02.23.2020 | GOD, PART 2 | Wk 4: “A New Healing”
Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.
What do you do to feel better when you get sick? Are there any activities, foods, movies, etc. that you go back to each time?
Read Matthew 8:1-3. Notice that Jesus chooses to heal this person by touching them (NOTE: he heals people without touching them at other places in the Gospel). This is a big deal – leprosy was understood as being both physically contagious & spiritually unclean. In other words, it was something that could harm a person physically & could separate a person from God spiritually in Old Testament tradition.
How does this change how you understand Jesus’ actions in this story?
How does the person’s disease impact the means Jesus chooses to use to heal them? In other words, what does it say about Jesus that he chooses to touch a person in this state as part of healing them?
How does this impact how we understand healing & how we should seek it (for ourselves & others)?
What might this teach us about the purpose of Jesus’ healing?
Where do you feel like a leper? In other words, is there something in your life that you think Jesus is unwilling to move towards & heal?
What would it mean for you to hear that there is nothing that Jesus is unwilling to move towards & heal?
Reflect on the fact that this is the first story that follows the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus teaches about what it means to live in God’s Kingdom & then moves directly into this healing.
What is the connection between Jesus’ teaching & healing? How do they connect in terms of how we live in the world?
How do Jesus’ teachings impact how we respond to those we’d consider “lepers” in our own life? (i.e. ourselves or those we think are outside God’s favor, morally/spiritually sick, etc.)
Finally, read Matthew 8:4. Jesus sends the healed man to witness to others about his healing. In other words, Jesus teaches, heals, & then sends him to share his story about Jesus with others. Healing comes first – then evangelism.
How does this process impact how you think about sharing your story of faith? Where do you need to heal so that you can better reflect Jesus’ healing into our world?
Getting Out of the Hole
Take time this week to read about Jesus’ healings. Reflect on what it means that Jesus touched the leper to heal him.
- Where do you need to hear that Jesus is willing to reach out to anyone, no matter what to heal them?
- Where do you feel like the leper in your life right now?
- What would it look like to seek healing in that area of your life?
- What is the first step you can take?
Journal about your answers to these questions & pray for insights. Share your experience with the group next week!
Matthew Commentary by Stanley Hauerwas
Simply Jesus by NT Wright
Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright
Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament by Chris Wright
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, March 1: Join us for the fifth week of our series GOD PT 2, where we will be looking at how Jesus offers a new Sabbath to his people.
* Please see mye3.org for details.