Thursday, April 2, 2009

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Lifegroup map 4/5/09  “House of Mercy”  John 5:1-18


Please choose any One of the following Ice breakers:

(Everyone doesn’t have to answer the same one… pick the one you like!)

·        Explain how you’d come up with better Icebreakers than Craig’s…

·        Which is the most important ministry a Church can provide?

·        Did anyone pull-off a good “April fool’s” joke on you this past week?


Life exploration time:  Read out-loud John 5:1-18


Summary of JN 5:1-18

Jesus is traveling to Jerusalem for an unnamed Jewish religious feast (there were three main festivals all Jewish males were required to attend annually in the OT).  Jesus appears near the sheep gate where the pool of Bethesda is.  There’s an ancient, near-mythological, story of an angel healing the 1st person to enter the water whenever the angel stirs up the water.  Jesus miraculously heals a completely helpless man who has been immobilized for 38 years… on the Sabbath, and incurs the ire of the Jews because of their extra-biblical regard for Sabbath regulations.  BTW: Bethesda literally means “House of Mercy.”  Jesus equates Himself with God as He identifies Himself as God’s Son; this is then considered grounds for killing Jesus by the Jews. 


~ What would it feel like to YOU to be completely helpless for 38 years, and, how would that affect a person?


~ Why do you suppose Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed?


~ Explain why Jesus instructs this particular man in JN 5:14 not to sin?


~ From 5:7 & 5:13 the man (#1.) wasn’t expecting Jesus to heal him, and (#2.) he didn’t know who Jesus was.  Jesus still takes a risk and heals him on (#3.) the Sabbath day.  Why do you think Jesus heals this man despite these three particular circumstances?


~ How can we as followers of God avoid such attitudes and the type of mistakes the Jews in this story made?  (Mistakes such as prioritizing rules over people, misunderstanding God, and being contrarian towards God.)  After all—these Jews were well-intentioned & thought they were honoring God!


Personal reflection:

Am I really introducing people to God… more than I’m potentially interfering with their connecting with God?

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