The Untold Story (Side B) – A Profile in Victimhood
(Message 5) We continue with the 5th message in our series in the Gospel of John, “The Untold Story”. Now, we’ve flipped the cassette for our first message on side-B. Jesus heals a man paralyzed for 38 years, but there’s some doubt whether this man truly wanted to be healed or if he would have preferred to remain a victim. What about you, do you really want to get well or would you rather live a life of victimhood? Join us for our message, “The Untold Story (Side B) – A Profile in Victimhood”. #GCTheUntoldStory
1 Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda,* with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.* 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” 9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded. 13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd.
14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.
Deuteronomy 28:58-60 (NLT)
58 “If you refuse to obey all the words of instruction that are written in this book, and if you do not fear the glorious and awesome name of the Lord your God, 59 then the Lord will overwhelm you and your children with indescribable plagues. These plagues will be intense and without relief, making you miserable and unbearably sick. 60 He will afflict you with all the diseases of Egypt that you feared so much, and you will have no relief.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
If you could meet one great leader from history who would it be and why? What makes that person so inspirational or interesting to you?
Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
Read John 5:1-7. Why do you think Jesus asked him such an obvious question? What does his response say about his mindset?
Read John 5:8-13. What do you find so puzzling about this conversation between the religious leaders and the healed man?
Discuss this statement: “The false religion of Judaism, like all false systems, cannot change the inside, so it is left to manipulate life on the outside.”
Read John 5:14-15. What did Jesus mean by this warning? Was it possible that his sin was connected to his physical infirmity? See Deuteronomy 28:58-60 as a reference.
Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
Have you ever worked with, been friends with or lived with someone with a victim mentality? How do you think they ended up there?
On any given day, do you say thank you more than you complain? If not, why not? How can you develop a heart of gratitude?
As you think about some of the moral, physical or spiritual challenges in your life, do you really want to get better? What action are you taking to make progress?
Using the comparisons from the message, are you a mule or a rhino? Why?What makes you want to be the rhino?
True or False. Christianity is an offensive faith? Explain your answer from scripture.
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
Cultivate gratitude daily and move forward assured, knowing you are set free and empowered through Christ.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
Dear heavenly father, thank you for freeing us from sin through Jesus Christ.Please help us to remain grateful, to avoid self pity and to move forward obedient to you and fully trusting in you. -Amen