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Matthew, Mark and Luke
Lesson 7
Jesus Heals the Sick

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Reading assignment for this lesson: Matthew 8:1-13, 18:22, 9:1-17, 7:27-34, Mark 1:40-45, 2:1-22, 3:22-27, Luke 5:12-39, 7:1-17, 9:57-62, 11:14-23

As word of Jesus spread, huge crowds of people came to see Him, hear Him and beg Him to miraculously cure their diseases. Many wanted to be His disciples, but Jesus warned them it would be a very difficult journey that required total commitment.

In New Testament times, tax collectors were Jews who worked for the occupying Romans to collect taxes from the Jewish people. They often overcharged the people and kept the profits. The Jews considered tax collectors to be traitors and the most despicable sinners of all. "Proper" Jews looked down on such people and would have no contact with them.

The sayings about fasting and wineskins (Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22, Luke 5:33-39) use unfamiliar images. It was customary for the Jews to fast two days each week, and fasting was often a sign of sadness and mourning. Jesus said His disciples should not be sad and fast while He was among them. The parables of cloth and wineskins are usually interpreted this way: Jesus ushered in a new covenant between God and His people. Just as you would not put a new patch on an old garment, or put new wine in an old wineskin, the new covenant did not fit within the old rituals of Judaism. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament Law, but new interpretations and understandings of the Law were needed.

1. Leprosy is a progressive skin disease. In Biblical times there was no cure, and it was often fatal. Lepers were declared "unclean" and confined to colonies to prevent spread of the disease. If a leper recovered from the disease, a priest was required to certify the cure before the person could return to society.

How did Jesus show that His authority was higher than the Jewish Law when He healed the leper? (See Matthew 8:1-4 Mark 1:40-45 Luke 5:12-16, Leviticus 5:1-3, Numbers 5:1-3)

2. When Jesus healed the widow's son at Nain (Luke 7:11-17), how did it serve as a prediction of things to come? (See Matthew 16:21, Acts 2:23-24.)

3. Many of the people Jesus healed had something in common besides illness. What was that quality? (See Matthew 8:2, 9:28, Luke 5:20, 7:9.)

4. Why did Jesus heal the sick wherever He went? (See Matthew 15:31, Mark 1:41, 2:10 Luke 7:13, John 5:5-6.)

5. Why did Jesus' claim to forgive sins provoke condemnation from Israel's religious leaders? (See Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26.)

6. a) What was required of someone who wanted to be a disciple of Jesus? (See 1 Kings 19:19-21, Matthew 8:18-22, 10:37-39, Mark 10:29-31, Luke 9:23-24, 9:57-62.)
b) What is required of us to be modern-day followers of Jesus?

7. a) Jesus created a scandal by associating with tax collectors, prostitutes, and other "sinners." Why did he spend so much time with sinners and outcasts? (See Matthew 9:9-13, Mark 2:13-17, Luke 5:27-32, 7:36-48, 15:7.)
b) What should our attitude be toward those we consider to be "sinners"? (See Matthew 5:46-48, 7:1-5, John 8:1-11, Romans 2:1, 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, James 4:11-12, Romans 16:17-18, 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, 2 Thessalonians 3:14, Titus 3:9-10.)

8. a) What was Jesus accused of when He drove out a demon? (See Matthew 9:32-34, Mark 3:22-27, Luke 11:14-23.)
b) How did Jesus answer the accusation?

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