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INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
In 5 minutes or less, briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
GETTING THE CONVERSATION STARTED
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
•Was there anything in this week’s sermon that stood out to you? Briefly share.
•Have you been through any painful circumstances that have caused you to doubt God’s goodness? Did you ever feel the Lord shed any light on those circumstances?
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was.
Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.
11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said.
•(V. 1 & 2) What did the disciples ask Jesus about the man born blind? Place yourself in this scene. What would you think of their question? Have you ever been told anything like this in association with some kind of suffering you were dealing with? Have you ever given an answer like this to someone else?
•Do you find it easier to conjure up suffering to someone’s sin rather then exploring the complexities of suffering in this world? Do you ever try to assign blame to your own or someone else’s suffering? Please discuss…
•(v.3-5) How does Jesus answer the disciple’s question? Summarize his answer.
•In order to be at peace with only a partial understanding of why pain and suffering exist, what do you need? What can you do to pursue these things?
•In Rich’s sermon he pointed out that pain is often a result of corruption and things we do to each other. So sin does play a role in suffering, but according to this passage that doesn’t have to be the whole story. What does suffering always provide an opportunity for?
•Do you find the concept of suffering being used for God’s glory a difficult one? Has you ever seen Jesus shed light on a painful circumstance that you did not understand? Have you seen the Lord use suffering for a greater glory in your life?
•(v. 6&7) What does Jesus do? How does he heal the blind man? What does Jesus ask the blind man to do? Why would Jesus ask a blind man to go on a journey to the Pool of Siloam? Please discuss…
• (v. 8-12) After the healing took place, describe the man’s interactions with his neighbors
Below you’ll see some options for ministry time with your group. We always encourage you to reserve time in your group to pray for one another and wait on the Holy Spirit.
•In what situations are you quick to have a pity explanation for someone’s misfortune? Repent and pray and relinquish your judge’s robe to the Lord. Over the next week, take note of how this shift impacts your relationships with God and others.
•Take some time to praise the Lord for those seasons when, through suffering, “the work of God” was displayed on you.