LESSON 1 - CREATOR AND HEALER (MARK 2:1-12)
Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All Scripture references are to
the NIV unless otherwise noted. Suggested answers are found within
parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard.
INTRODUCTION: We start a new quarter that explores Jesus' healing
ministry here. Do you see a connection between salvation and
healing? Our goal this quarter is to learn about that connection
from Jesus so that we can advance His kingdom.
You know I dislike the "proof-text" method of teaching; which is
how the authors of our lessons approach this quarter. My view is
that the Holy Spirit led in the way the Bible messages are laid out
and I prefer to start a study with the Spirit's contextual
arrangement. For that reason, we will primarily focus in these
lessons, where possible, on a story of healing.
I. GOING THROUGH THE ROOF!
A. Turn with me to Mark 2:1-4. As I read this, try to picture
in your mind what it would be like to be present and witness
this event. Read.
1. Is Jesus a topic of current interest? (Yes)
2. What kind of a preacher is He? (Verse 2, reveals He
must be very good!)
3. How big is the crowd that has come to hear Jesus? What
places are already taken? (There was no place left in the
house. There was even no place outside by the door.)
B. Picture these four guys come carrying a paralyzed man.
Shouldn't four guys be able to squeeze through the crowd?
(Verse 4. "They could not get [to Jesus] because of the
1. Why would it take four men to carry one man? What
might this tell you about this crew if you saw them
approaching the crowd? (Perhaps that the paralyzed guy
was big. Or, more likely, that it was a long journey, so
they needed four. It certainly tells us that none of
this group had any money because they did not use a pack
animal. Whatever the specific facts are, it shows us
that they were determined. They had gone to some effort
to help the paralyzed guy.)
2. What kind of attitude do the four have to the one that
is sick? (Love, care, concern that overrides personal
C. It says in v.1 that Jesus had "come home." Did He have a
home? (Luke 9:58. Jesus says he has no place to lay His head.)
1. So whose place was this in Capernaum? Bump back with
me to Mark, chapter 1. In Mark 1:21 we have Jesus in
Capernaum in the synagogue. In v. 29 he leaves the
synagogue and goes where? (Peter's home.)
2. Then in 1:35 it records that Jesus left Peter's home
early in the morning. Then 2:1 it records that Jesus
returned to Capernaum to "home."
D. Let's say this is Peter's home. Tell me what you picture as
four guys start tearing a hole in his roof? (I suspect Peter
had a strong opinion on this matter.)
1. Consider the logistics of going through the roof.
First they have to drag the paralyzed guy up to the roof.
Then they have to make a hole big enough to let him down.
Then they have to let him down. All this time they have
to deal with Peter. Assuming they are not morons, why
would they go through this? Why not just charge through
the crowd to the door? (Friends, this is a CROWD! The
four must have decided that going through the roof was
the easiest way to get to Jesus.)
E. Read v. 5. So picture this. Verse 2 tells us Jesus is
preaching and the roof gets torn apart and a guy gets let down
from the ceiling. Imagine how that affects Jesus' preaching.
When I'm preaching and a baby starts to really cry, I will
kick up my volume. What do you do when a body comes down
through the roof?
1. Verse 5 tells us what Jesus did was to say to the
paralyzed guy "Your sins are forgiven."
a. Doesn't it seem Jesus has the wrong response?
b. Is He talking about forgiving them for disturbing
c. Do you think the four went to a lot of effort for
2. Do you think the four went to such effort to bring
this guy to Jesus to have Him forgive his sins? (I think
they went to have him healed. If you look at Mark 1:29-34
you have Jesus doing all of these healings (presumably)
in this same house. These guys dragged their friend there
to be healed.)
F. Verse 5 says about this crew, "Jesus saw their faith."
Faith in what?
1. How can we be like this crew today? How can we show
our faith, tear through roofs, and bring people to Jesus?
a. What would be a "roof" for you today?
G. So why do you think Jesus said: "Your sins are forgiven?"
(Do you remember the man in front of the temple who was blind
from birth? Jesus' disciples asked Him about that man, "Who
sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?" John
9:2) I don't think this thought occurred only to the
disciples. This was a cultural idea -- sickness arose from
1. Put yourself in the paralyzed guy's place. Which would
distress you more, carrying the "mark" of your sin for
all to see or the actual disability itself? (I've got to
believe shame is worse than disability. Of course, the
paralyzed guy did not have a choice, he had both!)
H. Let's get back to where we were. Tell me again what made
the crew think Jesus could heal the paralyzed guy? (Mark 1:32-
33. They had the witnesses of people who had seen Jesus heal.)
I. Why do we think today that Jesus will heal? How could you
"prove" this to anyone today? (Let's read on: vv. 5-12.)
1. Is Jesus facing a disbelieving crowd here? (Yes.)
a. Are the thoughts of lawyers reasonable? (That
would have been my first thought had I been there.
Who is this guy I'm looking at who says he can
b. Why do you think Jesus asked the lawyers (v.8)
"Why are you thinking these things?" No doubt they
could easily have given Jesus a "top ten" list of
why they were thinking He was not God. (Jesus was
not looking for an answer. He wanted them to know
He could read their mind -- the first proof of who
2. Aside from reading their minds, how did He "prove" He
could forgive sin? What did He do to make them think He
could do it? (He healed.)
a. Note His question in v.9. Is it easier to say
"you are forgiven" then to heal somebody?
b. What do you think about the logic of
Jesus' question? Would this be "good enough" an
argument for you?
c. By this logic, can physicians forgive sins? (No.
Jesus is talking about two things: power and proof
of the power. Anyone can say anything. But proof of
the truth of what is said is shown in the power to
do what was said. No one could know if the
paralyzed guy was actually forgiven of his sins.
But everyone could know if Jesus had the power,
through His words, to heal him.)
3. So (again) how to we prove that Jesus has the power to
heal today? (It goes back to proof of the power.)
4. Do you believe that Jesus created the world? A lot of
Christians believe in evolution or some hybrid theory
where God uses evolution to come up with our world today.
What proof can be seen that a Master Intelligence created
the universe (and us) as opposed to chance and time? (The
eye is "exhibit A" in my book for creation. Can man
create an eye to replace your eye? If all the
intelligence of man, all the artificial intelligence he
has created, and all the learning that he has amassed
about the eye does not allow him to replicate the eye
(all man has to do it copy it!), how could the eye come
about by chance?
a. So if we were created, why were we created? (Gen
1:26-28. God wanted someone "made in His image" to
rule over what was created. God wanted a helper and
5. If God has the power to create us, does He have the
power to heal us? To recreate us? (No doubt.)
J. Do you see in the story of healing the paralyzed guy
a parable of Jesus' ability to heal and restore us in His
image? If healing is proof of the ability to forgive. Then
creation is proof of the ability to heal, recreate and
II. BODY AND SOUL
A. Turn with me to Matthew 8:17. Read. What does this mean?
(Note this follows the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, which
in Mark's account comes just before the healing of the
paralyzed guy.) (This means Jesus came in part to save us from
1. Why did Jesus come in part to save us from sickness?
(The same impulse that caused Him to die for our sins. He
cares about us and wants to make us "right" again. The
Creator will recreate us. Praise God!)
III. NEXT WEEK: "Moved Through Compassion." Study!