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.
Healing Brings Praise
Matthew 15: 29 – 39
Jesus had just been in the region Tyre and Sidon. He came back to the Sea of Galilee and sat down on a mountainside. Once he got there, crowds came all looking for healing.
They did not come to hear a good sermon or message. They came seeking a man who they believed could heal their loved ones. For three days, they brought the lame, blind, mute and crippled all to be healed. The miracle was that Jesus healed them all. This resulted in a huge praise party for God.
But then another miracle was yet to come. These people had not eaten in three days and instead of Jesus sending them home hungry, He had compassion on them. He asked his disciples what they had available to them – seven loaves of bread and a few small fish.
What’s beautiful in this passage is that we never see the reproduction of the fishes and loaves all in one place. Instead, Jesus breaks the loaves and passes them on to the disciples, who in turn, break their pieces and pass them on, and it continues until everyone is fed and seven basketfuls are left over. In the end, because a few people surrendered their last meal, 4,000 men plus women and children had their fill.
Notice they started with seven loaves and ended with seven basketfuls. Jesus used their offering and multiplied it beyond their need.
- What was the end result of healing the multitudes of people?
- What are the lessons that we can learn from this story about trust and surrender?
- Is there something in your life that you are holding on to that God can use to help others?
Jesus Heals a Boy
Matthew 17: 14 – 21
Parents struggling with sick children are themselves caught in a great struggle. They would do anything to take the disease, pain or illness from their children, yet sadly they can’t. The father in this story was in a desperate situation. He had a son who was being spiritually and physically tortured by demons. In this account, we have an insider’s view of just how much the little boy was being tortured. It describes seizures, and attempts to end his life by being thrown into the fire or water. Can you imagine how hopeless the father must have been? This man had already sought the help of the disciples to rid the demon, to no avail. His final measure was to seek Jesus.
When he approached Jesus, the man knelt down, dejected and weary and described the torture of the tormenting spirits. But the enemy was about to lose this battle. Jesus rebuked the spirit and healed the man’s son.
When we or a loved one are sick or spiritually tortured, we can learn from the man in this story. Let Jesus be your first stop and not your last. He is your ultimate healer. He is your comforter, your shepherd, your encourager, your strength and your protector. He holds your life in his hands and will walk with you in any storm you face.
- What does the posture of the father’s approach to Jesus that say to you?
- Why do you think the disciples couldn’t remove the spirit?
- What kind of changes can we put in our life so that we are running to Jesus first and not last?
The Squeaky Wheel
Matthew 20: 29 – 34
You’ve heard the phrase, “the squeaky wheel gets oiled.” These blind men were the squeaky wheels in the story. They heard Jesus was passing by and yelled to get his attention. They probably had heard he was a great healer and had nothing to lose by trying to get his attention. They yelled so loud the crowd told them to be quiet. Then instead of quieting down or doing what was socially correct, they risked embarrassment and yelled even louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.” That got Jesus’ attention.
How many times do we pray once and then give up when we don’t see the answer quickly? Do we pray louder and more impassioned? Desperate cries out to God sometimes yield some of His biggest miracles.
- Is there something you have prayed for but given up when you didn’t see the answer?
- What would you tell Jesus if he asked you, “What do you want me to do for you?”
- What was Jesus’ reaction to them as they yelled for his attention?
Jesus the Empathetic Savior
Matthew 26: 36 – 46
Have you ever been in a time of deep sorrow and anxiety? Did your circumstances overwhelm your heart to the point of death? If you’ve felt that way before, you are in good company. Jesus felt like that when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. As fully human, he dreaded the pain and suffering of going to the cross. He knew what was to come, and yet scripture tells us that Jesus prayed and asked God to take the cup away from Him. His final surrender we read is that not his will, but the Father’s will be done. Talk about surrendering the outcome. Jesus was fully the Son of God and He knew that dying on the cross was the ultimate way to conquer death and provide salvation for all who believe.
When we shift our focus to his disciples in the account, what do we see? Jesus described his state of His soul as being “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” At that moment, he sought support from his friends, asking them to keep watch and pray with him. To his disappointment, they fell asleep, and Jesus admonished Peter about not being able to stay alert for one hour. He then tells his disciples, “Watch and pray so that YOU will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
If you ever feel you are going it alone in your healing journey, be encouraged that Jesus feels your pain and understands the deep trouble and anxiety you face. In fact, He won’t let you go it alone. As your empathetic Savior, He’ll carry you through it.
- Does it comfort you to see that Jesus also struggled with sorrow?
- Do you have “a cup” you’ve been asking God to take away from you?
- How does prayer change your circumstances?
Jesus is Resurrected
Read Matthew 28: 1 – 20
These passages are centered on our ultimate path to healing and conclude with the great commission to make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey what Jesus had commanded. The account of Jesus’ resurrection begins with his grieving friend, Mary, who went at the crack of dawn to “look at his tomb”. She was visiting her loved one’s gravesite when what seemed a violent earthquake, was an angel of the Lord whose appearance was full of splendor and glory. He passed along an important message that was to be shared with everyone: “Jesus, who was crucified is not here; He has risen, just as he said.”
With the greatest event in history having taken place, you would think that the chief priests and “men of the cloth” would be rejoicing, but instead – they were scheming and devising plans for cover-up. We don’t hear of Jesus being distracted by the schemes and lies, instead we see Him focused on the goal. With all authority of heaven and earth given to him, He charges his disciples with a great commission: “to go and make disciples of all nations”. That includes baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that he had commanded. The best part is that Jesus didn’t leave them alone, with comforting words he says: “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Without this crucial event in history, we would still be slaves to sin with no means of atonement. Jesus was crucified on a cross, buried, and then raised to new life so that we can have eternal life. The gospel of Matthew is the true account of Jesus whose life and death pointed to our Father in Heaven. Everything He did was for His Father’s will and was to bring salvation to all people. The healing accounts teach us so much about a Savior that cares more about our wholeness, than just our physical healings. Did you know that the word wholeness also means salvation?
Without the forgiveness of sins, we are walking around in spiritual bondage. Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins and his resurrection leads to the ultimate healing, no matter if your physical body is ever fully restored here on earth. Through his resurrection and the forgiveness of our sins, we have an eternal home with eternal bodies that will never fail us or need healing again.
As you heal, have you sought Jesus for the forgiveness 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.”
- Have you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins?
- What does wholeness mean to you?
- What is Jesus calling you to do?