Lesson 9

Jesus Ministered to Their Needs

(Mark 5 & 10, John 5, Acts 9)
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Introduction: In last week's study we touched on the issue of God's timing when we face suffering. When life is not going well, and we need Jesus' help, sometimes it seems as if He is not helping. Like the story of the resurrection of Lazarus, it might be that God has something bigger in mind. This week we look at several stories about the way God helps in times of trouble. Why God acts the way He does is not always clear to us. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and see if we can get at least some clarity!

  1. Jairus


    1. Read Mark 5:21-23. Imagine you are Jairus. How important is the arrival of Jesus in your town?


      1. Has Jairus been a servant of God? (Yes, he was a "ruler" of the synagogue. He cared about his relationship with God.)


      2. Some of the Jewish leaders had a problem with Jesus. What is the situation with Jairus? (He gets on his knees and shows that he has faith in Jesus.)


      3. What, specifically, does Jairus request of Jesus? ("Come ... so that she will be healed and live." He wants healing to avoid death.)


    2. Read Mark 5:24. Has Jesus agreed to help Jairus' daughter?


      1. What is the practical problem? (The large crowd. This likely created a problem when Jairus was going to Jesus to ask Him to come.)


    3. Read Mark 5:25-29. Assume you are this woman, what kind of an attitude would you have? (No doubt she felt desperate. She spent all of her money on doctors and they were unable to help her. She was in a constant state of being "unclean" ( Leviticus 15:19). For her to touch Jesus meant that she was willing to make Him unclean too.)


    4. Read Mark 5:30-31. What do the disciples think about Jesus' question? (They think it is a silly question. Because of the press of the crowd people are touching Him all the time.)


    5. Read Mark 5:32-34. Why does this woman fear? (She knows she is not supposed to be touching a religious leader and making Him unclean.)


      1. How does she feel after Jesus has spoken to her? (Fabulous. Her fear is gone.)


    6. Put yourself in Jairus' position again. Is he happy for this woman?


      1. Jesus' disciples think Jesus is asking a silly question about being touched, what do you think Jairus is thinking when the life of his daughter hangs in the balance?


    7. Let's give this situation a hard look. This woman had a bleeding problem for twelve years. Would it matter if Jesus delayed a day or a few hours in helping her?


      1. Does Jesus show a lack of urgency, sensitivity, or common sense by not attending to the most urgent cases first?


      2. Would you feel like screaming if you were Jairus?


      3. Are all of the normal factors being ignored - the fact that Jairus has an urgent case, the fact that he has been a friend of God, the fact that he has an important religious position?


    8. Read Mark 5:35-36. The hammer drops, the worst has happened! When Jesus says "Don't be afraid; just believe," what does He mean? Be afraid of what? Believe in what? Jairus' daughter is dead! His request for healing has been effectively denied. The time for fear and faith has passed! Or, has it?


      1. Notice that the woman felt fear ( Mark 5:33) and Jesus indicates that Jairus feels fear. How many of your troubles involve fear?


      2. Is fear a tool of Satan?


    9. Read Mark 5:37-42. Does Jesus' outrageous delay with the unclean woman make any difference now to Jairus and his wife?


      1. What benefit can you see in Jesus' delay? (If Jesus had merely healed the little girl, some might say that she got better on her own. No one naturally gets better after death. The story makes the point that she was really dead by telling us the witnesses laughed when Jesus said she was sleeping.)


    10. Consider this story in the context of all of the times when you think Jesus let you down by not healing or helping you or someone you love. Will your story end the same way - that delay will not matter? (When we are in heaven, we are in that place in time when the delay does not matter! Praise God! He will make all things right.)


  2. Bartimaeus


    1. Read Mark 10:46-48. We can understand why this blind fellow would call out to Jesus. Why would people "rebuke[] him and [tell] him to be quiet?"


      1. Did those who rebuked Bartimaeus respect him? Did they show concern for him?


      2. Did they think he deserved time with Jesus?


    2. Read Mark 10:49. Has Jesus changed the attitude of the crowd? Do you have that same ability?


    3. Read Mark 10:50-52. Notice the difference between the way crowd treated Bartimaeus ("be quiet") and the way Jesus treated him (I want to hear from you). What was Jesus doing for Bartimaeus other than healing his sight?


      1. If you were blind and had just been healed, would you follow Jesus as part of the huge crowd, or would you find out what your friends and family looked like?


        1. What does this show about Bartimaeus?


  3. Bethesda


    1. Read John 5:1-3 and John 5:7. What does this suggest about the reason why all of these disabled people lay by the pool? (People were healed if they got into the pool first when it was "stirred.")


      1. Do you think people were actually healed? (I think so - otherwise laying around would make no sense. (Verse four is disputed. It says specifically that people were healed. The context, by itself, indicates this is true.)


      2. If people were healed when the water moved, why would God heal in this way?


    2. Read John 5:5-7. What is wrong with this man's answer? (He is focusing on the problem and not on Jesus' question about his hope.)


    3. Read John 5:8-9. Why does Jesus heal just this one guy when we read ( John 5:3) that a "great number of disabled people" were present?


      1. Does the "win the race to get in first," or Jesus picking this guy out of the crowd to heal, remind you of Jesus letting Lazarus die? Does it seem rather arbitrary?


    4. Read John 5:13-15. What does this suggest might be Jesus' reason for healing only this fellow?


      1. We have discussed in previous lessons how bad things can sometimes cause us to turn to God. What should cause this fellow to "stop sinning?" (A miracle. A tremendous blessing in his life. This shows that a blessing can be God's method of correcting sin in your life.)


  4. Dorcas


    1. Read Acts 9:36-37. If God is making an executive decision on the death of each of us, why would He let Dorcas die? (Like the situation with Lazarus before Jesus came, it seems impossible to explain.)


      1. What is the significance of the fact that Dorcas' body was washed? (She was really dead.)


    2. Read Acts 9:38-40. All of our stories in this lesson involve miracles performed by Jesus. What does this teach us? (That you do not have to be God to be the agent for miracles.)


    3. Read Acts 9:41-42. What reason does this suggest for letting Dorcas die? ("Many people believed in the Lord." We have a limited understanding of the ways of God, but even with our limits, we can see reasons for God's decisions.)


    4. Friend, because our understanding is flawed I don't think we should try to explain God's specific thinking to people who are suffering tragic losses. But, what these stories show is that we should trust the God who loves us so much that He died for us. Will you decide to trust God whatever happens?


  5. Next week: Jesus Won Their Confidence.

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