Online Bible Study Lesson 4
Jesus Heals Physical Deformities and Disabilities
Read Matthew 15:29-31
Jesus departed there and came near to the sea of Galilee; and he went up into the mountain and sat down. Great multitudes came to him, bringing with them the lame, blind, mute, crippled, and many others, and they put them down at his feet; and he healed them all. So the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the injured made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing — and they glorified the God of Israel.
Preliminary Bible Study Questions:
1) Why did Jesus heal people?
2) Do all of Christ's healing miracles require faith from the recipient?
3) Did Jesus Christ cure injuries as well as diseases?
4) Do you believe in miracles?
5) Do you believe that Jesus Christ performed healing miracles?
Let's begin our lesson on Christ's healing of physical deformities and handicaps. This lesson will look distinctly at Jesus' healing miracles of the physically handicapped, e.g. lame, paralyzed, physical deformities, etc., while sickness, blindness, and demonic possession and mental illness will be looked at in upcoming lessons.
Jesus' Healing Miracles
The religious hypocrites, aka Pharisees and Sadducees, hated Jesus for the most part. Their reactions didn't deny Jesus' miracles, but, they expressed disgust in the great works. They were envious and jealous of Christ. Herod Antipas, the godless Roman ruler over Jerusalem, heard the eyewitnesses speak of the signs and wonders. Here's his thought on the matter, "This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead! That is why Jesus can do such miracles" (Matthew 14:2). The letters and gospel accounts of Christ would have been destroyed through such men had there not been eyewitness accounts of his healing miracles to carry on the witness. Obviously, noble Christians believed and wrote about the amazing healing miracles of Jesus Christ that we enjoy and draw faith from.
Christ's healing miracles included many more than what the Bible specifically detailed. Several times, the Bible tells us that Jesus healed ALL the people who came to him with physical needs, no matter how small or severe. He had total and complete healing power over all physical handicaps. More about that in a few minutes, but first, let's turn to the requirements that were placed on some people who desired Jesus' healing of their physical disability.
Requirements for Jesus' Healing
We'll now turn our focus to those instances where a requirement was placed on the physically handicapped person before receiving restoration.
- Were there always requirements placed on his acts of mercy?
- Let's find out! First of all, know that no one could ever maliciously demand a healing miracle from Christ. Jesus knows the hearts of all men and he never fell into their evil traps. Matthew 16:4 finds him telling the hypocrites, "Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign."
Read Matthew 12:13 and Luke 12:12-13
Occasionally, Jesus simply told a person to do what he said so that they could receive his gift of healing. You could say that listening to Jesus' simple command was a display of faith.
Jesus evaluated a person's faith in him, sometimes, before healing them. We see that in Matthew 9:2, "Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven. Take up your mat and go home.'" Once, a person humbly approached him for a healing miracle and Jesus affirmed that he wished to heal him (Matthew 8:3). Yet another time, Jesus simply asked a man with a long-term disability if he wanted healed, and the man responded by saying no one would help him. Jesus responded by instantly curing the crippled man (John 5:8).
Read Luke 17:13-14
Later, a group of lepers shouted to Jesus, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" He told them to, "Show yourselves to the priest." On their way, Jesus' power touched them and healed them of their leprosy God's power flowed out of Jesus, resulting in miracles. Crowds gathered around him and in this instance, all those who needed cured touched him and were perfectly restored to full health (Luke 6:18-19).
Read Mark 6:5-6
Mark reports that a townspeople's collective unbelief sometimes led Jesus to perform few healing miracles in their town. Mark said, "And because of their unbelief, he couldn't do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them." The account adds that Jesus was amazed at their unbelief.
It's obvious by now that we can't place God's power and ways inside parameters we construct. Sometimes, faith was required to receive one of Jesus' healing miracles, but other times nothing was required. All miracles are God's miracles, and only God knows the exact reasons for his miracles.
Some of Jesus' miracles of healing were in response to faith and some were obviously performed with a future response in mind. That means God was working some miracles in order to record in the Scriptures. He views and judges people's responses of faith, or lack thereof, to the miracles. I hope you believe all of God's Biblical miracles!
Examples of Jesus' Healing Miracles
Here is a short list not counting crowd or multitudes of people Jesus' healed with physical deformities and handicaps.
- Jesus heals the leper (Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16).
- Jesus heals the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-18); but, Jesus only healed one of sin: (Luke 17:19).
- Jesus heals the lame man (John 5:1-15).
- Jesus restores a withered hand (Matthew 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-5; Luke 6:6-11).
Jesus' Healing of Malchus
Read all Scriptures: John 18:18, Luke 22:49-50 Mark 14:43-52 Matthew 26:47-51
A very special case of Christ's healing took place during his illegal arrest. Judas betrayed Jesus and brought with him a small army to arrest and detain him. Peter was angry with Judas and the mob, so he lashed out and struck off the right ear of the Jewish High Priest's servant named Malchus. Jesus told Peter and the other disciples, "No more of this." An amazing moment, one of the greatest lessons recorded in Scripture, happened in an instant. Jesus touched Malchus and completely healed his ear.
Jesus healed an enemy who was working to kill him. Malchus didn't "deserve" this healing miracle, because he was taking part in arresting the sinless Son of God. Malchus didn't express faith in Jesus in any way, nor did he commit to becoming a disciple. If that wasn't enough to disqualify him from receiving a miracle, this surely would: Malchus didn't follow any directions from Jesus about his healing, because Jesus didn't give him any directions! Nothing. Jesus Just simply healed him, no reason given!
I believe Jesus' healing of Malchus happened to drive home a couple of the deep spiritual truths to Christians everywhere and every generation.
“Love your enemy! Do good to them who hate you" (Luke 6:27).
Jesus modeled the true Christian life with his kind deed.
Who might you forgive that has wronged you lately?
This particular healing miracle displays the grace of God.
No one deserves Jesus' physical healing, nor can one earn it. Both physical and spiritual healings occur only because God chooses to grant it, for reasons unknown to us.
These two enormous lessons, i.e. grace and loving our enemies, should be accepted and then applied to our lives. We're undeserving sinners saved by grace, who must show our thanks by loving all people, including those who hate us for our Christian beliefs.
How are you doing with that responsibility?
Reasons for Jesus' Healing Miracles
Read Isaiah 53:4-5
Like all things Christ did, and still does, there are many reasons shown. His life is a message to us and we're to study all the things he does. The most important reason that Jesus healed people was to glorify his Father in heaven. All miracles are God's miracles, meaning that God empowers his agents to perform the great works. God sent Jesus on a mission of miracles. In other words, the Kingdom of God was displayed in Jesus' ministry; therefore, the miracles directed people's attention to God.
Read Luke 6:8-11
Jesus once healed in order to expose hypocrisy of certain religious leaders. Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath, and a man was standing there with a withered hand. Jesus brought the man forward with him. Once there, Jesus asked the hypocrites, "Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?" He peered into the hypocrite's eyes... then told the man, "Hold out your hand." The man with the deformed hand held it out... and it was perfectly restored! The hypocrites were infuriated! The kind deed actually led them to conspire to kill the Son of God.
In the case of Jesus healing the leper we hear another reason that Christ was a healer. Jesus had compassion. Jesus hated the thought of people having debilitating physical maladies. Physical disabilities broke Jesus' heart; therefore, this was another reason he healed the sick.
Read John 5:14
This passage gives us insight into yet another reason for Jesus' miracles of mercy. After healing the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus told him, "Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you." Wow! Here is a tremendous message from Jesus.
Once the lame man was physically healed, Jesus expected him to commit to stop his sinning. If the man refused to stop sinning, a worse fate could possibly befall him.
What is the “worse fate” this man would face if he failed to stop sinning?
Read John 8:10-11
We really need to take note, especially considering the fact that Jesus' curing of physical issues illustrates Jesus' curing of spiritual issues. Once Jesus healed a physical sickness, he expected them to stop sinning; and, the same goes for his healing of spiritual sickness. Once Jesus heals a person's spiritual life through forgiveness, he expects them to "stop sinning," as well.
In fact, the paralyzed man who was healed in Capernaum was healed in order to prove that Jesus had the authority to forgive a man's sins. The religious leaders knew that only God could forgive sin so they accused Jesus of the capital crime of blasphemy.
Read Mark 2:1-12
Jesus asked them, "Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man 'Your sins are forgiven,' or, 'Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk?' So, I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins." Of course, the answer to Jesus' question was that it's harder to physically heal man than to spiritually forgive him. Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
Jesus proved that God gave him the power to forgive sins eternally, because God gave him the manifested power to physically heal a paralyzed man. We have such an awesome God!
Jesus' miracle healings brings with them expectations. God expects you to believe in the Biblical accounts of Jesus' miracles. You're called to believe in Jesus Christ. You're called to open your heart to his grace, mercy, and forgiveness. He is such an awesome God!
Jesus' healing miracles are a call to action. We see these miracles that took place. We hear Christ's messages that he gives us through these healing miracles. We say we're Christians. But, are we acting like we're Christians? God calls us to faithful obedience.
Have you responded in kind?
Are you studying the Bible?
Are you praying to God without ceasing?
Are you doing good deeds for other people?
Are you loving your enemies?
Dare I ask, are you even accepting his gracious offer of eternal forgiveness?
My friend, it's time to get serious with your powerful, living Lord. He's recording all your activities. He's watching you at all times. Remember, he's a miracle worker, and he always loves working miracles in people's hearts. Has he cleansed your heart yet? If not ask him to.
Christ's Healing Bible Study Questions:
1) Was there a definitive personal requirement for Jesus' healing miracle to be performed on someone?
2) Why would Jesus choose certain healings to illustrate spiritual truths? (ex. Luke 6:6-11).
3) What do physical healing miracles point to in the bigger picture of life? (see John 5:1-15).
Christ's Healing Bible Verses:
Read Luke 5:31-32
Jesus answered them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”
Read Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Read Romans 9:15-18
For God said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I caused you to be raised up, that I might show in you my power, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." So then, he has mercy on whom he desires, and he hardens whom he desires.”
Church, the Lord desires to choose you for his miraculous power. Submit to his will, turn from your sins and trust him in all things!