Lesson 1

Having already waited centuries for the messiah to come, the second temple Jews thought it would be prudent to have some way of identifying the coming messiah. Searching the scriptures for miracles that would apply to the human condition, the Jews were sure they found four miracles that could only be performed by the messiah. Healing of leprosy, cast out a demon from a deaf or mute person, heal someone born blind from birth and after three days raise the dead back to life. These four are known as the messianic miracles. The Sanhedrin were bound to investigate any messianic miracle in two stages, if it had been confirmed to have been performed by the priesthood. In the first stage, observers were not permitted to ask any questions or voice objections. They were to quietly investigate what was being done, said and taught. After observing, they returned to Jerusalem and reported to the Sanhedrin, where a determination on the movement would be rendered. That is why Luke records there were Pharisees and teachers of the law from every town in Galilee, Judea and Jerusalem watching Jesus. After the leprosy healing, they were there to quietly observe Jesus and listen to his teachings. There were so many of them there that those wanting to be healed couldn’t get to Jesus. Not speaking their minds, they formed negative judgemental opinions about Jesus and his gospel. Steeped in their religious beliefs, the Jewish leaders confidently discounted the completed proof miracle they themselves had constructed for the Messiah to do. 

Luke 5:17-24 International Children’s Bible
17 One day Jesus was teaching the people. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were there, too. They had come from every town in Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. The Lord was giving Jesus the power to heal people. 18 There was a man who was paralyzed. Some men were carrying him on a mat. They tried to bring him in and put him down before Jesus. 19 But because there were so many people there, they could not find a way to Jesus. So the men went up on the roof and made a hole in the ceiling. They lowered the mat so that the paralyzed man was lying right before Jesus. 20 Jesus saw that these men believed. So he said to the sick man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The Jewish teachers of the law and the Pharisees thought to themselves, “Who is this man? He is saying things that are against God! Only God can forgive sins.” 22 But Jesus knew what they were thinking. He said, “Why do you have thoughts like that in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to tell this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to tell him, ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 But I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, stand up! Take your mat and go home.”

When we hear something that doesn’t fit within our religious beliefs do we reject it immediately, or Like the Bereans do we prove the teaching against what the Bible scriptures reveal? Have you ever changed your mind about what scripture teaches?

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