Welcome to the book study of Daniel Hurley’s book, an examination  of pain, faith, and the healing stories of Jesus.  Daniel Hurley, a physician of chronic pain, shows how an intimate reading of the gospels can open new horizons for people in chronic pain.  Explore along with us as we study each story of healing from the gospels of the New Testament.  You can purchase the book at http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Pain-Finding-Hope-Physician/dp/082941780X

” As we look back on the miracle stories in the Gospels, WILL we be able to transpose what we learn from Jesus’ actions two thousand years ago to our present struggles with pain, illness, loss, and disappointment?”, asked by Dr. Hurleys in his fourth chapter The Anatomy of a Miracle.  In review of each miracle we find that these people took initiative and  they took risks.  They were often in the process of searching.  They humbled themselves, asked for help, and expected miracles.  Let’s dive in and dissect each miracle.  Take one miracle a day. Study and meditate on each story.  Purchase Dr. Hurley’s book to guide you in your study or just open your bibles and study each miracle along with us.

Day One – chapter 4 of the book 

Let’s begin at chapter 4.  If you have purchased the book, spend some time beginning your journey with introducing yourself to Dr. Hurley and his medical practice in chapters 1-3.  Today lets begin, with diving right into the the healing miracles of Jesus.      The Leper.  Our book takes us to the scene, an early story in Jesus’s ministry, about a gentleman with a serious skin disease.  This miracle is mentioned in three gospels:  Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, and Luke 5:12-16.  Interesting thought to ponder, for some reason each gospel writer chose to mention this story among all the other stories where Jesus healed people.  Why?  Hurley remarks that “this man seems to have been one of the first to recognize the healing power present in Jesus”.

This man takes a risk……. “the leper steps out, and thus he stands out.  He risks himself merely by identifying himself before Jesus”.  Do you openly identify yourself with Jesus?  This gentleman believes a miracle is possible, but he does not demand it.  “He trusts in the power of Jesus rather than speaking from a place of entitlement, insisting that he be rid of his problem.”  Do you sometimes speak to God with a sense of entitlement, that you don’t deserve your consistent pain?  Hurley reminds us that “We each come before Jesus with the same opportunity that the leper had. This man show us how to bring our broken bodies to God with a readiness to move on, to get going with our lives.”

Hearing the message in the Healing……. “Though we may constantly cry to God to be relieved of some malady or problem, he may want us to look first into what more seriously ails us.  When we feel that God is not hearing us, we might check to see if we are hearing God.”   Do you need to look more closely at your life to hear God’s message?    Do you have sins that you need to ask for forgiveness before moving forward with healing?  Stop and pray….. ask God to allow you to hear him clearly, hear his message for you.  The Leper said to our Lord, “if You are willing, You can make me clean”

Interesting notes about this story of healing……. This man comes on his knees.  He knelt before the Lord.  His kneeling reveals something about his character.  He was humble.  We need to do the same when we bring our requests to God.  We need to humble ourselves and kneel before our Father.  Second note,  his illness….. leprosy…. a chronic  disfiguring skin condition that everyone can see and often causes nerve damage.  Can you  identify with this man?  Chronic pain is often not an illness that others can see.  Does this make a difference in your healing?  I think not, but as we look at each story I want you to think about your illness and the illness of others in your life and be able to identify with each person in the story.  They were real people just like you.  Third and last note…. this man chose to disobey our Lord after his healing.  In Mark 1:44 Jesus told him “See that you don’t tell anyone” about your healing.  Unfortunately,  this man did not follow what Christ told him to do. In Mark 1:45 we learn that this man defied Jesus and from then on Jesus could no longer enter a town openly.  Wow, how he went from humble to stupid.  Maybe stupid is a harsh word, but let’s not forget when blessings are put right in front of us that we are called to listen and obey and give thanks.  There can always be consequences to our sin and we never want to harm the ministry of our God.

Final thoughts…. “Change often comes first when we acknowledge and stay aware of our brokenness and need for healing”  Words of Daniel Hurley.  He reminds us that the miracles that we are studying  occur only after much effort, perseverance, and searching.  Are you willing to step up, stand out, humble yourself, and listen to God?  Take a moment again to present your petitions to God. Give gratitude for his blessings and ask him to reveal himself to you today.  Amen.

Book Study by Nichole Fogleman