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!
- 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
- 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.)
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.)
- 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
- 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.)
- 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!)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Was this a casual matter to Peter? (I assume not.
Thus, Peter’s faith in Jesus is reinforced.)
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- What attitude do the violent demons have towards
Jesus? (They fear Him. The elements obey Jesus and
demons fear Him!)
- 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.)
- Why do they shout?
- 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
- 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.)
- 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?
- Do you recall a time in your life when you prayed
that God would do something for you and God did
something else instead?
- 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
- Read Matthew 9:3. Is this a reasonable charge? (Of course!
Jesus’ assertion can mean only that He is God!)
- Read Matthew 9:4-5. How would you answer Jesus’ question?
(It is easier to say than to do something.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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?
- Next week: The Seen and the Unseen War.