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 John 4:43-54
(Read also 1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Seek Him for Who He Is
At this point, Jesus had just left Samaria and at the passages just before, we see that they now believe Jesus is the Savior of the world because they saw and heard for themselves. Jesus began His ministry by gathering His disciples and travelling throughout the land sharing the good news of God’s Kingdom to all who would listen. In these passages, Jesus had left the Samaritan region and headed back toward his home turf, the area around the Sea of Galilee. He and the disciples ended up back in Cana, the place where He had performed his first public miracle, turning water into wine. Many people had heard of Him as a result of the “wine miracle,” as well as witnessed the miracles He recently performed in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival. So, when He arrived back in the area, it was no surprise to see crowds gathering wherever He went. But, it would have been shocking, in those days, for a Roman Official to even speak to Jesus, much less beg Him for help. Remember, all of the area within which Jesus travelled was governed by the tyrannical Roman Regime at the time, and Jews were considered inferior in all aspects to Roman citizens. Despite all of that, Jesus healed the Roman’s son immediately upon request.
An important truth revealed in this passage is that Jesus came for ALL people, not just the Jews, or any other select group. He came for whosoever! Another truth we see here is that Jesus’ words are not constrained by time or space. The words Jesus spoke on earth thousands of years ago, have the same force and effect today. He spoke it and it was done! Both principles are mind-blowing; but, perhaps, we should also pay close attention to what Jesus said to the crowd when the Roman’s request for healing was made that day. Jesus audibly observed, “[U]nless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.” All of His words are important, so why did He say this?
Again, He’s letting us know that we must be careful not to seek Him only for miracles and wonders. Of course, those are fantastic, supernatural characteristics of Him, but He is so much more. Seeking Him solely for physical healing, for example, may cause us to feel disappointed, if our “healing” doesn’t manifest quickly or in the way we expect. He wants us to seek Him for Who He is—the creator of everything that exists and the One who loves us the most. While seeking ALL of Him, we may find that our whole being is in a much better place than if we simply seek “the miracle physical healing” part of Him. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 that we were all created with three basic parts – a spirit, a soul, and a body: “And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let’s continue to seek all of Him so that our entire being (body, soul and spirit) will be whole.
Read John 5:1-15
We Must Participate
Jewish traditional customs often involve immersion in water for purposes of cleansing and/or healing. In these verses, we approach the Pool of Bethesda in the city of Jerusalem, a pool in which many believed they could be healed if they were able to enter the water at certain times. (Note: remains of this pool are still visible today.) Despite the likelihood of there being many folk at the pool that day with many different obvious ailments, John describes how Jesus directed His attention to one man, a man lying beside the pool who had been an invalid for 38 years! When Jesus approached the man, the one simple question He asked him was: “Do you want to get well?” This may seem to be a strange question to those nearby, because it seems obvious why the man is lying there. Maybe we should look closely at the man’s initial response, “Sir, I have no one to help me…someone else gets ahead of me.” The fellow made excuses that involved other people. Instead of responding to his excuses, Jesus simply commanded, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!” Miraculously, the man did just that!
During our healing process, let’s do what we can to participate in our healing. Let’s not make excuses, or blame someone else, if there are things we can be doing for ourselves to promote healing. For example, God may encourage a Type II Diabetic to treat his/her body as the Temple of the Holy Spirit by eating “God-Made” foods and exercise to become stronger. It may not be in the Diabetic’s best interest for God to miraculously heal rather than coach and teach him/her along the path to a healthier future. What we feast on, body and soul, will make a remarkable impact on our overall well-being. Let’s be diligent in doing the obvious: making wise food choices, exercising regularly, and leaving the supernatural to Him.
Read John 5:16-47
In today’s passage, Jesus is telling His audience who He is and what His purpose is. It’s such a privilege to be able to hear from His own words! He tells us that He and The Father are together in all aspects. This is huge! Jesus and The Father act in the same way. They heal, they raise from the dead, they acknowledge those who honor them, and eternal life is freely given to those who believe in them! How beautiful and simple is that?
So, no matter what we experience during this brief time on earth, if we believe in the Father and The Son, we will have ETERNAL LIFE! If we suffer, even though for extended periods of time here on earth, what’s that in comparison to the joys we’ll experience in eternity?
Read John 6:1-15
Thankful for What We Do Have
The disciples feeding thousands of people with only 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread one day on a hillside by the Sea of Galilee is described in the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It’s a BIG event. There are many observations of importance in this passage, of course, but let’s look at one in particular. John’s passage says that a boy who had 5 loaves and 2 fish gave all he had to Andrew, then Andrew gave the same to Jesus, and Jesus gave thanks for what was given Him. Even though it was obvious to all that the food was insufficient in every way to feed so many people, Jesus gave thanks for what He had in His hand! The next thing we read is that the disciples began to distribute the food among the thousands of people! Imagine yourself in the crowd sitting with your family. (Note: It’s a somewhat grassy hillside with a gentle slope leading to the water’s edge. The acoustics on the hillside looking down upon the Sea of Galilee are excellent; likely all the people spread along the hillside could hear Jesus’ voice clearly.) With a small amount of stinky fish and hard, crusty bread in His hand, Jesus was grateful!
None of Jesus’ actions or words go without meaning. So, we must assume that it is important in the Kingdom of God that His children are continually grateful for the good things they have been given. If we’re suffering in one part of our bodies, perhaps we should be grateful for the other properly functioning parts. We can always find plenty for which to be thankful if we simply try. After Jesus’ sincere gratitude was displayed, manifestation of one of the most famous miracles ever began to unfold. Again, many believed in Him because of the miracles He performed. Purpose fulfilled!
Read John 6:16-24
After witnessing thousands of people being fed with only a small amount of food, and tons being left over after everyone was full, let’s take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee back over to Capernaum along with the disciples. The scripture says it’s now dark so perhaps we can take turns rowing and napping while we glide over to the other side. We’re thinking, “Too bad Jesus didn’t get on the boat with us, we could have asked Him a hundred questions about today’s miracle.” Once we’ve rowed about halfway across, the winds begin to blow, the boat begins to rock, and the waves begin to roll. (Note: The current residents around the Sea of Galilee can describe how quickly a storm “all of a sudden” appears on that Sea, which is actually no bigger than a lake.) To make matters worse, we see what appears to be a person walking on top of the water coming straight toward us! To describe us as frightened is an understatement! We automatically assume we’re going down, down, down. When we thought it couldn’t get much worse, we heard His voice, even above the sound of the wind and waves, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Confused, but relieved, we take Him into our boat, and the next thing we know is that there’s no storm, no further journey, and we’ve reached the other side! What a relief.