A Life In Christ Week 5
Sean Roberds | Mar 11, 2013
A Life In Christ
Week 5: The Healing Ministry of Jesus
When we read the gospels, we find that Jesus was busy healing the multitudes. Healing was a huge part of Jesus’ ministry, and he spent hours and hours exhausting himself to make people well. In seeking to live a life in Christ, we cannot ignore the healing ministry. The subject of healing can be hard for us today because we do not often witness the miraculous healing that we see in the Bible. We ponder questions such as “Does God still heal?” or “Was healing something special for Jesus?” Some wonder if Jesus really healed people at all and believe that the stories are just metaphoric. I believe that the healing in the gospels is far too common to simply be metaphoric, and I believe God is still healing people today but in a variety of ways. Most of all, I believe that part of our life in Christ is to find our own way of join Jesus in his healing work.
Monday – Helping with Healing
The main point of the story in today’s passage is to show that Jesus has authority to forgive sins. But I can’t help but think about the paralytic’s friends and all they did to bring him to Jesus. Once they lowered their friend through the roof, Jesus responded to their faith. Notice that verse 20 says “when he saw their faith.” Isn’t it interesting that the man was healed because of the faith of his friends and not his own? Their faith was put into action. The action was to do whatever it took to bring their friend to Jesus. They could have been charged with destruction of property but they didn’t care. Their only concern was their friend; their inspiration, what they believed Jesus could do for him. The faith of the man’s friends made it possible for the paralytic to be healed by Jesus and walk again. A life in Christ is a life ready to do the work of faith and assist Jesus in his healing ministry.
Read today’s passage, Luke 5:17-26, and take a moment to reflect.
How has your faith made a difference in the people you know? When was the last time you put your faith into action to help someone?
There was resistance to the healing work done by Jesus. What resistance do we face today in bringing about the healing work of Christ?
Jesus healed the man by first forgiving him of his sins. How is spiritual health connected to other forms of healing?
Who in your life needs healing? How can your faith help to bring him/her to Jesus?
Spend the day earnestly praying for one or two people who need healing.
Make a plan to put your faith into action in a way that will aid the healing ministry of Christ.
Tuesday – Reflection Day
Reread yesterday’s passage, Luke 5:17-26.
What word or verse stands out to you on this reading of the passage? Why?
This story tells of the actions of a group of friends. Who are the friends you can team up with to put faith into action?
Forgiveness is the first step in healing. Whom do you need to forgive and whom do you know that needs to feel the healing power of Jesus’ forgiveness?
The resistance to forgiveness and healing in this story came from within the religious community. Are there ways in which you might be putting up resistance to the forgiving and healing work of Christ?
Wednesday – Always Hope
With Jesus there is always hope! The man in today’s story was long gone as far as the people in town were concerned. He was too crazy, too demonic; no one could control him. The only thing they could hope to do was put him where the only one he could harm was himself. So into the tombs they placed him, still very much alive but out of their way, essentially dead to them. All of that changed when Jesus showed up. It is as if Jesus crossed the sea just to free this man. When the man came running and screaming at Jesus, Jesus defused the situation by simply asking the man his name. When the demons asked to be let out into the swine Jesus was happy to oblige. It seems the only thing that mattered to Jesus was that the man be set free. It seems we as a society are too quick to give up on people. I know why we do it: We feel helpless, we feel like we don’t have the solutions to their problems. Maybe solving their problems is not what they need; maybe what they need most of all is a little attention and the opportunity to experience the one who can set them free.
Read today’s passage, Luke 8:26-39, and take a moment to reflect.
Whom do we as a society give up on? Are there people in your life that you have given up on?
How can you become an agent of hope for those who seem hopeless?
There was great cost involved in setting this man free. For the community it was 2,000 swine; for Jesus, it was the ability to stay in that land. What costs today are associated with freeing those whom we see as a lost cause?
How much are you willing to risk in order to set someone free?
The man Jesus freed wanted to come with him but Jesus told him to stay and tell his story; think about how Jesus has changed your life and the people who need to hear your story.
Think about the people who are hopeless in our society; how can you go to them and be the presence of Christ?
Thursday – Reflection Day
Reread yesterday’s passage, Luke 8:26-39.
What about this passage stands out to you today?
Have you ever witnessed the transformation of someone who was deemed hopeless yet was changed and set free by Christ? How did it happen? What can you learn from that experience?
The people in the story rejected Jesus because of the cost to them of setting the man free. How do we as a society or a people of faith reject the healing work of Christ?
A life in Christ is about following Jesus wherever he goes; in the following, we join him in his healing work. Think about the places and people Jesus may be calling you to go to bring about his healing ministry.
Friday – No Waiting
Jesus will not wait to set the woman in today’s story free. He stops in the middle of his teaching and calls the woman to come forward to be healed. He will not cave to the pressures of the synagogue leader who wants him to postpone healing until the Sabbath ends. Nothing is going to stop Jesus! He refuses to allow his liberating power to be shackled by the chains of waiting for the “appropriate” time. He has power to overcome evil; why would he wait? Martin Luther King Jr. was often told not to push too hard but to wait for society to be ready for equal rights. He didn’t listen; instead he marched forward to set his people free. A life in Christ is a life that will
not wait to execute justice. A life in Christ is one that will not hold back the liberating power of the Gospel. There will be people in our lives who say, “Wait.” When it comes to the liberating power of the Gospel, we must find the courage to ignore them.
Read today’s passage, Luke 13:10-17, and take a moment to reflect.
What stands out the most to you in this passage?
Jesus had to stop his teaching to heal this woman. What are the important things in your life that you would have trouble interrupting even to do good?
Jesus calls the religious leaders out on their hypocrisy. Are you ever hypocritical in what you allow people to do?
In your experience, is the Church more of an agent of freedom or of bondage? How does the Church need to improve on its ministry of setting people free?
List the kinds of people who are held captive today. Pray for them.
Pray that God will open your eyes to the liberating work he needs you to do today.
Saturday – Reflection Day
- Reread the three passages form this week and spend time with the one that grabs your attention.
- Think and pray about the ways you can join Christ in his healing work.
- In all three stories there was resistance to Jesus’ healing. Think about why each group resisted Jesus’ work. Ponder if there are ways you resist Jesus’ healing.
- In all you have read this week, is there a prayer for you to pray, a sin to confess, or a calling to heed? Think and pray over what God is guiding you to do.