14 February 2021

God’s power to heal – Matthew 8:1-4

A.  When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.

Question 1 : What do you think motivated the crowd to continue following Jesus?
Question 2: People avidly follow the lives of sports personalities, pop stars, philosophers, politicians, fashion icons etc.  What do you think attracts them to do this?
Question 3: Would you be able to express to others what makes you follow Jesus?

B.  And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”

Question 4: How would you describe the leper’s attitude towards Jesus?  
Question 5: What would you say about his character – given that he had leprosy and that there were large crowds?
Question 6: What would you be able to learn from this poor and needy man?

C.  And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.”

Question 7: There is a whole chapter devoted to leprosy and other types of skin diseases in Leviticus 13 (59 verses!).    Do you think it was necessary for Jesus to touch the man in order to heal him?
Question 8: Leviticus 13:45 –  “The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean. …’   He shall live alone.”   Can you think of similar cases of deprivation that some people experience today?
Question 9: What kind of ways might we help them – especially in lockdown?

D.  And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.

Sharing: Jesus told the man not to say anything to anyone because he didn’t want people to think that he had come just to be a miracle worker.  If we have been healed in some way, whether it’s through prayer or medical intervention, have we been eager to share this with others?   Would you find it possible to share your experiences now?

Praying: The leper had to offer sacrifices as part of the prescribed cleansing ritual for uncleanness. Spend a few moments reading the following from Romans 5:6-9, praying for understanding and then turning it into prayers of praise: 

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.