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.
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 Luke 13:10-17
Crippled by a Spirit
Here’s another account of Jesus healing on the Sabbath. He was teaching in the synagogue when He became aware of a woman, “crippled by a spirit.” The scripture says she was bent over, could not straighten up, and had been that way 18 years! Apparently, the physical manifestation of having oppression by a spirit was a contorted spine. Once again, we see that spiritual health is often connected to physical health. Notice that when Jesus healed her He used the words, “…you are set free…”. Then, He put His hands on her and she immediately straightened up!
It’s also important to see what she did in response to her being set free—she praised GOD!
Read Luke 14:1-14
“And they had nothing to say.”
Jesus had been invited to a Pharisee’s home to eat on the Sabbath. But, that’s not the only reason he was invited there. This passage says that there was a man there who obviously had an ailment, swelling of his body. It’s possible that, yet again, the religious leaders were trying to set Jesus up to violate the law of keeping the Sabbath Day holy. Notice how Jesus was consistent in His actions by addressing the physical condition of the man in His presence, even though He was only invited there for a meal. Once again, He questioned those in attendance about healing on the sabbath. Jesus continuously invited those around Him to learn the true principles of His Kingdom. Yet, the leaders’ calloused hearts were not receptive to His truths.
When Jesus substituted the leaders’ own children in the place of this sick man (or even the leaders’ animals) and asked if they would help them on the Sabbath, the scripture says no one had anything to say. They knew in their hearts that the right thing to do would be to help their child and/or their ox regardless of what day it was! Jesus wanted them to understand the ultimate purpose of this commandment. Keeping the Sabbath holy was for the people’s rest and for worship, not to prevent helping someone in need. Helping others can be considered a beautiful form of worship.
The scripture says Jesus took hold of the man, healed him, and sent him on his way. This man certainly received a great benefit from Jesus’ teaching that day. Jesus consistently healed those with needs, always with the purpose of spreading the goodness of the attributes of His kingdom.
Read Luke 17:11-19
Be in the Ten Percent!
While Jesus was on His way back to Jerusalem (and we know what ultimately happened in Jerusalem), He came near a village and TEN lepers began to yell for His help from a distance. Lepers were outcast, forced to live in seclusion, and strictly forbidden to get near anyone without leprosy. So, these lepers yelled for Jesus’ help! (How did they know who He was? Did His spirit draw them to Him?) Notice how they addressed Jesus, “Jesus, Master… .” Without hesitation, Jesus responded with instructions, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” What an outrageous command! These lepers could have been stoned if they had entered the village and attempted to see a priest. Yet, the scripture says, “and as they went, they were cleansed.” Doing what He said to do was crucial to their healing, no matter how outrageous the instruction seemed to be.
But, then, look what happens. Only one of the ten “came back, praising God in a loud voice.” Moreover, the scripture makes a point to let us know that the one who gave thanks was a Samaritan—not even Jewish! Then, Jesus asked where all the other nine were. When Jesus asked questions in the scripture, it wasn’t because He didn’t know the answer, He wanted to make a point. We’re still hearing this question today…where are the other nine? It’s also powerful to see how this passage closes; Jesus simply states, “…Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Read Luke 22:31-34; 54-62
“It’s Not About My Ability”
The enemy tries to make us think that we can’t, or shouldn’t, be healed, restored, or redeemed because we don’t deserve to be. He wants us to focus on our behavior, our performance, our frailties, and our faults. But Jesus’ power and desire to heal, restore, and redeem are NOT based upon OUR abilities or performance at all! Instead, healing, restoration and redemption are all gifts which come from Jesus based upon His abilities and His Word!
In today’s passage, Peter plainly denies that he even knew Jesus, not just once, but three times within a short span of time. Peter had been an eye witness to incredible miracles of Jesus, had experienced many hours of sitting under Jesus’ teachings, and had unequivocally promised never-ending devotion to Jesus earlier in the same day. Yet, Peter crumbled under the weight of the current circumstances. If Jesus wanted to teach us that our behavior determined whether we could be made whole, He could sure have used Peter for that lesson. To the contrary, we know that Peter was restored, redeemed, and even made to be the rock upon which Jesus built His church. (See Matthew 16:18.)
The enemy is the one who tries to make us think we don’t have this or that because we don’t deserve it. Demons don’t question Jesus’ abilities; they know His power. (See James 2:19) So, they try to attack our abilities. The truth is that our abilities are not even in the equation. It’s all about the redemptive, healing, and restorative power of the blood of Jesus. He has already done the work, now it’s up to us to believe in what He’s already done for us.
Read Luke 23:1-43
“You Can’t Earn What He Gives”
Let’s focus specifically on verses 39-43. We learn from the scriptures that there were two criminals who were also hanged on the same day as Jesus. They must have been hung in close proximity to be able to hear each other’s words even in their state of indescribable pain. This gruesome scene must have been even more horrific that any movie screen could depict. One of the criminals “hurled” insults to Jesus and seemed to mock him with his last breaths. The other criminal feared God, believed that Jesus was from God, and asked to be a part of His kingdom. Immediately, Jesus granted his request and declared by His words that the man would be with Him in paradise. Obviously, it was not physically possible for this criminal to right any wrongs or to have done anything of his own accord to earn citizenship into God’s kingdom. He was dying on a tree as a criminal, yet he gained full citizenship in the Kingdom of God because of his belief in Jesus. That’s the way we receive Jesus’s gifts, by believing what He has said in His Word.
An encounter with Jesus always demands a response…either a “yes” or a “no,” just like was depicted at the crucifixion. If we choose “yes,” He bestows citizenship upon us. Once we’re citizens of His kingdom, we must learn, through His Word, about all the rights and privileges of being in His kingdom in order to take full advantage of them. Thank goodness we don’t get what we deserve, we simply accept His gifts based upon His works, not our own! What freedom!
Read Luke 24:13-49
Open My Eyes, Lord
As long as we’re spending time with The Word, more and more truths will be revealed to us. The more we learn, the more we will understand and then be able to put into practice the benefits of citizenship into our lives. In today’s passage, we read that after Jesus’ resurrection, He presented Himself to two travelers, yet “they were kept from recognizing him.” As the men travelled along, they shared with this “stranger” what had taken place in Jerusalem the last couple of days. Jesus, in reply, began to share with them what was said about Himself in the scriptures. They seemed hungry for more. They invited Him to stay with them for a meal. While at the table, their eyes were opened to the truth of who this man was—Jesus, the one who was crucified yet alive and dining at their table! “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
We must let Him open the scriptures to us. When He sees that we’re hungry for more, He will reveal more. We decide how much of His goodness we want.