Welcome to week nine of our fall sermon series called A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus. This week we take a look at the effects of sin brought into the world with Adam, and how Jesus reverses the curse of sin and fulfills the role Adam was unable to live out. Jesus reverses the curse of death and acts as a second Adam bringing new life.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What is the best costume you’ve ever worn? What did you wear it for?
Is there anything major going on in someone from the group’s life? How can your group pitch in to care for them or be there for them through it?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Work together to read through John 11:1-45. Who are the main characters in the story? What is the big “problem” Jesus is faced with?
As we enter the beginning of the story, Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus is sick. How does Jesus respond? How might his response have appeared puzzling to those around him?
What answer does Jesus give for waiting to go to his friends in verse 4? How does Jesus’ response make you feel?
In the sermon this week, Pastor Aaron Buer mentions that as the second Adam, Jesus broke into the old world (of the first Adam) with his new world, showing us that he can bring purpose in the midst of tragedy. There are times when God has a higher priority and purpose than our current comfort or happiness, so that “… we might see Him more clearly and that we might believe in him more fully.” What did he mean by this? Are you ok with that?
Have you ever experienced something tragic that God redeemed and later, you realized you grew through the situation? What was that like?
Sisters Mary and Martha experience the same pain. They say basically the same thing to Jesus yet respond in very different ways. How do they respond (verses 20-35)? How does Jesus answer and respond to their unique needs?
Mary needed a friend to cry with, while Martha needed to be encouraged with truth to trust. How does Jesus’ response to both sisters invite us to trust him with our unique ways of grieving?
During times of tragedy and pain, it is easy to feel lost and confused. How do people show this in our culture today? Why is it so important that we resist the urge to pull away from The Row during this time?
Have you found it easy or difficult to trust God in the midst of tragedy or pain? What are some practices you used in the midst of tragedy or pain to help yourself trust God?
Pastor Buer expressed that Jesus cries out in anger. What was Jesus angry at? Why do you think he was angry? How does his anger relate to being the second Adam?
Why is it important, when we are angry about a loss or sickness, that we direct our anger toward sin and not toward God? How might one take their anger to God without blaming him for the pain at the same time? How did Jesus do this?
When have you ever experienced a time where a death or illness made you angry at the effects of sin in our world? What was this grieving process like? How did God meet you in that situation?
How are you encouraged by knowing that God is angry about sin, sickness, death, and the consequences of sin in our world? How does it give us permission to feel anger over these things?
Read John 11:45. What is the ultimate outcome of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead?
How does this miracle, from death to life, show Jesus’ power as the new Adam—the one who broke the curse of sin?
For all who belong to Jesus, what is the hope they now receive through Christ’s death and resurrection? How does Revelation 21:3-4 show us a picture of what this will look like?
In which area do you most need to grow as you look back at today’s topics of discussion? Do you need to be reminded of God’s purpose for your life even in the midst of tragedy? Do you need to trust Him in painful circumstances as you are reminded of his presence with you? Do you need permission to grieve and be freed to be angry over sin’s effects on our world? Or do you need to be reminded to hope in the promise of new life over death one day? What’s one step you can take this week to grow in this area?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
As we begin to think about the fall, is there someone unconnected to a group that you could add to your group? Spend some time thinking about the different people you know. Maybe it is a co-worker, a former small group member or someone you serve with. Who might need what your group has? Come up with a plan to invite them to join your group.
Download a printable PDF here.