These events took place after Jesus’ first discourse on the mountain. Jesus’ ministry in this stage was still in the region of Galilee.
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- Leper (8:2): Leprosy here refers to a chronic infectious skin ailment probably not the same as the disease called leprosy today. To touch a leper made one ritually unclean according to the OT law. [ref] The law required that the person who has been healed of leprosy be examined by the priest. Then the priest would perform ceremonial cleansing and offer sacrifices on behalf of the person who has been healed.
- Centurion (8:5): The centurion was a Roman army officer, theoretically in charge of 100 men…. [ref]
- “Let the dead bury their own dead” (8:22): …Jews placed great importance on the duty of children to bury their parents. [ref]
- Healing the Man with Leprosy (8:1-4)
- Healing the Centurion’s Servant (8:5-13)
- The centurion’s request and faith (8:5-9)
- Jesus’ comment on the faith of this gentile (8:10-12)
- Commanding the centurion to go and the instant healing (8:13)
- Healing Peter’s Mother-in-Law (8:14-15)
- Healing Many Others (8:16-17)
- Cost of Discipleship (8:18-22)
From the parallel records in the other gospels, we can see that Jesus probably wanted to avoid the people’s misconception that He was just a miracle-worker and thus affect the more important aspects of His ministry.
What was the significance of Jesus’ command to the man with leprosy to show himself to the priest?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 to 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.
What can we learn from the man with leprosy about our attitude in prayer?Hide Answer
He came to Jesus, showing his initiative. He knelt, showing his humility. He acknowledged Jesus’ sovereign will and said, “if you are willing.” He also trusted in Jesus’ power with the words, “you can make me clean.”
How did the healing of the centurion’s servant show Jesus’ authority? Pay attention to Jesus’ and the centurion’s words.Hide Answer
The centurion was a man in authority. But he came and asked Jesus for help. In the process, he acknowledged Jesus’ authority and said that Jesus’ words would be authoritative in the same way that a centurion’s words would have authority over his subjects. Then Jesus commanded, “Go!”, which echoed the centurion’s own words in verse 9, and the servant was healed.
In what ways did the centurion demonstrate his faith?Hide Answer
He humbly confessed his need for Jesus’ help. He trusted in Jesus’ power, that he could heal his servant just with his words. He submitted himself to the Lord’s command.
What do Jesus’ words in verses 10 through 12 teach us about who will be in God’s kingdom?
What can we learn from Peter’s mother-in-law?
Explain the phrase “let the dead bury their own dead.”
Applying the Lord’s words to ourselves, what does following Jesus entail?Hide Answer
Our determination to follow the Lord must consist of a readiness to suffer with Jesus. We should not put serving the Lord as second place in our hearts. The Lord’s teaching is not telling us to ignore our duties to our parents, since He Himself submitted to and lived with His earthly parents. However, God’s kingdom must be the constant and ultimate goal and purpose of every aspect of our lives. When the need arises, God’s affair comes before all others.