“I was especially fond of the sons of men.”
1, 2. How has Jesus proved his deep love for mankind?
GOD’S firstborn Son is the greatest example of Jehovah’s incredible wisdom and was his Father’s “master worker.” Imagine how happy and satisfied Jesus was as his Father “prepared the heavens” and “established the foundations of the earth.” But of all the things his Father created, Jesus “was especially fond of the sons of men.” (Proverbs 8:22-31) Yes, he loved humans from the very beginning.
2 Later, Jesus proved his loyalty and love for his Father and his deep love for all people when he willingly left heaven and came to earth as a human. Jesus lovingly did this so that he could give his life as “a ransom in exchange for many.” (Matthew 20:28; Philippians 2:5-8) While Jesus was on earth, God gave him the power to perform miracles. These miracles reveal how much Jesus loves people and show what wonderful things he will do for mankind very soon.
3. What will we consider in this article?
3 While on earth, Jesus preached “the good news of the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 4:43) He knew that this Kingdom would sanctify his Father’s name and that it would solve mankind’s problems forever. As Jesus preached, he performed many miracles. These miracles revealed his great concern for all people. Why is that important for us? Because what he did gives us hope and confidence for the future. So let us consider four of Jesus’ miracles.
“POWER WAS WITH HIM TO DO HEALING”
4. What happened when Jesus met a man with leprosy?
4 During his ministry, Jesus went to the area called Galilee. In one of the cities there, he met a man with a terrible disease, leprosy. (Mark 1:39, 40) The man was so sick that Luke, who was a doctor, described him as being “full of leprosy.” (Luke 5:12) The Bible says that when the sick man saw Jesus, he “fell facedown and begged him: ‘Lord, if you just want to, you can make me clean.’” The man knew that Jesus had the power to heal him, but he needed to know whether Jesus wanted to heal him. Why? Because the man was used to the Pharisees, who looked down on people with leprosy. But what was Jesus thinking? How would he treat this man who was probably very deformed? What would you have done?
5. Why did Jesus want to heal the leper?
5 Apparently, the sick man did not shout “Unclean, unclean!” as the Mosaic Law required. (Leviticus 13:43-46) But Jesus did not get angry. Instead, he was concerned about the man and wanted to help him. We do not know exactly what Jesus was thinking, but we do know how he felt. He felt so bad for the man that he performed a miracle. He touched the man, something that no one else would do. With confidence and compassion, Jesus said: “I want to! Be made clean.” Then “the leprosy vanished from him.” (Luke 5:13) Clearly, Jehovah gave Jesus the power to perform this great miracle and to show how much he loved people.
6. What is interesting about the miracles Jesus performed, and what do they show?
6 With God’s power, Jesus was able to perform many amazing miracles. He cured more than just lepers. Jesus also healed people with many other kinds of diseases. The Bible tells us that people were amazed when “they saw the speechless speaking and the maimed being made sound and the lame walking and the blind seeing.” (Matthew 15:31) When Jesus healed someone, he did not need a healthy person to donate his or her organs. No, Jesus had the power to heal sick parts of the body. And he healed people instantly, sometimes even those who were far away from him. (John 4:46-54) What do these amazing examples show? That our King, Jesus Christ, has the power and the desire to remove all sickness forever. When we learn about how Jesus treated people, it gives us confidence that in the new world, “he will have pity on the lowly and the poor.” (Psalm 72:13) Because he really wants to, Jesus will heal all who are suffering.
“GET UP! PICK UP YOUR MAT AND WALK”
7, 8. Describe what happened before Jesus met a sick man at Bethzatha.
7 A few months after healing the leper, Jesus traveled from Galilee to Judea where he continued to preach the good news about God’s Kingdom. There must have been thousands of people who heard Jesus’ message and who were touched by his love for them. Jesus really wanted to comfort the poor and the oppressed and to give these people hope.
8 In the month of Nisan, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The city was busy as people arrived for the special festival. Just north of the temple was a pool known as Bethzatha, and there Jesus met a man who was unable to walk.
9, 10. (a) Why did people go to the pool of Bethzatha? (b) What did Jesus do at the pool, and what does this teach us? (See opening picture.)
9 Crowds of sick people would go to Bethzatha. Why? Because they thought that a sick person could miraculously be cured if he went into the pool when the water was moving. Imagine how much confusion there must have been with so many desperate, anxious, and hopeless people who wanted to be cured. Jesus was perfect and certainly did not need a cure, so why was he there? His love for people made him go there. And this is where he met a man who had been sick longer than Jesus had been living on earth.
Jesus searched for those who needed help
10 Jesus asked the man if he wanted to walk again. Imagine the man’s sadness when he told Jesus that he wanted to be healed but could not, because there was no one to help him get into the pool. Jesus then told the man to do the impossible. He told him to pick up his mat and walk. So the man picked up his mat and began to walk! This miracle is wonderful proof of what Jesus will do in the new world. It also shows Jesus’ deep love for people. He searched for those who needed help. Jesus’ example should encourage us to continue looking for people in our territory who are depressed because of the terrible things happening in this world.
“WHO TOUCHED MY OUTER GARMENTS?”
11. How does Mark 5:25-34 show that Jesus had love for sick people?
11 Read Mark 5:25-34. For 12 years, one woman had suffered from an embarrassing illness. Her sickness had affected every part of her life, including her worship. She had visited many doctors and had spent all her money trying to find a cure, but she only got worse. One day, the woman had a different plan to get well, so she walked through a crowd of people and touched Jesus’ clothing. (Leviticus 15:19, 25) When Jesus realized that power had gone out of him, he asked who had touched him. “Frightened and trembling,” the woman “fell down before him and told him the whole truth.” Jesus knew that Jehovah had healed the woman, so he kindly said: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed from your grievous sickness.”
12. (a) From what we have learned, how would you describe Jesus? (b) What example did Jesus set for us?
12 It really warms our heart to see how loving Jesus was with people, especially those who were sick. This is very different from Satan, who tries to convince us that we are worthless and that no one loves us. Jesus’ miracles, however, proved that he truly cares about us and our problems. We can be thankful that we have such a loving King and High Priest! (Hebrews 4:15) It may be difficult for us to understand the feelings of someone who has been sick for a long time, especially if we are not sick. But think of Jesus. He had compassion for sick people even though he had never been sick. May we do our best to imitate his loving example.
“JESUS GAVE WAY TO TEARS”
13. What does the resurrection of Lazarus reveal about Jesus?
13 Jesus was deeply moved by the pain of others. For example, when his friend Lazarus died, Jesus “groaned” and “became troubled” as he saw the pain of Lazarus’ family and friends. (Read John 11:33-36.) Even though he knew that he would resurrect Lazarus, Jesus cried. He was not afraid to let others see his feelings. Jesus loved Lazarus and his family so much that he used God’s power to bring Lazarus back to life!
14, 15. (a) What shows that Jehovah wants to remove mankind’s suffering? (b) What do we learn from the expression “memorial tombs”?
14 The Bible describes Jesus as being exactly like his Father, Jehovah. (Hebrews 1:3) So Jesus’ miracles prove that Jehovah also wants to remove sickness, pain, and death. Soon, Jehovah and Jesus will bring many more people back to life. Jesus said that “the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs” will be resurrected.
15 Jesus used the expression “memorial tombs,” which shows that God’s memory is involved. Almighty God, the Creator of the entire universe, can remember every detail of our dead loved ones, including their personality. (Isaiah 40:26) Not only can Jehovah remember them but he wants to remember them. The resurrections mentioned in the Bible are wonderful examples of what will happen in the new world.
WHAT WE LEARN FROM JESUS’ MIRACLES
16. What opportunity will many of God’s servants have?
16 If we remain faithful, we may have the opportunity to experience one of the greatest miracles ever, surviving the great tribulation! Soon after Armageddon, we will see many more miracles. At that time, every human will gain perfect health. (Isaiah 33:24; 35:5, 6; Revelation 21:4) Imagine watching people getting rid of their eyeglasses, canes, crutches, wheelchairs, and hearing aids. Jehovah knows that all who survive Armageddon will need to become strong and healthy, because they will have plenty of work to do. They are the ones who will turn our beautiful planet, Earth, into a global paradise.
17, 18. (a) Why did Jesus perform miracles? (b) Why should you do whatever is needed to be in God’s new world?
17 The “great crowd” today are encouraged when they read about how Jesus healed the sick. (Revelation 7:9) Those miracles strengthen our wonderful hope of being completely healed in the future. They also show how much God’s firstborn Son loves mankind. (John 10:11; 15:12, 13) Jesus’ great compassion is a demonstration of Jehovah’s deep love for each one of his servants.
18 The world today is full of pain, suffering, and death. (Romans 8:22) That is why we need God’s new world. There, all humans will have the perfect health that God has promised. Malachi 4:2 gives us hope that we will “skip about like fattened calves,” happy and excited because we have been healed and freed from imperfection. May our appreciation for Jehovah and our faith in his promises motivate us to do whatever is needed to be in the new world. How encouraging it is to know that the miracles Jesus performed were examples of the permanent relief that mankind will soon enjoy during his rule!