Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jesus heals the leper

Lesson: Jesus is able and willing to heal 
1. Game: Tag
  • Have one kid wear a hat or something distinctive. This kid has to try to tag the other children.
  • All other children have to keep away from this kid.
  • Once they are tagged/touched by this kid, they have to go behind the kid and hold his/her shoulders. The more children the kid touches, the longer the chain of children behind him/her.
  • Game ends when there are 10 or 15 kids in the chain.
    (play by ear, according to crowd and time; avoid over rowdiness)

2. Story:
  • Tell the story of Jesus healing the leper from Luke 5:12-16.
  • Picture ideas #1#2
  •  Act it out idea: use baby powder to cover face, arms etc to depict leprosy; wipe off when "healed"
  •  Jesus went to town one day and met a man with leprosy.
  • Who knows what leprosy is?
    •  Leprosy is a disease that affects the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. It can cause fingers and toes to be shortened and deformed. It’s an infectious disease. In the Bible, leprosy can also refer to other infectious skin diseases.
    •  Just like the game, if you are too close to the leper, you could get infected with leprosy yourself. So nobody liked to be near a leper. If they saw a leper coming, they would go far, far away.
    • These lepers were outcasts; they had to stay outside of town. When they come into town, they had to announce loudly, “Unclean, unclean” to warn others of their presence.
    • Can you imagine what it’s like to live like that?
  • This leper must have been so tired of living this way. When he saw Jesus, he forgot all the rules of staying away from other people.
  • He fell face down to the ground and begged Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
  • This man must have heard of Jesus’ miracles. He knew Jesus could heal him. But was Jesus willing? Maybe he wasn’t good enough to be healed. Maybe Jesus couldn’t be bothered about someone like him. Maybe Jesus didn’t want to be contaminated by him.
  • How do you think Jesus reacted?
  • Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. Isn’t that amazing? Nobody wanted to be near lepers. Nobody touched him for years. And here was Jesus, touching him! Jesus could have just stood at a distance and healed the man, but He reached out and touched him, showing His love.
  • Then Jesus said, “I am willing. Be clean!” And immediately ... the leprosy left him! Praise the Lord!


3. Lesson: Good news for today!
  • The prophet Isaiah tells us that Jesus will “carry our sicknesses and diseases”.
  • But even though we know Jesus can heal us, sometime we don’t think He wants to.
  • We think that maybe He won’t heal us because we’ve been naughty or we’re not good enough. We think maybe He’s got more important things to do. We think maybe He wants us to be sick so we can learn a lesson.
  • But the truth is that Jesus took all our sicknesses on the cross when He died. He is able to heal us. And more importantly, He is willing! He is reaching out to touch us with love and compassion!
  • If anyone of you are sick today, put your hand on the part of the body that’s not feeling well. And pray this prayer: “Thank you Jesus that when you died on the cross, You carried all my sins and sicknesses. Thank you Jesus that you are able to heal me. Thank you Jesus that you are willing to heal me. In Jesus’ name, I receive my healing. Amen!”
  • Memory Verse: “He carried our sicknesses and our diseases.” Isaiah 53:4.or “Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Mark 1:41

4. Activity Ideas:
a. Craft:
  • Materials: Notecards and band aids
  • Have the kids sit in 3 small groups.
  • On one side of the notecard: Stick 2 band aids on it as a cross and write the memory verse on the card.
  • On the other side of the notecard: Write a prayer of thanks for Jesus’ healing for themselves or other people. “Thank you Jesus for healing me of _________” or “Thank you Jesus for healing my mummy of ___________”
  • Pray together with each kid.
  • Assure kids that Jesus is able and willing to heal them all the time!

*****

Youth Bible Study
Leader's Guide

Jesus is able and willing to heal 
Read Luke 5:12-16.

1.       Who did Jesus meet in the village?
A man covered with leprosy.

2.       What is leprosy?
Leprosy was a dreaded and infectious skin disease that leads to physical disfigurement due to loss of sensation at the nerve receptors (they cannot feel pain) and degeneration of tissue.

3.       How were people with leprosy treated? (cref Lev 13:45-46)
According to the Law, people with leprosy were considered “unclean” and shunned. They had to live apart from their family, outside the town, and shout “unclean” when in the presence of others. In the Old Testament, leprosy was a sign of God’s judgement and a consequence of sin.
When Jesus came, He demonstrated God’s grace and compassion by showing love and healing to lepers.

4.       What did the man do when he saw Jesus? Why do you think he said that?
He fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
He probably heard of the miracles Jesus had been performing and knew He was able to heal him. But he wasn’t sure if Jesus was willing to or not. Maybe he wasn’t good enough to be healed. Maybe Jesus couldn’t be bothered about someone like him. Maybe Jesus didn’t want to be contaminated by him. Maybe Jesus thought he deserved to have leprosy.

5.       How did Jesus respond? Why do you think He did what He did?
Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. He said, “I am willing. Be clean!”And immediately the leprosy left him.
Nobody wanted to be near lepers. Nobody touched him for years. Jesus could have just stood at a distance and healed the man, but He reached out and touched him, showing His love.
But more importantly, Jesus said that He was willing to heal the man. And He tells us the same thing today: Whatever our sickness or problems, He is willing to heal and solve them for us! In fact, He already did at the cross 2000 years ago!

6.       What did Jesus tell the man to do next?
Jesus told the man not to tell anyone about the miracle but to go show himself to the priest and offer the sacrifices as a testimony to them. This was so the man could be reconciled back to his family and society.

7.       Still the news got out, and people flocked to Jesus who was still willing to heal them of their sicknesses. But where would Jesus often go to and why?
He would withdraw to lonely places to pray. He knew that all good things came from God. He could only give what He had received from God, not from His own strength. So Jesus loved to spend time with His heavenly Father and receive from Him.
Likewise, whatever we do or give, it has to come from the overflow of our lives, not from our own selves or strength. So before we serve or minister, we should spend time with God and receive from Him. Then it will overflow from our lives to others around us.

Lesson:
  • The prophet Isaiah tells us that Jesus will “carry our sicknesses and diseases”.
  • But even though we know Jesus can heal us, sometime we don’t think He wants to. We think that maybe He won’t heal us because we’ve been naughty or we’re not good enough. We think maybe He’s got more important things to do. We think maybe He wants us to be sick so we can learn a lesson.
  • But the truth is that Jesus took all our sicknesses on the cross when He died. He is able to heal us. And more importantly, He is willing! He is reaching out to touch us with love and compassion!
  • If anyone of you are sick today, put your hand on the part of the body that’s not feeling well. And pray this prayer: “Thank you Jesus that when you died on the cross, You carried all my sins and sicknesses. Thank you Jesus that you are able to heal me. Thank you Jesus that you are willing to heal me. In Jesus’ name, I receive my healing. Amen!”
  • Memory Verse: “He carried our sicknesses and our diseases.” Isaiah 53:4.

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