TEXT: Mark 2:1-12
The students will be able to describe Jesus' healing of the sick when He was here on earth, and will understand that He has power to do the same in our day.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: Bring a fever thermometer to class. Ask your students if they have ever been sick and running a temperature. Were they able to make that temperature go away? Tell them that today their story is about a man who was very sick—not with a fever, but with another illness that he could not overcome.
- Jesus was preaching in a house in Capernaum, with a great crowd about Him.
- Four men brought a man sick with the palsy to Jesus, but they were not able to get near Him because of the great crowd.
- They made an opening in the roof and let the sick man down through the hole, so that he came to rest before Jesus.
- Jesus looked upon the man and told him his sins were forgiven. Those around felt this was blasphemy since only God could forgive sins.
- Jesus recognized their thoughts, and asked whether it was easier to say that sins were forgiven, or to command the sick man to rise and walk.
Climax: Jesus commanded the sick man to rise and take up his bed and go to his house, and immediately he arose.
Conclusion: Jesus had power to heal when He was here on earth, and He still has the power to do so in our day.
Response: The students will be able to describe the healing of the man sick of the palsy, and will also be able to relate examples of healings which have occurred in our day.
In Palestine at the time of Christ, unless people specifically wanted privacy, they would have their door open as an invitation for any to enter. Such was the case at this house where Jesus was staying, and so large was the crowd that accepted the invitation that the place was filled and the door blocked. There were scribes in the house along with the crowd. Their observation as to "who can forgive sins but God only?" was correct, but their assessment of Jesus was not; "Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies?" (Mark 2:7).
Jesus' asked, "Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?" The obvious answer was that it is easier to say "your sins are forgiven" because it could not be contested. Any charlatan could pronounce a man's sins forgiven, but only Jesus could say also, "Take up thy bed, and walk"—thus proving His power not only to heal but also to forgive sins.
Jesus must have been thrilled at the unceasing faith of these men that gave Him the opportunity to teach such a beautiful lesson.
- Explain that palsied means "crippled." Take a shoe box with one side open and an opening on the roof. Show it with a man on a bed being lowered through the roof in front of Jesus. As you tell what happened, raise the man up. Bring out that Jesus can heal our bodies as well as our souls. Tell how people do have troubled souls and that he can take care of that too.
- Teachers could hand out a church tract on healing for each of the students to take home.
- Let each child tell about a time when he/she or someone in his/her family was sick. Maybe they were healed. Teachers may use these accounts to emphasize that Jesus is willing and able to heal, perhaps giving a personal story of healing.
- Decorate a sheet of posterboard or construction paper with a border. Across the top write the words, "Our Class Prayer List" and draw a number of lines underneath. During class time, have your students give names of people for whom they would like the class to pray. Allow the students to write the names on the lines below the heading.
- Bring a large throw rug or blanket. Have one child lie on the blanket and have four children, one at each corner, try to lift and carry it. Tell the children that the men really worked hard to get the man to Jesus for he probably was not light.
- Draw a flip-chart story of the palsied man (see Patterns) being carried up the stairs, and onto the roof, being lowered, the healing, the walking out, etc.
- Do you have a friend who needs to meet Jesus? What should you do about it?
- Did very many people come to hear Jesus preach? How do you know?
- What were some of the reasons people gathered around Jesus, wherever He was?
- For what reasons do people seek Jesus today?
- Four friends brought a man to Jesus for healing. What does this show about these men regarding the value of friendship, caring concern for others and faith in Christ?
- What other occasions do you remember of someone's bringing another (or another's need) to Jesus? How important is the faith of others to us? to them?
- In what way do people do the same thing today? Have you told somebody else about Jesus? Have you told Jesus about somebody else, somebody who needs Him in his/her heart or maybe needs His healing touch like the palsied man did?
- What did Jesus do for the sick man besides healing him? Some people were not happy about this. Why? What did Jesus say in regard to this?
- Which is the hardest for Jesus to do, heal or save?
- Can you tell of some time when Jesus healed you? Have you also asked Him to come into your heart?
- Bring a toy doctor kit to class. Have a doll represent the sick man. Let the children pretend to try to help the sick man with the doctor tools, but explain that nothing the doctors did could help him.
- Take a number of objects to illustrate things that the palsied man probably couldn't do. For example: He couldn't play ball (ball), feed himself (spoon), hold a full glass of water (cup), turn pages of a book (storybook), put on mitten (glove).
- Give each child a copy of a stick figure of a man lying down (see Patterns). When Jesus tells him to rise and walk, have the children stand their paper up on end to show how he got up.
Give your own testimony or that of someone you know who has been healed. If it is someone you know, see if that person would come to the class. Nothing is more convincing than a first-hand experience.
Present a review based on the fact that two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. When Jesus comes into your heart, the devil has to go out. Fill a clear jar part way with oil, and place it on top of an inverted cup that is set in a pan so everyone can see it. Finish filling the jar with water that has been colored with food coloring. Stop and let the children see that as the jar fills with water, the oil floats to the top. As the jar overflows with water, the oil is expelled. Liken this to Jesus' coming into our heart, overflowing it with His presence, and forcing the devil out.
Play act a situation showing a mother and a sick child. Have the mother call for the ministers of the church to come to pray for the child. If possible, get ministers from your group to participate in the review, rather than just other teachers. (If children recognize the ministers they would have a better understanding of what is taking place.)
- Miracles of Jesus — Pict-a-graph, Standard Publishing
- Helping Others — Bible Stories for Children, By Doris Clore Demaree, Warner Press