Introduction: In last week’s study we touched on the issue of God’s
timing when we face suffering. When life is not going well, and we
need Jesus’ help, sometimes it seems as if He is not helping. Like
the story of the resurrection of Lazarus, it might be that God has
something bigger in mind. This week we look at several stories about
the way God helps in times of trouble. Why God acts the way He does
is not always clear to us. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and
see if we can get at least some clarity!
- Read Mark 5:21-23. Imagine you are Jairus. How important
is the arrival of Jesus in your town?
- Has Jairus been a servant of God? (Yes, he was a
“ruler” of the synagogue. He cared about his
relationship with God.)
- Some of the Jewish leaders had a problem with Jesus.
What is the situation with Jairus? (He gets on his
knees and shows that he has faith in Jesus.)
- What, specifically, does Jairus request of Jesus?
(“Come … so that she will be healed and live.” He
wants healing to avoid death.)
- Read Mark 5:24. Has Jesus agreed to help Jairus’ daughter?
- What is the practical problem? (The large crowd. This
likely created a problem when Jairus was going to
Jesus to ask Him to come.)
- Read Mark 5:25-29. Assume you are this woman, what kind of
an attitude would you have? (No doubt she felt desperate.
She spent all of her money on doctors and they were unable
to help her. She was in a constant state of being
“unclean” ( Leviticus 15:19). For her to touch Jesus meant
that she was willing to make Him unclean too.)
- Read Mark 5:30-31. What do the disciples think about
Jesus’ question? (They think it is a silly question.
Because of the press of the crowd people are touching Him
all the time.)
- Read Mark 5:32-34. Why does this woman fear? (She knows
she is not supposed to be touching a religious leader and
making Him unclean.)
- How does she feel after Jesus has spoken to her?
(Fabulous. Her fear is gone.)
- Put yourself in Jairus’ position again. Is he happy for
- Jesus’ disciples think Jesus is asking a silly
question about being touched, what do you think
Jairus is thinking when the life of his daughter
hangs in the balance?
- Let’s give this situation a hard look. This woman had a
bleeding problem for twelve years. Would it matter if
Jesus delayed a day or a few hours in helping her?
- Does Jesus show a lack of urgency, sensitivity, or
common sense by not attending to the most urgent
- Would you feel like screaming if you were Jairus?
- Are all of the normal factors being ignored – the
fact that Jairus has an urgent case, the fact that he
has been a friend of God, the fact that he has an
important religious position?
- Read Mark 5:35-36. The hammer drops, the worst has
happened! When Jesus says “Don’t be afraid; just believe,”
what does He mean? Be afraid of what? Believe in what?
Jairus’ daughter is dead! His request for healing has been
effectively denied. The time for fear and faith has
passed! Or, has it?
- Notice that the woman felt fear ( Mark 5:33) and Jesus
indicates that Jairus feels fear. How many of your
troubles involve fear?
- Is fear a tool of Satan?
- Read Mark 5:37-42. Does Jesus’ outrageous delay with the
unclean woman make any difference now to Jairus and his
- What benefit can you see in Jesus’ delay? (If Jesus
had merely healed the little girl, some might say
that she got better on her own. No one naturally gets
better after death. The story makes the point that
she was really dead by telling us the witnesses
laughed when Jesus said she was sleeping.)
- Consider this story in the context of all of the times
when you think Jesus let you down by not healing or
helping you or someone you love. Will your story end the
same way – that delay will not matter? (When we are in
heaven, we are in that place in time when the delay does
not matter! Praise God! He will make all things right.)
- Read Mark 10:46-48. We can understand why this blind
fellow would call out to Jesus. Why would people “rebuke
him and [tell] him to be quiet?”
- Did those who rebuked Bartimaeus respect him? Did
they show concern for him?
- Did they think he deserved time with Jesus?
- Read Mark 10:49. Has Jesus changed the attitude of the
crowd? Do you have that same ability?
- Read Mark 10:50-52. Notice the difference between the way
crowd treated Bartimaeus (“be quiet”) and the way Jesus
treated him (I want to hear from you). What was Jesus
doing for Bartimaeus other than healing his sight?
- If you were blind and had just been healed, would you
follow Jesus as part of the huge crowd, or would you
find out what your friends and family looked like?
- What does this show about Bartimaeus?
- Read John 5:1-3 and John 5:7. What does this suggest about
the reason why all of these disabled people lay by the
pool? (People were healed if they got into the pool first
when it was “stirred.”)
- Do you think people were actually healed? (I think so
– otherwise laying around would make no sense. (Verse
four is disputed. It says specifically that people
were healed. The context, by itself, indicates this
- If people were healed when the water moved, why would
God heal in this way?
- Read John 5:5-7. What is wrong with this man’s answer? (He
is focusing on the problem and not on Jesus’ question
about his hope.)
- Read John 5:8-9. Why does Jesus heal just this one guy
when we read ( John 5:3) that a “great number of disabled
people” were present?
- Does the “win the race to get in first,” or Jesus
picking this guy out of the crowd to heal, remind you
of Jesus letting Lazarus die? Does it seem rather
- Read John 5:13-15. What does this suggest might be Jesus’
reason for healing only this fellow?
- We have discussed in previous lessons how bad things
can sometimes cause us to turn to God. What should
cause this fellow to “stop sinning?” (A miracle. A
tremendous blessing in his life. This shows that a
blessing can be God’s method of correcting sin in
- Read Acts 9:36-37. If God is making an executive decision
on the death of each of us, why would He let Dorcas die?
(Like the situation with Lazarus before Jesus came, it
seems impossible to explain.)
- What is the significance of the fact that Dorcas’
body was washed? (She was really dead.)
- Read Acts 9:38-40. All of our stories in this lesson
involve miracles performed by Jesus. What does this teach
us? (That you do not have to be God to be the agent for
- Read Acts 9:41-42. What reason does this suggest for
letting Dorcas die? (“Many people believed in the Lord.”
We have a limited understanding of the ways of God, but
even with our limits, we can see reasons for God’s
- Friend, because our understanding is flawed I don’t think
we should try to explain God’s specific thinking to people
who are suffering tragic losses. But, what these stories
show is that we should trust the God who loves us so much
that He died for us. Will you decide to trust God whatever
- Next week: Jesus Won Their Confidence.