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Lesson 13
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I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Healing A Syro-Phoenician Woman’s Daughter (7:24-30)

A woman asks Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter (24-26)

Jesus refuses (27)

The woman persists (28)

Jesus casts out the demon (29-30).

Healing A Deaf Man (7:31-37)

People bring a deaf man to Jesus (31-32)

Jesus restores the man’s hearing (33-35)

People spread the news, in spite of Jesus’ instructions (36-37)

Feeding Four Thousand (8:1-9)

Jesus tells the disciples that they need to feed the crowd (1-5)

Jesus feeds the crowd with seven loaves and a few small fish (6-9)

Pharisees Question Jesus (8:10-21)

Pharisees ask for a sign (10-11)

Jesus refuses (12-13)

Jesus warns the disciples (14-18)

Jesus explains with the miracles of the loaves (19-21)

Healing A Blind Man (8:22-26)

People bring a blind man to Jesus (22)

Jesus restores the man’s sight (23-25)

Jesus tells the man to go home (26)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Children, dogs, crumbs, spit, bread, sigh, test, sign, leaven, eyes, see, ears, hear, understand

II.    General Analysis

1. Through these miracles, Jesus showed even greater power than before. With a word, He cast out the demon from the woman’s daughter, even though He was not at her house. In both healing, Jesus led the men away from the multitudes instead of healing them in public. He also did more than just lay His hands on the man; he used His spit.

III. Segment Analysis

1. She overcame the prejudice between Jews and Gentiles (cf. Jn 4:9). Even though she was a Gentile, she showed more faith and understanding than the disciples.

2. God’s mercy is great enough to satisfy both the children and the dogs. If she was as lowly as a dog, she was content to receive even a little bit of God’s power.

3. The woman was persistent (cf. Mt 15:22-23). She did not demand Jesus to take certain actions (like laying His hands on her daughter [5:23]), nor did she take matters into her own hands (like the woman who suffered from bleeding [5:27]). She just fell at His feet and begged Him. Not only did she understand what Jesus meant (which is more than what you can say about the disciples), she answered humbly and wisely. She did not care if Jesus called her a dog, as long as her daughter would be healed. She also showed great faith. When Jesus told her to go, she went home without question.

4. One possible answer is that Jesus spoke according to the woman’s faith. He spoke harsh words to her because she had such an extraordinary faith and humility that she was able to overcome all hindrances. God does not give us a trial beyond what we can bear (1Cor 10:13). After this conversation, the woman must have grown in her faith and understanding of Jesus. In fact, her great faith as a Gentile served as a witness against the many faithless Jews.

5a. Children—the Jews—“the lost sheep of Israel” (Mt 15:24)

5b. Bread—God’s mercy; Jesus Christ (Jn 6:33-35)

5c. Dogs—the Gentiles

5d. Crumbs—the leftovers; what the children do not want

6. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were God’s chosen people. While Jesus never refrained from saving the Gentiles, He focused His ministry on the Jews. At this time, the Gentiles received only a small part of God’s grace, much like crumbs that fall off the table. However, like the Pharisees and the scribes, not all the Jews believed in Jesus (Rom 10:16).

God wants all to be saved (1Tim 2:4). He is the God of both the Jews and the Gentiles (Rom 3:29). Jesus commanded His disciples to preach the gospel “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Peter saw a vision telling Him to preach to the Gentiles (Acts 10:34-35). Today, all believers are God’s chosen people (Col 3:12; 1Pet 2:9), with the same blessings and responsibilities as the Israelites.

7.   Perhaps it was a test. As we mature in faith, God gives us tougher lessons. He makes us wait longer, to see if we will continue to trust in Him. Many in the crowd were starving (8:2-3), but they did not leave. Jesus was aware of this. At the right moment, He fed them until they were satisfied, just like the time when He fed five thousand. Also, note that Jesus also had not eaten for three days; He suffers with us.

8. They seemed to have forgotten that Jesus fed five thousand men with five loaves and two fish. They still had not made the connection between Jesus’ miracles and His divine nature. Like Jesus said, their hearts were still hardened.

9. The five thousand were with Jesus for less than a day, while the four thousand were with Jesus for three days with nothing to eat. Jesus rewarded their greater faith with greater blessings. The five thousand had twelve two-gallon baskets (cf. Lesson 11, Did You Know 4) of leftovers, while the four thousand had seven man-sized baskets. Jesus gave them enough food to take with them on their long journey home (3). While God tests us according to our faith, He also supplies us according to our needs.

10a. Angel—Jesus’ birth (Lk 1:28; 2:10); Jesus’ resurrection (Mt 28:2; Jn 20:12)

10b. Bread—Jesus’ body (Jn 6:33-35, 51)

10c. Fire—Jesus’ Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11)

10d. Voice—Jesus’ baptism (Mk 1:11); Jesus’ transfiguration (Mk 9:7); Jesus’ crucifixion and coming glory (Jn 12:28)

11. The Pharisees did not come to Jesus to beg Him for help, but to accuse Him. They came “seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him” (8:11). This implies they still believed that Jesus’ miracles were not signs from heaven (cf. 3:22). Their questions echo the devil’s first temptation of Jesus (Mt 4:3, 6).

12. Those who rejected God’s counsel (Lk 7:30-35), including the Pharisees.

13. Before and after this, Jesus performed undeniable miracles, and the Pharisees still did not believe. Furthermore, they did not realize that Jesus embodies every sign and miracle from heaven; Jesus is the one and only sign given. Through Jesus Christ, we receive the greatest miracle -- the forgiveness of our sins (Lk 11:29-30, 32). To those who reject Jesus without a second thought, no sign will be given. They will be “ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding” (Isa 6:9, NIV).

14. Their teachings, hypocrisy, old self, malice and wickedness

15. Jesus took the opportunity to warn the disciples about the leaven of the Pharisees (7:6-9) and of Herod (6:14-29). It is more important to guard against false teachings and sinful living than to be worried about filling our stomachs. However, the disciples were so preoccupied with having no bread that they missed the point.

Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for having forgotten to bring bread. But the disciples saw only the fact that they had only one loaf to split among them. Couldn’t Jesus have fed them with that one loaf?

16. The disciples were maturing in faith. Instead of panicking, they discussed what Jesus said, trying to figure out what He meant. It is good to share our interpretations with each other when we study the word of God. The disciples reached the wrong conclusion, and Jesus corrected them. When we study the Bible, it is also important to have proper guidance, from more experienced believers and the Holy Spirit.

17b. The events are very similar. By the same token, our faith is strengthened when we hear a testimony that we can relate to.

One notable difference is that the deaf man’s hearing and speech were immediately restored, whereas Jesus restored the blind man’s vision in two stages. God has a different timetable for each of us, but in the end, we all receive what we need.

18. The people who brought the men to Jesus had their expectations on what should happen (they asked Jesus to lay His hand on the man). Jesus took the man away from the commotion. Also, He did not want the news of the miracle to spread (7:36; 8:26).

19. Jn 9:1-12 is the only other record of Jesus healing with His spit. In that miracle, Jesus “anointed” (Jn 9:6, NKJV) the blind man’s eyes. Jesus used His spit perhaps to show that God uses the foolish and weak to do great things (1Cor 1:27-29). If the power comes from Jesus Christ, even something lowly and despised (like spit) can be used for noble purposes. Likewise, the humble servant shamed the educated Pharisees and scribes.

20a. Deafness and blindness are a loss of our sensory perceptions. A greater disability is our hardened hearts (8:17). Jesus compared His disciples to the deaf and the blind because they did not understand nor remember. They remained oblivious to the miraculous signs.

God uses miracles and signs to strengthen our faith. However, our stubbornness makes us spiritually deaf and blind (Jn 12:37). For example, the Holy Spirit is manifested in ways we can see and hear (Acts 2:33), when we pray in tongues. Still, not everyone will believe when he or she witnesses the power of the Holy Spirit. Some might even mock praying in tongues (Acts 2:13).

20b. Jesus sighed perhaps because the man’s physical deafness reminded Him of the spiritual deafness of the Pharisees (cf. Jn 9:39-41) and the disciples. Jesus was sad that the Pharisees continued to tempt Him. He must have been sadder that even His own disciples were deaf and blind to what He had been doing.

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