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Sabbath School Lessons on Health & Healing
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 6: Faith and Healing *
Introduction: The Bible recounts many, in both the Old and New
Testaments, who were miraculously healed. What the Bible does not
explain is the mechanism by which this happened. Sometimes Jesus
used mud, other times spit, sometimes Jesus healed from a distance.
What should we conclude from that? The logical conclusion is that
mud and spit had nothing to do with it. So why would Jesus use them?
Consider something else. Physicians do not really heal
sickness, they merely improve the conditions for the body to heal
itself. What should we conclude from that? The logical conclusion is
that God created our bodies to heal themselves. Thus, the question
about faith healing is this: what part of the healing process is
connected with the mind? I recently read a book about the operation
of the brain and it cited several scientific studies which showed
that placebos (sugar pills) were effective in healing because people
believed the pills were medicine, not sugar. Did God wire our
brains to boost healing when we believe in healing? Let's jump into
the Bible and see what it teaches us!
- Mind and Body
- Read Proverbs 17:22. Do you think this is counsel about
health? (It uses terms connected with health: "medicine"
and "dried up bones.")
- When the Bible says "cheerful heart," is it actually
speaking of the heart? (No. The idea is that the
heart is the seat of our emotions. We understand
emotions to be connected with the mind. When
someone says "my heart was broken," we understand
them to be speaking about an emotion.)
- If we are talking about the mind and health in this
text, what does this teach us about the relationship
between our emotions and health? (That our mind has
an impact on our health.)
- Read Proverbs 18:14. What does this suggest about
attitude and sickness? (That our mind helps us through
- How can that be? (The Bible tells us there is a
connection between our thoughts and our health.)
- When Proverbs 18:14 says, "But a crushed spirit, who
can bear?" what does it mean? (If the mind is
wounded, what chance does the body have?)
- Proverbs 18:14 does not answer the question.
Presumably the answer is "you cannot bear illness
with a crushed spirit." So, what is the solution to
a crushed spirit?
- Read Romans 5:1-5. We read here several "mind" terms:
faith, peace, rejoice, hope. What do "rejoicing" and
"hope" have to do with our spirit? (They are just the
opposite of a crushed spirit.)
- How do we get to rejoicing and hope? (We start with
faith in Jesus. The way to a positive spirit, which
has a decided impact on our health, is faith in
- Faith and Jesus
- Read Matthew 9:27-30. If you were just observing this
miracle, what would you say were the elements of the
miracle? (A mental conviction that Jesus could do cure
their blindness, and Jesus' touch on their eyes.)
- Read Mark 9:17-19. Was a miracle performed here? (No.)
- Why were the disciples not able to heal the man's
son? (Jesus must have been speaking to His disciples
when he said "unbelieving generation." Thus, the
disciples did not have sufficient mental
- Read Mark 9:20-24. What does Jesus say is the key to
healing? (A mental conviction: "everything is possible to
him who believes.")
- What did the father think was the solution if he was
a bit short of the mark in his mental conviction?
(That Jesus could help him overcome unbelief.)
- Was the father right? (Read Mark 9:25-27. Jesus
healed the son. This obviously strengthened the
belief of the father.)
- Read Mark 9:28-29. This is a most interesting passage.
The disciples want to know more about the mechanism for
healing - why could they not heal this boy. What does
Jesus say is the mechanism for healing? (Prayer.)
- How does that make any sense? So far, we have
learned that a mental conviction is the important
part. What does prayer have to do with a mental
conviction? (This opens up a new view of mental
conviction. The mental conviction comes as a result
of spending time with God.)
- How can this be true when the father was asked
to instantly believe? (The only logical
conclusion is that a greater degree of faith
(understanding, mental conviction) is required
of those who perform the miracle than for those
who request the miracle.)
- Now the important question: If God created our
minds to help heal our bodies through faith,
how does the mental conviction of the healer
have anything to do with the healing? (This
tells us that there is a supernatural element,
beyond the logical/scientific connection
between mind and body.)
- Read Mark 8:22. What do you think the people meant when
they asked Jesus to "touch" this man? (They wanted Jesus
to heal him by means of putting His hands on him.)
- Whose minds are first involved in this potential
healing? (The blind man's friends. They believed
that touching would be needed.)
- Read Mark 8:23-24. Jesus both touched the blind man and
put spit in his eyes. In the Matthew 9 healing of two
blind men, Jesus just touched them. According to the
record, no spit was involved. The friends in the Mark 8
miracle just expected a touch. Why did Jesus add spit?
- Barnes' Notes on John 9:6 (involving another miracle
using spit and mud) reveal that the Jews "regarded
spittle as medicinal to the eyes when diseased."
Would any of the observers believe that spit would
immediately heal blind eyes? (No. But, it was the
logical thing to use.)
- When the man said that he saw walking trees, what
did he mean? (After decades of heavy reading in
college, law school and law practice, my distance
sight was terrible before I had surgery on my eyes.
I know what it means to say that people look "like
trees walking around." It means the miracle did not
work properly. The blind man's sight was improved,
but not perfect.)
- Read Mark 8:25. Is putting your hands on someone a second
time (this time no spit) the "fix" for a botched miracle?
- By now you should be very troubled by this faith
healing. Why does Jesus have to use spit once,
touching twice and why can't Jesus get it right the
- Indeed, why does Jesus ask the man "Do you see
anything" - as if the outcome were in question?
Isn't Jesus the power of the universe?
- If you start out with two assumptions, that Jesus had the
power to speak sight to this blind man, and that God
works through the mind to heal, can you explain all of
these odd facts? (In the beginning, it was the faith of
others who brought the blind man to Jesus. When Jesus
applied "traditional" remedies, touch and spit, His
purpose was to help instill faith in the blind man. When
the blind man first saw imperfectly, he was strengthened
in his faith that Jesus could do something for him. The
spit, touch and the two-stage miracle had nothing to do
with Jesus, and everything to do with the blind man's
- What lessons do we find in this for us and faith healing?
(1. That when it seems that God has not perfectly solved
our problems, perhaps it is to cultivate our faith. 2.
Traditional healing techniques can create a faith
partnership with God to heal our bodies.)
- Is faith healing possible today? Can our minds heal our
bodies when we believe in Jesus? Or, do we also need
Jesus to be here? (Read 1 Corinthians 12:7-10. To
whatever degree God has created our minds to heal our
bodies, we are taught that the power of God (in the form
of the Holy Spirit) is still present to perform healing.
We do not need to doubt that.)
- Friend, God has created your body to heal itself. God has
created your mind to work in partnership with the power
of God to heal through faith. Have you neglected such a
great weapon against illness and disease? Why not, right
now, commit your mind to trusting God to do miracles in
- Next week: Rest and Restoration.
* Copr. 2010, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.