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!

  1. Jairus

    1. Read Mark 5:21-23. Imagine you are Jairus. How important
      is the arrival of Jesus in your town?

      1. Has Jairus been a servant of God? (Yes, he was a
        “ruler” of the synagogue. He cared about his
        relationship with God.)

      2. 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.)

      3. What, specifically, does Jairus request of Jesus?
        (“Come … so that she will be healed and live.” He
        wants healing to avoid death.)

    2. Read Mark 5:24. Has Jesus agreed to help Jairus’ daughter?

      1. What is the practical problem? (The large crowd. This
        likely created a problem when Jairus was going to
        Jesus to ask Him to come.)

    3. 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.)

    4. 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.)

    5. 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.)

      1. How does she feel after Jesus has spoken to her?
        (Fabulous. Her fear is gone.)

    6. Put yourself in Jairus’ position again. Is he happy for
      this woman?

      1. 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?

    7. 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?

      1. Does Jesus show a lack of urgency, sensitivity, or
        common sense by not attending to the most urgent
        cases first?

      2. Would you feel like screaming if you were Jairus?

      3. 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?

    8. 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?

      1. Notice that the woman felt fear ( Mark 5:33) and Jesus
        indicates that Jairus feels fear. How many of your
        troubles involve fear?

      2. Is fear a tool of Satan?

    9. Read Mark 5:37-42. Does Jesus’ outrageous delay with the
      unclean woman make any difference now to Jairus and his

      1. 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.)

    10. 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.)

  2. Bartimaeus

    1. 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?”

      1. Did those who rebuked Bartimaeus respect him? Did
        they show concern for him?

      2. Did they think he deserved time with Jesus?

    2. Read Mark 10:49. Has Jesus changed the attitude of the
      crowd? Do you have that same ability?

    3. 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?

      1. 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?

        1. What does this show about Bartimaeus?

  3. Bethesda

    1. 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.”)

      1. 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
        is true.)

      2. If people were healed when the water moved, why would
        God heal in this way?

    2. 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.)

    3. 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?

      1. 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

    4. Read John 5:13-15. What does this suggest might be Jesus’
      reason for healing only this fellow?

      1. 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
        your life.)

  4. Dorcas

    1. 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.)

      1. What is the significance of the fact that Dorcas’
        body was washed? (She was really dead.)

    2. 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

    3. 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

    4. 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

  5. Next week: Jesus Won Their Confidence.