The first part of the disciples training course involved oral instructions through which the disciples understood the effect of God’s word based on man’s attitude toward the message. Today’s passage focuses on the second part of the special training experiencing and witnessing Christ’s power. In the four recorded miracles that we will be studying in this lesson, the disciples came into close encounter with the Lord’s great power and gained a further knowledge of Christ. When studying these miracles, also pay special attention to the role of faith as a necessary response to God’s grace.
Did You Know...?
1. Windstorm (8:23): The position of the lake in the Jordan rift below sea level with the high mountains to the E and W creates a natural condition for storms. The cool air masses from the mountain heights rush down the steep slopes with great force causing violent eruptions of the lake. Such tempests are not infrequent and are extremely dangerous to small craft.
2. Country of the Gadarenes (8:26): The region around the city of Gadara, six miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee. Mark and Luke identify the region by the capital city Gerasa, located about 35 miles southeast of the Sea. [ref]
3. Abyss (8:31): The word has a long history and varied meanings ranging from the idea of primeval chaos to the abode and prison of evil beings. [ref]
4. Ruler of the synagogue (8:41): The ruler was responsible for conducting services, selecting participants and maintaining order. [ref] As the synagogue ruler, Jairus was prominent in his community.
In the four miracles of this chapter, what domains or forces did Jesus exercise his power over?Hide Answer
Nature, demons, illness, death.
What lessons did the Lord teach the disciples through this miracle?Hide Answer
1. He is the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth (25b). 2. The disciples must learn to trust Him through faith even in adverse situations (25a).
When a “storm” suddenly strikes your life and put you in jeopardy, how do you exercise your faith?
Record the wretched condition of the demon-possessed man.
In your life, have you ever been through a similar experience in which you were set free by Jesus’ transforming power? Record your experience.
What was the response of the pig farmers and the multitude?
Why did they ask Jesus to depart from them?Hide Answer
They were seized with fear (35,37). Like Simon Peter, who asked the Lord to depart from him (cf. 5:8), the multitude were greatly afraid upon witnessing Christ’s supernatural power. However, unlike Simon or the disciples (8:22-25), their fear did not lead them to know Christ. Instead of rejoicing at the healing of the demon possessed man and coming to believe Jesus, they kept Him away, fearing that Jesus’ unusual power may result in further damage.
What do Jesus’ words to the man (39) teach us about how to be the Lord’s witness?Hide Answer
Witnessing for the Lord does not have to involve eloquent preaching. We can simply tell others about our personal experience of God’s grace and power.
Contrast the pressing of the multitude and the touch of the woman. Why did Jesus’ power go to only the woman?Hide Answer
Faith made the difference (48).
Today, are you part of the crowd that throng and press the Lord, or have you actually touched Him? In other words, do you only appear to be following the Lord closely, or do you experience His power in your life? How can you experience Him personally?
Why did Jesus insist that the woman identify herself? What lesson can we learn from this?Hide Answer
Jesus made the woman identify herself so that the woman may declare God’s power to the multitude for the glory of God (47). Another possible reason is that Jesus wanted her to come forward to meet Him and know Him face to face, and thereby receive His blessings (48). Jesus is not only an impersonal source of great power. Anyone who has experienced His power should furthermore come to a personal knowledge of the Savior and declare His grace to others for God’s glory.
Consider Jairus’ desperation (41). In the course of the event, how was Jairus’ faith tested?Hide Answer
1. The delay as a result of healing and speaking to the woman (43-48). 2. The report that his daughter had died (49). 3. The ridicule of the people at Jesus’ promise (53).
How did Jesus strengthen his faith?Hide Answer
See verses 50 and 52.
Have you been in a situation where the Lord delivered you out of a hopeless situation? How did this experience test and strengthen your faith?