The patient was a 68-year-old woman who needed her gall bladder removed. The doctor was Jacques Marescaux. He was located in New York and she was located in Strasbourg, France. On September 7, 2001, using high-speed telecommunications and a sophisticated surgical robot, Marescaux performed the first successful telesurgery (remote surgery) thousands of miles away from his patient.
Telesurgery allows a doctor to perform surgery on a patient who is not physically in the same location. Using a robotic surgical system and a data connection, surgeons can perform basic forms of surgery without the need for patients to travel beyond their local hospital. It also allows for specialized surgeons to be available to patients anywhere in the world. Remote surgery has limitations and is not yet in widespread use.
A centurion in Capernaum once asked Jesus to perform a type of distance healing on his dying servant. The soldier was well respected by the people in town and had heard of Jesus’ miraculous powers. When one of his favourite servants fell ill and lay near death, he sent messengers requesting that Jesus heal the man. When the Great Physician began making His way toward the centurion’s home, he finally spoke directly
to Christ, expressing his belief that Jesus needed only to speak and his servant would be healed.
The Bible says, “When Jesus heard these things, He marvelled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, ‘I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’ ” (Luke 7:9).
There are no distance limitations for God’s ability to hear and answer our prayers for healing. Whether Jesus heals instantly or restores us at the resurrection, we may know that when we ask in faith, we will be heard.
Precious Lord, no matter how far away I may feel from You, may I trust that Your healing touch can reach me where I am.
For Further Study: Luke 7:1–10; Isaiah 59:1; Matthew 4:24