Introduction: Last week we studied Jesus'
Sermon on the Mount and the kind of attitude it
teaches that we should have if we want to be happy.
Attitudes result in actions. This week we look at
the kinds of actions which Jesus displayed towards
us. Are these the same we should display towards
others? Are these the natural out-working of the
Sermon on the Mount? Let's dive into our lesson and
I firmly believe that we are saved by faith, not
works. What does this text teach us about the
relationship of works to faith? (It says that a life
of faith produces works in line with the faith.
Works are evidence of faith just like apples are
evidence that you have an apple tree.)
What is insufficient for salvation?
How do you reconcile these two texts?(You should
read the entire chapter: Romans 10:1-21. Paul argues
that you can have "religious" actions without
understanding God. Specifically, you do not
understand God if you do not believe in Jesus. Paul
instructs us that you have to put your faith in
Jesus to be saved.)
If apples prove we have an apple tree, why do not
miracles, prophesy and exorcisms prove these are
How can you reconcile Jesus' statement that demons
can only be driven out by the power of God, and His
that God does not know some who drove out demons?
(The whole thrust of Matthew 7 is identifying
faithful people by their works. I can only conclude
that these people are lying or self-deceived. Jesus
calls them "evildoers!" Their lives reflect evil
deeds, not God's deeds.)
Jesus just finished the Sermon on the Mount and He
came down the mountain to be confronted by a leper.
If you were a leper, what kind of an attitude, what
kind of outlook would you have on life?
List how you would feel. (I would have no
hope or dreams for the future. I would know that
life was only going to get worse. I look ugly and
that will get worse. I smell bad. No one wants to be
around me. No one has respect for me because they
think it is my sin which caused my illness. I will
never have a full life, instead I'm going to die
miserably and alone.)
Can you think of any problem that a person
could have in life that would not, in a sense, be a
part of the leper's problem?
The leper said, "Lord if you are willing...." Put
yourself in Jesus' place. Would you want to help
this smelly, ugly fellow? What if you thought that
touching the leper might give you leprosy and cause
your nose to fall off?
What about the problem of making
you religiously "unclean?"
Is there any benefit to Jesus in healing the
Is the Lord always willing to heal us?
Which Beatitude is involved in this
Happy are the merciful.)
Do we see at any time in the New Testament
where someone came to Jesus and Jesus said, "No, I'm
not willing to heal you?"
Does the tree of your life reflect "mercy
Read Matthew 8: 5-8. What is the positive
significance of this man being a centurion? (He was
a Roman military officer in command of 100 men.
The centurions were the backbone of the Roman army.)
What is the negative significance of this man
being a centurion? (He represented the foreign
occupation army of God's land. He was a Gentile.)
Do you think that it is unusual for the centurion to
be asking Jesus for help for his servant? (I imagine
the centurion was uncertain how he would be received
by a Jewish teacher. Barclay says that in Roman law
a slave was defined as a living tool.
He had no rights.)
A Roman writer on estate management
recommended that farmers examine their implements
every year and to throw out those which are old and
broken - and to do the same with their slaves! Here
the slave was paralyzed--why not just kill him?
What does all of this say about the character
of this centurion? Does he display the character
Jesus commends in the Beatitudes?
Or, is this just like the centurion coming to
Jesus to get his tractor fixed?
Notice that Jesus offers to come into the
home of the centurion and, second, the centurion
asks Jesus not to come. What is going on? Lousy
housekeeping? (Read Acts 10:28. Here, Peter is
talking to a Roman centurion! It was not proper for
a Jew to visit the home of a Gentile. Both Jesus and
the centurion know this and the centurion is trying
to save Jesus from a difficult situation.)
If I'm correct about this, why didn't the
centurion bring the slave on a bed to Jesus? Do you
(happy are the meek) has anything to do with this?
(Assume that the centurion originally hoped his
authority might have some influence. As soon as
Jesus gave him a meek answer (instead of a righteous
objection), the centurion immediately responded with
a meek, face-saving response.)
Is the centurion modeling one of the Beatitudes
here? (It may sound odd, but I think the centurion
- he is a peacemaker. Remember that peacemakers make
peace between God and man? They show how Jesus
bridges the gap between God and man. This centurion
says that I can order people to do things at a
Surely God can do such a thing too!)
Did the paralyzed slave have faith?
(There is no indication.)
Can you be healed based on the faith of someone
Was Jesus willing to heal the slave?
At what point? (
shows Jesus decided to heal before He heard the
great faith statement of the centurion!)
Why? (I think this is a demonstration of
Matthew 5:7. The centurion was merciful to his
slave. Jesus then showed mercy to the centurion and
The Sick and Demon Possessed
The reference is to
where the prophet speaks of Jesus carrying our
infirmities and diseases. Isaiah also writes of
Jesus taking our punishment for sin. What do you
understand this to mean? Can we claim physical
healing to the same extent we can claim forgiveness
Or, is Jesus suggesting that He identifies
with the diseased, and therefore we sometimes suffer
disease as part of our existence here? (I think both
are true. When Jesus comes to permanently destroy
sin and death He will also destroy disease. In the
meantime, part of the human condition is to suffer
Put yourself in the place of this father, what kind
of state of mind does he have in verse 22 and what
kind of state of mind does he have in verse 24?
What kind of state of mind does the father have now?
(I would be ready to pop an artery. My daughter is
dying, this is an emergency and Jesus is looking
around to see who touched Him in the crowd!)
What is the reason for the daughter dying?
What does this tell you about Jesus' sense of
priorities? Could He work in a hospital emergency
What is the father supposed to believe? His daughter
just died because Jesus was fooling around with a
Does the delay matter now? Would you now allow Jesus
to work in a hospital emergency room? (This is one
of my favorite stories in the Bible because it is a
parable of our lives here. Things happen which make
no common sense. God disappoints us sometimes. We
think He is not paying close enough attention to His
duties (at least with regard to our life). We learn
from this story "Don't be afraid; just believe." We
must believe that Jesus has conquered death. Time
does not matter to Jesus. He will make all things
right. When He does, the delay will not matter to
Friend, will you commit today to live without
fear? Will part of the "apples" of your life be
trust in Jesus even though you cannot see the logic
in what is happening?
Next week: The Challenge of His Sayings.