Community Group Questions 5/3/13

Evidence Series Artwork [vimeo 65496018 w=500 h=281]

Announcements:

  • Family Dedication Celebration
    • This Mother's Day(next weekend!) we will be having our newly redesigned Family Dedication Celebration.
    • Today is the last chance to fill out a Family Dedication Celebration packet in the Kids Ministry.
    • If you have taken a packet, please get it to us as soon as possible-the deadline is fast approaching.
    • Our goal with the Family Dedication Celebration is to look at this as the beginning of your journey as you teach your children what it means to love God with all your heart.
    • If you have questions please feel free to contact Melissa at melissamashburn@westpines.org
  • Leverage Your Mother’s Day
    • Moms - we want to partner with you this Mother's Day
    • Leverage all of your mom points to bring you family with you this year, on Mother's Day, to hear a straightforward message about Jesus.
    • And have them treat you to a nice lunch in your honor after church.

Sermon Title: Evidence, Part 5: Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Main Text: John 9:1-38

Topics:

  • Isn’t that what we sometimes think? We see something happen to someone and we think “What did they do to deserve that?” Or even worse – something bad happens to us and we think “What did I do to deserve this?” What do you think when you see someone you love going through something very difficult. Or maybe it is not even someone you know. What about the bombing in Boston a couple of weeks ago?
  • So we see in this passage that Jesus is walking with his disciples and they see a blind man. The disciples ask him why the man is blind – whose sin is he paying the price for? His or his parents? You see the Jews commonly believed that defects such as this were as a result of sin. Now while we believe that sin is responsible for all suffering, we do not believe it is as simple as that. Several weeks ago pastor Robey broke this down for us. Jesus says that his blindness is not a result of the man or his parents sin – he was born blind so God’s Glory could be shown though his infirmity. What does that mean? That is what we are going to unpack today. So Jesus bends down, spits in the dirt, puts the mud on his eyes and sends him to the pool of Siloam. Why didn’t he just say – you are healed? One of the theories was that Jesus is symbolically referring back to when God created man in Genesis from the dust of the ground. He is forming two new eyes for this man from the dust of the ground and spit which was thought to have medicinal powers back in ancient times. He sent him to the Pool of Siloam most likely because of the ceremonial significance of that pool. So we see Jesus going to great care to make the healing of this blind man something specifically memorable.
  • Many claimed to heal, but nobody could prove it. Basically they were trying to verify that this man who could now see was the same man who was blind from birth. Once they felt like that was true, they turn him over to the Pharisees
  • Now it is interesting here that their argument for Jesus not being a man from God is that he did not keep the Sabbath. They are ignoring the Evidence so that they can prove what they want to be true – that Jesus is a heretic. They ask the Blind Man again what he thinks and he says that Jesus is a prophet.
  • Hoping to find some Evidence to disprove Jesus claims they call in the man’s parents. So they ask his parents if he was born blind. They reply that he was, but they do not want to get thrown out of the temple so they will not answer the question about how he sees. Anyone who supported Jesus was banned from the Temple. So they told the Pharisees to ask him – again.
  • So they call the blind man back again and he turns the tables on them. They encourage him to give Glory to God but not to Jesus. He says that while he can’t speak to whether Jesus is a sinner, all he knows is that Jesus restored his sight and therefore must be the Son of God. He gets so agitated with them that he says, “Do you want to be his disciple?” They get so mad at him that they throw him out of the temple.
  • So once he is thrown out, Jesus goes and finds him and asks him if he believes. The man asks for clarification at which point Jesus identifies himself as the son of God and the man finds salvation.
  • Jesus points out that the blind may can now see because he realized he was blind but the Pharisees are blind because they think they can see.
  • After declaring himself the light of the world in Chapter 8, Jesus goes out into the world and uses a blind beggar to display literally and figuratively exactly what he had argued.
  • God allows suffering in our world so it can be used to further his purposes in many ways
  1. In our lives in 2 ways
    1. to teach us – to get our attention so he can show us something or teach us something
    2. to increase our dependence on him when we start to think we are in control
    3. in this case The Blind Man received Salvation – the most important thing he could ever get
  2. In the lives of those around us – the observers. Often God allows us to go through something difficult so he can teach those we have influence over or relationships with or who are merely bystanders to what is happening
    1. Some of those who witnessed this event most likely found salvation through it
  3. in the lives of those we may never know – his purpose me be something that we will never know about. He sees so much more than we see. We only see a small fraction of the painting he is constructing over time.
    1. In this case, this story has been used countless times to bring people to salvation. Maybe even someone here today is feeling God tug on their heart because of this story that was only made possible through one man’s suffering

Key Questions:

  1. What was the high of your week? What was the low of your week?
  2. What are your first thoughts when you hear about a tragedy?
  3. What did you think when you heard about the bombing in Boston a couple of weeks ago?
  4. Read John 9:1-38
  5. What stood out for you in this passage?
  6. Why do we assume that if someone is afflicted they must have done something to deserve it?
  7. What must it have been like for the blind man to see for the first time?
  8. Why didn’t Jesus just declare him healed? Why all the theatrics?
  9. Why were the Pharisees so focused on disproving Jesus claims?
  10. Talk about a time in your life when something you thought was bad turned out to be a blessing.
  11. What should we do when bad things happen - whether to us or those around us?
  12. How can we prepare ourselves for a situation like this?
  13. How can we prepare those around us for these situations?
  14. Is there something you are going through right now that the group can pray through with you?

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