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40: Ministering on the Way to Nazareth

May 14, 2009

Major Text:Matthew 9:27-34; Mark 6:1-6a

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 13:54-58    Mark 6:1-6a

Outline:

  1. Jesus Heals Two Blind Men Matt. 9:27-31
  2. Jesus Heals a Mute Demon Possessed Man Matt. 9:32-34
  3. Jesus’ Ability to Heal in Nazareth is Limited Mark 6:1-6

Context/Discussion/Comments:

The manner in which these passages are placed together causes one to speculate that these miracles took place as Jesus and His disciples were traveling and ministering between Capernaum and Nazareth. This is Jesus’ second recorded visit to Nazareth, both with the same result. In the first visit [see Lesson 17] Jesus is alone. The second time Jesus goes with His disciples.

First, two blind men follow Jesus asking for mercy from the Son of David. This term tells Jesus that they believe He is the promised Messiah. When asked if they believe Jesus can heal them, they reply “yes Lord”, another indication that they believe. Jesus heals them and asks them to keep it quite but they do just the opposite. This could be reverse psychology on Jesus’ part or He could have wanted to proceed on to Nazareth without large crowds.

Next a mute demon possessed man was brought to Him for healing. Jesus heals him and he immediately begins speaking, most likely praising God. The Pharisees in the area have the same reaction as before, He is healing in the name of Beelzebub.

Jesus arrives in Nazareth and teaches in the synagogue. The people are amazed at His wisdom but refuse to believe. They know His sisters living among them. They also know His brothers and are familiar with the family. They can’t get past the question, “ how can someone from that family be so wise and know so much?” Because of their unbelief, Jesus does only a very few small miracles before leaving.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Faith is a necessary ingredient for healing.

2. Healing of our body comes by acknowledging who Jesus is and seeking Him in faith.

3. Those who are truly healed can not keep silent.

4. Healing of our soul comes by acknowledging who Jesus is and seeking Him in faith.

5. One’s faith is an important part in bringing others to Jesus.

6. Your faith has made you whole. Glorify His Name!

7. If you are not accepted at first, be willing to try again.

8. Your God-given ministry is probably not going to be in your home town but somewhere else.

Thoughts to Ponder

We struggle with the question of why we don’t see and hear of more miraculous healings today. Or “why doesn’t God heal me?” There are ministers labeled as “faith healers”, many of which are frauds. So we as Christians struggle with how to answer this question when it appears healings based on one’s faith are so prevalent in the documentation of Christ’s ministry. There are also times when faith was not a prerequisite for healing. Jesus healed because He had love and compassion for the people. I can’t answer these questions very well but let me give you some points to ponder.

  1. The reason you have or have not been miraculously healed is not just a function of your faith but it is a part of God’s overall plan. His will is for His name to be glorified. Sometimes that is done best with physical healing but it can be done just as well when one has an infirmity. How better to reach those without faith and with an infirmity by being just like them.
  2. Jesus healed to give His ministry/message credibility. We give His message credibility by the life we live in faith and obedience to Him. His will is for us to have spiritual healing. It takes priority over physical healing. Jesus did not heal everybody. Paul was not healed.
  3. A surgeon friend of mine once said “All healing is a miracle. I can cut out and I can put together but I can’t heal. My part is small. God’s part is nothing short of miraculous.”
  4. There are both credible and fraudulent “faith healers”. True stories abound. But the gift of healing is God’s will, not our will or that of some minister. God may choose to use a minister and He may choose to do it Himself. He may choose not to do it at all. I believe most miraculous healings are done in private between God and the individual.
  5. Those who are miraculously healed are usually humbled by what has happened and are very careful about who they tell and how they tell it so as to bring glory to God.

In a recent lesson on the life of Job, I made these comments.

Personal calamity can happen for four reasons:

  1. Natural: all creation is fallen and cursed.
  2. Accidental: bad decisions.
  3. Discipline of God’s Saints.
  4. Glorification of God’s Name.

God’s will is:

  1. That we know Him. [justified]
  2. That we grow in Him. [sanctified]
  3. That we serve Him [glorified]

God is Wisdom and only He knows how best to accomplish His Will in and through your life on earth as He prepares you for Life in heaven with Him.

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