Key Texts: Luke 5: 17-26, Acts 3:11-16
Jesus’ life is remembered for his teaching and his healings. It’s actually surprising how little Jesus teaches about healing. Finding a passage where Jesus tells his disciples how to heal the sick is very hard. BUT we do find that Jesus shows his disciples that healing is a central revelation of the Kingdom of God and we do see the disciples in the gospels healing, then later, the disciples talk about it in more detail.
Q. Who has been your example of a Christian that you have seen praying for the sick? How have you found the way they do this to be interesting?
“One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take Him into the house to lay Him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered Him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone? ”Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.””
What jumps out at you?
What questions do you have?
Q. In the passage Jesus speaks forgiveness before healing. You could say forgiveness is the higher miracle, you could say there is a link between forgiveness and healing. Forgiveness is the healing of the man’s soul and Him walking is the healing of his body. Why do you think Jesus wants to make this point?
Q. Jesus is very quick to speak healing over people and the miracle happens quickly. Jesus doesn’t pray a long prayer. What do you learn from Jesus’ way of healing?
Q. Do you think there were times when Jesus didn’t heal? Did he heal people who were not asking for it? What do you think?
Q. Sometimes when we pray for a miracle it can sound like we are begging God. Jesus seems to speak healing over people not beg. What do you think Jesus is feeling, acting and doing when we pray for healing? ? Should we beg or should we pronounce healing?
Q. There is a clear contrast between the Pharisees and the 4 men who brought the man to Jesus. The Pharisees had no sense of their own spiritual need. They were there as critics for the purpose of finding fault with Jesus. They had no concern for the paralytic man. They felt no great joy when Jesus healed Him. In spite of the miracle, they left that day even more critical, ready to take their charge of blasphemy back to their conspirators – How are you like the Pharisees and how are you like the 4 men?
This passage shows us three things:
Peter learnt about healing by watching Jesus. Here is an example of Peter’s teaching on healing as seen in Jesus…
“While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed Him over to be killed, and you disowned Him before Pilate, though he had decided to let Him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has completely healed Him, as you can all see.”
Peter makes it clear that healing happens not because of any holy person but because of faith in Jesus and the power in Jesus’ name. When we pray for the sick we do so by praying in the powerful name of Jesus and nothing else.
“You arrive at work this week and a member of your team who hasn’t been that open to faith in the past tells you they have recently found out that they have an autoimmune problem the doctors are investigating. They are worried about it and unsure of the outcome but it does explain some problems they have been having”
Q. Imagine Jesus was listening to your team member speak, how would He respond?
Q. How would you respond? – How does your response differ?
The more we pray for healing the more miracles we might see. For those of us with little faith, start by praying for one healing and see what happens. The people who most doubt that miracles occur are those who aren’t praying for miracles to occur. Those who pray often, have seen something happen previously that raises their faith levels.
End with prayer / or a time of praying for healing within the group. Remember to do this in the appropriate way for your setting and following your church guidelines. Always get permission from a person before you lay hands on them to pray, make sure to show respect and love through the prayer.