We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

Welcome to week 5 of The Miracles of Jesus by Hampton Keathley IV, Th.M. and hosted by

I am having trouble sending the weekly reminders emails because hotmail is only allowing me to send 10 emails at a time with a daily max. Hopefully I will get this issue resolved and resume sending weekly reminder emails.

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Click on the Older Posts icon at the bottom right-hand corner of this site in order to view last week's Bible studies.

:-) Christina

Monday (05/26/08) Memorial Day

No Bible study on Memorial Day!!!

Tuesday (05/27/08) Delivering the Syrophoenician’s Daughter


A. Passage Selected: Matt. 15:21-28

B. Progression Stated: Biographical and Ideological

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context

Jesus He wanted to be alone, but couldn’t escape the crowds and people in need so He goes to Tyre. This is the only time He left Israel during his ministry.

The discussion on kosher food and defilement in the previous context is very related to our story. The importance of these things was that they made Israel separate from the rest of the world. But Jesus is going to do away with some of these distinctives. In Jn 4, with the woman at the well, Jesus foretells the doing away with worship in Jerusalem. Here we have a removing of the dietary laws.

This miracle is a hinge to show the movement from the Jews to the Gentiles.

She has everything going against her. She is a Gentile woman - a Canaanite woman - with a demon possessed daughter. There are many barriers - racial, social, cultural, spiritual.

2. Content

a. The plea of the woman 15:21-22

“Lord, Son of David...” She is coming with understanding of who He really is. This is very impressive. But Jesus doesn’t answer her. Why not? I think He is leading her along to develop the understanding of the disciples. He is setting up what is going to happen. He will respond to her later.

b. The pride of the disciples 15:23

The disciples were annoyed. Over and over again we see their great pastoral hearts. She is persistent.

c. The place of the woman 15:24

Jesus was sent only to minister to Israel. Rom 15:8 He came to make a legitimate offer of the kingdom to Israel.

d. The persistence of the woman 15:25-27

(1) Her reverence

She has understanding and faith. (vs 25)

(2) His rejection

Who were the children? Who were the dogs? Is this politically incorrect language? Gentiles were dogs to the Jews. This argues for authenticity of the scriptures because it would be tempting to tone down Jesus’ seemingly cruel words here.

(3) Her response

She responds with amazing understanding and faith. She is asking if Jewish failure can’s result in Gentile blessing. Can’t Gentiles have what Jews reject. She reveals what God is doing in the world. Israel’s failure will result in Gentile blessing. Rom 9-11. He fed 5000 Jews, now he will go feed 4000 Gentiles. There are no more restrictions on the basis of food. Peter didn’t learn this till Acts 10. Jesus doesn’t call Gentiles “dogs” anymore because they are no longer outsiders.

Matt 8:, Luke 7:, John 4:, Matt 16:21. All miracles of healing of Gentiles. All done from a distance. Gentiles were viewed as far away and Jews as being near. There may be some significance to this.

e. The power shown to the woman 15:28

(1) Jesus hails her faith

(2) Jesus heals her daughter


*Israel has rejected the provision of Christ which is now becoming available more openly to the Gentiles. Salvation is still of the Jews, but it is now available to Gentiles. How could God bring such good out of such rejection? God causes all things to work together for good.


*Faith is the great equalizer of cultural and personal backgrounds.
*Spiritual insight leads to spiritual blessing.
*Rejection of privileged responsibility may bring replacement in God’s service. (a few of the parables show this also.)
*We do have the privilege of bringing our troubles to God.
*There is a place for well grounded boldness in the Lord. She doesn’t quit. He wants me to be bold in coming.
*She is bold, but not proud. She is humble and understands she is a “dog.” She didn’t say, “Can’t you have other children?” We as Gentiles can’t afford to get cocky. Rom 11 says that if the wild branches that get grafted in get cocky, they will be cut out.
*Success in prayer comes from a humble approach.
*Beware of a lack of compassion (disciples’ model)
*There are a lot of “little people” who know a lot of theology and live it.

Wednesday (05/28/08) Healing the Deaf and Dumb Man


A. Passage Selected: Mark 7:31-37

B. Progression Stated: Biographical

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context 7:31

Still with the Gentiles. He has been for several months. Some think that the trip from Tyre through Sidon lasted about eight months as he ministered to the Gentiles in that area.

2. Content 7:32-37

a. Jesus with the multitudes (32)

The term used means “deaf/stammerer” Stop and think about what it would be like to have the condition of the person being healed.

b. Jesus with the man (33-35)

(1) The manner


(2) The method

They want him to lay hands on him, but He does it a different way. He touches the ears and then touches his tongue (spits) and then touches the tongue of the other. Perhaps this is a way of communicating visually with the man what He was about to do.

It is the command which heals not the power of the saliva. The most repeated method of healing in the miracles is the “WORD” of God.

(3) The miracle

A complete healing. All of the miracles are complete healings except one which is accomplished in two steps for teaching purposes. That separates true miracles from what we witness on TV today.

c. Jesus with the multitudes (36-37)

(1) His request

He tells them not to tell anyone. Perhaps to keep the multitudes from looking for a miracle worker. He was looking less for a following than for people of faith to follow. We like crowds (quantity). He likes quality.

(2) Their response

Astonishment but not salvation.


*He has the ability to heal all manner of disease and proves himself to be the Messiah.
*The miracle work of Messiah among the Jews is now available among the Gentiles.


*I should not dictate to Jesus his methods of operation.
*The work of Christ reflects the character of God. “He does everything well.”

Thursday (05/29/08) Feeding the 4000 (+)


A. Passage Selected: Mark 8:1-10

Also in Matt 15:32

B. Progression Stated: Logical

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context

(Contrasts between the 5000 and the 4000)

Syrophoenecian woman’s daughter healed in Tyre. Now He’s in the Decapolis. Dealing with Gentiles.

Dietary Laws in Matthew - shows movement toward Gentiles since Israel was rejecting Him.

2. Content

a. The problem 8:1-5

(1) Of the multitudes (1-3)

No food.

(2) Of the disciples (4-5)

No faith. How could they commit the same sin twice in a row? We would never do that.

b. The solution 8:6-10

(1) The supply (6-7)

(2) The satisfaction (8-10)

Gentiles experiencing the blessings of Messiah.


*The bread of life, Jesus, is now ministering in Gentile territories as he did in Jewish territory. He is available to them as well.
*By the work of God, they can have the provision of God as well.


*Sometimes we need repeated lessons to learn the truth.
*How do you handle failure in your students or your children? Patiently teach them.
*Patience and persistence is the hallmark of ministry.
*If Jesus thanked God for provisions, shouldn’t I?
*Start with what you have. Don’t wait until you think you have enough. Move out in faith.
*If I reject God, I will be replaced by someone else.

Friday (05/30/08) Healing the Blind Man of Bethsaida


A. Passage Selected: Mark 8:22-26

B. Progression Stated: Logical

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context

You need to understand the movement from the feeding of the 5000 to the 4000. Jesus was showing the disciples that everything they need for ministry they get from Jesus. The miracles also showed a movement from the Jews to the Gentiles. Jesus was preparing them for a world wide ministry after He left.

Whomever God chooses for ministry, he prepares them before and provides for them during their ministry. Don’t every say, “How am I going to do all this?” except to recognize that “you” can’t but “He” can and will provide.

Then they are in the boat and are afraid. They ask Jesus if He doesn’t care. What is wrong with that? Does presence of hard times mean God doesn’t care? That implies that if God doesn’t care, He will not provide for us.

Mark 8:9 show that the pharisees ask for a sign. How many miracles have we seen so far? 23. It is amazing that they could ask this. So, neither the people nor the disciples are “getting it.” From here on out, Jesus starts performing private miracles or miracles in remote places away from Jerusalem. He gives up on the pharisees and focuses on the disciples.

The disciples are now in a boat and have forgotten to bring bread. Jesus asks them why they are talking about bringing the bread. They have still not understood. They still think the problem is that they don’t have enough - like they are supposed to supply it. They don’t need to worry.
Jesus could supply bread if they got hungry. If Jesus could feed 5000+ and 4000+ couldn’t he feed 12?

How much was left after the 5000+ were fed? 12 baskets. How much after 4000+? 7 baskets. There were more crumbs left after the Jews ate than the Gentiles. There may be some significance to this. It may mean better response from Gentiles.

Now we come to Bethsaida and there is a miracle performed in two stages. It is not because Jesus’ batteries were low. It was a symbol for the disciples. It represents the two stages of understanding of the disciples.

Takes place back near the feeding of the 5000. Another reminder.

2. Content

a. Blind with no sight (22)

(1) Presentaton of the man

(2) Privacy with the man

b. Blurred with little sight (23-24)

(1) Healing (23)

(2) Result (24)

This is private and so there is no chance of a “blurred” testimony to the nation.

c. Beholding with total insight (25-26)

(1) The healing

This does not teach that some miracles happen gradually. This was a very deliberate teaching opportunity for the disciples and done in two distinct stages not a gradual improvement over a day, week, etc.

Some think the two stages teach that some things are hidden now, but when the Spirit comes all things will be seen clearly. That is not in the context. In fact the context teaches that they should have understood everything already.

(2) The prohibition

The text doesn’t say that the man disobeyed, so we can assume he did obey.

Reasons for secrecy

*Relates to the gradual development of discipleship. They are not ready for all of it.
*To avoid a premature conflict with Israel. It is bad enough without them seeing everything He did.
*The gradual self-revelation / progressive revelation of Himself to Israel.
*To discourage miracle mania among the multitudes.
*To allow the transition to the Gentiles.

It is not because He knew He wasn’t really the Messiah and didn’t want people to think that. Some teach this (cf. Ried ... )


*He has the power to open blind eyes both physically and spiritually.
*He can clean up blurred vision - physically and spiritually


*Jesus doesn’t always work the same way.
*Multitudes don’t determine priorities.
*God is not forced to act according to our expectations. He did it a different way.

Ray Stedman suggests the following application from this miracle:

If you have the spiritual blahs, here we have a model of what todo:

First, “Do you not perceive or understand?” Study the revelations of God to you — scripture and events. Use your mind.

Second, he asks, “Are your hearts hardened?” Analyze the state of your heart. Are you dull, or do you respond? If we are not excited, if we do not feel a response of joy, it is because the mind has grasped it but the heart has not.

Third, Jesus repeats the phrase, “Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?” Do not just look at the events you are seeing and think that is all there is to it. It is a parable, a parallel to something deeper and more important, concerning your spirit. As these men were being fed by the loaves and the fishes, he was saying to them, “Don’t think of this merely as a way of getting a good, quick, free meal. Understand that I am the source for everything in life

Finally, “Do you not remember?” Look back at what has happened and recognize that God has been at work in your life. What is happening right now is not just an accident. It is part of a bigger plan.

Welcome to week 4 of The Miracles of Jesus by Hampton Keathley IV, Th.M. and hosted by

If you are not receiving the weekly reminder e-mails please let me know at

Click on the Older Posts icon at the bottom right-hand corner of this site in order to view last week's Bible studies.

:-) Christina

Monday (05/19/08) Walking on Water


A. Passage Selected: Matt. 14:22-33

Also in John 6:15-21, Mark 6:45-52

B. Progression Stated: Geographical and Ideological

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context 14:22-24

Jesus has just been offered the crown, but without the cross. He’s fed the 5000 and sent them away, now He sends the disciples ahead of him to Bethsaida, and He stays behind to pray.

The disciples are in the boat in the middle of the lake (3 miles from shore). 3:00-6:00 in the morning. They’ve been rowing a while, probably against the wind.

We mentioned once before that every time the disciples get in a boat, it is time for another test.

2. Content 14:25-33

a. Jesus alone on the water (25-26)

Mark says Jesus was intending to pass them by. Picture it: The disciples are exhausted, they’ve been rowing for hours against the wind and are probably going nowhere and here comes Jesus, making good time.

The disciples think it is a ghost. We laugh and ridicule them, but their blunders are there for us to learn from . This is an example of their lack of faith.

b. The Disciples in the boat: fear (27-28)

(1) The response of Jesus

“Don’t be afraid. It is I.” The phrase “It is I” also means “I am.” It was the normal response of a person identifying themself, but with Jesus it takes on special significance. Here He is identifying himself to them as the one who can walk on the water, i.e. God. He will use the phrase later in the Garden and knock the soldiers back with the power of the statement.

(2) The request of Peter

“Lord, if it is you...” Peter models for us what we do. Lord, I know it is you, but.... Lord, I know you are sovereign, but... Lord, I trust you, but.... Peter is asking for proof. We all want proof.

Jesus just says, “Come.” What control. What gentleness. He didn’t lecture Peter.

c. Peter with Christ on the water: faith (29)

(1) In success

This is not rash or impulsive. The Lord does not rebuke him.

(2) In failure

This is rash. He is successful and soon forgets where his success came from. Verse 30 says, “seeing the wind.” He begins looking at the circumstances. He gets his eyes off God. Then he sinks.

We sometimes do great things for God and are ok until we start to think about it. When we do start thinking about it and analyzing it, we are in trouble. It is then that we often start thinking that we are doing it on our own.

d. Peter in the water: failure (30-31)

(1) His condition

He looks at the circumstances. Peter’s story is the story of all of us. We usually begin good. But in the middle of the situation, we get our eyes off Jesus. We begin to look at our situation and we have no faith.

(2) His cry

The only thing one bound for destruction can cry. “Lord, Save me!”

(3) His conviction

Jesus says Peter’s problem is his lack of faith, his doubt. When the circumstances appear overwhelming, it is the result of doubt. If we are trusting God, then nothing will seem overwhelming, because nothing is overwhelming to God. When my kids have a problem, break something or get their shoestrings in a knot, it is overwhelming to them and they come to me and ask “would you fix this…” They assume that I can do anything. They are still young. But they have the attitude that we should all have towards God.

e. Peter in the boat with Jesus (32-33)

(1) Rescue

When they climbed in the boat the wind died. John also reports that the boat immediately arrived at the other side, which in itself seems like another miracle.

(2) Reverence

In Matt 14:33 the disciples say, “You are certainly God’s Son!” How do you reconcile their confession in Matt with the hardness of heart statement in Mark? The Mark passage points out that they did not understand who He was before now. Now they are beginning to understand.


*Absence of faith in the person of Jesus Christ brings failure.
*He has the power over the natural elements.


*Jesus often sends us into the storm to test and strengthen our faith. No pain ... no gain (in understanding or faith or whatever God needs to work on.)
*A hardened heart keeps me from seeing Christ for who he really is. (Mark)
*There is no success in service for those who have no faith. They failed with the feeding of the 5000. They struggle here too.
*The danger of self-confidence is obvious.
*There is safety in the person and power of Christ.
*Prayers don’t have to be long to be effective. He didn’t follow the “ACTS” formula. (Adoration, Confession, Thanks and Supplication).

Tuesday (05/20/08) Healing the Woman with the Issue of Blood & The Raising of Jairus' Daughter

Healing the Woman with the Issue of Blood


This miracle will be dealt with with the healing of Jairus’ daughter in the next lesson below.

The Raising of Jairus' Daughter


A. Passage Selected: Mark 5:21-43

Also found in: Matt 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56

B. Progression Stated: Biographical

Biographical because of the different people involved in the miracle and the comparisons and contrasts going on between them.

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context

In both Mark and Luke, Jesus has just calmed the storm on the sea and cured a demoniac at Gadara. Now we come to a double miracle in which Jesus deals with both death and disease. The message from Mark 5 and Luke 8 is that Jesus has power over the natural world and the supernatural world and now we see He has power over disease and death. The point of these chapters is that Jesus is the Messiah, He can deal with any problem and He can be trusted.

The context which follows these miracles in both Mark and Luke is one of the commissionings of the disciples. Jesus sent them out, giving them authority over the unclean spirits and told them to take nothing with them for support. The miracles have demonstrated Jesus’ power and care for those who follow him and now the disciples must have faith in Jesus to care for them as they go out to minister. So, I think these miracles are an object lesson for the disciples to give them confidence in Jesus’ power and build their faith in Jesus.

Matthew places the miracle in a different location chronologically and changes a few details. As a matter of fact, this is one of the toughest passages in the Bible to solve the harmony problems between the gospel writers. The problem is with timing. When is Jesus told that Jairus’ daughter is dead? In Matthew Jairus comes to Jesus, falls to his knees and says that his daughter has died (past tense). But Mark and Luke say that the daughter is about to die. In the Greek, the three authors used three different words for death. One means she had died, one says she was dying and the other says she is at the point of death. When did death take place?

I. Howard Marshall, a well respected evangelical in Europe, was unable to sign the Chicago statement on inerrancy a few years ago because of this passage. He felt sure that there had to be errors in one of the gospel’s accounts of this miracle. There was an obvious contradiction here.

The real problem is reconciling Matthew’s account with the other gospel writers. I think the explanation is that Matthew often telescopes or condenses his miracle accounts and leaves out some of the details because he wants to stress other things. He does this with the account of the centurion who comes to Jesus asking Jesus to heal his servant. In that miracle account Luke says the centurion sent Jewish representatives. Matthew simply says that the centurion came to Jesus. It is basically the same thing because when someone in authority delegates a task, he is responsible.

Here the correct sequence of events is that the daughter was not dead yet, but would be before Jesus got to Jairus’ house. Matthew just relates that she is dead and doesn’t have to add the details about the person coming from Jairus’ house to inform Jairus that his daughter was now dead. Matthew also leaves out several other details. He doesn’t mention the crowd pressing in on him, the thoughts of the woman who touched him, Jesus’ question as to who touched him and the disciples’ response to Jesus’ question.

These differences really bother some people, but we have to remember that the gospel writers had different personalities, different audiences, different points that they were trying to make, etc. Most apparent contradictions between the gospels can be explained by taking these differences into account. Those that we cannot explain I attribute to my lack of understanding rather than jump to the conclusion that the Bible is in error.

The intertwining of these two miracles has a sandwiching effect. Jairus and his daughter are the bread and the woman is the “meat.” Jairus’ daughter is twelve years old. The woman was sick for 12 years. What does that mean? Who knows. We don’t know, but it is probably just a literary device to link the two stories together. Jairus is a synagogue ruler. The woman was unclean because of the blood problem. So you have an insider and an outsider compared and contrasted. There is a woman and a child, death and disease, a public miracle and a private miracle. Lots of contrasts and comparisons going on. Perhaps the point is that it doesn’t matter what your social status is, Jesus is the answer.

2. Content

a. The constraint of Jesus (22-23)

He is stopped by the man and pressed in by the crowd. Luke uses the word sunepnigon which is the same word used of the thorns which choked the word in the parable of the seed (8:14). The crowd is crushing Jesus. Matthew doesn’t mention this which is in keeping with what we just said about his tendency to condense the accounts.

b. The concern of Jesus (24-36)

For The Synagogue Ruler

Jairus is the leader of the local synagogue. It could very well be the synagogue in Capernaum. We don’t know what his reaction to Jesus was prior to this. Perhaps he witnessed the casting out of the demon in the synagogue and the healing of the man with the withered hand in the synagogue. Since he is one of the leaders, and the leaders didn’t typically respond well to Jesus, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jairus didn’t think too highly of Jesus prior to this. But now that his daughter is dying and he is desperate, He comes to Jesus. I wonder if it was difficult for him to kneel before Jesus? We can only speculate, but I doubt that Jairus’ faith was that Jesus was the Messiah—only that He could heal people and might be able to heal his daughter.

Jairus’ daughter was at the point of death. He wanted Jesus to hurry and come to his house to heal her. Jesus consents to go with Jairus, but soon after they get started, there is a delay. A sick woman comes up and touches Jesus’ garment. I can imagine that Jairus is probably frustrated at the delay. And the delay adds to the drama of the story. It also shows us that Jesus did not neglect the needs of a lowly woman to impress an influential religious leader.


For The Woman with the 12 year Hemorage

Because of her condition, this woman was continuously unclean according to Lev 15:25-31. She could not go to the temple to worship. She could not touch anyone or they would be unclean for the rest of the day. If she sat in a chair, it was unclean for the rest of the day, etc. So she was basically cut off from normal fellowship with others and with God.

(1) The physicians of the world (25-26)

Mark wants you to know that the doctors couldn’t help her. He says, “She suffered much at the hands of many doctors, had spent all her money and was not helped at all.” Luke doesn’t mention that she suffered at the hands of many doctors, nor that she had spent all her money on medical bills. He just mentions that she could not be healed. Why do you think Luke left that part out? Because Luke was a doctor.

(2) The Great Physician (27-32)

In contrast to the physicians of the world, we see the capabilities of the Great Physician.

Superstition said that power was in the robe of a great man, priest, rabbi, etc. Her belief was that touching the fabric would make her well. In fact, when she did touch His garment, she was healed.

Jesus was aware of the fact that a miracle had taken place. Was she healed by touching his garment? Was it the garment that healed her? No, Mark 5:30 says Jesus felt the power flow from Him. Mark wants to distinguish between the fabric and her faith in Him.

Matthew says she was healed from that hour, which might seem to mean she was healed after Jesus spoke, but again I think this is just Matthew’s summary style at work.

(3) The faith of the miracle (33-34)

The woman is probably ashamed and embarrassed. She was unclean and her touch would have made anyone she touched unclean. But as we have seen before, the reason Jesus doesn’t become unclean when He touches an unclean person like a leper or a corpse, is because He transfers cleanlines and life. Haggai 2:10-14 makes the point that if something clean touches something unclean, then the thing that was clean is defiled. Not so with Jesus. The details of the miracles where Jesus transfers cleanliness parallel the spiritual healing that Jesus brings where He cleanses us of our sin.

I also think that the numerous events where Jesus touches unclean people illustrate the doing away with the law and the whole idea of ritual uncleanness. Something new was happening and Jesus accepts all people who believe in Him no matter what their status is in the society.

Jesus declares to the woman that it was not the touch but her faith which healed her.

First, I want to point out that Mark uses the word swzw to indicate that she was healed. But the word usually means “saved.” There is a double entendre or double meaning here. Not only was she healed physically, she was healed spiritually. She was saved.

Second, we need to ask, “When did she demonstrate her faith?” She had faith that He could heal her when she approached Jesus. She demonstrated her faith further when she touched him. She was focused on touching His garments as if they had some magical powers, but God was gracious enough to respond to her faith even though it was not mature.

I think one of the reasons Jesus stopped was to tell the woman that it was her faith that healed her so that she wouldn’t continue in her superstition.

Does God answer children’s prayers? Do they understand how it all works? There are still times when I don’t pray very smartly, but God still understands my heart and answers. God uses inadequate faith, imperfect faith, immature faith, etc. He responds and then clarifies it later.

How many of you became Christians through hearing or reading a verse in the Bible that is truly a justification passage like John 3:16? How many of you became a Christian after hearing some passage or passages that were not justification related, but convicted you anyway? Since not everyone raised their hand, maybe I should ask how many of you have not yet become a Christian?

I think many people have come to Christ based on Rev 3:20 which says, “I stand at the door and knock...” That is not primarily a salvation passage. It is talking about Jesus wanting to have fellowship with some lukewarm Christians. But God lets people become Christians and then maybe they’ll learn the truth later. Maybe not. I’ve heard people criticize others for using Rev 3:20 out of context to lead someone to Christ. But God is sovereign and can lead people to Him any many ways.


Back to Jairus

(1) The report (35)

Jairus is with Jesus and when Jesus stops to help the woman, Jairus is probably wishing Jesus would hurry. Then some men from Jairus’ house find Jairus and Jesus and report that Jairus’ daughter is dead.

(2) The response (36)

Do not be afraid, just believe. It must be possible then, not to fear, even in the face of death. And if faith can eliminate fear in the worst scenario that you can face, then faith can eliminate fear for any situation.

c. The compassion of Jesus (37-43)

When they get to the house, He tells them not to cry because she is not dead and they laugh at Him. Was she dead? Yes. The text says, “Her spirit returned.” Why does He say she is only asleep? Because He knew it was not permanent. She wasn’t going to stay dead. Jesus says the same thing with Lazarus, the disciples misunderstand and he corrects them saying, “no, he is really dead.” Sleep is a euphemism for “temporal” death. Paul even uses this term for believers. 1Co 15, 1Co 11.

(1) His privacy

He did not let anyone follow except the three. This was going from a public to a private instruction. This miracle is for Jairus’ family and for the disciples.

(2) His power

Matt 11:5 quoting Isa 35 says that it will be a combination of his message backed by his miracles that prove who he is. He is different from the prophets because none of them do all the miracles nor make the claims he does. He does all the miracles and claims deity, Messiahship, that He is the son of man who has authority to forgive sins, that He is His Father’s son, etc., but He never says “I’m a prophet.” He was more than a prophet. Even though Elijah and Elisha each raise a widow’s son, they have to go through a complicated ritual of lying on the child, blowing in their mouth, etc. They are obviously trying to get God to raise the children. Jesus is God. He simply speaks.

When Jesus tells them to give the little girl something to eat, I think it just shows that Jesus is not only concerned with our big problems, He is also concerned for the little details.


*From the healing of the woman we see that it is faith in Christ, not magical touches that heal. *The power is in a person, not a fabric or formula.
*The removal of her unclean physical condition parallels the process of salvation in which Jesus removes an unlcean spiritual condition. The miracle is an illustration of salvation.
*The raising of Jairus’ daughter affirms the deity of Christ and proves that He is the Messiah. Matt 11:5 quotes Isa 35.
*The delay in following Jairus resulted in more glory to God because Jesus had the opportunity to raise the girl from death and not just heal her.
*Death is not a serious barrier for Christ to overcome.


*God can use inadequate faith, respond to it and clarify it later.
*When medicine is hopeless, hope in God.
*Jesus told the lady to “go in peace.” Peace is the result of faith. How many of you have panic attacks? Not to trivialize the panic attacks, but panic is the opposite of peace, and the root cause is not really believing that God can get you though the situation.
*It is Jesus who guarantees our resurrection from the dead. Because He lives, we too shall live (Paul tells us). It is him that turns death into sleep from which we can awake
*We learn a ministry model from Christ: Don’t be afraid to leave the needs of the crowd to deal with an individual. If need drives your ministry, you will burn out because there will always be need. And I think we often assume the needs of the many are more important than the needs of the few. We are numbers oriented. But as I’ve studied the miracles, it seems that the multitudes witnessed the miracles and were amazed, but it never says they “believed.” It is always the individual that Jesus is dealing with who believes.
*Jesus was never too busy to be interrupted. He was in balance.
*The compassion of Jesus demonstrated in this miracle should bring reassurance that He is not too busy with the rest of the world to care for me individually.
*Sickness and death strike the young as well as the old.
*Sometimes the Lord’s delay brings a greater demonstration of His power. So don’t give up. And when you are tempted to ask God why He is taking so long, remember this principle.
*The servants tradition (that death is final) blinded them to God’s power.
*The answer to fear is faith. We see this principle a lot. The number one sin of the disciples was a lack of faith. It is our number one problem too.

Wednesday (05/21/08) Healing of the Two Blind Men


A. Passage Selected: Matthew 9:27-31

B. Progression Stated: Ideological

Tracking on the idea of faith.

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context

There are several other passages where blind are healed - Matt 12:22, 20:30, 21:14, Mark 8:22-26; and John 9. This one does not seem to be a parallel to any of the other gospels.

Determining the order and timing of the miracles is very tricky. I seem to remember hearing that we only have about 50 days recorded out of three years of Jesus’ ministry. The gospel writers recorded different sayings and events and placed the events in a certain order to help make their points. For example, Matthew organizes this section of his gospel around 10 sermons, 10 miracles and then 10 rejections. It is a very symetrical presentation, but is it the order in which Jesus said these things and did these things?

If this miracle follows the healing of Jairus’ daughter, then after leaving Jairus’ house, two blind men hear that Jesus is passing by and they call out to Him. But Jesus doesn’t stop, He goes into a house. I assume that at least Peter, James and John are with Jesus after they left Jairus’ house. So it is probably one of their houses in Capernaum since He does not have his own house (Matt 8:20). If so, that lends support to my speculation last week that Jairus was the synagogue official in Capernaum.

Also, if our chronology is correct, it is one of several miracles performed just before the disciples are sent out to witness to Israel.

2. Content

a. The approach of faith 9:27

Two blind men call Him the “Son of David.” This is a title which emphasizes His Messiahship. Especially in Matthew with his Jewish audience and emphasis on the Kingdom is this true. This is the first time Jesus is addressed this way, and it shows that these blind men recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Also, the mercy to heal comes from God and they recognize that too. It is amazing how much these blind men see.

Some question why Jesus would pass these men by, and then even after they call out to him, keep on going into the house. Bruner identifies three possible reasons: messianic, modesty and the testing of faith.

*Messianic - A possible explanation is that since these men identify him as the “Son of David,” a phrase which also has political connotations, Jesus moves into His house to get away from the crowd because He doesn’t want to advance the political kingdom at this time. His focus is on the spiritual function of Messiah.
*Modesty - Bruner says Jesus wanted to avoid the “show business” aspect of miracles. It’s true that Jesus didn’t make a big show of His miracles. As we’ve seen, the miracle itself occupies little space in the retelling. But, I think too many of Jesus’ miracles were performed in public for this to be the reason He went into the house.
*Testing of faith - perhaps Jesus passed them by to stretch their faith a little. If they really believed, then they would follow him. And sure enough, they did. The emphasis in the miracle of the centurion’s servant was on the faith of the centurion. The woman with the hemorage was healed because of her faith. Jairus was told not to fear, but to have faith. Here we see Jesus emphasizing the need for faith.

b. The questioning of faith 9:27-28

(1) His Person (27)

They know that God is merciful and they know that the Messiah, being from God, would be too. So they have faith in who He is and that He would be disposed to show mercy. What is mercy? Is it feeling sorry for someone? I think it may involve that sometimes, but the main idea is to offer practical help to someone in need. We needed salvation, and God provided it, even though we didn’t deserve it. These men could not see. They needed help and Jesus could help them.

The question that comes to my mind is this. If Jesus passed them by, was He not intending to help them? Was it their appeal to His mercy that caused Him to respond? Was it their persistence? Was it their faith? What does this say about election? I don’t know the answer.

(2) His power (28)

Since they already believe that He has mercy, Jesus inquires as to their belief in His ability (not his will). It seems that the emphasis in this section of Matthew is the need to believe that Jesus has the power to heal. And the logical conclusion is that He has the power to save.

They respond, “Yes, Lord.” The word “Lord” could just be a term of respect and just mean “Sir” as in, “Yes, Sir.” Or it could be that they understand that He is “The Lord.” We can’t know for sure. I think it means more than just “Sir.”

c. The result of faith 9:29-31

(1) The touch of Jesus

He touches them and heals them. In the Near East, eye diseases were as repulsive as leprosy. So touching them has special significance. He doesn’t just talk to them. He touches them at the point of their oppression.

Then He tells them to tell no one. Relating this back to what was mentioned before, this is possibly because Jesus wants to avoid the political aspirations of the multitudes that would result from the blind men’s identification of Him as “Son of David.”

(2) The transgression of the men

They disobey. They don’t follow his will for them. This is the same thing that we saw in the miracle of the leper who was told to be silent, but didn’t. They experienced his mercy, but disobey the mandate. I have to wonder what it was that Jesus wanted them not to tell. Certainly, if someone asked how they were healed, they could have said, “Jesus healed us.” But, going back to the messianic reason we mentioned earlier as to why Jesus didn’t stop… perhaps what Jesus didn’t want them saying was “The Messiah, Son of David, is here to deliver Israel from….” I imagine that would have been their inclination because of the way they addressed Jesus.


*Even the blind recognize that Jesus is the Messiah. The irony is that they have not “seen” any miracles, but the nation has seen at least 17 by now and still missed the point. In fact, in a just a few verses we will see the nation’s leaders accuse Jesus of performing miracles by Satan’s power.
*Sometimes the measure of faith is the measure of blessing. Sometimes there is no faith involved - like when he raises the dead.
*There is a need to follow mercy with obedience.


*Physical handicaps are no barrier to spiritual insight.
*Just as Jesus touched the blind men’s eyes, He touches us where we hurt.
*Do I have to be committed to obeying Him to experience His mercy? No, It is not required, but it is desired. It demonstrates God’s mercy and goodness even more that He . There is a danger in front loading the message. God is more gracious than we give Him credit for.
*Do I ever experience the power, grace of God in my life and then fail to follow up with obedience to God’s commands?
*I need to obey even if it is not what seems natural. It is natural to want to share what you know, especially great news like this, but sometimes it is not best to share it or do it. We know from the miracle of the leper that it may very well hinder the cause of Christ rather than help it.

Thursday (05/22/08) Casting out the "Speech Impaired" Spirit


A. Passage Selected: Matthew 9:32-34

B. Progression Stated: Logical

We see the miracle with various responses. Cause/effect relationship.

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context

Matt 9:35 is a key verse in determining how to organize Matthew’s gospel and understanding the context. Matt 4:23 is almost identical to 9:35, so what we have here is something called inclusio. Matthew states up front, in 4:23, what Jesus is going to do, then he gives us the 10 speeches and the 10 miracles and then summarizes what Jesus has been doing in 9:35.

This is miracle number 10 in the list.

2. Content

a. Cause 9:32

Word kophas can mean mute, deaf or deaf and mute (deafness which resulted in a speech problem). Here, however, only the speech seems to be affected.

What is left out of this miracle is the man’s faith, Jesus’ method, His words, etc. What is emphasized is the response of the people and leaders. So let’s look at the responses:

b. Effect 9:33-34

(1) Response

The man spoke. We know nothing about his spiritual response.

(2) Reception

The masses marveled. This statement that the masses marveled is a fitting statement to punctuate Matthew’s list of 10 miracles. They had witnessed the greatest display of power in Israel’s history (possibly referring to all 10 miracles just explained).

(3) Rejection

The leaders reject Him. The leaders have seen the same thing, but they attribute the power to Satan. 9:34 is an important part of Matthew’s argument. It is interesting that Jesus doesn’t deal with the leaders rejection here. He will wait until 12:30.


*Jesus not only has the power over Satan, but he can cure the effects of Satan’s power. He can liberate and heal.
*In spite of this, the leaders, who should have been a channel of God’s blessing to Israel, now censure it.
*The multitudes marvel, but don’t believe.


*He can deal with causes and not just symptoms.
*Liberation from sin and Satan is a cause for great testimony. “Nothing like this has ever been done before.”
*Wonder doesn’t necessarily result in salvation.

Friday (05/23/08) Feeding of the 5000 +


A. Passage Selected: John 6:1-14

Also in Matt 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17

B. Progression Stated: Ideological

The main idea that is set forth is that Jesus is the source.

C. Passage Summarized: (correlation of all four accounts in this outline)

1. Context

This miracle is in all four gospels therefore it is important. Why? I think it is because the message of the miracle is so important.

The location according to the text is in a “desert” region. There was green grass so it wasn’t too barren. The word “desert” means a remote place. Perhaps the gospel writers used the word “desert” because in the OT the desert was where God met, tested and blessed his people.

Jesus had withdrawn with the disciples for several possible reasons:
*to be alone to rest (according to Mark and John’s chronology the disciples had just returned from being sent out),
*to give them some private instruction,
*because Herod was seeking Him,
*because JB had just been killed.

It was time to take a break, but the crowds followed Him.

After teaching all day, the disciples approach Jesus (according to Luke 9:12 and Mark 6:35) and suggest He send the crowd away to find lodging and food. Evidently many of the people had travelled a great distance to hear Jesus.

2. Content

a. His suggestion

Jesus tells them to feed the people (Matt 14:16), and He asks Philip where they should buy bread to feed the people (John 6:5). Jesus is testing Philip. He already knew what He was going to do. He was asking Philip to see if he knew, to stretch him. Is this deceitful or misleading? No. It is like asking your son, “OK, How are we going to fix the bike?” You know how you are going to fix the bike, but you want your son to use his head, come to some conclusion and act on it. This was a test designed to teach. Jesus wants them to deal with their own thoughts and their own solutions before He shows them what He is going to do. His goal was for them to come to Him and ask Him to do it.

b. Their supply

He also questions Andrew as to the amount of money (Mark). There is not nearly enough money to feed this crowd. Jesus is showing them that there is no way they can solve the problem on their own.

What do they have? Just a little boy’s lunch. Children were of little value in that culture. They weren’t even counted with the 5000. I think the significance of this is that God uses someone of no account to perform the miracle.

c. Their suggestion

We can’t help them, send them away. (Matt 14:15) Rather than turn to Jesus, they give up.

d. His second suggestion

Feed them. Now that they recognize their inability and inadequecy, He tells them to feed the people. If they can’t do it in their own power, what should they do?

e. His supply

(1) Organization

Perhaps Jesus has them organize them in groups of 50 because it will make the crowd easier to count and the disciples will then have a concrete number to remember. There wouldn’t be any estimating later that would sidetrack the issue.

(2) Thanksgiving

He gives thanks to God for providing the food. It shows His dependence on the Father. He is modeling for the disciples.

(3) Abundance

He breaks the bread and distributes to the disciples to give it to the multitudes. The impact of this routine on the disciples should have been overwhelming as they went back to Jesus time and time again to get what they needed to feed the multitude.

How many trips would you have to make before it came to you: “Everything I need for them, I get from Him.” “Everything I need for them, I get from Him.” “Everything I need for them, I get from Him.” “Everything I need for them, I get from Him.”

f. The significance (2-fold response)

(1) They recognize Him as a prophet (6:14)

They think he is the great prophet of Deut 18:8. He is the one who is greater than Moses. Perhaps they were taken back to Moses with the manna, Elijah with the widow, Elisha, etc. Now, here’s Jesus doing it on a much grander scale.

(2) They want Him to be a king (6:15)

Isn’t this great? They finally recognize Jesus is the King.

Do they really recognize Jesus as the King? What kind of king were they wanting? They wanted a king that would put a chicken in every pot, put bread on the table, someone to deliver them from Rome, etc.

In the next discourse the multitudes leave him because they don’t like the message that He is the bread of life. They like the whole wheat bread, but they don’t want a Savior. The problem with self-righteousness is that they don’t want to admit that they need a savior. They do not see sin as serious enough for God to send His Son to die.

As we read through the gospels we see the reason people don’t accept Jesus as their Savior. One of them is that people don’t think that they are that bad of a person. We can always find people who are worse than we are. Sure, they will admit that they do wrong things, but they are not that bad. It takes humility - the poor in spirit - to admit it.

Their problem was this: Their view of the kingship was physical and their view of the Lord was partial.


*What do we learn about Jesus? Jesus is the bread of life who can provide life and supply it for the world. This is demonstrated here and then stated in the next sermon/discourse.
*What do we learn about the disciples? What was their failure? The disciples failed to recognize their resource in Christ.
*What is the lesson for the people/us? The biggest need that people have (the biggest need that I have) is spiritual, not physical.


*Nothing is too small for God to use it. They didn’t think the little boys lunch was any help at all.
*Beware of limited thinking when we have the greatness of God at our disposal.
*From the reaction of the crowd and Jesus’ refusal to become their king, we learn that Christianity is more than temporal satisfaction.
*We also see the human tendency to want to use God. I need to be careful that I don’t have that attitude.
*His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He wanted them to recognize that He was the resource. This is miracle 19, and they are telling the crowd to go away. When are they going to catch on? We do the same thing. We see God work in our lives and then when things get tough again, we have to go through the same process of trying to do it on our own , failing, being broken and then finally trusting in God.
*It is easy to dismiss when the going gets difficult. I don’t want to deal with this now. Procrastination?
*Jesus is the only adequate provision for life and ministry.
*Would he ever test us with the impossible to drive us to the Him to whom all things are possible? Phil 4:13, Jn 15:
*In Mark, the theme of the book is to identify Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. Early on in the ministry of Jesus, the demons recognize who He is, and the blind see who he is, but the disciples are dense. Mark 6:52 says the disciples did not understand the miracle of the loaves because of their hard hearts. Thus we can make another application -- A hardened heart might harden me to the possibility that God can work.

Welcome to week 3 of The Miracles of Jesus by Hampton Keathley IV, Th.M. and hosted by

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Monday (05/12/08) Healing of the Centurion’s Servant


A. Passage Selected: Luke 7:1-10

Also in Matt 8:5-13. Read both accounts and notice differences.

B. Progression Stated: Ideological or Biographical

The main idea is faith, but the miracle could also be outlined around the centurion.

C. Presentation Summarized

There are differences in the gospel accounts of this miracle. Some think these are two different miracles. But I think they refer to the same miracle because:

*They are both about a Centurion and his slave.
*They both follow the Sermon on the Mount
*They both follow the discourse on calling Jesus Lord, Lord and not doing what He says and building one’s house on the rock/sand.

The main reason some think these are two different miracles is because Matthew says that the Centurion himself went to see Jesus. Luke says that the centurion sent subordinates. Did the centurion go himself or send others? It is passages like this that the critics hold up to show that the Bible is full of mistakes. It is the epitome of arrogance for a man to come along and say that the Bible is wrong. Through the years men have made many claims that the Bible is wrong. Then, archaeologists come along and prove that the Bible is right after all. One of my favorite examples is that for years critics denied the truth of Jonah, because Ninevah didn’t exist, but archaeologists discovered it about 100 years ago.

So, we need to assume that the Bible is inerrant, and just ask, “For now, until I know all the facts, what possible explanation is there for this difference?”

Who wrote Romans? Paul? or Tertius? Paul was the author but someone else wrote it for him. Good secretaries can write letters for their bosses that only need to be signed. Are the letters from the secretary or the boss? Nixon was not at the Watergate hotel. Why was he impeached? Because he was responsible.

The answer to the differences between the two passages is -- The official was a man in authority and he sent representatives, but it is the same thing as him going as far as his faith is concerned. Matthew’s style is to give summations of the miracles. For his purposes, it was easier, but still accurate, to just say it was the centurion.

1. Context 7:1

Luke says, “When He had completed all His discourse…” In the preceding passage (Luk 6:46) Jesus has just asked them, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and then do not do what I say.” One issue that He is dealing with is not recognizing His authority. Now we will have a miracle in which a Gentile recognizes Jesus’ authority.

2. Content 7:2-10

a. The Testimony to the Centurion (2-3)

The Centurion believes in Jesus’ power. He approaches Jesus through Jews. That was the proper way for a Gentile to come to God in OT economy. Here is a Gentile who really understands and recognizes Jesus for who he is.

He also was very concerned for a servant and that was very untypical. His knowledge of God and love for God is shown by his love for his fellow man.

He was a generous man and had built a synagogue so that he could worship the one true God with the Jews. He couldn’t go into the temple, since he was a Gentile.

b. The Testimony of the Centurion (6-8)

(1) His humility

The centurion, a man in authority is placing himself under the authority of Jesus. He feels he is not worthy. Again, we see the extraordinary godliness of this man. This is in stark contrast to the Jewish leaders who think that they are worthy of and deserving of God’s blessings. They are self-righteous. That is the hurdle that keeps them from experiencing the grace of God. This is the same point of Luke’s account of the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15.

(2) His faith

He knew the word of Christ and His authority were enough. This miracle is an illustration of the final statement in the sermon on the mount that the crowds were amazed that Jesus spoke with such authority (Mat 7:28-29). Most people didn’t do anything with that amazement. Here is one man who did. Perhaps he heard the sermon on the mount.

He believed Christ’s words before He saw the works.

c. The Testimony to the Nation of Israel (9-10)

Jesus is amazed at the man’s faith. He doesn’t need to see the signs. This Gentile really does understand a lot, believes it and acts on it. This is an indictment against the Jewish nation which insists on seeing signs as proof and then still doesn’t believe even after they see the signs.

Matthew includes Jesus’ comment about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob eating with Gentiles in the kingdom (Matt 8:11). Luke leaves this out because he is writing to a Gentile audience. There are a couple of things we can learn from this:

*This requires a literal future millennium.
*There is a warning. Some Jews won’t be there.


*Commendation of the Centurion’s recognition of Jesus as the Messiah who has authority over disease.
*Condemnation of Israel for rejecting Messiah and they are in danger of losing their expected place in the kingdom of heaven. What gets you in and keeps you out? Accepting Jesus as the Messiah.
*In Matt 8: there is a discussion about “the sons of the kingdom being thrown out into the outer darkness.” This is a figure of speech. They were not in and then thrown out. It is like being beat out of a job. You didn’t get the job and then lose it. You never got it. Who are the sons of the kingdom? They are Jews. This does not mean “Christians” or “believers.”
*The centurion is a man with authority but also under authority, and he submits to the authority of Christ. That is what Jesus calls great faith. His underlying character trait is humility.
*If you don’t have faith, then what is your problem? Pride. You think you can earn God’s approval on your own. Israel refused to subject itself to the Messiah. They were self-righteous.
*Where is the healing? It is back at the house and almost not a part of the miracle story. It certainly doesn’t get center stage. The truth surrounding the miracles is overwhelming. The miracle is still important because it verifies the truth, but it is not what gets the emphasis. In our day, those who believe that tongues and healing are still happening put their emphasis on the tongues and miracles. Those who emphasize these gifts prove that they are not legitimate.
*The man built their synagogue. This man knew and applied the OT scriptures and recognized the Messiah when he arrived.


*Belief in the authority of God’s Word and the sovereignty of God brings results.
*Don’t be critical of a man because of his job. You wouldn’t normally think that a Roman centurion would be a believer in the true God. Jews didn’t usually think too much of centurions, but here’s one with great faith.
*True faith is demonstrated in a humble approach to God.
*Rejection of God’s truth may bring replacement in God’s service. The Jews rejected Christ and were replaced - Rom 9-11.
*A man is a good leader when he is a good follower. “I too am a man under authority...”
*Jesus doesn’t have to be present for the healing to take place.

Tuesday (05/13/08) Raising the Widow’s Son From Nain


A. Passage Selected: Luke 7:11-16

B. Progression Stated: Logical

The effect of the miracle on the crowd is the emphasis.

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. The setting 7:11-12

A large crowd is following Jesus as he approached Nain. At the same time, a large funeral procession was leaving Nain headed for the cemetery.

In our culture, if you are driving along and you see a funeral procession, you are supposed to pull over out of courtesy and respect and let the whole procession pass. According to Jewish tradition, if you intersected a funeral you were obliged to join it. So we have the collision of two parades. The question is which parade will follow which?

This is the first of three people Jesus will raise from the dead. In the raising of Jairus’ daughter, she had just died. This guy was on the way to the grave when Jesus brought him back to life, and Lazarus was dead four days before he raised him. It doesn’t matter to God how long you’ve been dead. He can bring back all the sailors buried at sea that are now fish food or those that are just ashes. He can take care of it.

a. The city

Nain is located about 10 miles southeast of Nazareth, just south of Mt. Tabor. It is about a day’s journey southwest of Capernaum where he had healed the centurion’s servant. Archaeologists have found a burial site east of the city about 10 miles away.

c. The funeral procession

They are going out of the city. Jesus is going in. The funeral atmosphere was one of weeping and wailing and sadness. It was especially sad because this woman was now all alone.

d. Jesus’ procession

Jesus’ procession was one filled with joy.

2. The sign 7:13-15

a. His compassion

This woman was already a widow and had now lost her only son and only means of support. She was at great social risk and embarrassment. Jesus felt great compassion for her. The word for compassion is splagcnivzomai (splagcnivzomai). It is only used of Jesus and the Good Samaritan. And everytime it is used, the result of the compassion is not just detached concern or kind words, but always involvement and action. He tells her not to cry and raises the boy from death.

b. His contact

Touching a corpse caused defilement in the OT. Jesus could have been defiled, but instead he raises the dead. He touches the coffin. The word translated “touch” is a strong word in the Greek meaning to “lay hold”. Perhaps it indicates that he grabbed hold of the coffin firmly to stop the procession.

c. His command

He speaks and it happens. Even the dead hear him.

3. The sequel 7:16

The immediate effects - fear came upon them all and then they glorified God. They conclude that Jesus is a great prophet like Elijah and Elisha. There are allusions to both these prophets in the miracle account. The phrase - “he gave him back to his mother” is the same phrase used in 1Ki 17:23 when Elijah raised the boy from the dead and “gave him back to his mother.” The location of the miracle in Nain is also possibly an allusion to the raising of the Shunamite woman’s son by Elisha because Nain is only a couple of miles north of Shunem (cf. 2Ki 4:). So the event and location are both allusions to Elijah and Elisha. Their conclusion is true. Jesus is a great prophet. But their understanding is incomplete. Jesus is in fact the greater prophet spoken of in Deut 18:15.

Remote effects - the report went out to the surrounding district.


*Jesus demonstrates that he has power over death and demonstrates himself to be even greater than the prophets of the OT. He fulfills the imagery of Elisha, Elijah and Moses. He doesn’t pray to God to do this. He doesn’t go through any rituals, lay on the child, etc. like Elijah and Elisha did. He just says it and it happens.


*James 1:27 - Jesus demonstrates genuine religion. He cared for widows. Do we have compassion? Is our compassion active or passive?
*Even though you believe in resurrection, there is still room for sorrow. Cry with those who lose loved ones. Sometimes Christians are almost callused about death because they know the person is going to heaven. But here we see that even though Jesus knew he was about to raise the son, he still felt sorrow for the mother because she was hurting.
*The providence or sovereignty of God works his program out in my life. This was not a chance meeting. It was providential.
*The timing was just right. He could have gotten to Nain sooner and healed the boy. Or not raised him and still had compassion on her. If God tarries another 1000 years, does that mean He does not care or has lost control?

Wednesday (05/14/08) Casting out of the Dumb and Blind Spirit


A. Passage Selected: Luke 11:14-26

Also in Matt 12:22-32 and Mark 3:22-30

B. Progression Stated: Logical

The effect of the miracle on the audience is the emphasis.

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context

In Matt 12:9-17 Jesus healed the man with the withered hand and the pharisees were upset because He healed on the sabbath. Then Matthew quotes from Isa 42:1 in which Isaiah predicted that the Messiah would minister to the Gentiles. This prediction is related to the pharisees reaction to the healing of the man on the Sabbath, but I think it is primarily setting us up for what follows – the miracle we are studying now.

This miracle is extremely important because it is the turning point in the ministry of Jesus. After this miracle He begins to focus more attention on the Gentiles.

2. Content

a. Revelation of the miracle (14)

The demon was characterized by its effect on the man. Luke mentions that the demon caused speech impairment. If the Matthew account is the same one, we see he was also blind. I think they are the same because the reaction of the religious leaders is the same in both miracles and Jesus’ words are very similar in the following comments.

b. Reaction to the miracle (14-16)

(1) Marveling

According to both Luke and Matthew the crowds were amazed. People openly question whether or not this is the Messiah. Their questions force the religious leaders to decide or at least voice their already formed opinions. And the fact that the common people are close to accepting Jesus as their Messiah leaves the Jewish leaders with less of an excuse for their response to Jesus and much culpability for leading the common people to hell.

(2) Muttering

The Pharisees reaction is that Jesus gets his power from Beelzebul. In Philistia Baal ze bul meant Lord of the flies. The Jews began to use this term as a derogatory name for Satan. So they are saying that Jesus is casting out demons by the power of Satan.

(3) Mandating

Others ask for a sign from heaven. How could they? Jesus has shown his power and authority over every single sphere possible and this latest miracle was a miracle over the spiritual realm. That seems to me to be as close a sign from heaven as possible.

c. Response to the reaction of the miracle (17-26)

*Jesus shows the self-defeating logic of a divided demonic kingdom. If Satan is casting out Satan, then why are you worried. Satan is defeating himself. Of course that is ridiculous. Satan wouldn’t do that.
*Jesus asks, “If I cast out demons by Satan’s power, how do you do it?” The question is this: How do you know what power is evident for exorcisms? There were Jewish exorcisms happening at that time. What was their standard of evaluation?
*If Jesus is casting out Satan by the finger of God, then it indicates that the kingdom of God is at hand. That is what the strong man illustration which follows is about. Satan is the strong man, but Jesus is stronger and is taking Satan’s possessions (the demon possessed people) away from him. The kingdom has come in power.
*The unpardonable sin - There has been much discussion about what the unpardonable sin is. Ryrie explains it this way and it sounds good to me. He says that although people might misunderstand Jesus’ ministry, there is no excuse for misunderstanding the Holy Spirit’s ministry since His power and ministry were known from OT times. Accusing Jesus of getting His power from Satan was not just a sin of the tongue. It was a sin of the heart. They were rejecting the Holy Spirit’s work of conviction.

3. Conclusion

No other sign would be given except the sign of Jonah. What does this mean? We have at least 20 more recorded miracles that we are going to study. Weren’t those signs?

From here on out, the miracles are really repeats of earlier miracles, with just different contexts. When he says in Luke 11:29 that no other sign would be given, that doesn’t mean no more miracles would take place. It means that no new type of miracle would occur. There is one remaining sign that hasn’t been performed. He has dealt with death, disease, the demonic, nature (fish), etc. The only sign left is the sign of his own resurrection.

Also, in the context of Matthew’s gospel, what follows this is Jesus begins speaking in parables. Matthew 13:10 says why. He speaks in parables to obfuscate the message for those who don’t want to hear. If you are hungy and listen, you can understand. Otherwise, they just sound like nice stories.

This is the turning point in the ministry of Jesus. From this point on He is secretive in Jewish territory and very vocal in Gentile territory. Prior to this (Matt 10:5) he had told his disciples not to go to the Gentiles or Samaritans.


*The official rejection of Jesus by Israel’s leaders is documented here when they charge Jesus with being in league with Satan.
*Jesus shows himself to be superior to both Solomon and Jonah. If something greater than Solomon and Jonah is here, then what two aspects of greatness are demonstrated? He is superior to the wisest king (he has just confounded them with the logic of His argument). Jonah is a sign of judgment and power. Therefore, it will be his own resurrection which will qualify him to sit in judgment over this generation.
*Jesus believes that Jonah existed. Jesus believes the men of Ninevah who repented were real people. If you are a critical bible scholar and do away with Jonah, then you do away with Jesus. Jesus is not credible because he believes in Jonah. If you can trust Jesus, then Jonah, Noah, and creation are not a problem.
*The Kingdom of God has come. Jesus was defeating Satan and taking his victims away from him.


*We are either with Christ or against him. There is no neutral ground.
*Sometimes affliction is the result of demonic activity.
*If Christ can defeat Satan, I need to be aware of but not afraid of the forces of darkness.
*If you clean up your act, but don’t fill the vacancy with the right thing - Christ - then what you will replace it with will be worse than the first.
*There is blessing for those who hear the words of God and do them. vs. 28
*Demanding a sign from God is wicked. It doesn’t mean we can’t learn from the signs God gives, but don’t demand it. We might call this “the no fleecing principle.”
*What does this miracle say about second chances? Can you pass a point of no return where you are so committed to your own way that you would never turn to God no matter how long He was gracious enough to leave you on the earth? I think the pharisees passed that point right here in their reaction to this miracle.

Thursday (05/15/08) Stilling the Storm

Every time they get in a boat it is test time. Every time they are out in a boat with Jesus and He performs a miracle, it is a miracle that deals with discipleship. It is not a miracle for the multitudes.


A. Passage Selected: Mark 4:35-41

Also in Matt 8:18-27 and Luke 8:22-25

B. Progression Stated: Geographical and Chronological

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context

In the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Jesus has spent a full day teaching and preaching the parables. In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus has just healed Peter’s mother-in-law and many others and then there is a break and Matthew records that a crowd had gathered. All three gospels record the healing of the demoniac after this, so these are parallel accounts of the same miracle. What we can gather from the context is that Jesus has been very busy and was in great demand. He was worn out.

2. Content

a. On the shore before the storm (35-36)

Notice Jesus says, “Let us go over to the other side.” I think that statement is important. His intent is to go to the other side, not to go to the middle of the lake and drown.

It says they took Him “Just as He was.” “Just as he was” probably means he was exhausted. After all, He fell asleep in the boat. He needed to rest after a long day of preaching. Here we see His humanity emphasized.

In the midst of his exhaustion, Jesus wants to teach the disciples a lesson.

b. In the boat during the storm (37-39)

(1) Storming

If you take a bucket of water and blow across the top of it, it doesn’t disturb the water too much. If you take a plate of water and blow across the top of it, it disturbs the whole thing. Sea of Galilee is very shallow and very large. Just a little wind will make 6 foot waves. Imagine at night in a storm there would be 10 to 12 foot waves at least. ISBE vol. 2, p. 1166. It is a very bad storm when professional sailors are afraid and think they are going down.

(2) Sleeping

A good picture of the theanthropic man. Theanthropic means god-man. His humanity is seen in his sleeping after an exhausting day. But whenever we see a clear picture of His humanity, His deity is not far behind and that is what we see next.

(3) Saving

He could sleep through the storm, but not through their cries. That is comforting to know.

Matthew’s account tells me that He rebuked them before he rebuked the wind. I would rather have the theology lesson after the trial is over, but I’m convinced that we learn more during the trial than after. He rebuked them for their absence of faith. This is not saying they are not believers. They just aren’t walking by faith or trusting in him for that situation.

c. In the boat after the storm (40-41)

In Mark’s account he rebukes them after the miracle.


*We see his humanity, deity, compassion, and power. I think this is a good illustration of the truth of Hebrews 4:15 which says, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” And when one of the disciples asks Jesus, “Do you not care that we are perishing?” It makes me wonder if this is perhaps Peter asking the question (after all, he was the more bold and vocal) and if this is perhaps what he’s thinking about when he writes 1 Peter 5:7 which says, “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”
*They are terrified and amazed at Jesus’ power. When they say, “What kind of man is this? I think this fits with the major outline of Mark in which only the readers and the demons really know who Jesus is. It is not until Mark 8:29 that the disciples make the statement, “Thou art the Christ.” So, although they know Jesus is special, that He is a great prophet, that He may be the Messiah, they don’t fully understand who He is.
*The purpose of the miracle was to reveal the true nature of Jesus Christ. He is both God and man. They thought more of his humanity than of his deity in this circumstance. They did come to him for help, they woke him up, so what is the problem. What was their lack of faith? They were afraid. What is there to fear? If God wants you to die, should you be afraid? God will give you the grace to die. Fear is the result of a lack of faith.


*As a servant of the lord I’m not exempt from the storms of life.
*Experiencing the trials is not an indication of God’s discipline or disfavor.
*God has power even over nature and my circumstances.
*Fear is the result of a lack of faith. It is a failure to believe that God is good and God is in control. Although we all believe that Jesus is God, do we live every day like we really believe that He is really in control of every situation? Sometimes we say, “God was so gracious” when something good happens like He’s not gracious all the time. Sometimes we say something like, “Where was God when I needed Him?” When if we were taking a theology exam in the classroom, we know that God is omnipresent. That is a human description of our experience, not a statement of good theology.
*The purpose of trials is the perfection of faith. James 1:4
*The result of trials should be a greater understanding of who God is.

What would the disciples have done if they had had faith? If they had believed that their Lord was in control and that He cared for them? They would not have awakened the Lord (it was obvious that he needed rest). They would have known that the boat would not sink with the Lord in it. And they would have known that the storm was not going to last forever. They would have been able to ride out the storm and waited.

When we face difficulties, we need to have faith in God’s goodness and God’s control. The storms He sends our way are to build our faith. The storms He sends our way will not last forever. That is not to say they may not last the rest of our natural lives, but one day, all the storms will be over.

Friday (05/16/08) Healing the Demoniac at Gadara


A. Passage Selected: Mark 5:1-20

Parallel passages: Matt 8:28, Luke 8:26

B. Progression Stated: Biographical

Tracking the miracle as the characters in the event relate to Christ.

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context 5:1

Historical Context - Did this happen in the Gerasenes, Gadarenes or Gadara? Matthew, Mark and Luke all refer to a different place. No one is sure where this happened or where Gadara is or was. The present town of Gadara is 30 miles from the water. That would be a long way for pigs to run into the water and to make it worse, the land between modern day Gadara and the water is flat - no cliffs - and no caves. Up in Kersa on the northeast portion of the Sea of Galilee there are in fact some small caves that a man could hide in and small cliffs for the pigs to fall off of. So this is possibly the place where it happened. The Arabic name of Kersa is probably related to the Greek name Gerasa and is probably the location.

Literary Context - We have just dealt with his power over the natural world, but now we come to power over the supernatural world.

2. Content 5:2-20

a. The contact of Jesus with the possessed man (2-6)

We see the effect on the personality of this man. He had superhuman strength. He was self-destructive. And he was dangerous (Matt 8:28). So the demons are very powerful. But when the man sees Jesus, even with all the power that “binds” him, he comes and falls at Jesus’ feet. This is a testimony to the surpassing power of Jesus.

b. The confrontation of Jesus with the demons (7-13)

(1) The revelation

When the man goes to Jesus for help, the demons immediately recognize Jesus. They had called Him “the Holy one of God in an earlier miracle, (the Isaiah affirmation) now we see that they identify him as the son of the most high God.

The demon said his name was Legion. A legion was 6000 men. Whether or not there were actually 6000 demons in this man, we don’t know, but I’m sure it means that there were a number of demons in this man.

(2) The request

The demons were worried that their judgment was coming now. They say in Matt 8:29, “ Have you come to torment us before “the time.” This shows us that they know that they are doomed. But they think that their judgment is coming a little early. This could mean that they understand the events of prophecy a little and recognize that some things have not yet happened. Or they could be referring to the fact that some demons will be confined to the abyss until they are released for a short time in the tribulation (2Pe 2:4; Rev 9:1-3). Luke 8:31 says that they were afraid of being cast into the abyss. The abyss is not the sea of Galilee. The abyss is a place of confinement until the final judgment. This shows us that they understand their destiny

The demons want to stay where they are because they had a foothold in that area and they ask if they can go into the swine (2000 of them).

What do the pigs think about demon possession? The swine can’t stand the demons and commit suicide. There may be some symbolic value to what happens to them. Giving them a taste of final judgment, etc.

c. The conflict of Jesus with the crowd (14-17)

The people are so glad that this man is healed that they applaud Jesus....wrong.

Some have asked, “If these are Jews what are they doing raising pigs?” This was actually a Greek area called the decapolis, so they probably were not Jews.

Losing 2000 pigs does not settle well with the people. They don’t applaud Jesus for healing the man of this terrible plight. Instead they ask Him to leave. They respond in fear (vs 15) but also in rejection.

Would a group of people reject God over a bunch of pigs? These did. Their value system is messed up just like in the miracle of the man with the withered hand where Jesus pointed out the Pharisees’ concern about sheep over people.

Here they are more concerned with their money than the man.

They have tried to bind this man/satan with no success and Jesus handled 6000(?) demons with no trouble.

d. The commission of Jesus to the man (18-19)

The man wants to go with Jesus, but Jesus tells him to go and tell others in the area about God. He was to tell, “What great things the Lord has done..” Tell about the work of God. And, “How He had mercy on you.” Tell about the character of God.

Remember that we said that some teach that Jesus tried to keep his identity secret because He knew that He really wasn’t God. But there is no secrecy here. Perhaps there is no secrecy because this is not Jewish territory. If our chronological ordering of the miracles is correct, this fits with what we saw in the last miracle where Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders and is now turning to the Gentiles. He is more open with Gentiles because it fits His purpose about revelation to the Gentiles and the new inclusion in the kingdom. Also, He is sometimes more open with outsiders/Gentiles than Jews because the negative reaction by the Jewish leaders would hinder his ministry more than rejection by Gentiles.

e. The communication of Jesus by the man (20)

Jesus told the man to tell everyone what “The Lord” had done... The man goes and tells everyone what “Jesus” had done for him. Mark wants us to make the connection between “Jesus” and the “Lord.”


*Even the demonic forces recognize that Jesus is the Son of God and recognize His right of final judgment.
*Jesus knew what would happen to the pigs, but let it happen to expose their materialism and faulty value system.


*Salvation should result in obedient service. “Go tell them what the Lord has done...”
*Rejection of Christ brings a greater loss than temporal possessions. What did they lose in the story? Not just their pigs. They lost Him. They lost the presence of Christ in their lives eternally. *I need to be aware of the controlling power of Satan. But I don’t need to be afraid because Jesus is more powerful. 1Jn 4:4 Christ is greater than the forces of Satan.
*I need to respond to God’s commands for me to be a witness.
*I need to beware of letting earthly possessions cloud my response to the Savior.