THE MIRACLE OF COMPASSION
Text: Luke 5:12-16 
Series: The Wonder of Miracles 

The Bible records Jesus healing many while He was on earth. Yet sometimes, Jesus withdrew from people who sought Him for healing. Why does Jesus heal some and not others? What does this reveal about His nature? How should we respond in moments when the miracles we seek are not given?

Discussion Guide 

1) Jesus’ compassion moves Him to action (12-13)

In your own words, describe what “compassion” means to you. Why do you say so? What are some experiences that shape your understanding of what it means to have compassion? Who is someone you consider compassionate? What did he/she do to give you that impression? In verse 12, the leper asks Jesus about His willingness, not ability, to heal. What does Jesus’ response (13) reveal about His feelings towards the leper? Why do you think Jesus touched the leper when He could have just commanded the leper to be clean from a distance? What does Jesus’ gesture reveal about His character? The leper was supposed to announce his presence by chanting “unclean” three times. Imagine how that must make him feel like a social outcast! Were you in a similar situation before, or know of someone who is? How do you think Jesus feels towards people experiencing social isolation? Though the leper felt unworthy, he boldly approached Jesus for healing. What can you learn from the way the leper approached Jesus? Why do you think some people find it hard to request and receive compassion from Jesus? As a Life Group, how can we present Jesus as the compassionate God that He is to others?

2) Jesus’ compassion compels Him to restrain (14-16)

Have you ever prayed for healing but saw no improvement? How did you feel? How did it affect your view of Jesus or relationship with God? Some think that healing is a matter of having enough faith or praying with the right words. But if God only heals when we have enough faith or when we say the right words, what does that say about the kind of God He is? While Jesus can show His compassion through miracles, more often He expresses His compassion by giving us grace and power to go through life’s challenges in a God-honouring manner (2 Cor 12:9-10). What is a challenge you went through or are going through now that seems too tough to handle? How have you experienced Jesus’ grace and power, even though you do not see improvements in your situation? Share your experiences with your LG to encourage them. If you were to meet someone who wants a miracle but does not receive it, how would you help him/her to make sense of the experience? Talk about it with your LG. How can the LG encourage one another to trust in God’s character and not the results that they see? For example, how should the LG pray for someone who asks for healing?

Reflection Questions 

1) Jesus’ compassion moves Him to action (12-13)
Though the leper felt unworthy, he boldly approached Jesus for healing. What can you learn from the way the leper approached Jesus?

2) Jesus’ compassion compels Him to restrain (14-16)
While Jesus can show His compassion through miracles, more often He expresses His compassion by giving us grace and power to go through life’s challenges in a God-honouring manner (2 Cor 12:9-10). What is a challenge you went through or are going through now that seems too tough to handle? How have you experienced Jesus’ grace and power, even though you do not see improvements in your situation?

THE MIRACLE OF AUTHORITY
Text: Matthew 8:23-34
Series: The Wonder Of Miracles

Jesus performed miracles which demonstrated His complete authority over all creation. Yet he was not merely revealing what he can do, but who he really is. How then, should we approach miracles?

Discussion Guide 

1) Jesus acts to demonstrate his complete authority (23-26, 28-32)

Recall a time when you needed a miraculous touch from God. What did you do, and what happened? What did your experience teach you about who God is? Why is it important to look beyond the miracle in order to better know the God behind it?

What does Jesus’ authority over nature and spirits tell you about who he is? How would knowing that Jesus can command the waves encourage you the next time you go through one of life’s storms? How would knowing that Jesus can command the evil spirits assure you the next time you encounter opposition? How would knowing that Jesus has complete authority shape your response to chaotic happenings in the world, such as extreme climate change and political and social unrest?

How can the LG prompt one another to be more aware of who God is every time a miracle happens? For example, what are some helpful guidelines on sharing testimonies about miracles? How can the LG respond to believers who are desperate for a miracle but have not experienced it?

2) Jesus acts to draw a deeper response of faith (27, 33-34)

Miracles, as wonderful as they are, don’t generate the same response from everyone. Read verses 27 and 33-34. What is the key difference between the two responses recorded in these verses? Which response would Jesus want us to have? Why?

Faith is a personal and deliberate choice. It is how we choose to perceive the miracle, how we question and learn about who God is, and what we do with what we see and know. How has your faith deepened after your encounter with a miracle? What are the changes in your understanding and lifestyle?

How can the LG better facilitate responses of faith? For example, what are some good questions to guide believers to reflect on their miraculous experiences so that they can mature in their faith? How can the LG respond to believers who may be doubtful about miracles?

Reflection Questions 

1) Jesus acts to demonstrate his complete authority (23-26, 28-32)
What does Jesus’ authority over nature and spirits tell you about who he is? How would knowing that Jesus can command the waves encourage you the next time you go through one of life’s storms? How would knowing that Jesus can command the evil spirits assure you the next time you encounter opposition?

2) Jesus acts to draw a deeper response of faith (27, 33-34)
How has your faith deepened after your encounter with a miracle? What are the changes in your understanding and lifestyle?