Catriona Foster 11am 5th May 2013

St John’s Small Group Study Notes

From Catriona’s sermon on 5th May 2013

Click here to download a printer friendly version of these study notes.

Passage: John 5:1-9 The healing at the pool of Bethesda

The Pool of Bethesda – archaeological remains show an authentic biblical site
Picture scene at the pool. NOT sanitised surroundings; conditions may not have been very nice – poverty, dirt, heat, hunger, begging, groans of pain. Also hopelessness and hope. How typical of Jesus that as He makes His way to the temple, He goes firstly into the messy, mucky situation where people are in great need.

What needy situations are around us? Are you willing to enter into peoples’ situations even outside your comfort zone?

v 4 missing from NIV – comes from less accurate manuscript (see bible footnote). What do you imagine happened in terms of the water being stirred and having healing properties? Does it really matter? What do you think was important to John as he wrote the gospel?

Three thoughts from passage

1.God says “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen 18:13)

Spend some time thinking about this miracle, imagining what it would have been like.

Physical healing doesn’t always happen, and things don’t always turn out as WE think they should. God is powerful. He can do the impossible and whatever the need is, He is well able to deal with it, but in the way He sees fit – our part is to trust Him. Thinking not just about physical needs but any kind of need – spiritual, practical, need for wisdom, patience etc etc

Share any testimonies of times when you have trusted God to meet your needs.

“The outcome of how our needs are met is not really the issue. The issue is do we trust God that He is able to meet our needs and work in our behalf.” Discuss this statement.

Two things at work here – (1) the truth that nothing is too hard for the Lord and (2) our faith in that fact. In what way did the man at the pool show faith?

2. “Who is this fellow?” (John 5:12)

Who asked this question, and why? Did the man know the answer?

What can we learn from this in terms of the work of the church (see Luke 5:31,32)?

(Read 5: 10-14 to see the 2nd encounter he had with Jesus)

Think of all the different people that might have been lying around the pool of Bethesda, eg some not knowing about the possibility of being healed; some not believing in the healing; some not bothered about trying to get into the water? In what ways might they represent the various needs of people today?
Who around you is in need of Jesus?

In what way(s) can you (as an individual or as a group) bring Jesus to them?

Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours (Teresa of Avila)

3. “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)

Why do you think Jesus asked this question?
In what situations might this be a good question to ask ourselves? (Think not just in terms of physical needs, but also spiritual condition, behaviour patterns, etc)

For personal reflection & prayer – have you become used to a particular condition or behaviour pattern in such a way that you hold on to that security rather than being open to something else that God may have for you?

8th May 2013 Posted in: Sermon Notes by Fran Varley 0

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