+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening – A Collect for the Renewal of Life (Monday)
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading – Matthew 8:1-17 (NLT)
Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy
Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”
Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”
The Faith of a Roman Officer
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman office came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”
Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”
But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.
Jesus Heals Many People
When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him.
That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick. This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said,
“He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.”
Jesus heals our sickness and disease!
That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus.
He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick.
This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said,
“He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.”
– Matthew 8:16-17 –
A friend of mine recently died of cancer. Both he and his family were believers and they prayed in faith for his healing. So what should we make of his death in light of today’s reading?
+ All healing is subject to the good and perfect will of God. e.g. The man with leprosy – “if you are willing, you can heal me.” –
+ All healing is predicated on belief in Jesus’ authority over sickness and disease. e.g. The Roman officer – “Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed…. Because you believed, it has happened.” –
+ All healing in this life is only a temporary reprieve from sickness and disease. e.g. Peter’s mother-in-law – When Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Jesus healed her of her high fever, but she eventually died, as did all the other people who were brought to Jesus that day.
+ All healing in this life is a sign of our complete and total healing in the life to come through faith in Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross – “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.” – once and for all time.
So what do I conclude about praying for my friend? Jesus has answered our prayers for healing beyond anything I can imagine – he is perfect and whole, filled with joy, living in the presence of the One true God for ever and ever.
Questions for consideration:
- Have you ever prayed for a person to be healed of a sickness or disease? What was the result? Please explain.
- Do you believe that God heals people today? Please explain.
- Have you prepared for your own life’s end? What do you expect it to be like? Does it fill you with fear or joy? Please explain.
for the recovery of a sick person
Almighty and immortal God, giver of life and health: We implore your mercy for our loved ones, that by your blessing upon them and upon those who minister to them with your healing gifts, they may be restored to health of body and mind, according to your gracious will, and may give thanks to you among your holy people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
for joy at the end of life (Miles Coverdale)
Lord Jesus, be mindful of your promise. Think of us, your servants, and when we shall depart, speak to our spirits these loving words: “Today you shall be with me in joy.” O Lord Jesus Christ, remember us, your servants who trust in you, when our tongues cannot speak, when the sight of our eyes fails, and when our ears are stopped. Let our spirits always rejoice in you and be joyful about our salvation, which you, through your death, have purchased for us. Amen.
for help to bear bereavement
Heavenly Father, help us to entrust our loved ones to your care. Though sorrow darkens our lives, help us to look up to you, remembering the cloud of witnesses by which we are surrounded. And grant that we on earth, rejoicing ever in your presence, may share with them the rest and peace which your presence gives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
” Give me Jesus” – Fernando Ortega
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen