miracles of jesus 1. LEADER PREPARATION

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1 miracles of jesus Week 1: Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man This includes: 1. Leader Preparation 2. Lesson Guide 1. LEADER PREPARATION LESSON OVERVIEW One night, Jesus is teaching to a crowded home. Friends lower a paralyzed man through the roof because are were too many people. Before performing a physical healing, Jesus says the man s sins are forgiven. God heals this man both physically and spiritually. Jesus does the same today he wants us to be whole physically, but just as importantly, he wants us to be healed spiritually. This lesson will examine how Jesus made this one man whole and how God also wants us to be spiritually whole. LESSON OBJECTIVES 1. WHAT: Jesus is concerned with both our physical health and our spiritual health. 2. WHY: Our spiritual needs are significant, and we have the opportunity to deliver God s message of spiritual healing to people around us. 3. HOW: Teenagers will be challenged to examine their priorities and pursue spiritual health as a top purpose in life. PRIMARY SCRIPTURE Mark 2:1-12 SECONDARY SCRIPTURE Romans 8:1 TEACHING PREP The short overview below is designed to help you prepare for your lesson. While you may not want to convey this information word-for-word with your teenagers, you ll definitely want to refer to it as you lead your small group lesson. Read Mark 2:1-12.

2 Jesus didn t have access to telephones, text messages, the Internet, advertising, or billboards only word-of-mouth communication yet he quickly earned quite a reputation in Galilee. As we reach Mark 2, Jesus had been teaching multitudes and healing people, and a lot of folks were starting to wonder who he was. He drew a crowd in Capernaum, and it was standing-room-only at the house where he was teaching. Four men arrived at this house on a mission. They couldn t get inside because of the crowd, but they were determined to get their paralyzed friend near Jesus. They were desperate to see him healed. They risked getting in trouble for digging a hole through the roof. They risked being outcasts. They risked being disappointed. Notice that at this point in Jesus ministry, large crowds were already starting to follow him. People may not have been sure what to think of him, but they knew Jesus was displaying grace and love in ways that other religious leaders didn t. Many people were curious and listened to his every word. However, his crowds usually included at least a handful of religious leaders who were bothered by how their own authority was questioned and challenged by Jesus actions and words. That s certainly the case in this story. Jesus knew that some of the religious teachers felt he committed blasphemy by saying the paralyzed man s sins were forgiven only God had the authority to forgive sins. Jesus challenged them with a question: Which is easier, healing a person or forgiving that person s sins? Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and told him to stand up, because he d been healed. Sure enough, the man jumped to his feet and made his way out of the building. The crowd was amazed! Jesus used this display of power to reinforce his claim that he had the authority to forgive. This miracle went against everything that the audience knew, and it shocked them with a message of grace and truth. This week s lesson provides an opportunity for you to challenge your students to pursue a lifestyle where they are ready and willing to respond to needs around them just like the four men who carried the paralytic to Jesus. Encourage them to pursue such habits as spending time with God, praying, reading the Bible, worshiping God, and serving others to cultivate a sensitive heart and attitude.

3 THE BEFORE & AFTER [optional] Text Message Questions We ve provided a couple of different text message questions to send out to your students prior to your meeting. Feel free to use one or both of the questions below. As with the rest of the curriculum, edit these questions to fit the needs of your ministry. Parent Are you living in faith today? Join us for small group tonight to talk about it. Which is easier: forgiving sins or healing sick people? Dig deeper tonight at small group. We ve provided you with an below that you can send to your parents following the lesson. Our hope is to encourage parents to continue the conversation at home. Feel free to edit and customize the to fit your ministry needs. Dear parents, This week we launched a new series in our small groups, focusing on miracles Jesus performed. Our first lesson centered on Mark 2, when four men carried a paralyzed friend to Jesus. They couldn t walk into the house because it was crowded, so they climbed to the roof, made a hole, and lowered their friend into the room. We saw how Jesus shocked everyone by first offering spiritual healing to this man before providing a physical healing. I d encourage you to find time this week to talk with your teenager about spiritual health and how God is able to provide spiritual healing for our sins. Ask your student about this week s passage from Mark 2, to see if any part of the story made a significant impression. What would it have been like if your teenager saw this healing in person? Would your teenager have been one of the four people who cared deeply about their friend? Here are some additional questions from our lesson that you could use during your conversation: Why did Jesus heal people? What was he trying to prove or communicate through healings?

4 What s one way you can help other people learn the good news that Jesus can provide spiritual healing in their lives? As a family, you have the opportunity to keep spiritual health a priority even in the middle of your busy schedules. Schedule a time for family prayer or devotion. Read a Bible story or pray for each other. Even if it s difficult to change your schedule and all spend time together, consider the high priority that Jesus puts on our faith and the rewards of spiritual growth as a family. Have a blessed week!

5 miracles of jesus Week 1: Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man GETTING THINGS STARTED [optional] 2. LEsson guide As you begin your small group, welcome your students and invite them into your meeting area. Open in prayer, and then What famous person would you like to meet? Why that person, and why is that person so famous? Would most of your friends be surprised by your choice, or would they all know exactly which person you d choose? Explain. What questions would you ask this person? Some people in our culture talk about Jesus like he was a celebrity, not the Son of God. Is it wrong to think of Jesus as a celebrity, or is it no big deal? Explain. SAY SOMETHING LIKE: This week s lesson begins with a crowd of people who had heard about Jesus and wanted to find out for themselves what he was teaching and doing. He was becoming famous for performing miracles, and people wanted to see if all the hype was real. If you came up with an opening activity, movie clip, or game that worked well with your group, and you d like to share it with other youth workers, please us at Teaching Points The goal of the Teaching Points is to help students capture the essence of each lesson with more discussion and less lecture-style teaching. The main points we have chosen here are (1) Jesus challenges our assumptions, (2) Jesus challenges natural limitations, and (3) Jesus challenges us to grow. Remember: All throughout these lessons, it s up to you to choose (1) how many questions you use, and (2) the wording of the main points keep ours, or change the wording to make it clearer for your audience.

6 Read Mark 2:1-12 together as a group. Consider allowing one or more of the teenagers to read the text. SAY SOMETHING LIKE: Let s see what this miraculous story reveals about Jesus and how he challenged the world around him and continues to challenge us today. 1. Jesus challenges our assumptions SAY SOMETHING LIKE: Lots of people have their own ideas about Jesus. Some people assume he was just a wise teacher. Others assume he was just a passionate activist who spoke out for the oppressed. And some people assume he was a delusional man who thought he was God. Ultimately, each of us must answer the question he asked Peter at one point: Who do YOU say that I am? What surprises you most about this event in Mark 2? Read verse 9. If Jesus asked you that question, how would you have answered? Which IS easier to do: heal someone who s sick or forgive a person s sins? Why? What are some assumptions your friends or people in our culture have about Jesus? What s accurate and what s not accurate about those assumptions? 2. Jesus challenges natural limitations Why do you think Jesus forgave the man before healing his body? Why not the other way around? Why did Jesus heal people? What was he trying to prove or communicate through healings? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: A physical healing was one way Jesus demonstrated who he was that his claim to be the Son of God was authentic and legitimate. It also was a reminder that he was not bound by natural, human limitations. Paralyzed people shouldn t get up and walk. Blind people shouldn t be able to see. Dead people shouldn t come back to life. But with God, all things are possible.

7 3. Jesus challenges us to grow Read verse 5. What are the similarities and differences between the faith of the paralyzed man and the faith of the four men who lowered the paralytic? What are some words you might use to describe these four men? Why those words? What are some of the risks these men took? How has obedience to God been a risky thing in your life? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: We don t really know how much faith the paralyzed man had, but we know the four other men had enough faith to get him, go to this house, get to the roof, cut a hole in the roof, and lower the paralyzed man with the hope and faith that Jesus would heal him. They recognized the rewards of taking a risk and believing God could do the miraculous. Obedience can place us in risky situations but the risk of trusting and believing God is an exciting experience! ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION [optional] Look at the main characters in this story: the religious leaders, the people in the house, the paralyzed man, and the men who took their friend to Jesus. What are their priorities? Why are they at this house in Capernaum on this particular day? How do you think this experience affected their lives? What do we learn about Jesus priorities through his initial statement to the paralyzed man? Read Romans 8:1. What are this verse s implications for your spiritual life? APPLICATION SAY SOMETHING LIKE: This week s story from Mark 2 includes a remarkable blend of characters, including four men who cared about a sick friend, religious leaders who questioned Jesus authority, a crowd of onlookers who saw an amazing miracle, a paralyzed man who could suddenly walk, and, of course, Jesus.

8 What can you learn from the four men who took the paralyzed man to Jesus? What can you learn from the religious leaders and their doubts? What can you learn from the crowd at the Capernaum house that day? What can you learn from the paralyzed man who got healed? What can you learn from Jesus actions and words on this particular day? Pair up with another person in the group for these questions. Think over this past week and the way you used your minutes, hours, and days. What would your schedule indicate is your highest priority a specific activity or pastime or requirement? What else might be high on that list? Which parts of your weekly routine are helping you grow spiritually? Are any of your activities hindering your spiritual growth? The men in Mark 2 didn t have take buddy to get healed on their calendars for that day; they simply had enough compassion to respond to an immediate need. What s the implication for your life, based on this story? What s one way you can help other people learn the good news that Jesus can provide spiritual healing in their lives? SUMMARY End your small group lesson here. Provide your teenagers with a quick summary or take-home challenge based on (1) the content of this lesson, (2) the dialogue that took place during the lesson, (3) your understanding of the issues and struggles your teenagers are facing, and (4) the big picture of your youth ministry and what your leadership team wants accomplished with the teaching and discussion time.

9 FOR KEEPS [MEMORY VERSE] Encourage and/or challenge your teenagers to memorize the verse below. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

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