Discovering Healing Accounts in the Gospels
(Note from H.E.A.L. Team: This week, you will have 6 days of reading instead of 5.)
Note from the HealingStrong Team:
We are praying for you as you take this journey to discover truths from the healing accounts in the Gospel of Mark. Since this is the second reading of the Gospel account of Jesus’ healings, we encourage you to have your notes from Matthew close at hand to reference. There is a reason the Gospels are side by side and these treasures represent different vantage points. Read through the introduction in day one and you may be surprised by some of Mark’s own story. Mark was not a Disciple of Jesus.
Please take time to pray and ask God to help quiet your mind each day, set aside time to study, and read God’s word. Use a personal journal to document your notes and answer the questions in each daily reading.
If you are able, we encourage you to read all of Mark…not just what we have highlighted for you. Reading through the entire book of Mark first and highlighting those healing verses we have provided for you in this part of the study will enrich your study and time with God. If you only have time to read the devotions below, we know your time will be blessed no matter what!
We’ve created an acrostic to help us remember some key points to turn this time of study into a time of spiritual growth and personal healing.
Honor God with your commitment of time to study His word.
Examine your heart and pray to invite Him into your study.
Ask God to reveal His truths in the passage.
Listen to what He says and write it down.
Digging deeper into these books will reveal truths that will change the way you view healing, and most important draw you closer to our Heavenly Father. May God bless you as you commit your time and heart to study His word.
Read Mark 8: 11 – 21
Forgetting God’s Past Provisions
Have you ever gotten in the car and realized once on your way that you had forgotten something? Not a good feeling. Today’s account is not an actual healing, but it certainly has a principle to remember when you are on your healing journey. The principle is to never forget God’s past provisions on your behalf.
Here’s a little backstory into this account. Jesus and his disciples had just fed 4000+ men, women and children with just seven loaves of bread. Don’t get this confused with the story of the feeding of the 5000 with five loaves of bread and two fish. That was an account before this one. This was the second time Jesus had performed a miracle and fed such a huge crowd.
Now, Jesus and the disciples are sailing in a boat and the disciples had forgotten to bring bread with them for the trip. They only had one loaf in the boat. Instead of remembering God’s provision from the very recent past, they completely forgot about the miracle they had just seen and experienced first hand. Talk about miracle amnesia. Jesus himself had to remind them of the past two miracles concerning bread and all the leftovers they gathered.
Just like us, the disciples have seen God do amazing things in their lives, but can easily forget these past provisions and get caught up in the current circumstances. You may not have seen a huge miracle as they did, but how often do we run to God, fearful He won’t come through with our problem. The reality is He’s right there with us, waiting for us to put our trust in Him.
- Jesus said to the disciples when they were talking about bread, “Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” What do you think Jesus felt like upon seeing they still didn’t clue in to who He was?
- Have you forgotten some of God’s victories or provisions on your behalf?
- What are ways you can recall His provisions?
Activity: Take the time to recall and write down times when God came through for you. Jot down a word that will remind you of that memory or victory and place it somewhere where you’ll see it daily as a reminder of His faithfulness.
Read Mark 8: 22-26
Second time’s a charm
We find Jesus visiting the village of Bethsaida in this account. Some people brought a blind man to him and they begged Jesus to touch the man. Instead of healing the man right there on the spot, Jesus took him by the hand and, likened to the account of the deaf man in Mark 7:31-36, Jesus led him away from the crowds.
Once outside the village, Jesus spit on the man’s eyes, and put his hands on him. Jesus asked him what he saw and the man replied, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” So this tells us it wasn’t an immediate, all at once healing. Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes and then his eyes were opened and he saw clearly.
This second time his sight was completely restored — no longer did he have vision blurry, but 20/20. Isn’t it interesting how the healing took place in stages. Do you think Jesus could have healed the man all at once? Once the man was healed completely, Jesus instructed him to not go into the village. Wonder why?
- What reasons do you think Jesus brought the guy out of the village to heal him?
- Can you relate to healing in stages? How does this passage speak to you?
- When Jesus heals, can we trust the outcome?
Read Mark 9: 14-29
If you can
Put yourself in the shoes of the father in this story. For years, he saw his son tormented by an evil spirit that caused the boy to have convulsions, suicidal tendencies and be mute. The boy could not even verbalize the agony he was going through. This desperate father sought the help of the disciples to rid his son of this demon, yet the disciples could not drive out the spirit. Then, Jesus came on the scene.
The man explained his son’s dire situation and how he had already reached out to the disciples for help, but to no avail. Then he said something many of us have found ourselves saying, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Look at Jesus’ response, “If you can?” Wow! Can you imagine Jesus saying that to you? Jesus followed up that question by saying, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Everything. Belief is key to the possible.
The man was honest with Jesus and said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Do you find yourself in his shoes? Jesus, if you can heal my cancer…Jesus if you can heal my son… Jesus, if you can heal my marriage. If you can… fill in the blank.
Jesus commanded the spirit to come out of the man’s son. Do you think his prayer asking for help with his unbelief was answered? We can all learn from the compassion of Jesus to work with us and heal us despite our own unbelief.
- Do you identify with the father of this story? In what ways?
- Have you ever prayed “if you can” prayers to Jesus? What was the result?
- Do you believe everything is possible if you believe? How does this man’s added prayer to his exclamation that he believes (… help me overcome my unbelief) speak to you today?
Read Mark 10: 46-52
Throwing His Cloak Aside
Blind begger Bartimaeus sat day in and day out by his cloak on the roadside of Jericho begging for food or money. This was his life. Bartimaeus heard Jesus was walking by and instead of quietly begging, he yelled loudly for Jesus. He didn’t care that others were trying to shush him. Because of his loud calling, Jesus said, “Call him.” Reminds me of the saying: The squeaky wheel gets oiled. Good ol’ Bart threw his cloak aside, the item that most likely identified him as a begger, and scrambled onto his feet to move toward the voice of Jesus.
Imagine Jesus asking you, “What do you want me to do for you?” Isn’t that the million dollar question we’d all love Jesus to ask us? Bartimaeus answered in a very straight-forward manner, “I want to see.” And Jesus’ response was, “Go. Your faith has healed you.” Suddenly, he could see. The man, Jesus, had given him exactly what he asked for and more, including freedom from a life of relying on others. His desire after — to follow Jesus.
- Is there a metaphorical “cloak” in your life, the daily reminder of your illness or condition?
- What would you say to Jesus if he asked you, “What do you want me to do for you?”
- Bartimaeus had to get up and move toward Jesus’ voice. Has Jesus called out to you for something and is awaiting your response?
Read Mark 15: 21 – 16: 8; Psalm 22
Jesus is resurrected
One can’t read the resurrection story without first seeing how Jesus suffered on the cross for the sins of all humanity – you, me, everyone. This innocent man took on the sins of the world so that you and I could be forgiven of our sins and reconciled with God. His blood poured out for you and me bridges that gap to God that sin caused. Take a moment to really experience the who, what, why, when and how of the crucifixion before you get to the resurrection part. It’s a moment in time that literally changed history and has eternal consequences. Don’t miss a detail!
Scripture tells us that during the crucifixion, there comes a time of great darkness over the land and Jesus cries out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was quoting Psalm 22, a prophecy of his crucifixion, describing His experience and asserting the victory of God over death. He knew this was the fulfillment of God’s plan. At that very moment, Jesus was experiencing the horror of separation from His heavenly father because His father could not look on sin, the sin that Jesus was bearing on our behalf. When we place our faith and trust in Him, we can know that He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. ” Psalm 103:12 We will never be separated or forsaken by God.
After his death, Jesus’ body was quickly taken and put in a garden tomb as the Sabbath was approaching and they could not leave a dead body outside. Due to the haste of taking his body down, it wasn’t properly prepared, so that’s why on Resurrection Day, the two Marys, and Salome were headed to visit the tomb to prepare Jesus body with spices. They came to the tomb in obedience to do what was right, wondering about the obstacles that they may face. Did you catch in the account what the women were worried about? They asked each other: “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” Scripture tells us, the obstacle was never a barrier for God.
Place yourself in the sandals of the women as they arrived to an empty tomb. The stone had been rolled away. As they entered, an angel sitting there, told them “He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter.”
The angel pointed out “and Peter”. Do you think God knew Peter needed extra encouragement that even in spite of his mistakes of denying Jesus during his arrest, he was still one of them! Do you think we sometimes need a reminder of who we are in Christ, in spite of what we think? Remember, Peter had just betrayed Jesus three times before he was crucified. What a beautiful promise that: Nothing in all creation can ever separate us from the love of God revealed to us in Christ. (Romans 8:39) The women came to the tomb preparing for death, but ran out of the tomb to share a message with the world: He is alive!
- How does that make you feel to know that Jesus also experienced a separation from God? Does that make you identify with Him more?
- What does that mean to you that the angel asked the women to tell “the disciples and Peter”? What does that say about God’s compassion and forgiveness?
- Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross specifically for you and your sins? Have you asked him to forgive you of your sins? If you haven’t asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life and to forgive your sins, we want to invite you to do that now.
Pray this simple prayer out loud and in your heart:
“Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe you died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust you as my Lord and Savior. Please help me to daily surrender to your will. In Jesus name, Amen.” Once you have prayed this prayer, please tell someone. If you would like to reach out to us at HealingStrong, we will pray with you and celebrate your new life in Christ. You can email us at: email@example.com.
Read Mark 16: 15-18
To those who believe
After Jesus had risen from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and gave the Great Commission. “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” This was not just meant for the disciples. It was meant for future believers like you and me. Jesus said, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
What tells us that this commission is for you and for me is the word “they”. Jesus did not say “you” when He was giving the Great Commission. He was talking about you and me. As believers in Christ, God has given us the ability, through His Son, to place our hands on sick people and they will get well. When we believe upon Jesus and accept Him as our Savior, His Holy Spirit lives in us and we have the very power that raised Jesus from the dead, that healed the blind and sick, and drove out demons, living in us. The disconnect comes when people misinterpret this power of healing as an individual declaration or proclamation. Jesus is the ultimate Healer and He does so for one purpose only…to bring glory to God our Father. Do we know the Father’s will? We do not; however, His word gives us an idea of glorious riches and promises He supplies.
The power to heal is in the name of Jesus. It is not by our might or will at all. Healing is to bring ultimate glory to God. Each healing account we have read in Mark was a time when a person was healed — and what followed? Jesus got the glory.
It’s time to go out into all the world with your story. It’s time to believe. Give God the glory on your good days, your bad days and all in between. History is simply — His Story as told through His people. You have a great opportunity to share what He is doing with you right now. So go out and tell!
- Do you believe that through God’s power, today, we can still lay hands on people and they will be healed? Where does the power come from?
- Are you telling your story of God’s grace to others as you heal? If not, what is keeping you from doing that?
- What are ways that you can preach the good news?