In the previous lesson, we studied the Lord’s ministry to the multitudes of Galilee in general. In this passage, the Gospel focuses on the Lord’s interactions with individuals and the results of His deeds. Through each of the three miracles, Jesus displayed His compassion for the people as well as His divine authority.
Did You Know...?
1. Lake of Gennesaret (5:1): Sea of Galilee.
2. Pharisees (5:17): The Pharisees…were a legalistic and separatistic group who strictly, but often hypocritically, kept the law of Moses and the unwritten “tradition of the elders” (15:2). [ref] They were held in high regard by the people.
3. Teachers of the law (5:17): The Jewish scholars of the day, professionally trained in the development, teaching and application of OT law. Their authority was strictly human and traditional. [ref]
- Calling of First Disciples (5:1-11)
- Cleansing the Man with Leprosy (5:12-16)
- Healing the Paralyzed Man (5:17-26)
What factors led to the bountiful catch of fish?Hide Answer
1. Peter letting Jesus use his boat. 2. Jesus’ command. 3. Obedience to Jesus’ word.
How are Peter’s words in verse 5 significant?Hide Answer
Peter, speaking as an experienced fishermen, pointed out that they caught nothing despite the long toil. Not only so, what Jesus was telling him to do was no new technique. There was a sense of reluctance in Peter’s words. Nevertheless, he was willing to set aside his opinion and do what the Lord commanded although it did not seem to make sense.
Explain Peter’s reaction in verse 8.Hide Answer
When witnessing the diving power of Jesus, Peter realized that Jesus was no ordinary teacher. Whereas he addressed Jesus as “Master” earlier on in the story, he now called Him “Lord,” confessing His divinity. In the presence of the holy God, Peter immediately became aware of his sinfulness and asked the Lord to depart from him.
How was this a turning point for Peter?Hide Answer
At this point, Peter gained a new knowledge of Jesus and of himself— Jesus was his Lord and he was a sinner undeserving of the Lord’s grace. This new understanding prepared him to be a follower of Christ.
Have you ever felt the same as Peter did in the Lord’s presence? Recall the experience and how it changed you.
What does it mean to catch men?
What did the disciples do when they followed Jesus? Why is this important?Hide Answer
They forsook all. This is a condition of discipleship (14:33). To be a true disciple, we cannot have divided interests (Mt 6:24). Discipleship requires total dedication. We must set aside all our personal ambitions and orient our lives entirely to the mission of “catching men.”
The story teaches us about the making of a disciple. Record the entire process that transformed the disciples into followers of Christ?Hide Answer
1. Listening to the word of God (1). 2. Obeying and acting upon the word of God (4-5). 3. Confessing of sins and acknowledging Christ as Lord (8). 4. Forsaking all and following the Lord (11).
How are you following the Lord Jesus today? What areas can you improve on so you can become a better disciple?
Observe the man’s actions and words. What do they tell us about him?Hide Answer
He must have felt unworthy to draw near Jesus and ask for healing.
What can we learn from the words, “if You are willing” when we come to the Lord with our requests?
How did Jesus heal the man? Why is this remarkable?Hide Answer
Jesus could have healed the man by issuing a command from a distance. But He put out His hands and touched the leprous man, who was ceremonially unclean. He also spoke reassuring words to the man. The Lord’s action and words must have deeply touched the man, who had always been avoided and isolated. Jesus was more than a powerful healer. He is the loving God full of love and kindness toward the people.
What can we learn here from the Lord Jesus?
Why did Jesus charge the man to tell no one about the healing? (cf. Mk 1:45)Hide Answer
He probably wanted to avoid the people’s misconception that he was just a miracle worker and come to Him only for healing or even expect Him to be a political leader (cf. 4:37,42-44).
What was the purpose of Jesus’ instructions in 14?Hide Answer
The key phrase that shows the significance of Jesus’ command is “as a testimony to them.” The command to show himself to the priest was more than a compliance with the Mosaic regulation, but a direct proof that the Lord’s ministry was the fulfillment of the law. Jesus’ healing of the man was a testimony that He was the true source of healing and cleansing.
Compare and contrast 15 and 16. Why did Jesus not grasp the opportunity to preach to and heal the multitudes?Hide Answer
While verse 15 may seem to indicate the increase in Jesus popularity, verse 16 by contrast shows Jesus’ withdrawal from such popularity. .Jesus did not come only to heal the sick. He also needed to spend time to pray alone so He could focus on the mission ahead of Him and stay close to the Father at all times.
What is the role of prayer in your life and ministry?
What can we learn from the men who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus?Hide Answer
They were full of compassion for the paralyzed man. They did not give up even when the circumstance posed a challenge. According to verse 20, their persistence was also a sign of great faith in the Lord.
What can we learn from the statement, “He saw their faith” (20)?Hide Answer
This verse teaches us the power of intercession. When we come to the Lord to intercede for another, our faith can move the Lord. Of course, the whom we intercede for also needs to have faith in the Lord.
What divine power did Jesus demonstrate in 22?
Why did Jesus forgive the man’s sin instead of simply healing him right away?Hide Answer
1. Forgiveness of sins is more important than physical healing.
2. To demonstrate that He had power on earth to forgive sins (24).
What is the point of Jesus’ question in 23?Hide Answer
While both statements are equally easy to say but impossible to make happen, in a sense, it is easy for anyone to say “your sins are forgiven you” because the forgiveness of sins is intangible. The point of Jesus’ question is that while it may be easy to claim the power to forgive sins, He would now substantiate His claim by doing the more difficult—commanding the man to walk.
How does the healing show that Jesus had power to forgive sins?Hide Answer
Only God has the sovereignty and authority to issue the command, “I say to you, arise.” By raising the paralytic, the Lord demonstrated that He was God. Being God Himself, Jesus, of course, also had the authority to forgive sins.