Sermon Based Curriculum
Sermon Date: March 21, 2010
Sermon Title: Legally Blind
Sermon Text: John 9-10
Small Group Text: John 9
For the past two months, we have seen Jesus doing some pretty amazing “work.” He gives living water to the woman at the well and heals the official’s son (John 4). He releases a crippled man from 38 years of suffering (John 5). He feeds 5,000 hungry people and then delivers his disciples from a storm (John 6). He offers “streams of living water” to those who are spiritualy thirsty (John 7). He offers forgiveness and restoration to a woman guilty of sin (John 8). But there is more going on here than we might notice: In every case, Jesus is teaching his disciples that these labors of love and grace are illustrations of the “work” they are called to do as well (John 14:12). For example, in our present lesson (John 9), Jesus restores sight to a blind man. But don’t miss Jesus’ point in John 9:4: We (Christ followers – the church) are to participate in his “work!” Thirst, sickness, hunger, fear, guilt, and blindness all represent the effects of a broken world. And we, the body of Christ, are called to move into the world in the power and wisdom of Christ’s own Spirit. We are to take up the cause of Christ – doing what He has taught us to do by his own example. 1. Read John 9:1-12. What commonly held idea lies behind the disciples’ question in v. 2? People get what they deserve. If bad things happen to a person, they probably had it coming.
2. According to John 9:3, trouble and suffering can actually be turned into a divine purpose. What is that purpose? That the glory of God might be made known as He alone brings healing and wholeness to the brokenness.
3. Now read John 9:35-41. Jesus tells the Pharisees that their real problem is spiritual blindness. Where do you see the effects of spiritual blindness in our world? 4. Honing it down to a more personal level, where do you see the effects of spiritual blindness in your own corner of the world?
5. What are some typical ways we tend to deal with the symptoms of spiritual blindness in the world around us? Ignore the needs, step right over them as if we don’t see them; place blame for the problem and assume “they had it coming;” attempt to fix the problems with more social, political, economic or educational action; or even creating religious systems that attempt to “fix it” in our own human strength; etc.
6. Think of the typical Christian watching the nightly news. Which answer below do you think best describes his/her initial response to seeing all the trouble in the world? a.
Blame people for causing the trouble. (They had it coming!)
b. Shrug it off as far-removed and therefore inconsequential. c.
Think of ways to fix the problem through institutional organizations.
d. Immediately think of the mission of the Church to bring the gospel to a broken world.
7. In John 9:4, Jesus makes reference to being sent on a mission. Can you identify His mission? Who sent Him on this mission? Hint: Read John 3:16-17 and Luke 19:10. 8. In John 9:4, what would be the significance of Jesus using the inclusive word “we” in reference to the work that still needs to be done? The “we” is referring to all who follow Jesus as his disciples – past, present and future. What we have seen Jesus do, we must also do by the same Holy Spirit power (John 14:12; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8).
9. If the stories of Jesus’ ministry set the example for church work today, what does this work entail? See Isaiah 42:5-7; 61:1-2; Luke 4:16-21 10. In John 9:4, there seems to be an urgency in Jesus’ work. What is looming in the not-too-distant future that should propel the church outward to the world to do the work of Christ? The day refers to the time given to the church to do to the work of Christ on earth. Night refers to the time limit that God has set to do His work – it is coming to an end. (See also Matt. 5:14; Eph. 5:8)
1. What holds you back from doing the “work” of Christ – relieving spiritual blindness in your part of the world? 2. Who was the person responsible for helping you move from spiritual blindness into “the light?” This week, write that person a thank-you letter. You may choose not to send it. The person may be deceased; or you may not know where they are. But while writing the letter, remember what it felt like to be spiritually blind. 3. Write the name of someone you know who may be spiritually blind. How will you “work” while there is still time? Write 2 or 3 action steps you will take to bring light into their dark world. Sermon-Based Curriculum