For Ministry Resources Youth Series : Miracles From the Gospel of Mark

MIRACLES 01/04: JESUS MOVES

There is a fascinating story in the Gospel of Mark where a group of friends lower their paralyzed friend down through the roof in order for him to be healed by Jesus. Wrap your mind around the faith of these guys. They knew that a touch from Jesus would lead to a miracle, so they put in the work to experience it. When Jesus witnessed their faith, He moved in a mighty way. We can learn three powerful traits of faith from these friends.



Large Group - Leader Lead

Large Group - Leader Lead Instructions

Countdown
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Materials: Leaders GuideSeries GraphicsGraphic Templates
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Leader
  • Illustration - Set up the concept of a movie — you can do this with your set or with trailers on the screen. Example follows:

Sit down and grab some popcorn; the movie is about to start!

The theater goes black and audio roars through the auditorium. Pre-film trailers flash action-packed scenes on the silver screen while everyone whispers, "Oh, I want to see that," to their friends. Movie trailers are designed to trigger excitement by previewing a highlight reel of an upcoming film.

Do you know that Jesus's ministry has a highlight reel too? It's called the Book of Mark.

  • Transition

Mark, a member of Paul's missionary team, uses dramatic, direct, and compelling language to retell supernatural stories from the ministry of his friend, Jesus.

  • Unlike the other gospels that focus on the messages Jesus preached, Mark zooms in on the miracles that Jesus performed.

  • Readers of Mark's gospel, originally Gentiles living in Rome, found themselves vividly reliving the miracles of Jesus. As you study the Book of Mark, reflect on how the supernatural power of Jesus plays into your personal relationship with Him as well.

  • Setting up the Talk

Early in Mark's gospel, Jesus launches into ministry in Capernaum, a small fishing village in Galilee. Jesus made quite an entrance in Capernaum that drew a lot of attention.

  • His first move was to cast out a whole bunch of demons. Next, He healed many people outside the synagogue.

  • Then He cured a man who was cursed with leprosy. Don't you see how this book comes across like a highlight reel?

  • It's action-packed from page to page. As Jesus continued performing miracles, he earned celebrity status, and crowds began to follow Him.

  • That brings us to this stunning story at the beginning of chapter two.

Materials:
Leader

READ: Mark 2:1-9; 11 "A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk?’ “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

Materials:
Leader

It's a cool and quiet evening along the coast, but there is a lot of commotion coming from a house in the center of the village.

  • Jesus is speaking there, which has caused a massive crowd to fill the rooms and spill out into the streets. This creates a big problem for five guys who desperately want to catch a glimpse of this miracle worker.

  • They arrive at the crowded street, dumbfounded at the density of the crowd. They need to see Jesus, but they can't just shove their way through the congested crowd. Why?

  • Because one of their friends is paraplegic.

  • This means that he can't walk, let alone push through a crowd of people. This paralyzed man is fortunate to have some good friends, though, because they hatch a plan to get him a front-row ticket to see Jesus.

I am sure the paralyzed friend is politely saying, "It's okay, guys. Today is just not the day."

  • However, his friends won't let this opportunity pass. They carry him to the roof above Jesus's head and begin ripping it apart piece by piece.

  • Roofs during this time were made of mud and sticks, not boards and nails.

  • Imagine these guys at work! They are clawing and digging, risking filth and splinters to get to Jesus.

I imagine that dirt, rocks, and debris are beginning to fall through the ceiling, inevitably interrupting the sermon.

  • Finally, a little light peeks through the cracks as a man gets lowered through the newly-formed skylight.

  • Wrap your mind around the faith of these men. They knew that a touch from Jesus would lead to a miracle, so they put in the work to experience it.

  • When Jesus witnessed their faith, He moved in a mighty way.

We can learn three powerful traits of faith from these friends.

Materials:
Leader

Faith Takes Risks

  • Look at how much risk and discomfort these guys go through for their friend! They broke through a roof right in the middle of a massive, public presentation.

  • They used their bare hands to claw through clay. Their fingernails become muddy and maybe even a little bloody.

    • Why were they willing to face the repercussions and embarrassment?

    • Because they have faith that Jesus can help their friend. I am sure there were a million reasons for them to stop, but they keep tearing off the roof, shingle by shingle.

    • Just like these friends, let your faith move you towards action.

Faith takes risks. Those risks may be uncomfortable, awkward, or even a little unexpected, but they'll be worth it.

  • There are often miraculous results on the other side of your risk.

    • It's risky to talk to your friends about Jesus, but the outcome is worth the discomfort.

    • It's awkward to ask a friend for prayer, but Jesus hangs on to every word.

    • It's uncomfortable to talk to someone about sin in their life, but you can point them towards forgiveness.

    • Jesus almost always leads you outside of your comfort zone, so strive to foster risk-taking faith. You won't believe what unfolds as a result.

    • Risky faith leads to miraculous results.

    • Which brings us to our second point.

Faith Leads to Results

Their faith resulted in a confused and quiet room gawking at a paralyzed man lying before Jesus.

  • Jesus breaks the silence by saying, "I see your friends faith. Your sins are forgiven." I'm sure quiet whispers filled the room.

    • First, doesn't Jesus see this man is paralyzed? That's the healing he's there for.

    • Second, only God can forgive sins. Who is this guy to make that kind of claim that his sins are forgiven?

      • Jesus takes this moment to show that He doesn't just heal us physically; He can also heal us spiritually.

Christ's simple sentence leads to scorning. Some religious leaders shouted from the crowd,

  • "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming!"

  • They had no idea that they were standing before God in the flesh. Jesus didn't just have the power to heal the man; He had the power to forgive him of his sins.

    • Which, when you think about it, is an even bigger miracle than healing his legs.

      • Cleansing someone from spiritual sickness is the greatest miracle of all and that's the primary reason for His arrival.

      • Jesus has the power to spiritually heal you, your friends, and everyone you have ever met.

      • Take the risks that introduce people to the supernatural power of Jesus — spiritual healing will be the result.

The faith of these friends is rewarded. Jesus picked up the paralyzed man by his shoulders. His legs shook and his toes began to wiggle.

  • The crowd gasped as the paraplegic picked up his mat and walked for the first time.

  • That is a taste of what risky faith can do. When you step out in faith, amazing things unfold.

    • When Jesus saw the faith of these men, a miracle happened.

    • Faith is a catalyst for the miraculous.

    • Faith can lead to healing.

    • Faith can lead to a breakthrough.

    • Faith can lead to unthinkable things.

    • Are you missing out on something because you refuse to move in faith?

    • Amazingly, risky faith doesn't just lead to amazing things for you — it can trigger amazing things for the people around you too.

    • Why? Because your faith can help those around you, so as we close…

Faith Helps People

This man encountered healing because of the help of his friends. How powerful is that?

  • Ripping off a roof for a friend is awkward, unsafe, risky, and uncomfortable.

  • However, look where it led.

    • A paralyzed man was able to walk. Every shaky step around that room was a little step on a long journey towards following Jesus.

    • Can you imagine the story he got to tell for the rest of his life?

    • It was made possible by some faithful friends.

When was the last time you stepped out in faith to help someone experience Jesus?

  • I am not suggesting you go destroy a roof, but you need to take some uncomfortable steps for the benefit of those around you.

    • Pick someone up for church.

    • Pray with your friends in public.

    • Personally introduce people to Jesus and watch miracles unfold.

  • Landing

Mark wants you to see the world through the lens of Jesus.

Your streets, school, and social circles are all stages that Jesus wants to perform the supernatural on.

  • There are struggling people around you; bring them to Jesus.

  • There are spiritually paralyzed people in your school; introduce them to the life-changing power of the gospel.

  • Your risky faith just might result in a miracle for them!

    • With Jesus, we don't just get to preview miracles; we get to participate in them.

    • You can help make miracles happen today. So take that crucial step, even if it feels risky.

      • Your risk will be rewarded.


Large Group - Video Lead

Large Group - Video Lead Instructions

Whole Lesson
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Small Group

Small Group Instructions

Small Group Discussion
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Small Group Leader
  • TALK IT OUT

    Go through the following questions with your circle. Be honest. Be open. Talk through the tough stuff.

    Icebreaker: Introduce yourself and share your highs and lows from the week (the best part of your week so far and the lowest part of your week).

Q1: What was the physical miracle performed by Jesus in the story? What was the spiritual miracle performed by Jesus in this story?

Q2: What is the significance of Jesus healing this man spiritually before healing him physically?

Q3: What role did the paralyzed man’s friends play in his healing?

Q4: What are some ways that God calls us to take risks?

Application: What can you do this week to boldly help someone grow closer to finding physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual healing?

Materials:
Student
  • READING PLAN

    READ THESE PASSAGES IN ORDER EVERY DAY

    Matthew 4:23-25 Matthew 8:5-13 Matthew 9:1-8 Matthew 9:27-31 Mark 1:40-45 Mark 4:35-41 Psalm 77

    Do the following with each passage:

    ASK– God to connect with you here. In prayer, start by slowing down and inviting God to be present. Begin with focus and openness to see what God has for you today.

    READ– the selected section of Scripture slowly. Take note of the words and phrases that intrigue you, reading them a second time if necessary.

    REFLECT– on what grabs you. How does this passage personally relate to your own life and experiences?

    RESPOND– to the Scripture. Speak directly to God about what’s on your mind and heart. Look for ways to live out what you’ve uncovered.

About For Ministry Resources Youth Series

FMR develops monthly youth ministry curriculum that is free to all local churches. Each monthly release includes a sermon series, small group series, Bible devotional and supporting graphics packs that are original, practical and ready to use