A.  Tonight’s Bible study is a special one … a follow-up to our study last Monday night.

B.  Our keynote passages … Matthew 9:9-13 and Matthew 9:18-26.

C.  Before we go there … let’s look at a few other passages …

James 5:16   Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.   

Matthew 7:7   Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”   

Luke 11:9  “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”     

John 15:7  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.    

John 16:24   Until now you have asked nothing in My name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.   

D.  What is the message that you get from those passages?


E.  Consider two other passages …

Matthew 21:22   And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”   

Mark 11:24   Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.   

F.  What is the message that you get from those passages?

    • Are those passages about blanket promises?
    • Is God’s word telling us that all we have to do is believe firmly enough and He will give us what we ask for?
    • Is it that there are no conditions?

G.  There are some/many who believe those are blanket (even unconditional) prominses.

H.  There are others who believe those passages empower/enable you to name & claim … but with conditions (i.e. as long as you have faith … and believe).

Consider those who proclaim a prosperity gospel and/or the word of faith.

I.  BUT … Is that what those passages are really saying?   Are those passages blanket promises (promises God is bound to … as long as you believe) … OR do they need to be understood in light, not only of their contexts, but also in light of other passages.

J.  I don’t think those are blanket promises … I believe they must be understood in the light of their contexts … and in light of other passages.

One of those passages is in Matthew 9.

In this study, we want to see how Matthew 9 can help us better (correctly) understand those passages.

Title:  Faith, Healing. and “Faith-healing”

Text:  Matthew 9:9-13 and Matthew 9:18-26    

Matthew 9:9-13    As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.   

10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  

12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’  For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, [a]to repentance.”   

      1. Matthew 9:13 NU omits to repentance  

Matthew 9:18-26   While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”  19 So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.

20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”  22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

23 When Jesus came into the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, 24 He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.”  And they ridiculed Him.  25 But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose26 And the report of this went out into all that land.      


What can we glean from this passage … based on the sermon we read last Monday?    


    1. How many types of healing did we identify in the passage?
    2. What are the types we identified?
    3. What is the significance of identifying different types of healing?
    4. What should we assume when we pray for healing?
    5. What should we consider if we don’t get the healing we pray for?


    1. four (4)
    2. social, emotional, spiritual, physical
    3. God is not only interested in healing us physically.
    4. God is still good … God still loves us … God still cares.
    5. God may be healing some other part of our being.


we must start with assuming the truth of God’s goodness, and try to make sense of our circumstances through that lens.  It is hard, but this is what faith is all about: believing God to be good even in the midst of our misery.

From our perspective, it may appear that God says “no” to our prayers for physical healing.  However, the truth is that any suffering we endure in this life must be weighed against the guaranteed eternal sickness-free, pain-free life we have been freely given by Jesus.  God has already been good.  God has already healed.  He has already said “yes” to our healing.

      • 1 Peter 2:24   who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.   

Soon and very soon we will take off the corruptible.  We will put on the incorruptible.  This is good news for us and for those who do not yet know Christ.  As we think about how we engage our neighbors in this season of Ordinary Time, we do have an answer for those who ask why God allows human suffering.  Jesus has made, is making, and will make all things well.

What else can we glean?

What, for example, can this passage help us to understand about healing and the relationship between healing and faith?


Matthew 9:18-26   While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”  19 So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.

20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”  22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well. And the woman was made well from that hour.

23 When Jesus came into the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, 24 He said to them, Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping. And they ridiculed Him.  25 But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose26 And the report of this went out into all that land.      


There’s a lot to be gleaned from Matthew’s account … but we can glean even more if we compare his account with Mark’s account.  Notice …

Mark 5:21-43   Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name.  And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death.  Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.”  24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.  

25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians.  She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”

29 Immediately  the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the [f]affliction.  30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?

31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”

32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.  33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”    

35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”  

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be afraid; only believe.”  37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.  38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw [g]a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”

40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.




SERMON High Points

How should followers of Christ approach healing?

What should be our posture?

We have all likely prayed for someone who was sick seen them make a miraculous recovery. Likewise, we have all likely prayed for someone who eventually died.   Christians get sick all the time and do not always receive physical healing.   

Is it a matter of chance?   

Do our prayers even matter?   

How can we stand on God’s promise to heal us when it seems like people get sick and recover at random?   


Trying to make sense of the relationship between God and human sickness has rocked the faith of many believersDealing with sickness either personally or in someone we love can cause us to question God’s goodness. 

If God is continually working to make us well, why don’t we always experience wellness?

Why does it sometimes seem like we cannot trust in the promise of God’s healing?

humans are not simply physical beings. We are spiritual, social, emotional, and intellectual as well.  And, as a result of The Fall, all of these aspects of the self are diseased to some degree.

I believe our eternal God prioritizes the sicknesses that most get in the way of us enjoying communion with him and other people, which is not always our physical ailments.  So, God is always working to heal each of us.

we may not experience him working on every form of sickness we carry at the same time.

God obviously has the power and the inclination to heal us at every level.  And one day he will banish sickness, and we will enjoy perfect health for all eternityUntil then, we can be assured that he is continually working to heal us completely.


These stories that illustrate four types of healing are not templates for how to get relief from the things that ail us.  We have to resist the temptation to seek a transactional relationship with God,

there is no formula that guarantees healing in this life.


How do we ask God for healing in a way that is not transactional?

  1. First, we need to approach God assuming his goodness and his proactive efforts to make us well.  We ask God for healing not because he needs to be convinced or he is unaware of our suffering.  We ask God for healing because he cares about what we care about, and because he is the source of every good thing.  He invites us to boldly make our requests known because he desires for us to participate in the story he is unfolding.  Within every request we make of God, we should embed a “yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39) frame of mindIn this way, we state our desire, but we leave our hearts open to willingly accept whatever God wants to do, trusting that whatever he decides to do is best.
  2. Next, we need to pray for our physical healing while looking for the other ways God is working to make us well.  We need to assume God is working at all times to heal us because this is our reality.  As we pray for healing, if possible, we should shift our focus to our social, emotional, and spiritual selves.  Pain and discomfort can often consume our thoughts and emotions so this might not always be possible.  However, if we are able, we should try to find ways that God is making us well.  Doing so will show us that God has not abandoned us in our sickness and is always working to heal us.

I thank God that one day sermons on healing will no longer be necessary. Until that time it is good to know that Jesus, indeed, is our healer.  And, he is working, even now, to heal us completely.

We’re not the only ones with this viewpoint.

Notice this Q & R from the gotquestions.org website …


What did Jesus mean when He told people, “Your faith has made you well”?  

your faith has made you well


The first recorded instance of Jesus saying, “Your faith has made you well is found in Matthew 9:22 ESV where Jesus heals the woman with the issue of blood.  The KJV translates Jesus’ words as “Thy faith hath made thee whole,” and the NIV says, “Your faith has healed you.” The same incident is also recorded in Mark 5:34, where Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (ESV).  

Jesus also says, “Your faith has made you well,” to the ten lepers (Luke 17:19) and a blind beggar (Luke 18:42).  Other times Jesus links faith and healing without using the exact words, “Your faith has made you well,” such as in Matthew 8:13 and Matthew 15:28.  

The healing that these people experienced is expressed, in Greek, by a form of the word sozo, which means “to preserve, rescue, save from death, or keep alive.”  Sometimes, sozo refers to spiritual salvation, which is also linked to a person’s faith.  For example, when the penitent prostitute washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, He told her much the same thing: “Your faith has saved you” (Luke 7:50; for other examples, see Mark 10:52 and Luke 17:19).  When Jesus spoke of the faith of the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9, His healing was very likely more than physical; it was a spiritual healing as well, as she is told to “go in peace” (Mark 5:34).

When Jesus said to certain people, “Your faith has made you well,” He was saying that their faith (their confidence in Him) had been the means of their restoration.  The power of Christ was what effected the cure, but His power was applied in connection with their faith.  Just as the faith of some enabled them to receive healing, so healing was sometimes stymied by a lack of faith (see Matthew 13:58). In the same way, salvation comes to a sinner through faith.  Everyone who is saved must believe, but it is the power of Christ that saves, not the power of faith.  Faith is only the instrument, not the power itself. 

In other words, the value of one’s faith does not come from the one who expresses it but from the object in which it rests (Mark 10:52; 11:22).  Ultimately, healing is not contingent upon the quality of one’s faith, but upon the Healer. It was through Christ that the woman in Matthew 9 was able to receive a bodily peace as well as a spiritual peace.  

We must recognize that Jesus did not indiscriminately heal all the people all of the time.  For example, in the scene of the disabled man at the pool of Bethesda where multitudes gathered to be healed, Jesus chose only one man to heal (John 5:1–11), and his is an interesting case.  Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be made well.  His answer was steeped in superstition: there was no one to carry him to the pool, and he wasn’t fast enough to get into the water at the right time.  This confused and needy man was healed by God’s grace.  He had no faith in Jesus; he didn’t even know it was Jesus who had healed him until later (John 5:12–13).  

Another example of someone who was healed before faith is the man born blind in John 9.  He did not ask to be healed, but from many others, he was chosen to be healed — another example of God’s grace.  In the case of the man born blind and in the case of the man at the pool, Jesus dealt with their physical problems separately from dealing with their spiritual need — the man in John 9 later comes to a full realization of who Jesus is and exercises faith in Him (John 9:38).  Jesus’ healing of these men was not about their faith as much as it was about His will.**  

Everyone whom Jesus willed to be healed was healedSometimes He healed those who expressed their faith in Him, and He made a point of emphasizing the condition of their heart: “Your faith has made you well.”  Other times, in His great mercy, He healed those who had no faith and later drew them to Himself.  


1 Peter 4:19  Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.   (will = Gk. – thelema = act of the will; desire; inclination; determination)  
1 John 5:14  Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.   (will = Gk. – thelema = act of the will; desire; inclination; determination)   

John 14:13   And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:13   And whatever you askinMyname, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  




  1. John 14:13   And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
  2. John 14:14   If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.   
  3. John 15:16   You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
  4. John 16:23   “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
  5. John 16:24  Until now you have asked nothing in My nameAsk, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
  6. John 16:26   In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;


Matthew 7:9-12    Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.    

Romans 8:26-28  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.    





HEAL ME, O LORD … Don Moen et al …





What did Jesus mean when He said, “Ask and you shall receive”?


Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” in John 16:24. Similar statements are found in Matthew 7:7; 21:22; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9; and John 15:7. Is this a blanket promise with no conditions? If we ask for three hundred pounds of chocolate delivered to our door, is God obligated to give it to us? Or are Jesus’ words to be understood in light of other revelation?

If we assume that “ask and you will receive” means “ask for anything you want and I’ll give it to you,” then we have turned the Lord into a cosmic genie who serves our every whim. This is the problem of prosperity gospel and word of faith teachings.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that whoever asks receives, whoever seeks finds, and whoever knocks will find an open door (Matthew 7:7–8). But with this and all other verses we must examine the context. Jesus goes on to say that God will not fail to give His children good things (verse 11). So, this is one condition to the promise of “ask and receive”: what we ask for must be good in God’s estimation. God will give advantageous gifts to His children; He will not give us bad or injurious things, no matter how much we clamor for them. The best example of a good gift is the Holy Spirit, according to Luke 11:13. We begin to see a two-fold purpose of prayer—to increase our understanding of what God calls “good” and to cultivate a desire in us for what is good.

Our prayers to God are not unlike our requests of men. Our prayers are based in a relationship, as Jesus points out in Matthew 7:8. If a child asks his father for something the father knows to be hurtful, the request is denied. The child may be frustrated and unhappy when he doesn’t get what he asked for, but he should trust his father. Conversely, when the child asks for something that the father knows is beneficial, the father will provide it eagerly because he loves his child.

We have another condition to the promise of “ask and receive” in John 14:14, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Here, Jesus does not promise His disciples anything and everything they want; rather, He instructs them to ask “in my name.” To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray on the basis of Jesus’ authority, but it also involves praying according to the will of God, for the will of God is what Jesus always did (John 6:38). This truth is stated explicitly in 1 John 5:14, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” Our requests must be congruent with the will of God.

The promise of “ask and receive,” even with its conditions, can never disappoint. There is no chance of things we need not being in God’s will. He promises to supply what we need when we “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Of course, what we want is not always what we need. If what we want is not in God’s will, then we really don’t want to receive it. God knows what is good for us and is faithful and loving to say “no” to selfish and foolish prayers, no matter how much we want what we’re asking for.

God will always give us good things. Our job is to understand what is good, so that we know what to ask for. The natural mind cannot understand this. But, when we offer ourselves as “a living sacrifice” and are transformed by the renewing of our minds, then we “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1–2). Then, asking for what we need in faith, we will have all we need for life, godliness, and fullness of joy (John 16:24).

The biblical instruction concerning prayer is that we pray for the good things that we truly need, according to the will of God, in the authority of Jesus Christ, persistently (see Luke 18:1), unselfishly (see James 4:3), and in faith (see James 1:6). In Matthew 21:22 Jesus again emphasizes faith: “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Those who truly believe God will witness the amazing, infinite power of God. However, comparing Scripture with Scripture, we know that the asking must be done within the will of God. Part of having faith is acceding to God’s plan as best. If we ask for healing, and that is the best thing for us, we should not doubt that God will heal us. If He does not heal, then not being healed is a necessary part of a larger plan—one that is ultimately for our good.

Consider Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This verse does not give us a way to manipulate God; nor does it mean that, if we obey, He will reward us with whatever treat we crave. Rather, it means that, when we delight ourselves in God, then we will find everything we want and need in Him. The key here is that the heart of the seeker is changed—when we delight in the Lord, God’s desires begin to become our own. When our desires match God’s, then our prayers are automatically aligned with His will.

Among the most important prayers in the life of a Christian are “Teach me to love you above all else” and “Cause me to want what you want.” When we truly desire God, when we are passionate to see His will accomplished in this world, and when we ask for what brings Him glory, He is eager to give us anything we ask. Sometimes the things that glorify God are pleasant—a marriage or a child. Sometimes they are difficult for us—a failure that humbles us or a physical weakness that makes us more dependent upon God (see 2 Corinthians 12:7). But, when we pray within His will, in the authority of Jesus, persistently, unselfishly, and in faith, we will receive what we need.





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