Waynedale United Methodist Church
Thursday, June 29, 2017
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March 1, 2015 Sermon

“The Healing Ministry”

 Mark 1:21 – 28, John 5:1-15

Ted Jansen March 1, 2015  Waynedale UMC

(Message adapted from Rev Allison Yankey’s sermon in 2014)

 

1.)        Healing was one reason that Jesus came to earth.  He brought salvation, healing, wholeness to those who met.  I invite us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus as He travels to Capernaum and to Jerusalem to consider two experiences, among many, of healing.   

 

2.)        Capernaum was the ministry center of Jesus where people would travel through to go to the northern parts of the region.  We read about a healing from Mark 1:21 – 28.    (Picture)   

            Jesus was in the synagogue teaching when a man came in and cried out.  Jesus looked at the man and spoke to the spirit.  In this place reserved for teaching in an orderly way evil showed up, at the wrong time and place. 

Jesus spoke a word to quiet the spirit and command that the spirit come out of the man.  There was a shriek and some shaking but the man was healed of the evil spirit.  It came out of him.  Jesus brought healing, wholeness, salvation to this man.  The news spread quickly about this healing and about Jesus’ power. 

I believe that there were travelers who were headed south, to Jerusalem, which heard of this healing.  Capernaum connected people who were traveling north and south.        

 

3.)        We read about another healing, this time in Jerusalem.  I wonder if a traveler who heard of the healing in Capernaum knew of the place where those in need of healing would gather.  (Picture) We can read about this healing in John 5:1 – 15.     

            Jesus was headed to Jerusalem for a festival and decided to stop by the Sheep Gate at the pool of Bethesda (Bethzatha).  This pool was situated in such a way that there was an upper pool and a lower pool, with four porticoes, or covered porches, surrounding them. 

This pool was surrounded by invalids: the sick, the infirm, the weak, the weary, the lame, the paralyzed, and the blind.  Now for the sick to gather together in a corner of the community may not have been so strange.  But they were gathered here around a pool of water, waiting for the miraculous.

 

4.)        We hear of one man who has sat in this community, assumedly, for 38 years.  We don’t know if he had been sick from birth or if he was much older.  But we know that he has been sick a long time.  For 38 years, this man probably wrestled with the questions of why.  “Why me?”  “Why now?”  “Why can’t healing happen to me?”

 

5.)        Do you know that feeling?  Do you understand some of what this man had gone through?  Feelings of hopelessness.  Feelings of helplessness.  The sense of being out of control and having no ability to change the future.  When we plead for God to heal us, and all we can do is wait.

            What do we do when we can't control what's happening to us?  What do we do when we can't change our future?  What do we do when we receive a diagnosis it is going to follow us all the rest of our days?  What do we do when we have a terminal illness?  What we do and we have a disorder that we cannot shake?  What do we do when God says, “Not yet,” or, even tougher, “No.”?  What happens in our lives when God chooses not to heal?

I believe that in one way or another, we have all experienced this pain, this anguish. 

 

6.)        In the midst of our struggle with pain and anguish we have to trust God and wonder.  We wonder if God chooses not to heal can the situation or circumstance reveal more of God’s glory than if He brought healing.  If God chooses not to heal, then in some way, perhaps we are being drawn back to Him through our circumstances.  And if God chooses not to heal, it is imperative for us to remember that it is not in God’s timing to redeem all of creation right this instant.

At some point we need to come to a point in our prayers for healing that we profess, “To God be the glory.”  God only does things that which bring Him glory.

 

7.)        Jesus then asks the question to this man.  “Do you want to get well?”  (Picture)  Do you ever read Scripture and hear something Jesus says, and it makes you want to say, “Really, Jesus?”  This is one of those cases.  Jesus is not asking a silly question, but instead, is being emphatic, pushing the point, wanting to be clear about what is happening in this situation.  For in reality, what sick person does not want to be made well?  Of course, the ill man would not be sitting by the pool of Bethesda, hoping for his chance to get in the stirred waters, if he did not really want to get well. 

            And yet, the response is intriguing.  The man lays before Jesus all his strivings, his deeds, the ways in which he has tried himself to get well.  Keep in mind, the ill man does not know that this is Jesus, the Son of God.  He simply sees Him as a man who may be prepared to help. 

            Perhaps he is trying to tell Him that he is worth healing.  “See, sir.  Here is my checklist of what I have already tried myself.  I promise I will be worth your help.”  Or perhaps he has run out of hope and is letting Jesus know that he has tried everything, exhausted his resources. 

 

8.)        Without further investigation Jesus said to the man, “Stand up, take your mat, and walk.”   Jesus brings healing.  He does not help him into the water but speaks a word to him and his life is instantly transformed.  38 years of being an invalid to a fully functioning human being.  No more questions, no more conversation, no idea who it was that had healed him.  Healing.  New life. 

 

9.)        How does God determine who receives healing?  We might think that God would seek out the most worthy person and choose them for His healing.  Jesus would heal those who at least knew Him.  How many of us feel that if we just simply do enough that God will respond to our pleas?  If we just read more Scripture, spend more time in prayer, if we would simply give just a few more hours in service to the church, then certainly God would heal us. 

            God’s timing and God’s plan and God’s purpose determine His healing.  We have to wait and trust God’s plan.  

 

10.)      While we might struggle with our need for healing I encourage you to bring your need for healing to the one who can release the demons inside of us.  Bring your life to the one who can call you to get up and walk after a lifetime of being unable to have hope. 

            As we wonder why God hasn’t healed you yet, as we watch a loved one die of an incurable disease, as we wrestle with a mental illness, as we watch our loved ones slip away to dementia, or Alzheimer’s.  As we wonder.   We come to the Lord for healing 

 

11.)      I have been broken inside of me and in need of God’s healing love and grace.  I have needed to have God pick me up, put me together and somehow love me. 

            Healing can be on the outside of our lives or on the inside of our lives.  We all need healing of some sort on the inside of our lives. 

 

12.)      I invite you to watch a video of a song called, “Healing Begins.” (10th Ave North You Tube, by Cody Pick)  I pray that this song is a gift to someone here today.   I invite you to prepare your heart for healing as a part of Communion today.  I will invite you to come for anointing prayer for a need in your life.  We thank God that Jesus walked into moments of healing.