The Life of Jesus - week 4- Jesus: the one who heals
Sermon date: February 3rd
Reading: Luke 5:17-26
Discuss in your group in what ways have you seen someone receive healing? (Physically, emotionally or mentally; could be through prayer, GP, diet, counselling etc.)
What is our cultural approach to illness today?
How might we seek healing if we haven’t?
Please read together: Luke 4 v. 31-37 – Jesus drives out an evil spirit.
Q1 - Is this a healing? Do we have anyone influenced by evil spirits today?
Clearly the people thought it was amazing and they followed Jesus to many places, bringing those who were ill in the hopes that he would heal them.
Jews in those days still believed that those who were sick were unwell because of their sins or the sins of their families before them.Illness showed that you were cut off from God, and in extreme cases – such as leprosy – you then were cut off from the community for fear of spreading the disease to others. There were no known cures for many things and so people either got well over time or they did not.If they got well, they had to prove this by showing themselves to the priests who became the official arbiters and could pronounce cleansing.
Please read together: Luke 4: v. 38 – 42 - Jesus heals many
Peter was married, and all three synoptic gospels tell of the event of Jesus healing his mother-in-law. Only Luke, the doctor, mentions the fever. Whether or not there was a psychological element to this illness is not recorded but, in any case, the fever was rebuked, and the woman was healed.
The sun setting signalled the end of the Sabbath, so people could again travel, and they came to find Jesus asking him to heal others.
Q2 - Do you think God still heals today? In what ways does He do it?
Luke then records the calling of the first disciples. Jesus had already begun his ministry speaking and healing, he was fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah and “the spirit of the Lord was on him” for all to see. He taught the people and then he called some individuals to work with him as his followers, for it would be them who would go on telling his story and serving him after his death and resurrection. He then continued his work with his followers present so that they could learn from him.
Please read together: Luke 5: v. 12 - 16
Q3 - How did this man come to have such faith? “Lord if you are willing you can make me clean”
Do we need to rekindle this faith in ourselves? Jesus is still willing to heal us today.
Now we come to the passage set for today - the famous passage of Jesus healing the paralytic. Whatever we may have thought about this in the past, it is well worth looking at it again in the light of some cultural and religious questions.
Please read together Luke 5 v. 17 – 26
Q4 - Why were the Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there?
Q5 - What does it mean “the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick”?
Q6 - “Friend, your sins are forgiven,” – at this point are there any signs of healing?
“Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy?” The Pharisees begin their investigations, either Jesus was and is the Son of God and is therefore able to forgive sins, or he is a delusional, using the name of God irreverently and they will punish him.
Verse 26.“Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today”
Q7 - What had they seen? How did they interpret it?
(N.B. be very careful not to criticise the views of others)
How does the fact that Jesus heals affect us today?
Are we willing to trust Him and to ask for spiritual, mental and physical healing?
What happens when we are not healed?
What is the role of the medical profession in all of this?
How can we help in the healing process of ourselves and others?
Thank you Jesus, for your overwhelming love for us and for the way you heal us.We thank you too for the skills of health care professionals who are working daily to make people well. Help us to love others and to support and encourage them whatever their needs, and to bring them to a place of peace with you and with themselves. Amen
Jane Hiley, 22/01/2019