NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR JUNE 20, 2021 : TOPIC – A HEALING TOUCH
THE NIGERIAN BAPTIST CONVENTION
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
June 20, 2021
A HEALING TOUCH
Devotional Reading: Proverbs 3:1-8
Background Scriptures: Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56
Lesson Scripture: Matthew 9:18-26
Jesus turned and saw her: “Take heart, daughter,” he said, your faith has healed you.” Matthew 9:22
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
• Share an experience of somebody who received healing as a result of the demonstration of faith in God;
• Discuss the effects of miracles in the life of an individual or community;
• Make a commitment to grow more in faith in their Christian journey.
The activities of false prophets in our days is already widespread and alarming. They claim to operate with the power of God and so give false hope and prophesies to their victims. A story was told of a prophet who assumed to have the power to heal the sick, save and raise the dead, like Jesus. Recently, one of his members was involved in a ghastly motor accident and had head injury. The prophet prevailed on the family members not to take the man to the hospital but rather he would lay him on the altar for some special prayers and anointing, Unfortunately, the man bled to death after some days.
Jesus Christ is our Healer. A great portion of His time was dedicated to healing the sick and downtrodden, during His earthly ministry. He healed all kinds of people including the blind, paralysed, deaf, lame, lepers, those who had fever, and many with chronic illnesses, among others. There is no record in the gospels of Jesus turning away anyone who came to Him for healing. We also know from the Scripture that there was no sickness or disease that was difficult for Him to heal. The story of the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead and the healing of the woman with the issue of blood, as recorded by three of the gospel writers (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43 and Luke 8:40-56) are quite fascinating and they will be the focus of today’s lesson. The stories further confirm the power of Jesus to heal the sick, unlike some false prophets.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. The Faith of a Father
Jesus had just answer the question about fasting from the followers of John the Baptist, when a Jewish official and a synagogue ruler came and knelt down before Him. He said to Jesus, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live” What a great faith! Jesus’ response to the mans request was prompt, when He saw the demonstration of his faith. He got up with His disciples and followed him to his house. However, Matthew did not give the name of the synagogue ruler, but Mark and Luke referred to him as Jairus (probably a synagogue ruler in Capernaum, Mark 5:22).
Undoubtedly, this man had great faith. Ordinarily, the man would have made adequate arrangement for the burial of his child and perhaps invite some traditional mourners. But he acknowledged the power of Jesus and came to Him with a convincing faith that He could bring back to life his dead daughter (Luke 8:42). Definitely, the man must have heard about instances where Jesus Christ touched the sick and the dead and they recovered and rose up respectively. This prior knowledge of Jesus’ ability made the man’s request straightforward and concise. He needed Jesus to lay His hand on his dead daughter. Interestingly, Jesus did not hesitate to respond to his request, seeing his faith. When we have faith in God and His power, ultimately, miracles will abound and the impossible will be made possible. Christians should acknowledge Jesus’ power to heal, save and deliver those who are in captivity. What is most important is that we have faith because it is the pathway to receiving miracles.
1. Discuss what would have motivated the man to invite Jesus to come and raise his dead daughter.
2. If you were the man what would you have done to a dead child?
B. The Faith of a Woman
The fact has been established that without hesitation, Jesus responded to the invitation by the official, whose daughter was dead. On their way, there was an interruption by a woman who had suffered from severe flow of blood for 12 years. According to the law of Moses, the woman was ceremonially unclean (Leviticus 15:19-30). However, the woman came to Jesus from behind and touched the helm of His garment. With great faith, she said to herself: if I only touch his cloak, I will be healed” (v.21) According to the account of Mark, the bleeding stopped and she felt great relief but Jesus realised that power had gone out of Him (Mark 5:29-30). Immediately, He turned and said to the woman, Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you. From that moment, the woman was healed of her prolonged illness.
The healing to the woman with the issue of blood is one of the popular miracles in the Bible. Interestingly, the duration of her problem was the same as the age of the girl that Jesus Christ was going to raise -12 years. The cause of the ailment is not identified in the passage. Nevertheless, some Bible commentators attributed it to a menstrual disorder, which automatically made the woman ritually unclean (Leviticus 15:25). According to Mark’s account, she had suffered a great deal in the hands of many doctors and had spent all she had without any improvement, rather the situation grew worse. However, when she heard about Jesus Christ, she demonstrated uncommon faith and pressed through the crowd and touched the helm of Jesus’ garment, according to her confession in verse 21b. Two things are noteworthy in the passage: The woman’s sincere desire was to touch the helm of Jesus’ garment and not necessarily for Jesus to pray for her. Secondly, Jesus did not pray for her He simply commended her faith and she was made whole. Jesus has the power to heal all manner of sicknesses and diseases, not withstanding how long they may have been, especially for those who believe, like the woman in the passage.
1. Why is it that many people prefer to be touched, anointed or specifically prayed for instead of simply putting their faith in God for healing?
2. Let class members discuss some of the noises and gimmicks that characterise prayer sessions nowadays in contrast to the simple faith of the woman in today’s passage.
C. Restoration to Life
Jesus’ encounter with the woman who had a prolonged flow of blood made Him to delay in getting to the house of the ruler where He was invited to touch the dead child. Eventually, He went and saw some musicians and professional mourners who had been hired to perform the funeral rite as it was their practice. Jesus said to them, “Go away. The girl is not dead, but asleep.” The people mocked Jesus because they lacked the understanding that He possesses the power to raise the dead. However, Jesus was not disturbed by their comments. He sent them away, entered the room and took the girl by hand and she got up. According to verse 26, the news of the miracle spread all over that part of the country.
Jesus Christ did not deny the fact that the girl was actually dead. He simply compared her dead state to mere sleep. In other words, her death was temporary because He knew that she would live again. Similarly, Jesus confirmed that the final outcome of Lazarus’ illness would be to the glory of God and of Jesus. He said to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? (John 11:4, 40) The miracle of raising the dead girl back to life became great news about the power of Jesus Christ to save. So, the people spread it throughout the land. Whenever God performs wonder in the lives of His people, apart from the fact that the individuals who are directly involved is blessed, the news usually spreads throughout the community and it could be a means of spreading the Gospel. For instance, the testimony of the Samaritan woman in John 4 made many people in the town to believe in Jesus.
1. Does God still raise the dead like the case of the girl in the passage?
2. Let a class member narrate how God rescued him/her from a seemingly hopeless situation.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activities
• Let class members discuss the relationship between faith and reasoning.
• Agree on a time that your class members will visit the sick in a nearby hospital this week to pray for them and probably give them gifts.
• Faith in God can stir divine intervention that will result in miracles.
• God has the ultimate power to raise the dead.
• All our challenges are temporal.
• God’s miraculous acts are powerful means of spreading the Gospel.
• Christians can look up to God to help them with their health issues. However, this should not stop them from seeking medical help.
• God’s delay is not denial.