Attitude: Sacrificial Willingness (v. 12-25). Leprosy is a contagious disease that affects the skin, mucous membrane, and nerves, causing lumps or disfigurement. In biblical times lepers were cast out of society because they were considered unclean. Describe how the leper appealed to Jesus (v. 12). How did Jesus respond (v. 13)? What made Jesus’ action a sacrificial kind of willingness? Why is willingness that is sacrificial important in reaching out to imperfect people? What is one thing you will be sacrificially willing to do in order to bring someone to the Lord?
Product: Jesus’ ability to forgive sin (v. 17-26). Who were in the crowd to listen to Jesus in verse 17? Describe the way the men in verses 18-19 called Jesus’ attention so that He would heal a paralytic man? Like these men who made the extra effort to bring the paralytic man to Christ, what extra effort would you be willing to do to bring someone to Christ? What was Jesus' response to these men’s efforts (v. 20)? In “selling” Jesus to the imperfect people of this imperfect world, you need to offer a product that meets their needs—something they are desperate to buy. The emphasis on this account is not in the miraculous healing of the paralytic, but on Jesus’ ability to forgive sin, which nobody else can do. What was Jesus attesting about Himself each time He healed diseases and forgave sinners?
Target Group: Sinners (v. 27-32). Jesus made it clear that He came to bring sinners to repentance, and so you as a believer need to be “selling” Him to sinners. Who was Levi (v. 27)? What made him an outcast in the society? Why would Jesus call Levi (whose name was changed to Matthew) to follow Him? Are you exposed to unbelievers? Who are the usual sinners— imperfect people—around you? Why should you care about them? Share how you can reach out to someone whom others neglect or ignore. Do you find it difficult to do? What makes it possible to go out of your comfort zone and reach out to someone whom you don’t usually associate with?