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