Unit 24, Session 1: Four Friends Helped
(Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26)
This week we started a new unit which focuses on how Jesus heals. These awe-inspiring stories about Jesus’ healing power give us a wonderful opportunity to discuss the fundamental Gospel truth: Jesus forgives us of our sins and offers us everlasting life!
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
BIBLE STORY POINTS:
- Jesus healed people <-- Main Point for Babies & Toddlers
- Jesus healed a man who could not walk <-- Main point for Preschool & Pre-K
- Four friends brought a man to Jesus
- Jesus forgave the man and healed him
- Jesus did only what God can do
BIBLE STORY DETAILS: Jesus was in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee. The Pharisees and scribes—teachers of the law—came to listen to Jesus’ teaching. They were curious about His message and wanted to make sure He was teaching things that were true. So many people came that they crowded the house; there was no more room.
That day, four friends came to see Jesus. The four men carried their friend who was paralyzed. Jesus had healed people before—even people who were paralyzed. (See Matt. 4:24; 8:6.) The men believed Jesus came from God and He could heal people. So their faith led to action. Because the friends could not get through the crowd, they carried their friend to the roof and lowered him down to Jesus.
CHRIST CONNECTION: The man who was paralyzed needed to be healed. First, Jesus forgave the man's sins. Jesus showed that He can forgive sins because He is God. Then, Jesus healed the man so he could walk. Jesus has the power to heal and to forgive sins.
Jesus’ words to the paralyzed man surprised the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Rather than saying, “Get up and walk,” Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven.” The religious leaders kept quiet, but Jesus knew their thoughts. They accused Jesus of blasphemy, dishonoring God by claiming to do what only God can do. But Jesus did not blaspheme. He is God, and He has authority to forgive sins.
Jesus asked them, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” Simply saying, “Your sins are forgiven,” seems to be the easier thing, but to actually forgive sins is harder, something only God can do. As God, Jesus has the power and authority to heal and forgive. And Jesus knew He would take the man’s sins upon Himself on the cross—an act of love that would cost Him His life.
Jesus healed the paralyzed man to prove to the religious leaders His power to forgive. Mark 2:12 records the crowd’s reaction: “They were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’”
UNIT KEY PASSAGE: Psalm 103:2-3 Praise the Lord, my soul, … who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.
ACTIVITY IDEA: Ask your child the big picture question and have them repeat the answer with you a few times. Go for a walk as a family. When you return, help your child find this week’s story in the Bible and read it together. Explain the Christ Connection. End by stating the Key Passage (Psalm 103:2-3) together a few times.
Want more ideas of how to use this information with your family during the week? Check out this blog post: Using the Gospel Project as a Family Devotional (http://gatewaychurch.org/whats-up-in-kidztown/using-the-gospel-project-as-a-family-devotional/)
NEXT WEEK: “Jesus Has Power Over Evil” (Mark 5:1-20)