Week 4 : Matthew

Discovering Healing Accounts in the Gospels
Part 1: MATTHEW

Note from the HealingStrong Team:

We are praying for you as you continue this journey to discover truths from the healing accounts in the Gospel of Matthew. We want to encourage you to 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.

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.

DAY 1:

Jesus has Compassion on the Crowds

Read Matthew 9: 35 – 38

Jesus traveled through the towns and villages teaching, preaching and healing every disease and sickness.  This scripture makes a point to describe the crowds he encountered as harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  But the Good Shepherd had arrived and was able to meet their every need.

Jesus saw these heavily burdened people with eyes of compassion.  But he didn’t just see their physical ailments, he saw what burdened their hearts and souls.  He saw a field of people ripe for a spiritual harvest and he challenged his disciples to pray and ask the Lord to send more workers.

Questions:

  1. Have you ever felt beaten down and helpless like the crowds in this story?
  2. What does this tell you about Jesus’ desire for healing beyond the physical?
  3. What is our role when it comes to the harvest field?

Day 2:

Authority to Heal

Read Matthew 10: 1 – 8

In the military, commanders delegate authority to those serving under them.  For certain tasks, these subordinates are allowed to act and make decisions without seeking approval from higher headquarters.

In this passage, Jesus delegated authority to the 12 disciples to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.  Can you imagine having that kind of power? When humbly submitted to Jesus’ authority, the disciples were able to do miracles and heal people by the power of Jesus.

Questions:

  1. Why do you think Jesus gave the disciples the authority to drive out demons and heal the sick?
  2. Do you believe Jesus still gives that authority today?
  3. What do you think Jesus means when he says the kingdom of heaven is near?

DAY 3:

Weary and Burdened

Read Matthew 11: 28 – 30

When we or a loved one is struggling with pain, a disease or an illness, it’s a huge burden we carry with us daily.  That burden can manifest in anxiety, stress, depression, worry, disillusionment, weakness and fear of the future.  

Jesus gives us a great illustration of how He’s willing to walk with us side by side and carry our burdens.  Have you ever seen a pair of oxen being yoked? The yoke is a wooden beam that connects two oxen to enable them to pull a heavy load.  So Jesus is saying that when we are worried and burdened, we should pair up with Him.  

Jesus desires us to walk side by side with Him, to learn from Him.  Together, yoked with Jesus, we can all handle heavier loads and accomplish far more.  He describes his yoke as easy, but there is work to be done. In the Spiritual world, being  yoked with him is an act of faith. It’s not a wooden piece you hang over your shoulders, but means coming into a yoked and submitted relationship with Jesus.  It means we are not facing our life alone. 

To learn more about what it means to have two oxen yoked together, watch here: https://www.nytimes.com/video/dining/100000000802394/how-to-yoke-oxen.html

Questions:

  1. What is weighing you down?
  2. An “easy yoke” is a “custom” yoke of a particular animal, so it does not chafe or hurt when it is worn.  What does it mean to you to drop your yoke and come under the “easy” yoke of Jesus?
  3. How does that make you feel to think about joining up with the “Yoke-Master”, who is gentle and humble in heart?

DAY 4

Healing a Man’s Hand

Read Matthew 12: 9 – 14

This story is a great example of obedience when it may not seem to make sense.  A man had a shriveled hand. If you’ve ever seen people with certain disorders or ailments that curl up their hands, it would be impossible to stretch it out.

Notice Jesus didn’t say, “Show me your hand.”  That would have made sense and had been practical, but He said, “Stretch out your hand.”  That required the guy to obey and do what didn’t seem possible. But as he started moving his arm and hand towards Jesus, he activated his faith.  The result was that Jesus restored his hand, just as sound as the other one. 

Questions:

  1. What could God ask you that would stretch your faith if you were to obey?
  2. Do you think the man would have been healed if he simply showed his hand?
  3. Is there something you’re afraid to do that God is asking of you?

DAY 5

Jesus Heals a Blind and Mute Man

Read Matthew 12: 22 – 30

In this passage, Jesus heals a blind and mute man who was demon-possessed.  The people who saw this healing were astonished and wondered if he was the Son of David, yet not everyone in the crowd was for Him.  The Pharisees accused Jesus of working for the devil. Jesus knowing their thoughts, admonished them about creating division amongst the people.

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined…”  These Pharisees were not there to celebrate the healing of this man.  They were naysayers and causing division. Jesus warned them, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”  In this passage, when Jesus saw those suffering from attacks of the enemy, He asserted His authority to gather and destroy the evil spirits. He accused the Pharisees who opposed Him, of scattering those spirits abroad.  In doing this, He teaches us how to do spiritual warfare, explaining that one must bind the enemy (“the Strong man”) in order to rob him of his victims.

In order for us to do this, He has given believers the right to pray in the authority of HIS NAME to bind and gag harassing enemy spirits, and command them to leave our presence and send them to Jesus for their ultimate destruction.

Questions:

  1. Have you experienced naysayers in your life?
  2. Why is unity in ministry important to Jesus?
  3. In light of this authority, what do you think Jesus meant when He said “the kingdom of God has come upon  you?”

Join the Discussion

Comments

  1. Jennifer Anderson

    I cannot answer Day 2 QS 3 What do you think Jesus means when he says the kingdom of heaven is near?

    1. Angie McKinney

      Hi Jennifer,

      Here are some of my thoughts on the “kingdom of heaven” at this point in my life. (I say that because the more I study, sometimes topics or issues become more clear to me and may alter the way I used to think about the same topic/issue.) There are many references in The Word to the”kingdom of heaven” a/k/a “kingdom of God.” The big picture is that there are actually TWO kingdoms: 1) the kingdom of this world, which is ruled by our enemy (satan) and, 2) the kingdom of God/Heaven. (See John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2) We are born into this world and it comes easy for us to act/live according to its ways. (For example, we don’t have to teach a toddler how to do wrong things, right?) (See also Romans 5:12-21) However, the Word teaches us that once we become children of God, new creations in Christ, we are then privileged to live according to the privileges and promises of being citizens of the kingdom of God/Heaven. All the promises and privileges of His kingdom are described for us in The Word. Jesus is the full embodiment of The Word. (See John 1:1-14)
      In today’s passage of scripture, Jesus knew that He was soon to complete His purpose of dying for the sins of humankind so that we could become citizens of the Kingdom of God/Heaven. Because of His sacrifice, the Kingdom of God/Heaven has been made available to us! We simply must believe in Jesus so that we are then citizens of His Kingdom. (See Romans 10:9 and Romans 8:1-14) Then, we can begin our journey of learning all the privileges and promises which were made available to us by studying The Word. Naturally, we can’t take advantage of the thousands of wonderful promises He has made to us if we don’t know they exist. The more I study, the more I’m blown away by the love He has for us and all the incredible privileges of being in His Kingdom!
      The kingdom of heaven is a huge topic, but I hope this helps a little,

      Much love,
      Angie McKinney

  2. Diana

    Great response from Angie!
    I wanted to give thanks for the summary of each devotional and the questions asked, since many times I read the Bible and details might get unnoticed. Those questions make me really think and wonder how do you come up with them¡ Thankful for this and also the resource given (video) to understand how cattle is yoke.
    Thank you so much again¡
    Diana

    1. Suzy

      Diana, so happy that God is using these devotions and questions to help you see the beautiful details in every passage. Our team discusses and prays together over each passage and what we saw that was unique and powerful. We are enjoying this as much as you and learning as we go along. The questions really reflect those treasures we are finding. Keep commenting as God shows you treasures, too. 🙂

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