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Lesson 4: "Get Up and Walk!" Faith and Healing *

Introduction: Last week we studied Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. This week we look at a series of healings and miracles that give us a greater insight into Jesus' ministry and strengthen Matthew's argument that Jesus is the Messiah. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more about our glorious Lord!

  1. Leper

    1. Read Matthew 7:28-8:1. When we studied the Sermon on the Mount, you might have concluded that Jesus posed a real challenge on how to live. What have the crowds concluded? (They follow Jesus in large numbers. They must not have been discouraged.)

      1. What is the logical conclusion regarding how they understood His teaching? (As you will recall, I pointed out the grace aspects of Jesus' sermon. Certainly the people must not have understood that Jesus was calling them to an impossible standard, otherwise they would not have continued to follow Him in large numbers. Their contemporary understanding should shape our view of His message.)

      2. Matthew tells us that Jesus was different in that He taught "as one who had authority." Is there some doubt about His authority? (Yes. Jesus was new to them.)

        1. What does this teach us about teaching the Bible? (Obviously, we are not Jesus. But, the point is that the Bible is not simply something to be debated for our amusement, it contains guidance for life that we must seek to understand.)

    2. Read Matthew 8:2-3. Is this the prayer all of us should give when we are sick? Or, should we assume that Jesus is willing?

    3. Read Matthew 8:4. Why would Jesus tell this fellow not to give glory to God? Why tell him to hide his light? Isn't this contrary to Matthew 5:14-16? (This reveals that healing this leper was not best for Jesus' ministry. Thus the question, "If you are willing," was exactly right. Jesus wants to heal us, and even if it might create problems He will do it. But, we see that Jesus must keep in mind the big picture of the movement of His kingdom. This also teaches us to use discretion at times when it comes to sharing the gospel.)

  2. Centurion

    1. Read Matthew 8:5-9. Why should this centurion tell Jesus how He should heal? (Read Acts 10:28. Peter is speaking in this verse to Cornelius a Roman centurion. The centurion understood the problems Jesus might have in coming to his home, so he tries to limit the adverse impact of his request.)

    2. Read Matthew 8:13. Re-read Matthew 8:3 and read Leviticus 13:45-46. We see from the centurion story that Jesus could heal at a distance. Why would He touch the leper - someone who was supposed to stay away from other people? (Both the leper and the Roman centurion would be unpopular with the Jewish people. Jesus shows that He is willing to embrace those who are not popular.)

    3. Let's go back and read Matthew 8:10-12. What hope do we find for those of us who are gentiles? (That by faith we can be part of God's eternal kingdom!)

  3. Mother-In-Law

    1. Read Matthew 8:14-15. We see that Jesus has healed a leper, a centurion and now He heals a mother-in-law. Is there anyone who Jesus will not heal? (I'm joking.)

      1. Notice that Jesus touched her, and that He touched her on the hand. If you were healing someone with a fever, would you touch that person on the hand or the head? (I think the reason her hand is mentioned is to show us how casually Jesus healed her.)

      2. Was this a casual matter to Peter? (I assume not. Thus, Peter's faith in Jesus is reinforced.)

    2. Read Matthew 8:16-17. Matthew is showing us (again) that Jesus fulfills the Isaiah prophecies about the Messiah. What impresses you about the way in which Jesus heals? (Jesus drives out demons with just a word. No sickness is too difficult for Him to heal. He heals everyone. Matthew is showing us that Jesus powerfully fulfills the prophecy.)

  4. Disciples

    1. Read Matthew 8:18-27. What are the job qualifications for being a follower of Jesus? (It looks like we need to be willing to put Jesus before comfort, family and safety.)

      1. What point do you think Matthew is making by taking about discipleship in the middle of these miracles? (Notice that these two new potential disciples came to Jesus after He performed powerful miracles. Matthew may be telling us that Jesus' power is for the purpose of pushing back the effects of sin, rather than making us more comfortable.)

  5. Pigs

    1. Read Matthew 8:28-29. Would you want to be a disciple of Jesus when these two visit Him? (People were scared of them and their violence.)

      1. What attitude do the violent demons have towards Jesus? (They fear Him. The elements obey Jesus and demons fear Him!)

      2. Consider the words of the demons. What do you learn from the enemy? (They know they will lose the controversy between good and evil. They know a time has been appointed when the conflict will conclude. They believe that it will end painfully for them.)

      3. Why do they shout?

    2. Read Matthew 8:30-32. Put yourself in the place of the demons. What were they thinking? What is the point of going into the pigs if you are just going to kill them? (This shows that the prime goal of demons is to destroy. Mindless destruction. Guess what demons have in mind for you?)

    3. Read Matthew 8:33-34. The people want Jesus to leave town. What does this tell you about the values of the people? (They care more about their pigs than they do about the saving of these two men.)

  6. Paralytic

    1. Read Matthew 9:1-2. If you were the paralyzed guy, is this the response you want from Jesus? In the prior chapter we saw that Jesus has been healing everyone who comes to Him. Why not this fellow?

      1. Do you recall a time in your life when you prayed that God would do something for you and God did something else instead?

      2. Read John 9:1-2 and Psalms 103:2-3. People thought that sin caused disease. Thus, the root problem is sin. In Psalms, the forgiveness of sin is listed prior to healing. Jesus addresses what this man undoubtedly thought was his most fundamental problem.)

    2. Read Matthew 9:3. Is this a reasonable charge? (Of course! Jesus' assertion can mean only that He is God!)

    3. Read Matthew 9:4-5. How would you answer Jesus' question? (It is easier to say than to do something.)

      1. Why is it fair to call the this charge of blasphemy "evil?" (I suspect it has to do with the fact that these religious leaders were not open to the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah.)

    4. Read Matthew 9:6-7. Is this a convincing argument? Let's say that a person who you are sure is not God heals someone. Would that be proof of divinity? (It would not prove the matter in my mind.)

      1. Why, then, does Jesus use this kind of proof? Why would Matthew use this as part of his evidence that Jesus is God? (It is difficult for me to figure out an absolute way to prove Jesus is God. So, Jesus does the best He can under the circumstances.)

      2. Notice that Jesus claims the divine authority to forgive sin. Is that part of Matthew's proof? (Yes. Think about this a minute. If Jesus is not God, what is He? He is crazy. He is seriously deluded. Could a person like that perform a healing? It is the combination of Jesus' assertion, and the actual healing that proves the point of His divinity.)

    5. Friend, we see that Jesus reaches out to all sorts of people to heal and help them. Demons, on the other hand, engage in senseless destruction. Which side will you choose in the controversy between good and evil? Why not make a firm decision right now?

  7. Next week: The Seen and the Unseen War.
* Copr. 2016, 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.
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