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

        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

    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

    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

    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

  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

    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

    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.