NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 7
Mark 1-2; 4:35-41; 5; Luke 7:11-17
- Jesus travels through Galilee teaching the gospel and performing miracles.
- Jesus forgives a man's sins and heals the man of palsy.
- Jesus calms the sea, casts out devils, and raises the son of the widow
of Nain from the dead.
- Jesus heals a woman with an issue of blood and raises Jairus's daughter
from the dead.
A study of this lesson should help us understand some of the reasons
the Savior performed miracles.
- During his ministry, Jesus performed numerous miracles. Prior to reading
about some of these great events, it would be appropriate to discuss miracles.
- WHAT ARE MIRACLES?
WHAT TYPES OF MIRACLES ARE THERE?
- Miracles defy full explanation.
- They are manifestations of the power of God in the lives of men.
- They seem to transcend natural laws, but are simply the manifestations
of higher laws not generally known to mortal men.
- They are one of the chief characteristics of true believers.
- Bruce R. McConkie: "In the broadest sense, miracles embrace
all those events which are beyond the power of any presently known physical
power to produce. They are occurrences which deviate from the known laws
of nature and which transcend our knowledge of those laws....
"But in the gospel sense, miracles
are those occurrences wrought by the power of God which are wholly beyond
the power of man to perform. Produced by a supernatural power, they are
marvels, wonders, and signs, which cannot be duplicated by man's present
powers or by any powers which he can obtain by scientific advancements.
Miracles in the gospel sense are gifts of the Spirit; they take place when
the Lord on his own motion manifests his powers or when man by faith prevails
upon Deity to perform supernatural events." (Mormon Doctrine,
- James E. Talmage: "Miracles cannot be in contravention of natural
law, but are wrought through the operation of laws not universally or commonly
"In the contemplation of the
miracles wrought by Christ, we must of necessity recognize the operation
of a power transcending our present human understanding. In this field,
science has not yet advanced far enough to analyze and explain. To deny
the actuality of miracles on the ground that, because we cannot comprehend
the means, the reported results are fictitious, is to arrogate to the human
mind the attribute of omniscience, by implying that what man cannot comprehend
cannot be, and that therefore he is able to comprehend all that is."
( Jesus the Christ, p148)
WHY DID JESUS PERFORM HEALINGS AND OTHER MIRACLES DURING HIS MINISTRY?
- Enoch & Moriancumer had the faith to change the course of rivers
and move mountains.
- Moses parted the Red Sea.
- Joshua stopped the sun in its course.
- Elijah calls down fire to destroy his enemies.
- Physical healings by Christ.
- Feeding of the multitudes.
- The calming of a storm
- The resurrection of Christ.
- Some latter-day miracles:
- Joseph Smith casts out an evil spirit.
- Healing of many on the banks of the Mississippi.
- Joseph saved from poisoning.
- The appearance of quail to save starving Saints.
- The seagulls & crickets.
- The miracles of the faithful members of the Church.
As we discuss the miracles of Jesus in this lesson and in the weeks
to come, consider this thought from Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "We
have little conception of the number of healings Jesus wrought. Multitudes
thronged his way day after day, bringing their diseased and deformed, their
lame and decrepit, their deaf and their blind. All these Were healed as
faith and desire Warranted. Even their dead were subject to Jesus' will.
- To fulfill prophecy:
- "...he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that
were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet,
saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses"
- To reveal his authority to the people:
- "And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a
loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that
they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new
doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits,
and they do obey him" (Mark 1:27-28).
- Out of love and compassion for the people:
- "And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and
touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean" (Mark
- To build and confirm faith:
- "Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith
be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29).
- To display the power of redemption:
- "...that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth
to forgive sins" (Mark 2:10).
- To show the power of God:
- "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for
no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him"
- Bruce R. McConkie: "And it also scarce needs stating, so obvious
is the fact, that the Son of God in his mortal ministry, sent as he was
to labor among men and to save that which was lost, was destined to perform
more miracles and work more wonders than any of the prophets who went before
or who shall come after. In this, as in all things, he is the pattern."
(Mortal Messiah, 1:448)
"No attempt is made by the Gospel
authors to record Jesus' many miracles. Only selected samples are set forth
in the scriptures. The obvious plan of the inspired authors is to preserve
illustrations of his purposes and powers, and surely the wide variety of
healings and miraculous performances that they chose to record do attest
to his power and control over all things." (Mortal Messiah, 2:36)
The Miracles Of Jesus Christ
- READ MARK 1:21-27. Jesus casts out an unclean
READ MARK 1:40-42. Jesus heals a leper.
- WHY WERE THE PEOPLE IN THE SYNAGOGUE IN CAPERNAUM AMAZED AT JESUS'
TEACHING AND HIS ABILITY TO CAST OUT UNCLEAN SPIRITS?
- The people were accustomed to their teachers and scribes. They did
not have the authority to cast out unclean spirits or perform miracles.
When they saw this greater teacher come among them and perform that which
had not been performed in Israel in generations, they were amazed.
- BY WHAT AUTHORITY DID JESUS TEACH AND PERFORM MIRACLES?
- By the authority of the priesthood, which the scribes did not have.
- James E. Talmage: "A striking characteristic of Christ's ministry
was the entire absence of any claim of human authorization for His words
or deeds; the commission He professed to have was that of the Father who
sent Him." (Jesus The Christ, p249)
READ MARK 2:1-12. Healing of a man with palsy.
- WHY DID JESUS HEAL THE LEPER?
- He was "moved with compassion" (v41).
- This verse says a great deal about the Lord. He feels the agony and
humiliation that this leper has felt and simply wants to ease the burden.
- HOW CAN WE SHOW CHRISTLIKE LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR THOSE AROUND US?
HOW HAVE OTHER PEOPLE SHOWN CHRISTLIKE LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR YOU?
READ MARK 4:35-41. Calming of the storm at sea.
- WHAT WAS AN IMPORTANT INGREDIENT IN THE HEALING OF THIS MAN?
- The faith of others. They believed enough to take the man with palsy
to the Lord. Because of the crowd, they had to use extraordinary measures
to get their friend to Jesus.
- HOW CAN WE EXERCISE FAITH IN BEHALF OF OTHERS?
- We have all had the experience of fasting and praying in behalf of
family or friends who are ill. Alma exercised faith in behalf of his son.
Recall the words of the angel when he appeared to Alma, "And again,
the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people,
and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has
prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to
the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to
convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his
servants might be answered according to their faith" (Mosiah 27:14).
- As James taught, "faith without works is dead". Our
faith is made effectual by our righteousness. Such was the case with Alma
when he prayed for his son. He was actively serving the Lord and keeping
the commandments. As we strive to do the will of the Lord, we are giving
life to our faith.
- WHAT DID SOME OF THE SCRIBES THINK WHEN JESUS TOLD THE MAN WITH PALSY
THAT HIS SINS WERE FORGIVEN?
- "But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning
in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive
sins but God only?" (Mark 2:6-7)
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Jesus has forgiven a man's sins. Luke's
account puts the blessed words in the present tense: 'Man, thy sins are
forgiven thee.' Immediately rebellion wells up in the hearts of the ever-present
rebels. 'Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies?' they think. 'Who can
forgive sins but God only?'
"In part, their thinking is correct.
None but God can forgive sins, and if this man is not God, then the words
he has spoken are blasphemy, and according to divine law, the penalty for
such is death. If, however, this man is the Messiah, then the prerogative
he has assumed is proper, and it is within his province to loose on earth
and have it loosed eternally in the heavens. Messiah can forgive sins because
Messiah is God." (Mortal Messiah 2:50)
- HOW DID JESUS RESPOND?
- "...that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth
to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee,
Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house."
- Which is the greater miracle, to be healed of a physical affliction
or have one's sins forgiven?
- James E. Talmage: "According to one of the accounts, the Lord's
first words to the afflicted one were: 'Son, be of good cheer'; followed
directly by the comforting and authoritative assurance: 'Thy sins be forgiven
thee.' The man was probably in a state of fear; he may have known that
his ailment was the result of wicked indulgences; nevertheless, though
he may have considered the possibility of hearing only condemnation for
his transgression, he had faith to be brought. In this man's condition
there was plainly a close connection between his past sins and his present
affliction; and in this particular his case is not unique, for we read
that Christ admonished another, whom He healed, to sin no more lest a worse
thing befall him." (Jesus the Christ, p192)
- HOW HAS JESUS' HEALING POWER BLESSED YOU SPIRITUALLY? HOW CAN WE SEEK
"And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the
country of the Gadarenes" (Mark 5:1).
- WHAT ROLE DID FAITH HAVE IN THIS MIRACLE?
- The Master asked, "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye
have no faith?" But they did exercise their faith in the Lord,
for they went to him and said, "Lord, save us: we perish"
(Matthew 8:25). When we consider the response of his followers, they certainly
did not expect the Lord to calm the storm, but they went to him believing
that he could do something for them.
- WHAT SPIRITUAL TRUTH MIGHT WE LEARN FROM THIS MIRACLE?
- We have spiritual storms within our souls. Like his ancient apostles,
we can look to the Master to calm our storms.
READ MARK 5:25-34. A woman with an issue of blood
- Upon landing they were me by a man "with an unclean spirit"
- WHAT THEN HAPPENED?
- WHAT SPIRITUAL TRUTH MIGHT WE LEARN FROM THIS MIRACLE?
- If we come to the Savior, as did this man with an unclean spirit, he
can cast the evil influence of Satan out of our lives.
Prior to the healing of the woman with an issue of blood, Jairus, one
of the rulers of the synagogue, came to Jesus and asked him to come and
heal his daughter who was near the point of death (Mark 5:22-23).
- HOW DID THE WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD SHOW HER FAITH?
JST Matthew 4:23: "And Jesus went about all Galilee teaching
in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom; and healing
all manner of sickness, and all manner of diseases among the people which
believed on his name."
- READ MARK 5:35-43. The daughter of Jairus is raised
from the dead.
- HOW DID JAIRUS SHOW HIS FAITH IN THE SAVIOR?
- This ruler of the synagogue was humble enough to approach the Master
and request this great blessing.
- Even when Jairus learned of the death of his daughter, he went with
the Savior to his home. We do not hear a protest from Jairus saying that
his daughter was dead. He returned to his home with the Master.
- When Jairus learned of the death of his daughter, Jesus said "Be
not afraid, only believe" (Mark 5:36).
- HOW CAN WE APPLY THESE WORDS IN OUR LIFE?
- Jairus was facing one of the greatest calamities in life, the death
of a child. From time to time we face great challenges. It may have to
do with our health or the health of a loved one, a spiritual challenge,
the loss of income, or any number of other things. Such challenges may
trouble our spirit and even cause fear. The Savior tells us to believe.
As we believe in him by giving heed to his words and turning to the Father
in prayer, the Master can ease the fear and calm the tempest that rages
Miracles & Faith
- WHY DO YOU THINK FAITH MUST PRECEDE MIRACLES?
WHY DO MIRACLES CONTINUE IN THE CHURCH TODAY?
- Ether 12:6,12,18: "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat
concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things
which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see
not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
"For if there be no faith among
the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed
not himself until after their faith.
"And neither at any time hath
any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed
in the Son of God."
President Harold B. Lee: Harold B. Lee: "May I impose upon
you for a moment to express appreciation for something that happened to
me some time ago. I was suffering from an ulcer condition that was becoming
worse and worse. We had been touring a mission; my wife, Joan, and I were
impressed the next morning that we should get home as quickly as possible,
although we had planned to stay for some other meetings.
- Miracles continue in the modern Church for the same reasons that Jesus
performed them during his ministry. Miracles are a blessing for the believers.
- D&C 35:8-9: "For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened;
and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe
on my name.
"And whoso shall ask it in my name in
faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall
cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb
to speak, and the lame to walk."
- Brigham Young: "Miracles, or these extraordinary manifestations
of the power of God, are not for the unbeliever; they are to console the
Saints, and to strengthen and confirm the faith of those who love, fear,
and serve God, and not for outsiders." (JD 12:95)
"On the way across the country,
we were sitting in the forward section of the airplane. Some of our Church
members were in the next section of the airplane. As we approached a certain
point en route, someone laid his hand upon my head. I looked up; I could
see no one. That happened again before we arrived home, again with the
same experience. Who it was, by what means or what medium, I may never
know, except I knew that I was receiving a blessing that I came a few hours
later to know I needed most desperately.
"As soon as we arrived home,
my wife very anxiously called the doctor. It was now about 11 o'clock at
night. He called me to come to the telephone, and he asked how I was; and
I said, 'Well, I am very tired. I think I will be all right.' But shortly
thereafter, there came massive hemorrhages which, had they occurred while
we were in flight, I wouldn't be here today talking about it.
"I know that there are powers
divine that reach out when all other help is not available. We see that
manifest down in the countries we speak of as the underprivileged countries
where there is little medical aid and perhaps no hospitals. If you want
to hear of great miracles among these humble people with simple faith,
you will see it among them when they are left to themselves. Yes, I know
that there are such powers." (Stand Ye In Holy Places, p185-186)
One of the signs of the church of Christ is the presence of miracles.
How blessed we are to have the restoration of the gospel and its attendant
gifts. The Savior continues to heal, both physically and spiritually as
we have faith in him.
Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o'ershadowed with blackness.
No shelter or help is nigh.
Carest thou not that we perish?
How canst thou lie asleep
When each moment so madly is threat'ning
A grave in the angry deep?
The winds and the waves shall obey they will:
Peace, be still.
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
Or demons or men or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, be still; peace, be still.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, peace, be still.
Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today.
The depths of my sad heart are troubled.
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o'er my sinking soul,
And I perish! I perish! dear Master.
Oh, hasten and take control!
Master, the terror is over.
The elements sweetly rest.
Earth's sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven's within my breast.
Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more,
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor
And rest on the blissful shore.
Lesson 8: Matthew 5
Additional Reading: Luke 6:17-36; JST Luke 14:35-37; Mosiah 13:28-35;
Alma 34:13-16; 3 Nephi 12; Ether 12:11; Bible Dictionary, "Beatitudes,"
620; and "Sermon on the Mount," 771-772
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