22 Jan Discussion Guide: Miracles Week 3
Before We Get Started
For our discussion today we will be using the sermon series discussion guides. If you would like to follow along you can access this discussion guide on the website at mosaicchurchaustin.com and then select “community group resources” in the menu options.
Because the main goal of our time together is to establish relationships and learn how to walk with one another in all that God has called us to be and do, we’d like to begin by praying for one another. So, does anyone have anything you’d like us to pray for or anything to share regarding how you’ve seen God moving in your life that we can celebrate together?
This Week’s Topic
Today, we continue our series titled, Miracles. We are looking at some of the miracles, or signs, that Jesus Christ performs in the Gospel of John in order to see what those signs all those years ago have to say to the lives we live today. In the process, we are believing for miracle breakthrough in our own lives, in our church, in our city.
The Miracle of Sight
Have you ever had to navigate your way through a dark room or along a physically dark path? What’s it like to be unable to see where you’ve come from or where you’re going?
John 9:1-12, 35-39
“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 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.” “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said.”
“Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
The disciples’ question, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” highlights the human tendency to assign blame either to others or ourselves when our circumstances include pain, suffering, or lack.
What do we gain by assigning blame? What do we lose?
When Jesus told the disciples, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him,” he asked them to focus not on the people involved but on God, who could rescue the people involved.
When we are faced with circumstances in need of a miracle, how does focusing on God affect our regard for the people experiencing the need? How does it shape our faith in God and our understanding of his presence in the world?
“After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (this word means “sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”
How does the miracle in John 9 reveal Jesus as a divine authority?
Why did the authority of Jesus offend and threaten the religious leaders of his day?
How does it offend and threaten people today?
In this miracle, we witness Jesus’s divinity in this act of creating eyes that can see and then sending the man on, blessed and commissioned.
How does our culture define being “blessed?”
How does our culture’s idea of who ought to be blessed compare with what we see Jesus do here by blessing a man others regarded as fallen or broken in some way?
John 9:39-41 (CSB)
Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.” Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things and asked him, “We aren’t blind too, are we?” “If you were blind,” Jesus told them, “you wouldn’t have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.
In the passage, and in Jesus’s time in general, sin and judgment were commonly discussed and debated. However, today, people often shy away from discussing or even pondering those topics.
What is the connection Jesus is making between blindness, sin, and judgment?
How does avoiding the uncomfortable spiritual concepts of sin and judgment create blindness in our lives?
Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark
“…new life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”
How can submitting to Jesus’s authority in our lives help us to “see” and find light to lead us through the darkness?
What practices can help us embrace God even when he has led us into the dark?
What can help us endure until the day God displays his glory in the challenges we endure?
Timothy Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering
“Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.”
Does anyone present face dark circumstances that require a miraculous solution? Take some time to pray for the light of God’s love to birth new life in that person’s life and in Austin at large.