Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Woman at the Well

How Can I Heal Today?
    The Healing Service in the Church is a vibrant and explosive force begun by Jesus Christ centuries ago. And yes, you too have the power to heal others. You need to tap into the power through faith and practice; remembering the Divine Son of God Who made us all gave us all the power of healing.
"These signs will accompany those who have believed; in My Name they will cast out demons . . . they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
1 So be confident! Step forward and take your place - Jesus is in great need of healers today. 

My personal ministry
Every interaction we have with another person can be either healing or destructive. There is a need to relate in a caring way to those who need our help.
If we have suffered and received healing ourselves, this brings a new depth of spiritual knowledge and empathy to our ministry.

  How do we know this? Well, why not wind back a few centuries and watch a woman so wounded by societal isolation and the consequences of her own lifestyle that she would not even draw water when other women were present. She was deeply, terribly alone . . .
The Woman at the Well
  The full sun of noon beat down at Jesus, light filtering through a dusty tree as He tiredly beat the dust from His clothing. It was a hot and dusty day as He traveled on the main road between His beloved Jerusalem and Galilee. Jesus looked at Jacob’s Well, and sat on the warmed stones. He was tired and somewhat discouraged; ministry in Samaria required tact and a peaceful tongue, as Galileans traveling to and from Jerusalem were not always welcome. Yet there was something more . . . as Jesus hitched his beige robe and sat, an indefinable stirring in the cosmos alerted the Son of God that a great moment was coming – a soul deeply in need of healing. And a soul of great passion and strength who had the ability to spread His Word of the Kingdom of God with great zeal.
  And then she came. A small lady, shoulders bowed and a fretful look about her face. Jesus, with His Divine Knowledge, looked upon her and loved her. He saw her deep need for love, which had not been met despite multiple partners. He understood her thirst for God, which had led her to worship timidly on Mount Gerizim, the Samaritan Jerusalem. Jesus sensed her racism which led her to ignore Him as she came up to the well; He was Jewish, she Samaritan, and there was historic strife and contempt between Jews and Samaritans. He lastly saw her deep and dreadful loneliness, the inner wounds of pain which bled quietly into her daily chores, and He smiled to Himself. Here was a woman with a fierce belief that the Messiah, the true Anointed, was coming; and He would explain all to her. And she would believe without reservation.
Living Water 
As the underground springs fed the well with its fresh and cool water, Jesus murmured in conversation with the woman. 2 Because the water from Jacob’s Well 3 is moving and not from a cistern, the ancients called it “living water” – a term to which Jesus Christ now gave new meaning.
  Jesus gave the woman healing; she was so excited at hearing He was the Messiah, she completely forgot about her precious water jar and ran to her village to spread the incredible news. How touching this was to Jesus; He, who had met with dissension and threats of being thrown off a cliff.
  This woman, healed in heart and soul by His Love and acceptance of her, thrilled to meet the Son of God, ran to tell all of the great news. This lady from Samaria was an Apostle of the Living Water.
  Jesus, Who had been hungry, thirsty and tired, now was cheered. When His disciples reasonably tried to offer Him refreshments, He laughingly told them He had secret food. This was His joke, as they were baffled and unamused. The joy of healing and bringing a new soul to eternal joy and fulfillment in the Father’s Kingdom was as satisfying to Him as food and drink to one deeply in need of both.
Healings of Jesus 
The healings Jesus carried out on the woman were many. Her loneliness and isolation vanished; this woman, frowned upon by her kinsfolk and neighbours due to her lifestyle, now ran back to the village and spoke to all.     Her shame at her failed relationships and criticism from others for her living with a man without sacrament was healed as she accepted the coin of true love and forgiveness from the Messiah. Her racism of people from a tribe other than her own was healed as she spoke with – and fully accepted – the Jewish Messiah. The living water of forgiveness and healing flooded over her soul, and she experienced rebirth into a new way of life; a life of confidence and trust in God. And from this she became both witness and preacher, telling all in her zeal that the Messiah at last had come.

Personal Testimony
  This lady from Samaria, so wounded and forlorn, was able to testify with great power and authenticity precisely because she was speaking from personal experience. Therefore, if we speak from our personal experience of healing at the Hands of Jesus, we speak with power and authority. The healings I have experienced through the goodness of God as I have walked the path of illness and difficulties have made it far easier for me to appreciate the challenges and need for healing that face others. The effective minister of healing is the one who is able to reach out to others; it is only by walking a mile in another's mocassins that we understand the problems the other faces. 4

Learning how to be a healer
  We learn how to be a healer by imitating Jesus. As discussed in Lesson One, Jesus taught the disciples to tap into their own healing powers by calling them to follow Him - to imitate Him. Today we have the way in which we can find out how Jesus healed in order to imitate Him;  the New Testament. Here is a vibrant account of different eyewitnesses who were actually there - front bench seat view, so to speak - at His healings. The eyewitnesses each had a different experience or viewpoint of the happenings and healings in Jesus' life. 
  Therefore the four testimonies of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John do not perfectly tally in every detail; but there was no need for them to. The testimonies were of what they personally saw and experienced at a very profound moment in their lives as they watched the healing work of the Saviour. The four Gospels are not a simple recording of words and deeds, but a manifestation of the soul-work and discipleship-training that Jesus was carrying out during the healings.       
  Jesus empowered the apostles and disciples to heal by taking them on tour with Him. They saw Him healing in many circumstances.  Matthew wrote of the great healings which took place on their travels. He saw a man with leprosy being immediately healed. Matthew witnessed Jesus giving a command for the servant of the centurion to be healed of palsy, and the servant was forthwith healed.
  Many other healings were attested to by Matthew; Peter's mother-in-law was healed of a fever. And when evening of that same day came, many suffering from possession and illness were brought to Jesus; and He healed them all - exorcising with a word.  7
  So as the disciples did, let us stand at the side of Jesus and watch as He heals. Read and reflect on the New Testament accounts until they become a part of the very fabric of your soul. We must imitate Christ until our reactions become those He would naturally have. That is the sum of what it means to become a healer. 

  There was general success of the disciples under Jesus' training. Jesus trained His disciples for three years under the principles of faith in Him as Son of God. 
  By studying the Gospels until they become second nature to us, we will be studying at the Feet of the same Master the disciples had.
  Jesus taught them to heal the sick and deliver people from possession [Matthew 10;1 / Mark 3; 14-15/  Mark 6;7/ Luke 9;1]. 
   He gave them freedom to practise their newly learned skills, and they experienced success in their healing and deliverance ministries [Mark 6;13/ Luke 9;6/ Mark 16;20]. 
  Jesus increased the faith of the disciples by challenging them to increase their skills. He encouraged Peter, who walked on water under His supervision [Mark 14; 28-31].  
  Jesus sent the disciples out to begin personal ministry [Luke 10;1, 9]. 

 Imagine it is you whom Jesus stands before, here and now; He gently places His Hand on your right shoulder, gazes deeply and searchingly into your eyes, and says 'Do you believe I have called you to be a healer?'
  If your answer is yes, then step forward onto a path of healing that will bind you close to Him as Master and Lord forever. 

Disciples Imitated Jesus 
  When Jesus sent out His disciples to heal as He healed [Matthew 10;1], they simply imitated Him. When Peter raised Tabitha (Dorcas) from the dead [Acts 9;40), he made the mourners leave the room where her body was - just as Jesus had done when He raised Jairus' daughter [Mark 5;40]. Peter commanded Tabitha to get up; Jesus had said, 'Talitha, get up'. Peter changed but the 'l' to a 'b'. Healing is the imitation of Jesus.

Now wait a minute
  Now wait a minute, I can hear you say. Does this mean that I'll be expected to raise people from the next life or heal full paralysis? Well, no. Full and unaccountable healings still occur, and often. But it isn't expected that you personally need to carry out dramatic healings. As healers, we are called to walk with the sorrowing; help the sick; comfort the sad; listen to the remorseful and bring them to reconciliation with God. We are called to minister the healing sacraments of Jesus Christ, and trust in Him to do whatever healing is necessary. And, in some instances, we might find that we have been given an especial gift of imparting healing. Only time, prayer, discernment, discretion and good judgement can tell.

Medical and scientific examination
  The International Medical Committee of Lourdes - in existence since 1947 - examines all claims of reported healings at the Lourdes shrine. 8   
  The Lourdes Shrine of Healing has had to deal with approximately 7000 cases of unexplained cures. Of these, 69 have been definitively proven by rigorous medical and scientific examination to have been miraculous (that is, there is no natural explanation for the cure). God continues to work among His people, and healing is a great part of His Ministry. 
  However, the dramatic returns from death apparently no longer occur. The reason is possibly that there is no need; the raising from the dead prefigured and underlined the great message of the Resurrection of Jesus; that we are destined for full and final healing in the afterlife, for eternal life. That message having been received and fully documented in the Gospels, it was time then to move on.

Forms of healing  
  The great and dramatic healings still occur; they are the province of God the Eternal Healer. So what forms of healing are we called to do, you might ask? Here comes the interesting part. Each of us has a different and  unique gift. All have the gift of healing; but not all are called to be fully in the healing ministry. 
  All Christians can heal by their faith in Jesus Christ [Mark 16;18], but not all are equally gifted healers [1 Corinthians 12;30]. Nearly all people can run, think or sing; but some have especial gifts in these areas. It is possible that one-third of Christians are especially gifted healers, but few know this. They rarely, if ever, use their healing gift while countless sick people go through these healers' lives without receiving healing. In a world of sickness and pain, this is a sad waste of supernatural resources. 9

  Those who have a special gift of healing will have this revealed to them by God's Holy Spirit. Sometimes this may only occur over years. People may begin practising in health and prayer professions, and over a period of time signs begin to show that they either have - or are developing - a special talent for healing.
  Much time needs to spent in prayer by the healer. A living relationship with the Living God is a must. A faith-filled life with practice of the Sacraments, communal worship and genuine efforts to live a Christian life are the ongoing necessities for a healer. Jesus prayed before healing [Mark 7;34-35], during healing [Mark 7;31-37], and after healing [Luke 5;16]. We need to do the same.

Discover your talent 
 Discover the extent and type of your talent. Perhaps you have an ability to find the right words to comfort the bereaved heart. Possibly you have a calling to walk with those in palliative care [ care of the dying]. You might have skills in working with troubled youth. The particular skill you have been given by God in your ministry, is an excellent indication of where your talent as healer may lie.
  Healing is needed in many hearts. Prisoners, children of prisoners. People struggling to make ends meet, fathers, mothers. Single moms, single dads. People struggling with gender issues, those feeling marginalised. Refugees, those who have suffered assault. The ill. The despairing. The suicidal. The addicted. The dying.
  As priest, you may be called on to heal through the Sacraments of Healing. Hearts are healed through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where people are brought back into healed relationship with God by their repentance of former lifestyle which was impeding their spiritual progress - and the reassurance of God's forgiveness. Healing of hearts and minds, and at times bodies, are wrought by the great Sacrament of the Eucharist. 
  The sharing of the Divine Life of Christ through the bread and wine has brought about more mysteries of healing in mind, heart, body and soul than will ever be known except by God. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has healed many. There are others who have a special ability to heal through the laying on of hands. 

What does this all mean for me?
Something wonderful and awe-inspiring. Perhaps you have an especial gift for healing. Perhaps that is why Divine Providence inspired you to take this course. Close your eyes in faith, live a simple and God-filled life, and trust Him to take you by the hand and lead you on the path of discernment that surrounds every vocation as healer.

Questions for Reflection
1. Sit at the feet of the Healer Jesus and listen to Him speak to your heart. What do you hear?

2. Develop a greater familiarity with stories of healing from the Old Testament. Discuss one of them, and what significance this story has had in your life.

3. Think of one way in which you can bring healing to our world. Discuss this.

4. Spend time in prayer after reading one of the many stories of the healings by Jesus in the Gospels. How did this passage speak to your heart?

1 Mark 16; 17 - 19 2 John 4; 1 - 42 3 Jacob's Well is also known as Bir Ya'qub; in Hebrew  באר יעקבand in Arabic بئر يعقوب
4 American Indian Proverb; 'Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked a mile in his mocassins'
5 Matthew 8; 1 - 3
6 Matthew 8; 5 - 13
7 Matthew 8; 14 - 16
8 Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes, The International Medical Committee of Lourdes,
9 Presentation Ministries; 2014. Healing; The Imitation of Christ. Cincinnati, Ohio.
Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson One


Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Two

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Three

Rev Catherine
Use freely for any worthy purpose

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