Lesson 11

Jesus Bade Them, "Follow Me."

(John 9 & 10, Luke 19)
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Introduction: Do you have knowledge about marketing? I don't. But, I do have some common sense. My guess is that the first principle of marketing is to believe in your product. Our lesson this week encourages us regarding God's attitude toward us. Another important marketing principle is to determine who is most likely to want your product. Our lesson this week shares with us some pointers on those who are most likely to be converted. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more about marketing the gospel!

  1. Seeing and Hearing


    1. Read John 9:1-2. This raises some questions about the God who calls us to follow Him. What do the disciples think about the nature of God? (He punishes people with blindness because of their sin or the sins of their parents.)


      1. Do you like that picture of God?


    2. Read John 9:3. What does Jesus say about the nature of God? (That bad things sometimes happen to glorify God.)


      1. Do you like that picture of God?


    3. Read John 9:4-5. What is our obligation toward God? (We were created to work for Him. This makes the comment about the blind man more understandable. Whatever our situation, our destiny is to advance God's will.)


    4. Read John 9:6-7. What is God's work here? (To heal the blind.)


      1. How can it be God's will for this man to be blind and God's work to give him his sight? ( John 9:3 did not say it was God's will that he be blind, but rather it was an opportunity to display the work of God.)


        1. What does this say about God's work and the tragedies of life? (God's work is to repair the tragedy.)


    5. Read John 9:8-12. If we are studying Jesus calling people to Him, why would Jesus not stay with the formerly blind guy and explain the gospel?


    6. Read John 9:13-17. How does this conversation advance the gospel?


    7. Read John 9:24-25 and John 9:30-33. The formerly blind guy starts out saying that he only knows that Jesus healed him. Is that true? (Hardly! The formerly blind guy then proceeds to make a great logical defense of Jesus.)


    8. Read John 9:34. If you were one of the religious leaders would the formerly blind man's argument cause you to reconsider your position?


      1. Were these "disciples of Moses" open to the truth?


    9. Read John 9:35-38. Why is the formerly blind man so open to the truth?


      1. Let's revisit our initial discussion. Were you a bit uneasy about the idea that this fellow was born blind to bring glory to God?


        1. If so, ask yourself whether you would rather be him right now or the religious leaders?


          1. When Jesus comes to take the saved home to heaven, who would you prefer to be?


    10. Read John 9:39. I thought Jesus came to this earth because He loved us. Why does Jesus say He is coming for "judgment?" (Can you see how the work of Jesus (and our work) is all directed towards the judgment? The important thing is not whether we are blind or suffering in some way, the important thing is the judgment and eternal life.)


    11. Read John 9:40-41. What is the key to the judgment? (Jesus teaches us that having a lot of knowledge about religious things is not the key to a favorable judgment. Rather, it is a willingness to believe in Jesus.)


    12. Read John 10:1-3. Continuing on the theme of "seeing," who is the "watchman?" (Someone with responsibility for the sheep. Opening the gate could be an illusion to the Holy Spirit opening hearts.)


    13. Read John 10:4-5. We go from a story about seeing and a reference to watching, to a story about hearing. How are the hearing sheep different than the Pharisees and the formerly blind man? (The sheep are people who have already accepted Jesus. The formerly blind man and the Pharisees are people who are confronted with the issue of whether they will believe in Jesus.)


      1. What does this suggest about the way in which we should present the gospel? (People in need are an opportunity for the work of God. Since Jesus first healed the blind man, we find a mix of helping and sharing the logic of the gospel.)


      2. What do the Pharisees teach us about sharing? (There are those who simply will not listen.)


        1. How does Jesus treat those who will not listen? (Jesus is blunt with them. He says (John 9:41)that they understand, and they are guilty of sin.)


    14. Read John 10:6. We have a lot of concepts rolling around in the listening sheep story. Do you think you understand Jesus' message? (I could use more clarity.)


    15. Read John 10:7-10. Wait a minute! Jesus says He is the "gate." How is Jesus the gate? (Jesus is again talking about judgment. He says those who enter "through Me will be saved.")


      1. Look again at John 10:10. What is Jesus' goal for the formerly blind guy? (That he have life to the full.)


      2. We started out with two rather scary pictures of God. One picture has God directing terrible punishment on sinners. The other picture is that we could suffer just to help God's work. What is the picture we find in John 10:10? (Whatever happens on earth, God's goal is to give us life, and not just life, but "full" life!)


    16. Read John 10:11-15. Jesus tells us that He is not only the gate, but He is also the shepherd. What is Jesus' main point about the shepherd? (That he puts the interest of the flock above his own interest.)


      1. What do you say about that picture of God? Is that a compelling picture, a picture that draws you to follow Jesus?


        1. If you answer, "yes," what does this say about your ability to see and hear the things of God?


  2. Treed


    1. Read Luke 19:1-4. What do we learn about Zacchaeus? (He was smart, short, rich and a tax collector for the Romans. He wanted to see Jesus.)


      1. Do you think Zacchaeus thought he would have a conversation with Jesus?


    2. Read Luke 19:5-7. Why do you think Jesus had a different reaction than the people?


      1. Let's revisit our first story. Read John 9:30-34. What opinion did the people have of the fellow born blind? (He was "seeped in sin at birth." Recall that even Jesus' disciples had a similar view ( John 9:2).)


      2. We think the Pharisees were sinners, the Pharisees thought the rest were sinners, and everyone thought the blind guy and Zacchaeus were sinners. Which sinners should we pursue?


    3. Re-read Luke 19:4 and read Luke 19:8-10. How difficult was it to convert Zacchaeus? (It was easy!)


    4. Compare the difficulty of converting the Pharisee sinners with the difficulty of converting Zacchaeus. What is different between the two? (Zacchaeus was chasing Jesus! The Pharisees were opposing Jesus. We need to learn a lesson about bringing people to Jesus. We need to reach out to the community, but then look for those who are interested in the gospel, rather than on those who are enemies of the gospel.)


    5. Friend, have you considered how you can bring others to Jesus? I think the Bible tells us to go for the "low hanging fruit" - those people whose hearts are opened by the Holy Spirit to an interest in the gospel. I don't think we are supposed to spend time on those who reject (or who actively oppose) the truth. Will you today seek to reflect God's wisdom in seeking the lost?


  3. Next week: Urban Ministry in the End Time.

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