05: Discipling the Sick – Hit the Mark

Discipling the SickHe had only one hope. No other options. No other solutions. He had used every resource at his disposal and everything that concerned family members and friends could do had been done. Now dangling in a bed let down through the roof of Peter’s house, he was at his moment of truth.

The familiar story of the paralytic shared in Luke 5 contains many of the shared experiences of those facing sickness personally or dealing with loved ones who are sick. The sense of fear, sorrow and pain is common. And for some there is the added guilt and remorse for lifestyle choices that led to their state of being.

As the love of Jesus drew this dying man to this time and place we see examples all along the way for this week’s subject of Discipling the Sick. We find in this story illustrations of the roles we should play towards those who are in desperate situations.

“Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.” Luke 5:18, 19

To assist those in need, from the feeding of the hungry, the clothing of the naked, the sheltering of the homeless and the relieving of sickness is integral to the life of a disciple. “For the love of Christ constraineth us” 2 Corinthians 5:14. The renewed heart of a disciple is a heart that is drawn towards serving others.

“Many have no faith in God and have lost confidence in man. But they appreciate acts of sympathy and helpfulness. As they see one with no inducement of earthly praise or compensation coming to their homes, ministering to the sick, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, comforting the sad, and tenderly pointing all to him of whose love and pity the human worker is but the messenger,—as they see this, their hearts are touched. Gratitude springs up, faith is kindled. They see that God cares for them, and as his Word is opened they are prepared to listen.” Ellen White, Review & Herald May 9, 1912

As these four men from the roof of the house hold this bed of misery, down below a lesson in God’s grace is being unfolded. Our paralytic friend has met the eyes of Him who is the Desire of Ages. His emaciated body is there for all to see. He is desperate for healing of his mind as well as his body. With the love that we will study throughout eternity he hears the words that have set millions free, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Luke 5:20

Your past, regardless of the depth of your sins, is forgiven. Your years of remorse and guilt are ended. The shame you’ve endured is over and you are forgiven. The mental toll of worrying about the future and your standing before God is settled. You are forgiven. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

As the stunned audience looks on, Jesus addresses the evil thoughts of those who did not celebrate the healing of those they looked down upon.

“Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Luke 5:22-24

What a hallelujah moment that must have been! Can’t you see with your mind’s eye a man well known as a cripple, climb out of his bed of desperation and stand in the strength and vigor of manhood? Can’t you see the shocked crowd part with their jaws dropped and their eyes wide in amazement as he passes through leaping and praising God? Can you picture his four companions joining him in a jubilant and triumphant return to his home? Do you see his family who last saw him as a dying man now see him stand before them leaping and hugging them with a joy that could not be contained?

Our God is an awesome God! He delights to bring healing to the mind and the body. He has given us the privilege of being a part of this process. He has called us to be instruments of His love and compassion that others might experience what the ex-paralytic experienced that day at Peter’s house. “Go, and do thou likewise”. Luke 10:37

Here are a few Hit the Mark questions for this week’s lesson discussion:

  • What does a “medical missionary” mean to you?
  • Isn’t it true that not everyone (Christian SDA) is called to be a medical missionary?
  • Why do you answer yes or no?
  • Isn’t it true that Matthew 15:10 “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man” teaches that what we eat is not that important?
  • Why do you answer yes or no?
  • What does 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” mean to you?
  • Isn’t it true that not being healed is an indication of a lack of faith either on the part of those praying for healing or those who need healing?
  • Why do you answer yes or no?
  • Isn’t it mostly true that sickness is God’s deliberate way of getting our attention?
  • Why do you answer yes or no?

We close this week with the prophetic words of Isaiah 61 as quoted by Jesus announcing His mission to a lost and dying world:

“And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:17-21

Until next week, let’s all continue to Hit the Mark in Sabbath School!



05: Discipling the Sick – Hit the Mark — 6 Comments

    • Sothinie, I like the explanation given by Ellen White. "The One who had spoken through Isaiah was now speaking to His people face to face. He was seeking to weed out the traditions and the false doctrines which had become mingled with the pure principles of God’s Word. The scribes and Pharisees had accused Him and His disciples of transgression because they did not observe the traditions of the elders. Christ now showed them that it is not that which enters into the mouth that defiles the soul, but that which proceeds from the heart, and that by exalting the traditions of men above the law, they were polluting their own souls and the souls of others. Calling the multitude, He said, “Hear, and understand; not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” https://egwwritings.org/?ref=en_ST.January.3.1900.par.6
      This exchange was not about diet regulations; it was about the heart.
      I hope that helped.

  1. Curtis, I think the explanation is now more concise taken Jesus' response to their(scribe&Pharisees) proclamation of keeping the tradition of men. They lay aside God's law.
    This is "not a diet regulation" as it's mostly claimed in the world today.
    What a misunderstanding thats made in just "quoting that single verse to satisfy the carnal mind" when in truth the top passage shows that defilement is from within,the heart.

    Helpful, Thanks!


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