Jesus has been demonstrating His power and authority through His preaching, healing, and casting out of demons. But at the same time, His ministry also began to draw some criticism. This lesson starts out with the questions of John’s disciples and continues with four other miracles of healing.
Did You Know...?
Wineskins (9:17): In ancient times goatskins were used to hold wine. As the fresh grape juice fermented, the wine would expand, and the new wineskin would stretch. But a used skin, already stretched, would break. [ref]
How did each of these people demonstrate their faith? a. the ruler; b. the woman; c. the two blind men:Hide Answer
a. He believed without a doubt that Jesus was able to do the impossible.
b. She believed that Jesus was so powerful that even touching His garments would make her well. Her many years of illness did not make her doubt for a moment whether what she hoped for was possible.
c. Before they asked for Jesus’ mercy, they had already believed that Jesus was the Messiah. With that knowledge, they called out to the Lord for help. Although Jesus did not heal them right away, they kept following Him into the house.
Record the phrases that hint at the urgent need of the people for Jesus’ healing, leading up to Jesus’ words in 9:37, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”Hide Answer
“While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came…” (18).
“And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came…” (20).
“When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him…” (27).
“As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon- possessed.” (32)
Explain Jesus’ answer to the question of John’s disciples.Hide Answer
John the Baptist had at one point told his disciples that Jesus was the bridegroom and he was the friend of the bridegroom (Jn 3:29). The coming of the Messiah should be an occasion of joy. It was after the Lord was taken from them that the disciples would fast (Acts 13:3, 14:23).
What is the meaning behind Jesus’ analogy of the old and the new?Hide Answer
It was not appropriate for the people to try to fit the ministry of Jesus in the old framework of Pharisaic laws. As Jesus stressed in His teachings on the mount, the coming of God’s kingdom must be accepted with a new mind and attitude, not with the rigid and superficial religious observances.
Why do you think Jesus asked the blind men “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”?Hide Answer
We notice that Jesus asked them this question after the men had followed him for a while and finally into the house. Perhaps Jesus’ delay in response and His question to them was a test to their faith.
What do the blind men’s actions and Jesus’ question to them teach us about seeking for God’s help?Hide Answer
Sometimes when our prayers are not answered immediately, the very act of waiting with patience would be a sign of faith in God. In the meantime, we should also examine and strengthen our belief in God’s power.
Why did the Pharisees and the multitudes have such different reactions to the same miraculous healing?Hide Answer
As it will become more apparent later on in the Lord’s ministry, the Pharisees and other religious leaders considered Jesus’ teachings and deeds a threat to their prominent status among the people. While the multitudes marveled at God’s power, the Pharisees’ eyes were blinded by their jealousy and self-centeredness.
What lessons can we learn from this?Hide Answer
When we shift our attention from God’s work to our own glory, we easily become biased in our attitude and judgments. Instead of praising God for His deeds and acknowledging the gifts others have received, we would feel threatened. Out of selfish ambition, we may even criticize those whom God has used to carry out His work.
Final Thoughts: Why is faith such an important factor in answered prayers?Hide Answer
From the gospels, we see that the recording of Jesus’ healings was to show that He had divine authority and power. Therefore, faith on the part of the person asking for healing or help that Jesus was the Messiah was essential. Without faith in who Jesus is, miracles would become just a spectacle and would not lead people to a saving knowledge of God.
From this and the previous two lessons, what constitutes true faith? Apply these to our lives today.Hide Answer
Faith means accepting Jesus as Lord and the Anointed One of God. Faith means believing that nothing is too difficult for the Lord. Faith means removing all fear. Faith means submitting to God’s will and timing. Faith means humbly asking for mercy.