New Testament Lessons

Healing the Sick

Life of Jesus

Matthew, 8,9; Mark, 1,2; Luke 5

Children’s Illustrated Bible p. 216; the Beginner’s Bible p. 328; The Child’s First Bible p. 180

The Centurion’s Servant

Matthew, 8; Luke 7

Children’s Illustrated Bible p. 218

Jarius’ Daughter

Matthew, 9; Mark 5; Luke 8

Children’s Illustrated Bible p. 222

Background

Jesus’ ministry began with action in the form of miracles. In a society where special powers came from God or from demons, Jesus’ ability to heal the sick and cast out devils would have been exciting to some and disturbing to others. Even more alarming would have been his tendency to break taboos by working on the Sabbath and by touching the “unclean” (lepers and the hemorrhaging woman).

 

Touch is a life-giving force. Newborn animals that are not touched by their mothers don’t develop properly. When someone is sad or hurt, the simple act of hugging them or patting them on the back can make them feel better.  When athletes make a big play, they slap each other in celebration. Jesus healed through touch, in one case by mixing spit and dirt in his hands to heal the eyes of a blind man. When the hemorrhaging woman touched Jesus’ cloak, he feels his power going into her and she was healed. Over 50 verses in the Gospels refer to Jesus healing people.  

In the Centurion’s Servant and Jarius’ Daughter, Jesus goes beyond healing and begins to raise people from the dead.

Discussion

Before class, decide which readings you will do. For older children, you may be able to do all three.

When you are sick, who takes care of you? Have you ever had an injury or illness that was cured?

What do you think would be easier, casting out demons, healing or raising people from the dead?

In many of these stories, people approach Jesus and ask him to help someone else (paralyzed man’s friends, the centurion, Jarius). Have you done something special to help a friend or family member?

How do you think the healings affected the way people felt about Jesus?  Would people have listened to his message and followed him if he hadn’t performed miracles?

After raising Jarius’ daughter from the dead, Jesus tells the witnesses not to tell anyone what he has done. Why do you think he did this? Do you think they would do as he asked?

What do the characters in each story have in common? (the friends of the paralyzed man; the centurion; Jarius)? They have faith in Jesus.

The centurion was a Roman, one of the powerful people who ruled Israel. Many of Jesus’ friends would not have liked the centurion. The fact that he asks Jesus to heal his servant shows that everyone has the possibility of goodness.

Activities

Make me better

For younger children

There are many medical professionals in the parish. Invite a clinician to assist with this activity and share their knowledge. Bring in a first aid kit, including many colorful band-aids, gauze bandages, tongue depressors and sterile tape. Using dolls first, and then in role-playing, take turns as healers, taking temperatures, looking in throats, feeling lymph nodes and “cleaning” wounds and applying band-aids. Ask “how are you feeling?” and “where does it hurt?” Have children demonstrate ways to heal by touching and asking “where does it hurt?” “I’m sorry that happened” and “are you feeling a little better now?”

 

Blog Post

For older children

Write a blog describing the miracles that Jesus performed. Write about them historically, and then if they happened today. Illustrate and assemble stories onto larger piece of illustration board or foam core. Display in Lichtenberger Room.

 

Diorama

Pre-prepare a cutaway of the room with a roof.  Cut a slit in the roof. Have children make paper dolls or cutouts of the characters from the story on sturdy paper or illustration board, and decorate. Paint the walls of the house as a back-drop and re-enact the story. For added drama, use flash lights to light the scene, and shine light through a back window.

Alternately, use a dollhouse with a removable roof and action figures to re-enact the story. (There is a Jesus action figure available.)

Make me better

For younger children

Invite a clinician to assist with this activity and share their knowledge. Bring in a first aid kit, including many colorful band-aids, gauze bandages, tongue depressors and sterile tape. Using dolls first, and then in role-playing, take turns as healers, taking temperatures, looking in throats, feeling lymph nodes and “cleaning” wounds and applying band-aids. Ask “how are you feeling?” and “where does it hurt?” Have children demonstrate ways to heal by touching and asking “where does it hurt?” “I’m sorry that happened” and “are you feeling a little better now?” (If you do not do this activity for this lesson, it will work for the Good Samaritan.)

Mosaics

The centurion was a Roman. Romans decorated their floors and walls with mosaic tiles. Use cut pieces of bright art-foam to make a mosaic self-portrait. Glue to black illustration board. Leave lines between each piece to highlight the mosaic pattern. 

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