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Sunday School

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BACKGROUND FOR THE LESSON. As Matthew chapter 8 opens, we see Jesus coming down from the mountain where He gave the Sermon on the Mount, followed by multitudes of people (see Matthew 8:1). Jesus was then met by a leper, a man who had leprosy. He bowed before Jesus and asked to be made whole or well. Jesus proceeded to touch him and declared that he was now clean and told him to go show himself to the priest (see Matthew 8:2-4). Following this episode of healing, Jesus went to Capernaum and was met by a centurion who begged Jesus to just say the word and his sick servant would be healed (see Matthew 8:5-9). Jesus marvelled at the faith of the centurion and declared before all those who followed Him (mostly Jews) that He had not found such great faith in all of Israel (see Matthew 8:10). Then Jesus spoke to the multitude predicting that many Gentiles would eventually be saved from all over the world, but many Jews, children of the kingdom would suffer eternal punishment (see Matthew 8:11-12). Jesus then turned to the centurion and told him to go home and things would happen just as he believed they would. At that very moment, his servant was healed (see Matthew 8:13). Following this, Jesus went to Peter’s house and healed his mother-in-law of a fever as well as many others of their diseases in fulfillment of prophecy (see Matthew 8:14-17). Seeing the great multitude around Him, Jesus decided to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. But first He tested two men about their willingness to follow Him (see Matthew 8:18-22). Our lesson begins with verse 23.

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