Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – August 9, 2015
Theme: Responses to the Word
Topic: Levels of Faith
Main Texts: Mark 5:22-43, Matthew 8:5-13
Key Verse: Matthew 9:29 – ” … Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’” (NIV)
Last Sunday, in our continuation of the theme Responses to the Word, we studied The Centurion (whose servant was healed). Our key learnings from that study are:
- When we request prayer support from a respected Christian concerning an issue, we should not do so as if he or she has better access to God.
- The intent should be: (a) Possible counsel concerning the issue, to help us pray more effectively, and (b) In obedience to the Scripture admonition for us to pray for one another
- We must guard against ascribing answers to our prayers to some “man of God” as that would amount to sharing God’s glory with man. Indeed, such a mindset could hinder answers to our prayers
- Our ability to assert the Centurion’s kind of faith (“Just speak the word, and my servant will be healed”) can only come from a close walk with God, meditation on His word, speaking those words to ourselves, and making them our own.
This Sunday, we will be looking at different Levels of Faith. We will look at three characters, all of whom benefited from the Lord’s miracles, but who all demonstrated different levels of faith and had to overcome different challenges. At the end of the study, we should have a more mature attitude to others who may demonstrate different degrees of faith from us. We would also appreciate that there will always be challenges to our demonstration of faith.
In this study, we compare three persons each of whom responded positively, in faith, to the word of Jesus Christ. In our first text, we see two of these characters: Jairus’ daughter was ill and he desperately wanted Jesus to come to his house to heal her. To Jairus, the answer lay in Jesus’ physical presence at the girl’s bedside. Then we have the woman that had been bleeding for twelve years. The words and works of Jesus inspired her faith and she said to herself, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” (Mark 5:28 NIV). One might be surprised that she did not seek for Jesus to pray for her or lay hands on her! Then in our second text, we see the third character – the centurion who was satisfied that all he needed for his servant’s healing was a word from Jesus, spoken from anywhere!
a) Give examples of different levels of faith expressed by people seeking God’s intervention in their situation today.
b) What should be the attitude of other Christians around them, some of whom may in fact feel uncomfortable or awkward with the seeker’s demonstration of faith?
The woman with haemorrhage had significant challenges. First was the fact that at that time, women were not expected to openly mingle with men in public places. (This explains why, for example, the account of Jesus feeding thousands miraculously only refers to men, “besides women and children”.) Furthermore, according to the law, a haemorrhaging woman was unclean and should not mingle with healthy people. See Leviticus 15:25-27. These challenges were definitely sufficient for her to resign herself to her fate. But she had a faith that rose above those challenges.
c) Give examples of real challenges we could face as we seek God’s intervention in our situation, and possible lessons from this woman’s story on our response to such challenges.
The idea of a woman touching Jesus’ garment to be healed, which was somewhat mirrored in Apostle Paul’s ministry at Ephesus where handkerchiefs and aprons from his body were taken to the sick for healing (Acts 19:11-12) has informed the practice of “holy handkerchiefs”, “holy water”, “holy oil”, etc. in Churches today.
d) What are the subtle dangers in the use of “holy” articles taken from respected ministers as a means of solving our life’s problems?
e) What would be a scripturally balanced attitude to such practice?
Father, as I study your word, let your revelations to me become a part of me, manifesting in my increasing levels of faith and trust in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.