MIRACLES OF HEALING --- THE CALMING OF THE SEA

    Printer-friendly versionSend by email

    [John:4:46-54]; [Mark:2:1-12]; [Matthew:8:1-27].

    Lesson No.: 
    32
    Class: 
    Senior
    Memory Verse: 

    “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

    Cross References: 

    I The Great Physician and the Nobleman of Capernaum
    1. Jesus is asked to heal the son of a nobleman of Capernaum, [John:4:46-47]; [John:2:1-11].
    2. Jesus challenges the nobleman's faith and sincerity, [John:4:48]; [John:2:18-22]; [Matthew:12:38-42]; [Mark:8:11]; [1 Corinthians:1:22-24].
    3. The nobleman shows that he is not a sign-seeker, but a sincere petitioner, [John:4:49-50].
    4. The son is healed -- at the hour the nobleman believed, [John:4:51-54]; [John:11:40]; [Matthew:17:20]; [Mark:9:23].

    II The Great Physician and the Sick of the Palsy
    1. Four men show their faith by their persistence in reaching Jesus, [Mark:2:1-4], [Galatians:6:9]; [Genesis:32:26]; [Matthew:15:21-28]; [James:5:16-18].
    2. The palsied man's sins are forgiven -- an indication that he, too, had faith, [Mark:2:5]; [James:5:15]; [Hebrews:11:6]; [Romans:5:1]; Philippians:3:9]; [James:1:6-7].
    3. Jesus heals the sick man as an evidence of His power to forgive sin, [Mark:2:6-12]; [1 Kings:18:36-39]; [John:20:27].

    III The Great Physician and the Leper and Other Afflicted Ones
    1. The leper is healed immediately by one touch of Jesus' hand, [Matthew:8:1-4]; [John:6:37]; [Leviticus:14:1-32].
    2. The centurion appeals for his servant, showing faith, humility, and reverence, [Matthew:8:5-9]; [Luke:7:1-8].
    3. Jesus commends the centurion, rebuking the Jews, [Matthew:8:10-12]; [Luke:24:25]; [John:3:36]; [Malachi:1:11]; [Isaiah:59:19].
    4. The servant is healed, [Matthew:8:13]; [Matthew:9:29].
    5. Peter's mother-in-law is healed by Jesus, [Matthew:8:14-15]; [Luke:4:38-39].
    6. Scriptural authority that healing for our bodies is in the Atonement, [Matthew:8:16-17]; [Isaiah:53:5]; [Exodus:15:26]; [1 Peter:2:21-24].

    IV Jesus, The Master of Wind and Wave
    1. Using current examples, Jesus teaches loyalty to God's cause, [Matthew:8:18-22]; [1 Corinthians:1:27-29]; [2 Corinthians:5:20]; [John:15:16]; [Matthew:6:33-34].
    2. The ship in which they are sailing is almost engulfed by the heavy seas, [Matthew:8:23-24]; [Mark:4:37].
    3. The frightened disciples are rebuked for their unbelief, [Matthew:8:25-26]; [Mark:4:38], [Mark:4:40].
    4. Jesus stills the tempest, [Matthew:8:26-27]; [Matthew:14:32]; [Psalms:89:9]; [Psalms:107:29]; [Mark:4:39], [Mark:4:41].

    Notes: 

    Jesus, the Great Physician, never lost a case that was brought to Him, no matter what the disease was. His heart was touched by human sin, distress, and pain -- and not in vain, for He was able to make all who had faith in Him every whit whole. How glad we are that this was so!

    Following His baptism in the river Jordan, and His subsequent temptation, Jesus made a trip to Cana in Galilee where He performed His first miracle, changing water into wine. He then went to the city of Capernaum, which was by the Sea of Galilee. His disciples, His mother, and His brethren were with Him on this journey; but He did not stay long in Capernaum because it was time for the Passover in Jerusalem when every male was required to present himself before the Lord. The trip to Jerusalem was quite long, and as far as we know He took the usual route that followed the Jordan river.

    During His stay in Jerusalem Jesus performed miracles and many believed in Him, Nicodemus being among those who inquired about the way of eternal life. Jesus then made a tour around Judæa, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, after which He turned again toward Galilee and to the common folk who always welcomed Him in the days of His ministry. We have already seen that this trip took Him through Samaria; and we remember well the story of the revival there, brought about by His conversation with the woman at the well of Sychar. This lesson deals with events on this trip into Galilee, after His meeting with the woman at the well.

    The first incident we have record of concerns a nobleman of Capernaum. He had heard about Jesus, probably because of the changing of the water into wine at Cana, and he wanted Jesus to heal his sick son. Jesus put forth a test to see if the nobleman was sincere in his faith, or if he was merely seeking a sign, or if he, like many of the Jews, was, wanting to see a demonstration of supernatural power -- for curiosity's sake. But Jesus saw the faith and earnestness of this troubled father and spoke a few words of assurance that helped him to believe. The son was healed at the precise hour that the nobleman believed!

    Jesus had never seen the boy, but the Spirit of God knew just who and where he was and, at the word of Christ, the child was healed instantly -– not gradually, as is usually the case in a recovery from a fever, but suddenly and completely. It is no wonder that his recovery made a profound impression upon the nobleman and all his house. We are told that they all believed.

    Such a miracle cannot be explained away in the manner that men attempt to dispose of the supernatural workings of God. They say that healings are the result of mental processes and that the hypnotic influence of a strong personality over the neurotic subject plays a strong part in the recovery. But we see that no such thing would have taken place here, since Jesus was far away and made no personal contact with the ailing boy. It was a miracle performed directly by the Spirit of God, through the merits of the Blood of Christ, which was to be shed on the Cross of Calvary.

    Jesus never performed miracles to win popularity, or to do something spectacular for publicity. His whole work and ministry were along entirely different lines from those that govern ordinary worldly activities. He made Himself of no reputation and came as a servant, altogether in mercy and love, and not for personal gain. So, when the doubting Jews came asking for a sign -– a demonstration -– from Him, He rebuked them for their unbelief and for the fact that they did not accept the signs God had already given. A sign or miracle is never missing where it is needed to convince an honest person of the power of God or of the truth of His Word, but it is not given merely to satisfy the curiosity of a skeptic.

    Jesus’ next contact was with a man who was a paralytic. The good news that Jesus was in the city travelled fast and soon the house was filled with people eager to see and hear Him. This man had four relatives or friends who had great faith in Jesus. Being unable to get in through the crowd to where Jesus was, with their helpless charge, they took him up on the roof, broke it open, and lowered him down into the middle of the crowd so Jesus could see him.

    Jesus saw the faith of the four men and acted immediately. But His words were different from what they expected. He did not even mention the poor man’s physical condition but went right to the seat of his trouble -- his sinful heart. In tenderness Jesus spoke the words that every repentant sinner hears when he prays in sincerity. “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” brought reasonings to the hearts of the scribes who were there. “Who can forgive sins but God only?” was the query they made to one another; but Jesus read their thoughts and knew the condition of their unbelieving hearts.

    Men of Bible times were no different from men of today. Then, as now, the unbeliever and rationalist must do one thing before they can logically deny the Word of God or discount God’s plan for our salvation. He must, first of all, reduce Christ to a mere man and strip Him of His divinity. And we find these scribes doing just that thing. To them, Jesus was not the Son of God; He was not the One sent from Heaven. He was, to them, just a man --- a teacher, a master --- and entitled to no more reverence or honour than any other teacher or public figure of their day. To acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God would obligate them to believe and follow Him, which they did not want to do.

    Having no faith to believe that which they could not see, they doubted that the man’s sins were forgiven when Jesus spoke. Since a miracle of healing was, to them, the most outstanding thing that Jesus could do --- because it could be seen by their faithless, unbelieving eyes --- Jesus commanded the man to get up, take his bed and go to his house. The man who had been dependent upon others for everything went in his own strength and vitality at the word of Jesus. His sins were forgiven, his body healed, and sufficient evidence was given to convince any honest heart of the fact that Jesus was the Christ --- their long-looked-for Messiah.

    All the incidents recorded in the text of our lesson are similar in one thing, even though they are as varied as any accounts of different people can be. That common quality is faith. The leper said, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean,” and demonstrated his faith in the power of the Son of God to heal and cleanse. The centurion revealed his faith -- a faith so great that its equal was not found in Israel. Peter’s mother-in-law felt a confidence in her heart that a touch of that Hand would bring relief to her burning fever. The leper was healed! The servant of the centurion was healed! Peter’s mother-in-law was healed! Many others came with their sick and devil-possessed -- and He healed them all!

    Healing is a doctrine that is attacked by all the forces of hell in these last days. If Satan can successfully raise a doubt in a person’s heart about divine healing he is causing that person to call in question the real issue --- the divinity of Jesus. But healing is provided for the child of God, in the Atonement. Some say that [Isaiah:53:5] refers to healing for spiritual ills and does not apply to the physical realm at all. But we see in our lesson that Jesus healed physical illnesses, and cured the mentally deranged, that this prophecy concerning Jesus’ sufferings, might be completely fulfilled. We have the inspired Word of God back of us when we say that healing is in the Atonement. This one verse in Isaiah, quoted in [Matthew:8:17], is enough to settle forever the fact that the child of God has the right and privilege to trust God for the healing of his body. To fail to trust God in times of sickness means that we are doing what the scribes did: dishonouring Jesus and limiting His power, reducing Him to the level of a man. But we know that He is the Son of God, the Creator of the world, the great Saviour of mankind, and the Healer of all our afflictions.

    Jesus demonstrated His divinity in more ways than in the healing of the sick. He showed that He had power to forgive sin, as we have seen in the case of the sick of the palsy; and in addition He showed that He had power over the forces of nature, that He was supreme over the strength of the elements, too. The cry of the frightened disciples: “Lord, save us: we perish,” brought His answering, “Peace, be still.” The fury of the storm was instantly abated and there was a great calm.
    How slow we are to trust Him! How great are His mercies to us in every need of our lives! The stormy seas of our troubled lives can be stilled by just a word from the Master of wind and wave. The storms of adversity, trial, temptation, doubt, and difficulty will all be quieted if we call to Him, Who can, by a word, bring a great calm to our lives.

    Questions: 

    1. Why is Jesus called the Great Physician?
    2. How did Jesus challenge the faith and sincerity of the nobleman of Capernaum?
    3. When was the son of the nobleman healed?
    4. What is necessary on our part, in order that we may be healed?
    5. Which is the most important to Jesus, the forgiveness of sins or the healing of the body?
    6. How did Jesus demonstrate that He had the authority and power to forgive sins?
    7. What did Jesus do when He healed the leper? What did He tell the leper to do?
    8. What qualities did the centurion of Capernaum exhibit that entitled him to consideration by Jesus?
    9. What authority do we have for saying that healing is for every child of God?
    10. Quote Isaiah:53:5.