Adult Sabbath School Lesson Study Outlines

Skip Navigation
Get these Sabbath School lessons by e-mail! Subscribe to the Bible Study of the Week mailing list:

 Subscribe in a reader

Lesson 5: Discipling the Sick *

Introduction: Would you like more members in your church? That is the current topic of discussion in my church! People have ideas for outreach, but my thought is "Let's heal some sick people!" Have you ever considered what a great approach that is to bringing new people into your church? That was Jesus' approach, right? Or, was it? Did Jesus heal people to bring more crowds to hear Him, or did He heal people because He had compassion on them? If you are healing people to attract others to the gospel, isn't that showing compassion? Let's dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn about how to deal with sickness!

  1. Hearts and Healing

    1. Read 1 John 3:16-18. How many of you prefer to love with words? (It costs less, takes less time, and is less of a pain!)

      1. How does the Bible call us to love? ("With actions and in truth.")

        1. What does "in truth mean" in this context? (It means that doing something makes your words of love credible.)

    2. Read 1 John 3:19-20. What does it mean to have "our hearts condemn us?" (It means to feel guilty.)

      1. What is the Bible telling us in these verses that we have just studied? (We need to show our love with more than just words. We will feel good about helping people who are in need.)

    3. What do these verses suggest about the questions I asked in the introduction? If we could make healing a part of our gospel outreach, should we do it? (Yes! Whether you are healing to attract crowds to hear the gospel, or healing those already attracted to the gospel, you are showing concern about both sides of the person - the spiritual and the physical.)

    4. Read 1 John 3:21-22. Have you seen healing in your church?

      1. If not, what does this text suggest? (That we can ask for it.)

      2. Is this offer conditioned on anything? (It says we can receive anything we ask if we obey God.)

    5. Read 1 John 3:23. What kind of obedience are we talking about? (Believing in Jesus and loving others. This suggests that we need to pay greater attention to prayer for healing (believing in Jesus) on behalf of specific people (loving others.)

    6. Read 1 John 3:24. How do we live in Jesus and have Him live in us? (This is a very specific reference to the Holy Spirit living in us and us living a life in tune with the Holy Spirit. This is very important.)

    7. Let's be very honest for a few minutes. What makes helping others a pain? I just said that helping others makes us feel good. Is it both?

      1. Can you point to situations in which helping others felt good and situations in which it was a pain? What makes the difference? (Fixing the problem for a grateful person feels good. A perpetual, unresolved problem involving an ungrateful person is a pain.)

      2. How did Jesus handle the problems of people who came to Him? (He fixed the problem instantly. Let's look next at an example.)

  2. Jesus and Healing

    1. Read Mark 2:1-3. Are the people coming for words or for healing? (Both. But it sounds like more are coming for Jesus' words.)

    2. Read Mark 2:4. If you were speaking to a crowd, how would you like someone digging in the roof above where you are speaking?

      1. How would you like a person being lowered between you and the audience? (It would be very distracting.)

    3. Read Mark 2:5. Whose faith is Jesus referring to? (It sounds like group faith, not just the faith of the sick guy, because it says, "their faith.")

      1. Put yourself in the place of one of the four helpers. Is Jesus saying the words you were hoping to hear? (No! My guy is paralyzed. I would not have needed to drag him up the roof and then down through the roof for forgiveness of sins. I wanted Jesus to heal him.)

        1. Is it possible that Jesus is talking about the sin of interrupting His presentation?

    4. Read John 9:1-3. What does the question of the disciples reveal about the thinking of the people about sin and sickness? (The two are related.)

      1. Does Jesus dispute this popular belief? (Only in this case. He does not respond, "What, are you guys nuts?" Instead, he says that neither the sins of the parents nor the son contributed to the problem here.)

      2. What do you think about the reason Jesus gave?

        1. Recall the story of Job and his friends? Job's friends told Job that he was suffering because of his sins. Is the answer Jesus gives about the blind man applicable to Job's situation? (Yes!)

    5. Let's get back to our story about the roof-man. Read Mark 2:6-8. Are the teachers right? (Yes, it is God who forgives sin.)

      1. If the teachers are right, why should Jesus question them? (Because this is the critical issue for the ages - is Jesus God?)

    6. Read Mark 2:9-12. Let's revisit some questions that we raised earlier. Why did Jesus perform this healing? (The main reason seems to be to prove He is God.)

      1. If we asked the Holy Spirit to heal people so that we could bring people into the church, would that be a valid reason? (We want to convert people so that they know that Jesus is God.)

      2. What other reasons does the story suggest for this healing? (Look again at Mark 2:5. Jesus was motivated by their faith.)

        1. What does this teach us about a plan to use healings to promote the gospel? (We need to have faith. We need to pray about it.)

        2. Based on this story, do you think we could do this in our church? Could we heal if we had the Holy Spirit in power? (Traditional thinking may be a trap. Consider the non-traditional approach of the friends. They did not say to their friend, "We can't do this today, the crowd is too great." Instead, someone suggested, "Let's climb up on the roof and cut a man-sized hole in it so we can interrupt Jesus' presentation by dropping you in front of Him. I think Jesus will reward us for this!" That is faith, not logic.)

    7. Read Deuteronomy 28:15 and Deuteronomy 28:20-22. Were the people right to think that there is a connection between sin and sickness? (Yes, of course. I see at least three main reasons for sickness: a) We live in a sinful world; b)our own failures; and, c)to bring glory to God. Sometimes all three seem to apply.)

  3. Healing and Outreach

    1. Read Luke 9:1-2. If there is a connection between sin and sickness, are we "healing" people by converting them? (Yes!)

      1. Is this a way to promote the church? (We show creative thinking when we promote the church by saying that if you follow Jesus you will be healthier, and your life will be better.)

    2. One of the great things about me teaching at Regent University is that many of the professors and students are part of what I call the "Pentecostal Holiness" segment of Christianity. These are Christians who take obedience to God and the power of the Holy Spirit very seriously. Notice that Luke 9:1 is addressed to the "Twelve" disciples. Is healing limited to them or their time? (Read John 14:12-14. This says "greater things" are possible for "anyone who has faith in Me." In the next few verses ( John 14:16-17) Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to live in us. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that healing is possible.)

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 12:8-9. What does this teach us? (Two things. Healing is a spiritual gift. Second, God is sovereign. He decides to whom He will give the gift and who will be healed.)

    4. Read Revelation 21:3-4. What is the ultimate promise for healing? (Those who are saved will live in the earth made new, where death, pain and sickness are a thing of the past. Praise God!)

    5. Friend, God may give you the spiritual gift of healing, but even if He does not, you have the ability to tell others about Jesus. A relationship with Jesus helps us to avoid bringing sickness on ourselves and gives us the promise of a world free from sin and sickness. Why not share this with others today?

  4. Next week: Discipling the "Ordinary."
* Copr. 2014, 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.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
Back to Top | Home