The Character of Jesus 13

More Healings in Galilee

Matthew 8:2 – 4, 9:2 – 8, Mark 1:40 – 2:12, Luke 5:12 – 26

  • Characteristic:  Love (doing what is best for the other person regardless of the effect on me)
    • Using Mark as the central reference
    • (1:40 – 45)  Moved with compassion:  The healing of a leper
      • The touch was unnecessary, so must be meaningful
      • The touch made Jesus unclean (Leviticus 5:3), which is not sinful, although it was a minor inconvenience (no religious activities until sundown, plus wash clothes and bathe).
      • Presumably, the touch was important to the leper.
      • (1:44 – 45)  Jesus did not want the news of this to be spread.  The result of the leper telling everyone was that Jesus could no longer move about freely due to being besieged by those seeking healing.
      • (1:44)  Jesus followed the rules, not attempting to supersede the Law of Moses.
    • (2:10)  Now that the news had already spread and could not be undone, Jesus used a healing to prove a point to the crowd and to His religious opposition.
      • (2:2)  Jesus was “preaching the word,” which is different than preaching the Scriptures.  Jesus addressed the basic issues of “what is truth,” or “what is good?”
      • (2:4)  The friends of the paralyzed man interrupted Jesus’ teaching.  He as not upset.  This was an opportunity, not an inconvenience.
      • (2:5)  The key to Jesus’ actions is that the friends and the paralyzed man had great faith, so Jesus addressed the spiritual side first.  Certainly, they came for physical healing, but their primary concern in life was spiritual.
      • (2:7)  The form of blasphemy, speaking against God, assumed by the scholars was usurping that which was only in the realm of God: forgiveness.  Jesus’ response to their unspoken thought should have signaled them that Jesus was God (Jeremiah 17:10).  Also, Jesus used the identifier, Son of Man, per Daniel, further calling them to recall Daniel’s timing and predictions.
      • Jesus made the claim of being able to forgive before the healing so He could use the healing as proof of the claim, rather than doing a healing and then trying to apply His power as authority.  This focused the point.
  • Applications
    • How do we show miraculous compassion?
      • Many outsiders show human compassion.  How is godly compassion different?
      • Is our inconvenience an integral part of showing godly compassion?
      • How might we be tempted not to play by the rules?
    • Since we cannot forgive sins in the same way that Jesus did, what can we do?
      • Mark 11:25 – 26 (and others) – Forgive to be forgiven.
      • These healings were of people with great faith.  Do we operate differently with those of no or little faith?  How do we know?
      • Make the spiritual claim before the physical benefit.  What claims can we make?  For example, the promises about the work of the indwelling Spirit.