Matthew 9:1-8 To Be Healed Physically and Spiritually (see also Mark 2:3-12; Luke 5:18-26)
This story was referenced in Mark 2 in last week’s lesson, but let’s look a little closer:
- Jesus saw the faith of those who brought to Him a man sick of the palsy (paralysis); and evidently He also saw the faith of the man who was sick.
- Before healing him of his sickness, Jesus said to him, “Be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” How did the scribes react to this? (verse 3). What did Jesus say to the scribes? (verses 4-6).
- Clearly, two miracles occurred in this man’s life—being healed of the palsy and being forgiven of his sins.
- Read Enos 1:5-8 and consider the “miracle” of our own sins being forgiven, because of Jesus Christ.
Note: Matthew 9:10-17—wherein Jesus was questioned about associating with publicans and sinners—was addressed in last week’s lesson, in the version found in Mark 2:13-17.
Matthew 9:27-36 He Heals Blind Men, Casts Out a Devil, and Preaches
We are seeing that Jesus’s ministry includes His works and His words, both of which bless many. We can take this as a pattern for our lives, as we strive to do good works and to speak inspiring words. Consider:
- In verse 27, the blind men called Jesus “Son of David,” acknowledging His role as the descendant of king David, who would be the Messiah. This happens a number of other times in the New Testament (see, for example, Matthew 12:23; 15:22; 21:9; Mark 10:47).
- In Matthew 9:27, what did the blind men ask of Jesus? (This is also our plea to the Lord.)
- What question did Jesus ask them, in verse 28? How did they reply?
- Jesus prefaced their healing by saying, “According to your faith, be it unto you” (verse 29; see also the experience of Zeezrom in Alma 15:5-11).
- Next, Jesus heals a man possessed with a devil, which had caused him to lose his speech, “and the multitudes marvelled” (verse 32-33). Do you “marvel” at the Lord and His masterful life, power, and compassion?
- Verses 35-36 summarize some of Jesus’s subsequent activities; what key words do you see in these verses?
Matthew 10:1-40 The Twelve Apostles (see also Mark 3:13-19; 6:7-11; Luke 6:12-16; 9:1-6)
In the lesson for Matthew 4 and Luke 4-5 we initially addressed the callings of some of the apostles, but now we will take a closer look:
- By ordaining His apostles (“disciples” in verse 1) to the priesthood, find the things Jesus said they were to do with this power (verses 1, 8).
- What do you think it means for them to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”? (verse 16).
- What opposition did Jesus specify that the apostles would suffer? (verses 17-18, 22). How were they to react to opposition? (verses 19-20, 26, 28-31). What can you take from these verses for yourself?
- Read verses 34-37. In what ways have you seen conflict occurring because someone chose to follow Jesus Christ or to join His church? In what ways can we try to temper or eliminate such conflict?
- Read verses 38-40. What does it mean to you to take your cross and follow the Savior? What do you think it means in verse 39, to lose your life for Jesus Christ?
Mark 5:1-20 Jesus Has Power Over Devils
Last week we considered the Matthew version of this story (Matthew 8:28-34; see also Luke 8:26-39) and we will now look again, this time in Mark:
- Read Mark 5:1-5. Who would not have compassion on someone in such a horrible circumstance?
- It is evident that this man’s behavior was completely controlled by the devils who had entered into his body. (We are left without an explanation regarding how evil spirits entered this man’s—or anyone else’s—body.)
- Upon seeing Jesus, what did the evil spirits compel the man to do? (verses 6-7).
- The instance of the evil spirits running to worship Jesus (verse 6), plus the interchange in verses 8-10, indicate that the devils knew who Jesus was (evidently not having a veil covering their memory of what we call the pre-mortal life), and that they knew that Jesus had power over them.
- Read verses 11-13, which show that such spirits may also enter the bodies of animals (which the unembodied devils also prefer over their curse of never having their own bodies), and this caused erratic behavior in them as well.
- Read the wonderful aftermath, in verses 14-15, 18-20. There is nothing that Jesus cannot heal!
Mark 5:21-43 Woman Healed; Jairus’s Daughter Raised (see also Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:41-56)
Immediately after He had cast out the “legion” of devils, Jesus went by ship to Capernaum, where “much people gathered unto him” (verse 21), and Jesus was approached by a man. What followed is a perfect example of Jesus’s perfect ministry:
- What impresses you about Jairus? (verses 22-23, 35-43). What do you learn from Jesus’s words and actions with him?
- What impresses you about the woman with an issue of blood? (verses 24-34). What do you learn from Jesus’s words and actions with her? (it isn’t certain what her twelve-year illness was, but the fact that she was afflicted with an uncontrolled bleeding made her perpetually unclean to all those around her, according to Jewish law).
- What additional insights do you gain from the other accounts of this story, in Matthew 19:18-26 and Luke 8:41-56?
- Again, our Savior relates to and teaches people in accordance with their faith in Him (see Mark 5:23, 28, 34).
- When Jairus was told that it was too late because his daughter had already died, Jesus said to him, “Be not afraid, only believe” (verse 36). What does it mean to you to exercise greater faith?
In the October 2015 general conference, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Twelve taught: “The Savior perceived the strength or weakness in the faith of those around Him. To one, He said approvingly, ‘Great is thy faith.’ He lamented to another, ‘O ye of little faith.’ He questioned others, ‘Where is your faith?’ And Jesus distinguished yet another with, ‘[In all Israel] I have not found so great faith.’… Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not something ethereal, floating loosely in the air. Faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright…. Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it…. The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.”
Elder Andersen continued, “Faith never demands an answer to every question but seeks the assurance and courage to move forward, sometimes acknowledging, ‘I don’t know everything, but I do know enough to continue on the path of discipleship.’… The difficulties of mortality blow against you, and evil forces lurk in the darkness, hoping to extinguish your faith. But as you continue to make good choices, trust in God, and follow His Son, the Lord sends increased light and knowledge, and your faith becomes settled and unwavering.”
Note: Luke 9:10-50 recounts the following, all of which will be addressed in future lessons, utilizing the accounts in Matthew 14; 16-18; Mark 6; 8-9; and John 6. This will include Jesus feeding the 5,000; asking His disciples, “Whom say the people that I am?”; teaching about taking up our cross; His Transfiguration; casting out an evil spirit; teaching of His death; and teaching about becoming as a child.
Luke 9:51-56, 61-62 “He Steadfastly Set His Face”
Like prophets before and after Him, Jesus was inspired to know what He was to say and do, and where He was to go. Being in Jerusalem often presented fierce opposition, however:
- Read Luke 9:51, 53 and consider the Lord’s firm determination, despite what He knew He would encounter.
- What do you learn from verses 52-56? How can we avoid being of this “manner of spirit”? (verse 55).
- Read verses 57-61 (which correspond to Matthew 8:19-22, which we touched on last week). Here in the Luke version, what are some of the challenges that can face those who choose to follow Jesus?
- To be a disciple of Christ presents unique obstacles. What difficulties have you had to overcome in your quest to follow Him?
- Read verse 62 and ask yourself, “What will help me keep my hand to the plow, not look back, and finish?