These small group studies of Matthew contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, verse by verse commentary, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Matthew 8:14-22 Inductive Bible Study – Discussion Questions and Verse by Verse Commentary

Matthew 8:14-22


  1. More Miracles (14-17)
  2. The Cost of Discipleship (18-22)

I. More Miracles (14-17)

Discussion Questions

What are your observations of this passage?
What can we learn about Peter from this passage?
What problem did Jesus find out about?
What do we learn about Jesus from His response? Did anyone ask him to do this?
What do we learn about Jesus from His handling of the demon-possessed?
How difficult was it for Jesus to do this?
Should we also cast out demons like Jesus did? Why or why not?
What applications can we make from this passage?


Verses on Compassion:

Colossians 3:12 – Clothe yourselves with compassion.

Isaiah 49:13 – The Lord has compassion on His afflicted ones.

Lamentations 3:32 – Though He brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.

On initiative:

James 4:17 – So everyone who knows the right thing and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

On demons:

1 Timothy 4:1 – In later times some will follow… deceiving spirits (demons still exist and are active.)

2 Corinthians 2:11 – Satan makes schemes against us.

2 Corinthians 4:4 – Satan and demons blind unbelievers.

Verse by Verse Commentary

  1. Jesus sees what needs to be done and takes initiative.
  2. Jesus showed compassion for Peter’s mother-in-law. God does not always heal us, but He does care when we are suffering.
  3. Jesus cared for the sick and we should too. What can you do for those who sick? What do you like people to do for you when you are sick?
  4. We can learn a good example from her as she immediately begins to serve others. She was not focused on self even after her sickness, but she was focused on serving her guests. She was being a good host and was exercising hospitality. We too should show hospitality to others.
  5. He drove out the demons with a word. Here we see Jesus’ authority. Demons are powerful. They were far beyond the abilities of any doctors or religious leaders to deal with. Yet Jesus solves the problem with a simple word. This reminds us of creation when God created the universe with a word.
  6. He shows compassion again for the sick. The attitude of compassion and the ability/power to heal are all prophesied in the Old Testament.
  7. Application: In this passage two aspects of Jesus’ nature are emphasized, His goodness and His authority/power. It is because of these two things that we now His promises to us will all be fulfilled at the right time.

II. The Cost of Discipleship (18-22)

Discussion Questions

Why would Jesus try to escape the crowd?
Why does a teacher call Jesus teacher? What does this show us about Jesus’ character?
What is interesting about Jesus’ response to this teacher? Why does he not directly answer him?
What does Jesus answer show us about the cost of following Jesus?
Why does Jesus refer to Himself as the “Son of Man?”
What does His statement that “the Son of Man has no place to lay His head” mean?
What potential cost will you face by following Jesus?
Was the man’s request to bury his father a reasonable one? Why or why not? What did this man’s request really mean? (His father wasn’t dead yet.) What does this show us about this person’s priorities?
What priority should we place on Christ?
How might our desire to “bury our parents” manifest itself today?
What other things may distract us from putting the Lord first?
Is it common for people to claim a desire to serve the Lord later? What do people generally want to finish first? What are the dangers of this mindset?
What did Jesus mean “let the dead bury their own dead?”


Verses on the cost of discipleship:

Luke 9:23-26, 14:25-33 – Key passages on the cost of discipleship.

Matthew 10:37 Whoever loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.

Philippians 3:7-8 – Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of following Christ.

Mark 14:62, Daniel 7:13-14 – Verses on the Son of Man.

Verse by Verse Commentary

  1. People think that following Jesus will be easy, but it is not as easy as it first appears.
  2. Jesus told the man about the cost of following Jesus. He wanted him to understand the cost at the beginning.
  3. When we share the gospel, we should tell people at the beginning the cost of following Jesus.
  4. One potential cost is no place to call home. No house. No security (in this world). No stability (in this world.) In China, a house is what people desire almost more than anything else. And Jesus implies that followers of Him may have no place to call home. This is not a smooth or an easy life. What is the cost we have to pay? What does God call us to sacrifice?
  5. Jesus is the Son of Man. This is a title for the Messiah seen in Daniel 7:13-14.
  6. “Let me go and bury my father.” It is a request to wait until his parents die to serve God. In other words, “I will serve follow, just let me follow you later when it is more convenient.” What do you think of this request? Reasonable? Satan always tempts us to want to delay serving God in the future. What are some reasons why people delay? We should not wait for a more convenient time. It will never be convenient to be a follower of Jesus. How can you serve God more now?/
  7. “Let the dead bury their own dead.” Focus on spiritual, heavenly things, not worldly ones. Yes, we must honor parents. No, it is not wrong to bury them. We must understand that this man’s parents were likely not dead yet. He wanted to give his life only and exclusively to his worldly ties and relationships. Possibly he wanted to remain near his father to ensure he would get his share of the inheritance. He was putting his parents first in front of God, when God must be put first. (Discuss here what is a correct relationship to parents for grown up and married believers.) We should not use anything or anyone as an excuse not to serve God. This includes having lots of children or aging parents. We should not abandon these people, but neither should we neglect following the Lord while giving all of our attention only to people and temporal things. So who do the “dead” refer to? The dead are those who are dead to Christ. They don’t have a relationship with Jesus. They are not saved. They are not His sheep. They don’t see His beauty or listen to His voice. They are able to care for their parents physical needs so let them. But they are not able to care for the world’s spiritual needs while we can. So we should focus on those things.
  8. Application: Following Christ is what He requires, not just professing belief in Him. We must be willing to give up worldly, material, and deadly pursuits and instead pursue the Lord with all of our heart.
Study Matthew 8:23-34
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