Reading: Mark 2: 1-12

In our last lesson we studied how Jesus healed. Now let us look at when Jesus healed. Did he require certain circumstances or did he simply heal anywhere, anytime?

a) He healed by request of the sick man’s friends or relatives as we have read in Mark 2: 1-12. The four men who carried the paralysed sufferer cared sufficiently to go to great trouble to get through the crowd by the ingenious method of opening up the roof and letting the stretcher down. When Jesus saw their faith - not that of the sick man - he responded to it. Later the sick man showed his own faith when he obeyed the command of Christ: 'Stand up, take your bed and go home.'

b) By the sufferer’s own request, as when a leper knelt before him begging his help. (Mark 1: 40,41)

c) After a night of prayer (Luke 6:12). We realise the tremendous infilling of spiritual energy that Jesus received during that night alone with God, when we read that next morning 'everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him, because power went out from him and cured them all.' (v.19)

d) From a distance - on three occasions:

1. The paralysed servant of a centurion. (Matt.8: 5-10) Read this.

ii. The demon-possessed daughter of the Canaanite woman. (Matt.15:22-28)

iii. The nobleman's dying son. (John 4: 46-53).

How could Jesus heal from a distance? Thought-forces - and prayer is a thought-force - are not inhibited by distance , time or language barriers. They need no satellite to relay them round the world. Their potency is the same everywhere. Even today healing groups send positive and strengthening thoughts to those who seek their ministry, the same type of distant healing that Jesus used with such success.

But we must also look at some occasions when Jesus could not heal, because of lack of faith.

Read Mark 6: 1-6. Note that it was in Jesus' own home town of Nazareth, and hear the Sneering question: 'Is not this the carpenter?’

Who was he to come back pretending to be a prophet? They knew both him and his humble family! Then read the sad words, ‘He could work no miracle there, except that He put His hands on a few sick people and healed them. He was taken aback by their want of faith.’

‘Their want of faith’? Was faith the necessary ingredient in all the healings?

Whose faith? How much faith? We shall look at this question in our next study.

Discuss: Whose faith seemed to be vital in the various healing incidents we have considered?