Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lazarus: Our Suffering, God's Love (John 11)

- Briefly summarize the story of Lazarus for your group

- Have one person read verses 4-6. Why did Jesus not go immediately to heal Lazarus?

Make sure the group understands that it was not because he didn’t love Lazarus. Verse five is clear about that. The true answer is because he sought to bring glory to God. Push the group to try to explain how Jesus’ delay would bring glory to God. Ultimately, help them to understand that Jesus had already healed many people, by raising a man who had been dead for days, he would be able to demonstrate his power in a new way. This would be instrumental in bringing many people to belief.

- Have a student read verse 35. Why do you think Jesus wept?

- Have a student read verse 40. How did Martha get to see the glory of God?

- What event that would soon follow do you think Lazarus’ resurrection was a foreshadowing of?

- How does Lazarus’ resurrection give us hope?

- How should Lazarus’ resurrection change our view of suffering?

“Our suffering + God’s deliverance = Glory to God”

- Challenge the group to be “future minded”. Even when things seem to be bad, tell them to remember that God is in control, and just like he loved Lazarus, he loves them. He hurts when they hurt, he cries when they cry. His love and his power give us great confidence that he will never give us anything which is bad for us…

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