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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 5 - THE POWER OF THE KINGDOM (MATTHEW 8-10)

INTRODUCTION: LATELY I'VE BEEN FEELING MORE THAN NORMAL MY NEED TO
HAVE THE LORD HELP ME WITH THE DIFFICULTIES OF EVERYDAY LIFE.  OUR
LESSON THIS WEEK IS ABOUT THE POWER THAT THE LORD HAS OVER THE
PROBLEMS THAT BESET MANKIND.  LETS GET INTO IT.

I. POWER OVER DISEASE.
      A. READ MATT. 8:1-4.  JESUS HAD JUST FINISHED WITH THE SERMON ON THE
MOUNT AND HE COMES DOWN THE MOUNTAIN TO BE CONFRONTED BY A LEPER. 
IF YOU WERE A LEPER, WHAT KIND OF AN ATTITUDE, WHAT KIND OF OUTLOOK
WOULD YOU HAVE ON LIFE?  LIST
(NO HOPE OR DREAMS.  KNOW THAT LIFE WAS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE.  LOOK
UGLY.  WOULD GET WORSE.  NO ONE WANT TO BE AROUND YOU.  NO ONE HAVE
RESPECT FOR YOU BECAUSE THE THOUGHT IS THAT YOUR SIN CAUSED IT.  NOT
HAVE A FULL LIFE, GOING TO DIE.)
      B. CAN YOU THINK OF ANY PROBLEM THAT A PERSON COULD HAVE THAT
WOULD NOT BE, IN A SENSE, A PART OF THE LEPER'S PROBLEM?
      C. IF YOU WERE A LEPER WOULD YOU CONSIDER TAKING YOUR OWN LIFE?
      D. THE LEPER SAID, "LORD IF YOU ARE WILLING...."  IS THE LORD ALWAYS
WILLING TO HEAL US?
            1. DO WE SEE AT ANYTIME IN THE N.T. WHERE SOMEONE CAME TO
JESUS AND JESUS SAID, "I'M NOT WILLING TO HEAL YOU?"
      E. READ MATT 8: 5-10, 13.
      F. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS MAN BEING A CENTURION? (ROMAN
MILITARY OFFICER IN COMMAND OF 100 MEN.  THEY WERE THE BACKBONE OF THE
ROMAN ARMY.)
      G. DO YOU THINK THAT IT IS UNUSUAL FOR THE CENTURION TO BE ASKING
FOR HELP FOR HIS SERVANT? (BARCLAY SAYS THAT IN ROMAN LAW A SLAVE WAS
DEFINED AS A LIVING TOOL.  HE HAD NO RIGHTS.  A ROMAN WRITER ON ESTATE
MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDS TO THE FARMER TO EXAMINE HIS IMPLEMENTS
EVERY YEAR AND TO THORW OUT THOSE WHICH ARE OLD AND BROKEN, AND TO
DO THE SAME WITH HIS SLAVES!  HERE THE SLAVE WAS PARALYZED--WHY NOT
JUST KILL HIM?)
      H. DID THE SLAVE HAVE FAITH? (NO INDICATION) 
            1. CAN YOU BE HEALED BASED ON THE FAITH OF SOMEONE ELSE?
(SEEMS SO.)
      I. WAS JESUS WILLING TO HEAL THE SLAVE? (YES)
            1. WHY?  WAS IT BECAUSE OF THE GREAT FAITH OF THE CENTURION?
(IT SEEMS THAT JESUS WAS WILLING TO HEAL (V.7) BEFORE HE HEARD THE
MARVELOUS STATEMENTS OF FAITH BY THE CENTURION. (IT SEEMS THAT JESUS
ONCE AGAIN HAS AN ATTITUDE OF WANTING TO HEAL THOSE WHO ARE HURTING.)

      J. THIS STORY CAUSES A DISCUSSION IN THE TEACHER'S EDITION ABOUT
"CRIES FOR HELP" AND OUR RESPONSE.  FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU HAVE HEARD
SOMEONE SAY ABOUT CHURCH, "I'M BORED WITH THIS WHOLE THING," "PEOPLE
AREN'T FRIENDLY" OR "NO ONE PAYS ATTENTION TO ME," THE HELPS SAY THAT
THESE ARE CRIES FOR HELP.
            1. WHAT IS OUR RESPONSE TO COMMENTS LIKE THESE?
            2. SHOULD WE DEFEND THE CHURCH?
            3. SHOULD WE GIVE SOME DIRECT RESPONSE?
            4. OR SHOULD WE LISTEN AND GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT? (THE HELPS
SUGGEST THIS LAST RESPONSE.)
      K.  READ MATT. 8:16-17. THE REFERENCE IS TO IS. 53:4 WHERE THE PROPHET
SPEAKS OF JESUS CARRYING OUR SINS. ONE COMMENTARY THAT I READ SAID THIS
ABOUT THIS PASSAGE:
 "THE PASSAGE, INCIDENTALLY, IS AN ANSWER TO THE CLAIM THAT THE
CHRISTIAN CAN DEMAND PHYSICAL HEALING OF RIGHT AS PART OF THE WORK OF
CHRIST ON THE CROSS."
            1. WHAT IS THE ANSWER?  THAT WE CAN CLAIM PHYSICAL HEALING?
            2. IS JESUS SUGGESTING THAT HE IDENTIFIES WITH THE DISEASED, AND
THEREFORE WE SOMETIMES BEAR DISEASE AS PART OF OUR TRAVEL HERE? (MATT.
10:24)
II. POWER OVER FEAR
      A. THE NEXT TWO STORIES ARE WELL KNOWN TO YOU.  THE FIRST, FOUND
IN MATT. 8:23-27 IS THE STORY OF THE DISCIPLES IN THE BOAT IN THE STORM. 
THEY ARE ABOUT TO DROWN, JESUS IS SLEEPING IN THE BACK, THEY AWAKE HIM
AND HE CALMS THE STORM.  THE SECOND STORY IS FOUND IN 8:28-32.  IN THIS
STORY THE TWO DEMONIACS FROM GADARENE RUSH UPON JESUS, AND HE SENDS
THE EVIL SPIRITS OUT OF THE MEN AND INTO A HERD OF PIGS.
      B. MATT. DOES NOT SAY IT, BUT IN LUKE THE DISCIPLES AND THE PEOPLE
ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED AS BEING AFRAID EVEN after THE MIRACLE OCCURS.
            1. IS FEAR ALWAYS A SIGN OF UNBELIEF?
            2. SOMETIMES OUR DISCUSSIONS SEEM SO CLINICAL AND THE REAL
LIFE PROBLEMS SO REAL.
                  a.IS IT "OK" TO FEAR THAT YOUR MARRIAGE IS COMING
                        APART?
                  b. IS IT "OK" TO FEAR THAT YOU OR YOUR SPOUSE OR
                        CHILD IS DYING?
                  c. IS IT "OK" TO FEAR THAT YOU ARE LOSING YOUR JOB?
(IT SEEMS NOT.  IN MATT. 6 IT SAYS SIX TIMES NOT TO WORRY.  IN MATT. 10 IT SAYS
FOUR TIMES NOT TO BE FEARFUL OR TERRIFIED.)

III. POWER OVER DEATH
      A. WE GO NEXT TO A SERIES OF THREE HEALINGS.  THE WOMAN WHO HAD
BEEN BLEEDING FOR 12 YRS. THE DAUGHTER OF JARIUS AND THE BLIND MEN.
      B. DOES GOD ALWAYS HEAL?
      C. DOES GOD ALWAYS HEAL IF YOU HAVE FAITH?
            1. NOTICE 9:22 AND 28-29. IT SEEMS TO SAY THAT THEIR FAITH HEALED
THEM.
      D. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE NOT HEALED?
      E. LETS LOOK AT THE STORY OF JARIUS DAUGHTER IN MARK. READ MK. 5:21-
24.  JUST AFTER THIS THE WOMAN WHO HAD BEEN BLEEDING FOR 12 YRS.
INTERRUPTED AND WAS HEALED. NOW READ MK. 5:35.
            1. WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR FAITH AT THIS POINT?
            2. DID JESUS LET HIM DOWN? (SEEMS SO.  THE VERY THING THAT HE
DID NOT WANT TO HAPPEN, HAPPENED.)
      F. READ MK 5:41-42.  DID JESUS GIVE JARIUS WHAT HE WANTED? (NO. HE
DIDN'T WANT HIS DAUGHTER TO DIE.  BUT HE DID GIVE THE DAUGHTER LIFE AND
HE GAVE JARIUS MORE THAN HE HOPED FOR.  SOMETIMES I THINK THAT IT SEEMS
THAT GOD HAS LET US DOWN.  BUT IF WE HOLD ON HE WILL GIVE US MORE THAN
WE LOOKED FOR.)

IV. NEXT WEEK: MATT 11-13