the command of His own will.

An ordinary man would have died much sooner than Christ did, due to all of the ridiculously horrible tortures He endured, but Christ willed to live on until He had completed His crucifixion.

Theoretically, Christ could have just gone on living on the cross indefinitely, without dying, no matter what was done to Him, though He would experience all of the suffering.


Well, yes and no. He had a real physical body that would have grown old if he had not died on the cross. That he grew from a zygote to a viable human being proves that he subjected himself to the laws of nature. So, willingly giving up his soul in no way negated his natural state as a human being. It’s not that nothing could have destroyed his body, but rather that he chose the moment of his death.


According to St. Thomas Aquinas, our Lord experienced fear, sorrow, and sensible pain (S.T. III, Q. 15). As far as I know, he does not say explicitly whether our Lord was vulnerable to disease, but I think it could be inferred from what he writes on the previous question:

It was fitting for the body assumed by the Son of God to be subject to human infirmities and defects; and especially for three reasons. First, because it was in order to satisfy for the sin of the human race …] Secondly, in order to cause belief in Incarnation. For since human nature is known to men only as it is subject to these defects, if the Son of God had assumed human nature without these defects, He would not have seemed to be true man …] Thirdly, in order to show us an example of patience by valiantly bearing up against human passibility and defects.

In Art. 4, he goes into the kinds of defects our Lord would and would not have been subject to, e.g. he would not have suffered defects “incompatible with the perfection of knowledge and grace”, but he did suffer hunger, thirst, and bodily death.

It is worth noting, in line with what dshix wrote above, that

Christ did not contract these defects as if taking them upon Himself as due to sin, but by His own will.


I disagree. Natural death (and aging) is a direct consequence of sin, and therefore, a person who is without sin cannot die naturally. Jesus would not grow old, since the decay of the body is part of the consequence of sin.

Your argument that his growth into an adult proves he was subject to the laws of nature is true, but does not contest my point. Any being in the physical world is subject to the laws of nature, since God created them, and after the fall, the natural flow of human life includes death. However, that doesn’t mean that sinless persons are naturally bound or affected by the consequences of sin, even in this fallen world.

Sinless persons can certainly experience suffering from another person’s sin, however, and that is why Christ suffered in His passion.


See post #8.


Well, Jesus was seen to eat. Eating implies digestion, which is primarily the work of intestinal bacteria. Unless God provided some sort of holy barrier to differentiate good bacteria from the bad, I find it hard to believe that Jesus didn’t contract one of the many, *many *bacterial infections/diseases/conditions that were prevalent back then.


That’s one of the Questions We’ll Never Know the Answers For

If there is intelligent life on other planets, did Jesus’ death on earth provide them with salvation also? If it did, how did they get the message; if it did not, did He visit each planet and die for them too?


In one way I agree with the fact that as God he willed to die at precisely the right time. However, as man… “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil 2:8) This seems to imply that he did indeed die from the physical trauma of the cross and not just because he “willed” it.

It seems to me that at the moment when Jesus became man, he “became obedient [to the laws] of death”. That seems to me that that could very well have included sickness, otherwise he would not have been obedient to death, nor would he have been like man in all things. It is my understanding that when the Bible talks about physical death as evil this includes all of the natural evils, like sickness, as well. If he did not, that could bring into question his true humanity. Was he simply God wearing a body suit or was he truly human so that we can honestly call him not only Lord and God, but also brother?

This is a rather interesting discussion that perhaps we may never completely know the answer in this lifetime.


Just because Jesus was born a man and died for our sins here, does not mean other planets out there had the same thing happen, maybe their ‘salvation’ is accomplished thru other means, maybe there are worlds out there that do not have free will, our situation may be unique or it may not be…we cant know this until we have more information.

Regarding Jesus getting sick, I doubt it, even when he was a young child, he was still divine, so he was not like a normal child of that age, somehow I dont think bacteria would be able to infect or otherwise ‘attack’ a divine entity.


I believe the crying of babies at birth is vital to expand their lungs. It’s a natural response. I think it’s easy to lose sight of “fully human.”


That is an excellent point. He was true God and true man. I tend to lean to the side that though he willed his death, he did truly die from the anguish and torture of his passion as he knew he would, which makes his sacrifice even that much greater.


He is both fully human and fully divine. No, bacteria would have no effect on a divine entity, but bacteria would affect a fully human body. Just as nails would not affect a divine entity, nails obviously did affect the fully human body. Just as he allowed himself to be tortured, I don’t think that it’s hard to believe that he allowed himself to suffer other physical hardships as part of being fully human.

Obviously he didn’t have to, but I think it would be consistent with not only offering his death on the cross as a sacrifice, but actually offering his entire life from conception up to and including death as a sacrifice. His death being the summit, but everything else leading up to that point.

It doesn’t really seem plausible to me that Jesus was like Superman, otherwise he would be God only disguised as a human. If that’s the case, than his suffering and death was a charade. He had to be fully human and all that that entails in order to offer satisfaction truly as a human being to reunite God with mankind. If he was not fully human, and all that comes with that (like being subject to various sufferings including illness), than mankind would still have a debt that is impossible to pay.


Actually, Pilate was surprised that Jesus had died so early and the two thieves executed with him had to have their legs broken to make them die quicker.


In all seriousness, would Jesus eventually get gray hair? As an old man, would he be as spry as he was at 19 or would he have aged as other old men did? If Jesus was not subject to the direct consequence of sin, was it necessary for him to eat, sleep or drink since he couldn’t die naturally?


An ordinary man would have died much sooner than Christ did, due to all of the ridiculously horrible tortures He endured, but Christ willed to live on until He had completed His crucifixion.

I don’t think an ordinary man would have died sooner. If you remember from the scriptures, Pilate was surprised the Jesus had died so quickly. Quick death on the cross was unusual. Romans were experts at torture and execution, and they designed crucifixion to be as horrific as possible. They used drugs to blunt enough of the pain so that the condemned would last as long as possible, they wanted it to be a deterrent to others. I do agree with you that Christ died when He willed it.

Back to topic: I think it’s probable that our Lord did suffer from some illness growing up as part of his humanity. We know for a fact he suffered the grief of losing a father, the temptation in the desert after his ministry began, the pain of losing a friend (Lazarus), and then later the pain, betrayal, abandonment and suffering of the Passion. That he suffered all those other things makes me think it’s probable he also suffered physical illness, not due to sin but rather due to his willingness to make himself like us.

I think some of these posts are forgetting that Jesus was fully divine but also fully human. He did require sleep, food, etc. He could feel pain. He could suffer. He got hungry.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.