I as sorry to say that there is no Audio for this week but here is what we talked about:
God Is with You in the Dark
Do you remember the first time that you felt God’s love? Where were you? What did you feel and experience? What was your life like after you experienced God’s love?
When you experience the love of Christ for the first time, it can feel as if you are seeing for the first time. Colors are more vivid……the trees, sky, and sound of birds more beautiful. Jesus’ love changes us, and it changes how we see the world, ourselves, and others. This is because Jesus is our light and our life. As John wrote, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (1:4-5).
The darkness is powerful and comes in many forms: guilt, sin, trauma, anxiety, fear. When you are in Christ, it’s not that you will never experience these things again. Rather, in the midst of them, you will have the light of hope and healing. You will view the darkness in a new way—as something that is temporary, that does not define you, and from which you are safe.
Unfortunately, even the most religious among us can still be held captive by darkness if we have not received the freedom of Christ. This week, we are looking at a miracle that John relates in which Jesus gave sight to a blind man. Although the feat was truly miraculous, the most religious of the group—the Pharisees—were not impressed. There reason is because they were themselves blind…..not physically but spiritually.
Perhaps you will see a part of yourself in these characters, either in the Pharisees or the blind man who experienced the healing touch of Christ. Perhaps you will be reminded of the moment you first experienced God’s love. Or perhaps that moment is still to come for you. Either way, keep your eyes open. Don’t miss what Jesus has to offer you.
When you are going through a difficult time, are you a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty kind of person?
Have you ever had a dark place in your life that was healed by Jesus? What was it like to see that darkness turn to light?
- Read John 9.
1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.
What question did the disciples pose to Jesus when they first saw the blind man on the road? Why do you think they asked this question? What was Jesus’ response?
It couldn’t have been pleasant for the man to have Jesus streak saliva-soaked mud on his eyes. But be forewarned: God still uses less-than-pleasant remedies today help us see. Have you ever had to undergo a difficult remedy to see something that God wanted to show you? If so, what was the remedy? What were you able to see as a result?
Why did Jesus choose to heal the blind man? What did the blind man have to do to receive it? What lesson can you take away from this story?
Not everyone was impressed with Jesus healing the blind man. How did the Pharisees treat the man? Why do you think they responded this way?
What did Jesus do when he discovered the man born blind had been cast out of his community? What hope does this give you in your own life?
If you wear glasses or contacts, you know what a difference those vision-enhancements can make……and you can only imagine what it would be like to naturally have 20/20 vision. Spend some time in your group brainstorming what it would look like to have 20/20 spiritual vision. What would you know and understand? How would this vision affect your behavior, your relationships, your thoughts, and your attitudes?