MIRACLES OF HEALING --- THE CALMING OF THE SEA

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

    Lesson No.: 
    32
    Class: 
    Junior
    Memory Verse: 

    “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up" (James 5:15).

    Notes: 

    A Nobleman’s Faith
    Jesus did good to the people wherever He went. Crowds gathered around Him as soon as they heard of His presence -- and He never turned any away. All Jesus asked was that men have faith in Him. What great things our Lord can do when we believe!

    A nobleman had a very sick son, and he believed Jesus could heal him. The fact that he was a nobleman and probably very rich did not help him when sickness came into his home. Many a rich man has offered an earthly physician all his wealth if he would but make well one of his loved ones; but when our heavenly Father says it is time to die, no amount of money will give the doctor power to prolong that life ([Ecclesiastes:8:8]; [Job:14:5]).

    The nobleman must have believed that Jesus had power to perform the miracle, but he thought Jesus would have to go with him to his home. He probably had never heard that Jesus could speak the word, and the thing would come to pass, even though He was far away.

    Jesus included the other people there when He said, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." They would not believe unless they could see. But that is not faith Paul said, "We are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?" (Romans:8:24). To believe something we cannot see is faith. Abraham had great faith for he believed in God Who "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans:4:17). As we read the eleventh chapter of Hebrews we realise what faith is, and what it can do. The men of faith listed there believed things, which it was impossible to see. Jesus wanted these Galileans to have such faith.

    His Son Healed
    When the nobleman heard Jesus say, "Go thy way; thy son liveth," he believed and went away alone. If we use the little faith we have, step out on His promises even though we can see nothing, God will reward us and give us greater faith.

    The servants of the nobleman met him, and he found that his son had begun to mend at the very hour that Jesus had said, "Thy son liveth." The whole family believed on Jesus when they saw this miracle. Too often people these days will not believe on Jesus even when they see the results of prayer and faith.

    The Man with Palsy
    Also the Pharisees and the doctors of the law came to hear the teachings of Jesus, but they came to criticize as well. Jesus did not temper His words to please them. The Scripture says He preached unto them the whole Word. Jesus expects His ministers to do the same. When Jesus preached the Word, "the power of the Lord was present to heal" (Luke:5:17). Paul told Timothy: "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (II Timothy:4:2). When the Word is preached in that way, there is power present to save souls and heal sick bodies. "These signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark:16:17, 18).

    While the crowd was gathered around Jesus in a house, four men brought a friend who was so sick they had to carry him in his bed, or litter. They had faith that if they could but get him to Jesus the sick man would be healed. They could not get through the crowd, but their faith found another way. They climbed upon the roof, lifted the sick man up with them, broke up the roof, and lowered him right in front of Jesus. It made Jesus happy to see their faith, and He healed the poor man.

    Jesus is looking for that faith in us. He does not want us to let anything hinder us from trusting Him. He has said that if you will only believe you shall see the glory of God. How it must grieve His heart when we doubt Him, after the wonderful promises He has given! Without faith it is impossible to please Him.

    Many times we let little things hinder us from getting our prayers through to God. Perhaps we think we are too busy to pray; or we give up if we do not get an answer the first time. But faith will hold on until the victory comes, even though we have to "climb upon a roof and let ourselves down through the ceiling to see Jesus."

    Thy Sins Be Forgiven"
    Jesus healed this man in a different manner from the way He had healed others. The people were surprised when they heard Him say, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee," but how happy the palsied man must have been to be saved and healed at the same time! He probably had never thought about his sins before, and how much trouble they had caused him. But Jesus could see the desire in his heart to do anything the Lord wanted him to do, so He gave him a double blessing. He asked, "Whether is it easier to say . . . Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk?” Jesus wanted them to know that He could forgive sins also, so that they would believe He was the Son of God -- for they knew that only God could forgive sins.

    But the scribes, whose hearts were full of criticism, could not see His divinity, and said He blasphemed. If they had only known that He was the Second Person of the Godhead! If they had only had honest hearts that wanted to believe, Jesus would have given them wonderful blessings, too. It was only the man who believed who received Christ's blessing. The sick man was sick no longer; he took up his bed and went to his own home, a new man in Christ Jesus.

    In this lesson we are considering also some miracles that Matthew tells us about. After Jesus' Sermon on the Mount great multitudes followed Him, and some believed. We notice that it was always those who believed who enjoyed Christ's benefits.

    The Pharisees had made a habit of finding fault with Jesus on points of the Law; but after He had cleansed the leper, He sent him to the priest with the order that they offer the sacrifices Moses had commanded in the Law. As we study the life of Jesus we see He was very careful to obey the Law; it was the traditions of men that He ignored, and which angered the hypocrites ([Mark:7:5]). However, Jesus said that He came to fulfil the Law. When His work on earth was finished, He became our High Priest, and we have no more need of the Law. (Read [Hebrews:9:1-28]).

    The Light to All
    When the centurion came to Jesus, he displayed wonderful faith. He was a Roman officer, and one would not have expected him to believe in Jesus at all. But the light of the Gospel has appeared unto all men, and we do not receive blessings from God only because we have been born into a Christian family, but because we believe for ourselves.

    Jesus said, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." He meant that the Jews, His own people, did not believe in Him as this Roman soldier did. We have read that God chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be His children, and promised that through their seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed; but now He says that strangers will come from the east and the west and enter into Heaven ahead of His chosen people who do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. We, the Gentiles, are the "strangers" who can enter in and receive the blessings of God by faith, if we believe.

    Many sick people and those possessed with devils came to Jesus, and He healed them all. Isaiah had prophesied, "Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses." Jesus wants to heal us when we are sick, and has said through the Word: "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD" (Jeremiah:17:5). If we turn to doctors to try to get healing we are departing from the Lord, and He has no pleasure in us. In Psalm:50:15, we read: "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."

    Waves Rebuked
    After all the kind deeds Jesus had done, He was very tired, and when He and the disciples went into a ship to go across the sea, He fell asleep. A great storm arose, and the disciples were afraid they were going to sink. They must have had some faith in Jesus, for they cried, "Lord, save us." But because they were afraid, He said, "O ye of little faith." God wants His children to trust Him and not be afraid. “Perfect love casteth out fear" (I John:4:18).

    When Jesus rebuked the waves and the storm ceased, the people were surprised that even the winds and the sea obeyed Him. They did not understand that He had created them in the beginning, and the works of His hands had to obey Him.

    The Psalmists were men of God. The Spirit inspired them to write beautiful truths of God's power. The Jews had probably often read such Psalms as:89:9: "Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them"; and Psalm:107:29: "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still"; but they could not realise that the Son of God was right there with them. Job, who had perhaps never seen the ocean, spoke by inspiration, "Who shut up the sea with doors, . . . and said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?" (Job:38:8, 11).

    Our Lord was a miracle-working Saviour in all that He did on earth in the lives of men and in nature; and we know He is the same today, because it is written: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day and for ever" (Hebrews:13:8).

    Questions: 

    1. What was the second miracle that Jesus performed?
    2. How was Jesus criticized after He healed the man of palsy?
    3. Did Jesus know their thoughts?
    4. If these sick people had not had faith, would they have been healed?
    5. How did Jesus make it possible for us to be healed?