Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: The world’s greatest sermon has ended. Jesus has wrapped up his instructions with some hard words. But his controversial conclusion doesn’t cause anyone to say, “That’s all I can take of this guy.” Instead, the crowd continues to hang on his every word, even following him down the mountain where Jesus will launch his healing ministry. And it’s a ministry that begins in the most surprising of ways.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. What is unusual about a leper approaching Jesus to be healed? What is the most stunning event in that story (see verse 3)? Why is this so shocking and what does it reveal?
2. Jesus often commanded those he healed to “say nothing to anyone.” Why?
3. How would you define humility? What evidence of it do you see in your own life?
4. Why is every single person of great value to God? Even so, how can we say, theologically, that we are all morally bankrupt before God?
5. In what sense are some people “too good for Christianity”? What comfort do you find in the fact that Jesus is a friend of sinners, the one who welcomes failures into his family?
1. Read Matthew 8:1-4.
2. “The gospel is in that grasp.” – Frederick Dale Bruner
3. 01. Salvation is God reaching out in Christ and cleansing us from all guilt, shame, filth, and disease.
4. Read Matthew 8:5-13
5. 02. Simply telling Jesus about our lives apparently sets his rescuing work in motion.
6. “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” – Hebrews 7:25
7. “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word and my servant will be healed.” – Matthew 8:8
8. Read Matthew 8:11-12.
9. 03. The reality of judgment is not meant to frighten unbelievers but to warn those who think themselves believers (but are resting in their own merits).