Matthew 8 Questions and Answers
1. Read Matthew 8:1 - 4. What did Jesus do when he had finished teaching?
- He went down the mountainside where large crowds followed him.
2. Who approached Jesus and how?
- The leper came to Jesus and knelt down. The religious leaders would never have allowed an unclean person to come near them.
- The leper came to Jesus with confidence - confidence in Jesus' power.
- He came with humility - not demanding healing.
- He came with reverence - kneeling before Jesus because he knew he was in the presence of the divine.
3. What was the leper's request? What was Jesus' response?
- "Lord if you are willing you can make me clean." (If you are willing - isn't that the attitude we should come to Jesus with our requests in prayer)
- Jesus reached out and touched the man and said he was willing and immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Jesus showed that he had compassion on the leper.
- For Jesus there was only one obligation in life - that was to help. There was only one law - and that was the law of love.
- A leper was banished from society, so to touch him or even approach him was to break the Law. But here we see Jesus touching the untouchable.
- The average course of leprosy is from 9 - 30 years. People with leprosy were treated as though they were dead but this is the kind of person Jesus touched.
4. Do we have untouchables in our society that we need to wrap around with the compassion of Christ? Who are they?
- Like Jesus we need to break any convention and take any risk to help a fellow person in need.
5. Do you think that God still heals like that today? If God would do miraculous healings today what do you think would be required?
- I know that God does heal
- It requires humbleness, faith, requesting but not demanding.
- God uses the treatment available at the time to perform His miracles. A miracle doesn't come by lazily waiting on God to do it all; it comes from the co-operation of those who have the ability and knowledge to help, the faith of believers, with the limitless grace and power of God.
6. What was the leper asked to do after he was cleansed? (see Leviticus 14:2-32)
- He was not to tell anyone about what had just happened. Why? If he would have published abroad what Jesus had done, there could have been a rush to install Jesus who had such powers as a political leader and a military commander. Jesus needed to almost work in secrecy until people understood that his power was love not force of arms, that He was a lover and not the destroyer of the lives of people. Jesus didn't want others to use Him to make their dreams come true but Jesus wanted to do God's willing in God's timing.
- Jesus told the leper to "go and show himself to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the Law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed." That is, he would receive a certificate that he was clean.
- What offering had Moses required? 2 live clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop. Then the cleansed person was to wash his clothes, shave off all his hair and bathe with water. Then he could come into the camp but had to stay outside his tent for 7 days. On the 7th day he had to shave off all his hair, wash his clothes, bathe himself and he would be clean. On the 8th day, be had to bring 2 male lambs and one ewe lamb a year old, each without defect along with about 6 quarts of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering and 2/3 pint of oil. The priest then presented both the one to be cleansed and his offerings before the Lord. If he was poor he could bring one male lamb and 2 doves or 2 young pigeons along with the flour and oil.
7. Read Matthew 8:5-13. Who came to Jesus on behalf of one of his household? Why was this unique?
- A Roman centurion, an officer who was responsible for 100 soldiers came and asked Jesus (called him Lord) to heal one of his young servants who was at his house paralyzed and suffering terribly. This was the reverse of the normal attitude of a master to a slave. He was an extraordinary man and it may have been his unusual and unexpected gentleness and love which moved Jesus. He also had extraordinary faith.
- He was a Gentile and a Roman military man who would have been despised by most of the Jewish people. In the minds of many Jews not worthy of assistance. A servant was a slave and was no more than a living tool. So here we see the love of Jesus going out to help a man whom all Jews hated and the slave whom all free men despised.
8. What did Jesus offer to do?
- To go to the centurion's home and heal the servant. But the centurion would have known that a Jew is not allowed into a Gentile's home for all Gentile's homes are unclean according to the Jewish law.
9. What was the centurion's response?
- He told Jesus he didn't deserve to have Him come under his roof, so asked Jesus to just say the word and his servant would be healed. The centurion himself was a man under authority, with soldiers under him. He says to one, 'Go' and he goes. To another one he says, 'Come' and he comes. He tells his servant to do something and he does it.
- The centurion was putting himself under Jesus.
10. Why do you think that Jesus was so awed and astonished at this man's faith?
- Here was a Roman officer having more faith in Jesus' ability to heal with a word than any other person Jesus had met in Israel.
11. What do you think verse 11 and verse 12 refer to?
- For the Jews they looked forward to the banquet with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven but never for a moment did it cross their minds that any Gentile would ever sit down at it. They felt that by that time all the Gentiles would have been destroyed. But here Jesus is saying that many Gentiles from the west and the west will sit down at that banquet.
- Worse yet, Jesus says that many of the Israelites-those for whom the Kingdom was prepared-will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
- The Jews had to learn that the passport to God's presence was not membership of any nation; but faith.
12. Was the servant healed? If so, when?
- Jesus said the servant would be healed just as the centurion believed it would. That very hour the servant was healed without Jesus ever seeing or talking to or touching the servant.
13. Read Matthew 8:14-17. What happened when Jesus arrived at Peter's house? According to Mark 1:29-31, when did this event occur?
- He saw that Peter's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and he fever left her and she got up and began to prepare a meal for Him. (Mark 1 says "them")
- According to Mark 1:29-31 this happened on the Sabbath after they left the synagogue.
- It would probably have been for rest that Jesus went to Peter's home but he was willing to forfeit that to help someone. He was never too tired to help.
- Here there was no publicity or crowd to look and admire but his love and power were at the disposal of anyone who needed him.
- We can also learn from this occasion that Peter's mother-in-law had one desire after the healing and that was to attend to the needs of Jesus' and others. How do we use the gifts Jesus gives us?
14. What happened that evening?
- Since it was the Sabbath day, people were waiting until the Sabbath was done before they could carry people or receive healing.
- Jesus then drove out the spirits of the demon-possessed with a word.
- He healed all the sick
- To Jesus no one was ever a nuisance. He had no on duty and off duty hours (not like some pastors today).
15. Jesus never was too busy to serve others. Do you ever feel you are too busy or tired to help others?
16. Why do you think that Matthew recorded these miracles? Where is the quote from?
- To show that Jesus had power over illnesses.
- To prove that Jesus was the Messiah, the suffering servant, that was promised according to Isaiah 53:4 Isaiah 53:4 He would take our sicknesses and carry our diseases.
17. Read Matthew 8:18-22. Why do you think that Jesus would have left the crowd to go to the other side of the lake?
- Perhaps he was tired and wanted to get away to rest, which may explain why He was sound asleep in the boat.
- Jesus wanted to perhaps tone down the excitement of all the healings. Didn't want them to get the idea of Him only being a miracle worker.
18. What miracle happened in these verses? What was Jesus' response?
- A scribe wished to follow Jesus and he gave Jesus the highest title of honour that he knew, "teacher" which is the word for Rabbi. To him Jesus was the greatest teacher to whom he had ever listened and whom he had ever seen.
- Jesus response was, before you follow me, think about what you are doing and count the cost.
- We do a great disfavour to people if we lead them to believe that the Christian way is an easy way. There is no thrill like the way of the Christ, and there is no glory like the end of that way; but Jesus never said it was an easy way. The way to glory always involves a cross.
19. What is the meaning of Matthew 8:21-22?
- The man was saying that someday he wanted to follow Jesus, when his father was dead and when he would be free to go. He was in fact putting off his following of Jesus for many years to come.
- Jesus knew his heart that if the man did not follow him now, he never would. The tone is that the man was feeling at the moment that he needed to get out of that spiritually dead society, and yet he is saying that he will wait until his father dies. Jesus says to get out now and let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.
20. What kind of disciple are you? Are you following Jesus completely right now? Is there anything holding you back from a total commitment to Christ?
- Family? Job? Lack of education? Want a comfortable life?
21. Read Matthew 8:23 - 27. What happened while Jesus was travelling across the lake?
- Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat, but Jesus was sleeping.
22. How did the disciples respond?
- The disciples woke Jesus up saying, "Lord save us! We're going to drown."
23. What two rebukes did Jesus speak?
- You of little faith
- Why are you so afraid?
24. Have you ever felt rebuked by Jesus? Why?
25. Why were the disciples amazed?
- Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the waves and it became completely calm
- They were wondering who Jesus really was if even the winds and waves obey Him.
26. Have you ever been amazed by something that God/Jesus did? Give an example.
27. What is the meaning behind this miracle?
- Wherever Jesus is, the storms of life become calm. When the storms of life shake our souls, Jesus Christ is there and in His presence the raging of the storm turns to the peace that no storm can ever take away.
- It shows His control over nature, His creation.
28. Read Matthew 8: 28 - 34. What happened when Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake at the country of the Gadarenes?
- Two demon-possessed came from the tombs to meet Jesus
- Jesus showed unusual courage in stopping to speak to these 2 men since they were very fierce and dangerous to passers-by.
29. What was the character of the two men who met Jesus?
- They were so violent that no one could go through that area
30. What did they cry out? What does this tell us about the demons? Matthew 8:29
- What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?
- They knew that when the Messiah would return the time of judgment would come and Satan with his demons would be judged & tormented.
- Demonic powers can speak or control human voice.
31. What did the demons ask of Jesus? What do you think this tells us about the demons? Matthew 8:30
- They wanted to go into the swine/pigs which were considered unclean animals and not something that a good Jew would be raising.
- They move from living being to living being. - looking for some place to dwell.
32. What happened after they entered the swine?
- The whole herd of pigs rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.
33. What did the keepers of the pigs end up doing?
- Those tending the pigs went into the town and reported about what happened to the pigs and about the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went to meet Jesus and pleaded with him to leave their region.
34. Why do you think that the people asked Jesus to leave the area?
- This either showed human selfishness - it did not matter to them that 2 demon-possessed men had been given back their sanity, or all that mattered was that their pigs, their livelihood was gone.
35. Have you ever found yourself saying or thinking, "I don't care or I don't worry about what happens to anyone else, as long as my family, my possessions or profit or comfort are not taken away."
36. In this chapter 6 miracles were recorded. Have you ever experienced a miracle in your life? If so, what did Jesus do?