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.
Join us on the LIVE Conference Call tonight, September 9, at 8:00 P.M EST. We will discuss Week 3 and 4 together.
International dial-in numbers: https://fccdl.in/i/help78
Online meeting ID: help78
The Faith/Miracle Connection
Read Matthew 13: 10 – 17; 53-58
Calloused hearts are at the core of this passage. Jesus explains why he preaches in parables speaking words from Isaiah’s prophecy:
“For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” – Matthew 13:15
Jesus mentions the multi-factors involved in true understanding of the gospel, eyes, ears and heart. Healing was brought forth from a heart of faith and belief – Jesus was later preaching in his hometown of Nazareth, but people couldn’t wrap their minds around the fact that this son of the local carpenter could perform miracles. In fact, it says they took offense at him. And because of their lack of faith, Jesus did not do many miracles there.
There is a strong connection between our faith and healing. God even says in Hebrews 6:11, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Where does faith come from? Romans 10:17 reminds us, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” 1 Corinthians 12:9 says that such faith is granted as a Gift of the Spirit.
- How can a calloused heart impact healing?
- Why do you think God puts an importance on faith?
- Do you think you have to get more faith to produce results?
Serving While Grieving
Read Matthew 14: 13 – 14
Jesus had just gotten word that his cousin John the Baptist had been executed by Herod. Upon hearing the news, Jesus got on a boat to be by himself. He used this time of grieving to seek and be alone with His Heavenly Father. As the Son of God and the Son of Man, he was grieving and needed to be comforted.
When He landed on the shore, a crowd was there to meet Him believing he could heal the sick. Notice what he did when he saw them. He had compassion on them and met their needs. Even in his grief stricken state, He was others-focused.
Sometimes serving others while you are grieving or hurting is a great way to take the focus off of your situation for a bit. That alone has a healing effect.
- When you have grieved the loss of someone, how did you respond?
- Have you taken time alone with your Heavenly Father?
- What might be the benefits of serving others while you grieve or heal?
Fixing Our Eyes On Jesus
Read Matthew 14: 22 – 32
Picture this. You are out on a boat late at night. The winds are whipping around you, the boat is rocking and you don’t feel safe. Then, you see a figure walking on the water, looking like a ghost. How would you react?
Peter called out to Jesus and said, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” That’s bold! And when Jesus told him to come, he stepped out onto the water into the miraculous.
But here’s the lesson for any of us that are healing or in a turbulent part of life; Peter walked on water when he fixed his eyes on Jesus. When he looked at his circumstances and saw the strong winds, he lost faith and began to sink. And who was there to catch him but Jesus?
If we focus on our illness, pain, or bad diagnosis and not the all-powerful Great Physician, our emotions and outlook will sink. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus who is there no matter how scary your situation.
- Why do you think Jesus chose to meet the disciples in this fashion?
- As you or a loved one is battling an illness, do you naturally focus on your circumstances or God who can change them?
- What practical ways can you begin to fix your eyes on Jesus daily?
Read Matthew 14: 34 – 36
Jesus and the disciples arrived at a small town and word spread fast that the healer was present. People from all over brought their sick loved ones in the hopes that Jesus would heal them.
All who touched Jesus were healed. Notice the key words in this story, all who touched. Touching required that the sick person would have to stretch beyond their comfort zone, push past the pain and reach out. The Bible doesn’t say all the sick were healed that day, only the sick people who touched Jesus. They demonstrated an act of faith by mustering any strength they had to reach out to Jesus. He was their Great Physician and ultimately their healer.
- Have you ever felt so desperate that you’d do anything to be healed?
- What did the ones who were healed do that was different?
- What did you learn about Jesus in these verses?
Read Matthew 15: 21 – 28
In this passage, Jesus was visiting a home in the region of Tyre and Sidon. He was visiting the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, probably taking a vacation outside of Israel. The Gospel of Mark tells us that Jesus wanted to keep his presence a secret, but word got out quickly. A Canaanite woman interrupted his solitude and finding Him begged him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. His disciples, trying to protect his time alone, wanted to send her away, but she kept persisting. Begging, pleading, interrupting, she would not give up until she had an audience with Jesus.
Look at what she said as she knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” This weary mom was at her wit’s end, yet she believed Jesus could heal her young daughter. Remember that this woman refused to be put off.
Scriptures tell us that she was not an Israelite but a Canaanite, whom the Jews called “dogs”. Even though dogs are beloved pets, there is a time and place to be fed. Jesus tested her faith with this analogy: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” Her response was humble, faith-filled and acknowledged that she knew who He was, her Master.
It was because of her great faith that Jesus healed her daughter that very hour.
- How can you see yourself in this story? Are you the woman begging Jesus? Are you one of the disciples trying to keep her away? Can you relate to both?
- Too many times we are asking for what we want right now on our time. How does faith play a part in being persistent?
- What did you learn about Jesus in this story?