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Healing: Step One

More than any other action Jesus always healed. Healing is not about just removing an ailment, it’s not about just finding a cure for what ails you. Healing is about full restoration. Restoration to body health, but also spirit and communal health.
Scripture Reference: John 5:1-18

Probably the most important condition the church can provide for healing is the sense of loving community. By this early Christians were known. This sense of belonging, this amazing love, gave the early church so much vitality and made it so much a healing instrument of the Spirit that it became a mark by which Christians could be told from other people. As one French scholar has commented, “If Christians had not had this quality, the world would still be pagan. And the day when this quality is no longer there, the world will be pagan once again.” It is in such fellowship that the relation to God which brings about healing is most often found . . .
— A. J. Festugiѐre

Step 2: Reflect

Read the quote above.

How does your faith community offer and extend belonging and love to those who are not yet a part of the group?

How have you experienced healing in your own life?

Next Step

Spend time with your favorite Gospel.

The first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) each tell the story of Jesus' life in a slightly different way. If you don't know which is your favorite, yet, just choose one of the four randomly! You will find healing in each one. Choose a few chapters to read through and write down the following:

  • book, chapter, and verse of the healing
  • what/who was healed
  • how the community was involved.

You don't have to stop at just 2 chapters! You can read all the way through, if you like! (Tip: Mark is the shortest of the four.) 

Set a timer for 2 minutes and let yourself pray/ponder/walk and reflect on this understanding of Jesus' healing ministry.

Deeper reading

There are several amazing books about Jesus and healing. I highly recommend the following:

Healing & Christianity: A Classic Study by Morton Kelsey

Healing in the New Testament: Insights from Medical and Mediterranean Anthropology by John J. Pilch

Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts by Craig S. Keener

There are several articles about how young North Americans, particularly those in the millennial generation, are experiencing Christianity. Here are three articles from recent years that present the experience of millennials. As you read, note how each of these articles talk about the importance of love and community belonging which is the root of healing.

The Real Reason I Don't Go To Your Church

Dear Church, Here's Why People Are Really Leaving You

12 Reasons Millennials are OVER Church

Community Conversation

Found a favorite story? Come and share it with others! God With/In Curriculum Community Facebook Group