Here’s a few sermon discussion questions to help our church love God by applying his word to our lives. Feel free to use these questions for personal reflection, alongside your family, within a smaller discipleship/journey group, or even within the context of your Life Group. If you missed Sunday’s sermon from John 5:1-14 you can view it online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=davwNXKwio8
TPQ’s – Thought Provoking Questions:
Pastor Aaron started his sermon with a few statements that are often misquoted and thus misrepresented as scripture. These included, “money is the root of all evil” and “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Can you think of any other statements like this that often misrepresent scripture?
Another false statement mentioned was “God only helps those who help themselves.” How is this statement in opposition to the gospel?
THE INVALID MAN
We see early on in this passage that this invalid man was known and cared for by Jesus. First he was known (John 5:6); there is the possibility that this man was not just invalid but also had no motivation to get better. While he had in fact suffered for so many years, there also seems to be no indication that he wanted to get better. This is why Jesus’ first statement to him was, “Do you want to be healed?” Essentially Jesus is asking for a response that will result in action. No more would this man be given the proverbially “handouts” but he would need a radical shift in his life to change his circumstances. But, the question remained, do you want to be healed?
There is much hope for us in a similar situation. Often times we can wish we had different circumstances in our lives. These circumstances can be characterized by sickness, financial hardship, relational tensions, job dissatisfaction, having toddlers (j/k their a blessing!), or by the mere fact that you don’t have something (or someone) that everyone else around you seems to take such delight in. Whatever it is, the Lord Jesus knows you, cares for you and moves towards you. While he might not give you the “thing” you’re desiring most, he still knows you intimately and has promised to meet all of your needs. (Romans 8:32) I’m reminded of the Charles Spurgeon quote, “Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, Divine Love, would have put you there.”
Read Psalm 139:1-6 How is the fact that the Lord knows intimately good news? How is the fact that the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves scary news? Yet like this man, he still moves towards us in compassion and heals us.
As pastor Aaron highlighted, we see Jesus moving towards individuals in his ministry. We’ve seen that with this invalid man, the Samaritan woman, Nicodemus, John the Baptizer, and some of his disciples. By way of application for this section, who is the individual you’re moving towards? Who do you have compassion for that you want to see ultimately healed by Jesus? Share that with your LG and pray for them as a community. If you can’t identify someone, think through the co-worker or neighbor who’s having a hard time. Maybe it’s someone in your Life Group that you feel the Lord prodding you to cultivate a relationship with.
So right off the bat from this healing, we see Jesus come into a head on collision with the Jewish leaders. Pastor Aaron pointed out the response of seeing this man healed. Instead of rejoice at this man finally being able to care for himself – they legalistically rebuke him for “breaking the sabbath.” (John 5:10)
How would you define legalism?
Legalism could be defined as any attempt to rely on self-effort to either attain or maintain our justification before God.
Paul’s letter to the Galatian church is to combat this very thing. After the hall of fame truth of our identity in Christ (verse 2:20), he says this, “If righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. – Galatians 2:21
Tim Keller says this about it, “Legalism is looking to something besides Jesus Christ in order to be acceptable and clean before God.”
Paul Tripp says this about it, “Legalism devalues grace by looking to the law to produce what only grace can accomplish.”
Pastor Aaron said in his sermon that legalism can be defined as “taking scripture out of context.”
In your experience, how have you seen legalism cause damage inside or outside the church? How can we protect our Life Group from becoming a community of damaging legalists? Be practical and specific!
For more controversies between the Jews and Jesus, check out Luke 6:1-5, Luke 6:6-11, Luke 13:10-17 & Luke 14:1-6. These are great to see more of the insight Jesus had on God’s law as well as how he responded to opposition.
Lastly, how would you answer the question – “why doesn’t Jesus meet all the needs of suffering people?“ Close in praising God for our greatest need being met through Christ and the hope we have of deliverance.
Next Sunday’s Passage: Philippians 1:27-30