Matthew 27.50-51 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
Roman centurion: “Truly this was the Son of God.”
The Miracles of Jesus ~ Miracles of the Passion
- Have you ever faced a strange or bizarre coincidence? Share your story.
- As Jesus hung on the cross in midday, for 3 hours the sky uncharacteristically became very dark. What do you think was the meaning of this?
- During this darkness Jesus cried out, “My God My God, why have you forsaken me?” Why do you think Jesus said such a thing? (see also Ps. 22.1)
- Discuss the imagery darkness has in the Bible & what purpose it served during Jesus’ crucifixion.
- About the very moment Jesus “yielded up His spirit & breathed His last” the dividing curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom. What do you think this meant?
- How was the message of the torn curtain perhaps even clearer in its meaning than the darkened skies?
- Read Hebrews 10.19-20 & discuss how Jesus replaced the holiest part of the temple.
- As the temple curtain was torn, there was also an earthquake. What do you think this meant? [see Ex. 19.18, Ps. 77.18, Is. 29.5-6]
- According to Matthew 27.52-54 what clearly miraculous event also occurred at about the same time as these other “coincidences”? What must that have been like to be one of these people or even to meet one of these people?
- The above-mentioned miracle indeed seems very strange to us today. Do you think this is just too weird to be true? [for additional info look up Jn. 6.40, 1 Cor. 15.22, 51-54]
- Read Luke 24.10-11 & discuss the disciple’s own reaction to such miraculous power.
- Can you identify with their struggle?
- Do you think the darkening sky, the curtain tearing, the earthquake etc. were merely coincidences? Make your case to your group.
- Putting it all together, why do you think the Lord made so many miraculous things occur around the suffering of Jesus?
Luke 7.9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
Motivational speaker Les Brown: “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
The Miracles of Jesus ~ Poised for a Miracle
- What sort of things do you think help us be in a place where God can freely answer our prayers & give us His blessing?
- In Matthew 15, Jesus performed a miracle of feeding 4000 men plus women & children. Unlike the first time Jesus did this, this crowd was probably gentile. What does that reveal to us about how Jesus cared for people?
- Why do you think Jesus repeated this miracle with his disciples?
- Read Mt. 15.32-33 and discuss if you think the disciples had learned anything since the first time they faced this test of faith.
- In Luke 7.1-10 Jesus healed a Roman Centurion’s servant. Review the story and discuss what sticks out most to you about the surprising attitude of the soldier?
- How is he a good example to us?
- Read Luke 9.27-36. What did Jesus promise that, at the time, sounded impossible?
- In what unique way did Jesus fulfill his promise with 3 of his disciples?
- What was significant about the change in Jesus’ physical appearance?
- What was significant about the cloud that engulfed them, the voice & what the voice told them to do?
- How are these words from heaven relevant to our lives?
- Read Mt. 21.18-22. What was the fig tree symbolic of?
- How might this story also serve as a warning for America today?
- Read Lk. 22.47-51. What did Peter do under stress & why was this actually working against God’s will?
- What is the difference between what Peter did here & someone today protecting their family from a violent attacker?
- What did Jesus do to the injured soldier & how might this serve as an example to Christians today?
- 15.1 reads A soft word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. How might we apply this principle to the tense times we all are currently facing?
- What is a noticeable way, based upon these stories, that you can be better poised for a miracle?
Matthew 14.16-18 So Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said.
David Wells: Worldliness is whatever makes righteousness look strange and sin look normal.
The Miracles of Jesus ~ Miracles of Provision
- In Luke 5 Jesus provided Peter with a large catch of fish that almost broke the nets. Jesus also turned water into wine (Jn. 2.7-9) & directed Peter to retrieve a coin from a fish’s mouth in Mt. 17.27. What do you think it was like to actually witness such miracles?
- Do you believe you have ever experienced the Lord providing for you in some miraculous & unexpected way? Please share!
- 14.13-21 is the story of Jesus feeding the “5000”. Do you remember the sad context of this story related to Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist?
- How does Jesus respond to the bad news in verse 13?
- How are his plans interrupted in the same verse?
- What is the emotion Jesus shows towards the people in verse 14 & what does it reveal about Jesus?
- In verse 15 what were the practical minded disciples concerned about?
- Were their concerns silly or actually valid?
- Do you think there are times in our lives where we allow valid concerns to take too much of our time and attention?
- According to verse 16 Jesus told his disciples to do something that was absolutely impossible for them to accomplish. Why do you think he did this?
- What makes sense about their response in verse 17 & in what way are they clearly missing the point Jesus was making?
- How are Jesus’ words to his disciples in verse 18 also valid in our lives when we find ourselves inadequate to meet the needs at hand?
- In practical terms, what would verse 18 look like; 1. When bills are larger than income; 2. When the future is scary and unknown; 3. When you have a seriously ill loved one; 4. When your prayers remain unanswered?
- According to Mt. 14.19-20, in what way was the miracle Jesus did almost secretive?
- Considering the total number of people fed, in what way was the miracle obvious?
- Look up and discuss at least a couple of the following scriptures: Malachi 3.10; Lk. 6.38; Phil. 4.14&19; Mt. 6.25-34.
- Do you think most believers today personally practice these principles?
- If every believer practiced 2 Cor. 9.6-9, what difference would it make in the church?
Luke 7.22-23 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Corrie ten Boom: When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.
The Miracles of Jesus ~ Miracles of Love
- Share a story about a time in your life that you were so busy, you really didn’t know how you would get it all done.
- How do you think Jesus felt since the gospels tell us on numerous occasions that he healed every disease and sickness among the people?
- If you & I could heal people with a simple touch, that would be amazing & fun at first. But do you think it would always be enjoyable 24/7? Please explain your answer.
- In this same vein of thought Luke 4.40 reads, “At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness”. Discuss what might have been challenging about this situation? (see Mark 3.10)
- Read Isaiah 53.4-5. This is the passage that many use to teach that all Christians can claim physical healing now. They teach healing comes with salvation. Discuss this passage as a group.
- Now read 1 Peter 2.21-25 & discuss what Peter’s take on the Isaiah passage is.
- In Luke 6.6-11 Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, in spite of the criticisms of the Pharisees. Mark 3.5 reads that Jesus stared at the Pharisees with anger. Why do you think Jesus was angry with them?
- Several characteristics of Jesus’ miracles are: 1. Jesus healed directly, 2. He healed instantaneously, 3. He healed completely, 4. He healed everyone, 5. He healed longstanding conditions & 6. He even raised the dead. How is this different from “faith healers” today?
- Why did Jesus show his power through healing rather than other special effects miracles?
- Each group member, pick an answer & discuss your answers: The best response I can have to the love of God is: A. to wear Christian themed t-shirts; B. to love others; C. to love the Lord; D. to volunteer more.
- Read 1 John 4.19-20 & discuss the top 2 priorities we are all given from the Lord.
- How can we better reflect a love FOR God & the love OF God in our community.