Mark 5:1–20, Mark 7:31–36, Luke 17:11–19 (read online ⧉)
Jesus produced miracle after miracle. Usually, people are pretty grateful when miraculous healing has occurred. The first healing we read today is a man who is not right in the head. Whether we stick with the surface Biblical understanding of possession or go with the postmodern view of schizophrenia it doesn’t really matter. Either way, we see that Jesus performed a miracle. The man was healed and he wanted everyone to know. Jesus directed him to return home. He went to the place he was likely cast-out from and talked about and displayed his healing. He wanted to let people know what Jesus had done for him.
The next story of healing is the deaf man, whose poor hearing had also affected his ability to speak. Jesus healed him, he could now hear and speak normally. What’s interesting here is that while only one person appeared to have been healed, there were either more people that were healed that Mark doesn’t talk about here, or the people were so excited for the man’s healing that they all couldn’t keep quiet about Jesus, and this was after he directed them to remain quiet. They couldn’t help themselves.
The last story is probably the saddest. Jesus healed 10 men of their skin disease. 9 of them did not return to honor Jesus, nor (we can infer) did they do anything that honored God (perhaps not even seeing the priests?) in return. Only 1 man did, and he was an unclean awful Samaritan (Jewish perspective). While the gratitude of 1 out 10 is depressing, there is something else here worth looking at. Nowhere do the Scriptures tell us that the 9 men who appeared to not be thankful regained their skin diseases. Yet, only the 1 man who was thankful (or at least returned to glorify God) was told by Jesus that his faith had saved him.
This last story shows us an important fact about the nature of God. Even when we are ungrateful, God is still loving and faithful. This also shows something else, just because we received miraculous healing, it does not mean we’re saved. That requires something else from us.
1) What is the difference between saving faith, being saved, and being healed?
2) What do you think God’s purpose(s) is(are) for miraculous healings?
3) Where do you see Christians acting like the 9? Where do you see Christians acting like those healed? Where do you see Christians acting like the witnesses of the healings?
Action: Figure out a miracle God has done in your life that you haven’t given him glory for, and share it.