Lesson 12

Miracles on the Roads of Palestine

“Lesson 12: Miracles on the Roads of Palestine,” Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel Teacher Manual (2015)


Introduction

“[Jesus Christ] walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead” (“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” Ensign or Liahona, Apr. 2000, 2). Miracles were an important part of the Savior’s compassionate mortal ministry, but they also evidenced His power and authority, giving credence to His claim that He was the Messiah. By exercising faith in Jesus Christ, we too may witness or experience the Savior’s love, compassion, and power in the form of miracles.

Background Reading

Suggestions for Teaching

Mark 1:39–42; 2:1–12; 5:1–8, 19, 22–43; 8:1–9; Luke 7:11–15; 3 Nephi 17:5–9

The Savior performed miracles during His mortal ministry

Write the following phrases on the board: calmed the sea, raised the dead, and cast out evil spirits. Ask students which of these miracles performed by the Savior they think is the greatest of the three. After students respond, add created the earth to the list on the board and ask which is greatest. Repeat the exercise with converted souls and, finally, with suffered and died for our sins.

Ask students how they would define the word miracle. After students respond, display the following definition and invite a student to read it aloud:

“[A miracle is] an extraordinary event caused by the power of God. Miracles are an important element in the work of Jesus Christ. They include healings, restoring the dead to life, and resurrection. Miracles are a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith is necessary in order for miracles to be manifested” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Miracle”; scriptures.lds.org).

  • What are some additional examples of miracles that Jesus performed during His mortal ministry? (List students’ responses on the board.)

  • Why is it important to recognize how far-reaching the Savior’s power is?

List the following scripture references on the board, and invite students to choose one to study: Mark 1:40–42; Mark 5:1–8, 19; Mark 8:1–9; Luke 7:11–15; and 3 Nephi 17:5–9. Ask them to identify in the passage they read a miracle the Savior performed and what it illustrates about His power. After sufficient time, discuss the following questions:

  • What miracle did you read about, and what does it illustrate about the Savior’s power?

  • How does understanding the Savior’s power to perform miracles help you have faith in Him? (As students respond, you might point out that centuries before the Savior was born, prophets foresaw that He would perform miracles during His earthly ministry [see 1 Nephi 11:31; Mosiah 3:5–6]. This knowledge helped those who lived before His birth to have greater faith in Him.)

Invite students to look again in the passage they studied and identify the stated reason why Jesus performed the miracle. Discuss the following questions:

  • What was the stated reason the Savior performed the miracle you read about? (Allow several students to respond. The Savior’s compassion is mentioned in each example. Tell students that as they learn to identify patterns and themes such as this in the scriptures, they will deepen their knowledge of the scriptures.)

  • In what ways did these miracles demonstrate the Savior’s compassion?

  • What difference does it make to know that the Savior sometimes performed miracles because of His great compassion? (As students respond, emphasize that as we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we can receive of His great power and feel His compassion for us.)

Conclude this portion of the lesson by inviting a student to read Acts 10:38 while the rest of the class follows along. Then ask students:

  • What does it mean that Jesus healed “all that were oppressed of the devil”? (This phrase may refer to Jesus’s miracles of casting out devils as well as to the greatest miracle of all—the spiritual healing that Jesus brought to those oppressed by sin. Point out that although physical healing was an important part of the Savior’s ministry, its effects were temporary. The blessing of spiritual healing was—and is—everlasting.)

Mark 2:1–12; 5:22–43

Faith in Jesus Christ brings miracles into our lives

Tell students that although it is important to know that Jesus performed miracles as “He walked the roads of Palestine” (“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” 2), it is perhaps more important to know that He continues to perform miracles today. Ask students to read Ether 12:12, 18 silently and then to write down a gospel principle they learn from these verses. Invite several students to share with the class what they wrote. (Answers should include the following truth: As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we may witness His miraculous power in our lives.)

To help students explore this truth, write the following scripture references on the board: Mark 2:1–12; Mark 5:22–24, 35–43; and Mark 5:25–34. (Note: You may want to point out that these passages contain another illustration of a pattern or theme in the scriptures.) Divide the class into thirds. Assign each group to read one of the passages, looking for ways faith in Jesus Christ was demonstrated. After sufficient time, ask:

  • What evidence of faith in Jesus Christ did you find?

handout iconProvide each student a copy of the handout “Healing the Sick.”

handout, Healing the Sick

Healing the Sick

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that faith is essential for miracles to take place:

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Faith is essential for healing by the powers of heaven. The Book of Mormon even teaches that ‘if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them’ (Ether 12:12) [see also 1 Nephi 7:12; D&C 35:9]. In a notable talk on administering to the sick, President Spencer W. Kimball said: ‘The need of faith is often underestimated. The ill one and the family often seem to depend wholly on the power of the priesthood and the gift of healing that they hope the administering brethren may have, whereas the greater responsibility is with him who is blessed. … The major element is the faith of the individual when that person is conscious and accountable. “Thy faith hath made thee whole” [Matthew 9:22] was repeated so often by the Master that it almost became a chorus’ [“President Kimball Speaks Out on Administration to the Sick,” New Era, Oct. 1981, 47]” (“Healing the Sick,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 49).

Elder Dallin H. Oaks also reminded us that an important part of having faith is the willingness to accept God’s will:

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“As we exercise the undoubted power of the priesthood of God and as we treasure His promise that He will hear and answer the prayer of faith, we must always remember that faith and the healing power of the priesthood cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him whose priesthood it is. This principle is taught in the revelation directing that the elders of the Church shall lay their hands upon the sick. The Lord’s promise is that ‘he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed’ (D&C 42:48; emphasis added). Similarly, in another modern revelation the Lord declares that when one ‘asketh according to the will of God … it is done even as he asketh’ (D&C 46:30) [see also 1 John 5:14; Helaman 10:5].

“From all of this we learn that even the servants of the Lord, exercising His divine power in a circumstance where there is sufficient faith to be healed, cannot give a priesthood blessing that will cause a person to be healed if that healing is not the will of the Lord.

“As children of God, knowing of His great love and His ultimate knowledge of what is best for our eternal welfare, we trust in Him. The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and faith means trust. I felt that trust in a talk my cousin gave at the funeral of a teenage girl who had died of a serious illness. He spoke these words, which first astonished me and then edified me: ‘I know it was the will of the Lord that she die. She had good medical care. She was given priesthood blessings. Her name was on the prayer roll in the temple. She was the subject of hundreds of prayers for her restoration to health. And I know that there is enough faith in this family that she would have been healed unless it was the will of the Lord to take her home at this time.’ I felt that same trust in the words of the father of another choice girl whose life was taken by cancer in her teen years. He declared, ‘Our family’s faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes.’ Those teachings ring true to me. We do all that we can for the healing of a loved one, and then we trust in the Lord for the outcome” (“Healing the Sick,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 50).

To help students understand the requirement of faith in the performance of miracles, invite a student to read aloud the first statement on the handout by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Then ask:

  • What important truths did Elder Oaks teach about faith?

For additional insights from Elder Oaks, consider reading or sharing in your own words the second statement on the handout. You might mention that Elder Oaks directed these remarks to priesthood holders. Discuss the following questions:

  • What did Elder Oaks say is required of us when we pray in faith for a miracle to occur?

  • Why is it important to remember that what we seek must be in accordance with Heavenly Father’s will?

Testify that miracles still happen today. Share the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Miracles happen every day in the work of our Church and in the lives of our members. Many of you have witnessed miracles, perhaps more than you realize” (“Miracles,” Ensign, June 2001, 6).

  • Why do you think we do not always recognize the miracles that occur in our lives? (As students respond, you may want to point out that few miracles involve spectacular manifestations of the Lord’s power. Many miracles are relatively small and occur privately. [See Sydney S. Reynolds, “A God of Miracles,” Ensign, May 2001, 12–13.])

  • What do these small, private miracles reveal about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s interest in us?

  • What examples of “small” or “everyday” miracles can you think of? (If there are no responses, consider sharing some mentioned by Sister Sydney S. Reynolds of the Primary general presidency in “A God of Miracles” [Ensign, May 2001, 12–13].)

Invite students to respond to the following question in writing:

  • What might you do to better recognize and gain greater gratitude for the Lord’s miracles—both small and large—in your life?

Encourage students to prayerfully consider how they might act upon what they wrote. Conclude the lesson by asking if any of your students would like to share their testimony of the Savior and the love they have felt from Him and for Him.

Student Readings