Date: March 12, 2023
Session Title: Jesus Restored My Life
The Point: Jesus restored what was broken in my life.
Get Into the Study
Use the following story as an alternate introduction to this session.
Ask: Can you name five of the people who rank among the top 10 richest people in the world?
Allow time to discuss names and net worth of each person. Refer to this list from Forbes which shows the world’s realtime billionaires for aiding your discussion. (Referencing these individuals is not an endorsement of their beliefs—many are atheists—nor their business practices.)
Point out a few of the top richest people one by one, explaining that each person on the list—even if they didn’t come from wealthy parents—they can’t be described as “self-made” because—on some level, each person had help from others to increase their wealth and knowledge in some way.
- #2 on the list (updated 2/20/23) is Elon Musk: While Musk is wealthy from founding companies like Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company, he was born into a wealthy family. His mother was a model and his father was an engineer—to say nothing of all of the staff, team members, connections, and partnerships surrounding his companies who have helped Musk throughout his career.
- #3 on the list is Jeff Bezos: He is the founder of Amazon.com. While Bezos was not born into wealth. He accepted an estimated $300,000 investment from his parents as early investors in Amazon.
- #5 is Warren Buffett: He was known for running Berkshire Hathaway, which is invested in over a couple of dozen companies like Apple, Geico, Bank of America, Chevron, Coca-Cola, and more. While Buffett is most known for his investing strategies over the years, his father was a United States Congressman and Buffett was able to buy his first stock at 11 years old.
Lead into today’s study by pointing out that a greater wealth is available to each of us—eternal life with Christ—but we cannot acquire such “wealth” on our own. As we will see in one paralyzed man’s encounter with Jesus, we need His intervention.
Study the Bible
Use the following for help in teaching John 5:2-7 where we see that the disabled man was desperate for help that no one else could provide.
Say: I wonder, if Musk, Bezos, and Buffett—and any of the world’s richest people would have become rich without the help of others? Perhaps allow for some discussion before pointing out the following.
Explain: As you think about some of the world’s richest people, they needed help. They accepted help in the form of family, money, and early investments in companies, to partnerships and networking with other wealthy people. Also, think about this, consider the schools most wealthy individuals attend and the books they have read. There is no such thing as a “self-made” person. No matter how independent a person may feel or say he is, we all need the help of others to be successful.
Even Buffett and Bezos, like you and I, need more help than money, education, and network opportunities. We need Jesus Christ. When we let Him, He meets us at our deepest need. The disabled man in this passage needed help. You and I need help. And we need more than just money and wealth. The world’s richest people may have money and companies and can buy what they wish, but they need the peace, restoration from brokenness, and life that only Jesus Christ can offer.
Jesus helped the disabled man by providing what no one else could. Jesus stands wanting to give the world’s richest people—and you and me—the same restoration.
EXTRA was written by Ryan Sanders. He holds the ThM and MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ryan serves as Lay Pastor at McLean Bible Church, is married with three children, and lives in Washington, DC. Find more about Ryan at RyanJSanders.com.
Study the Bible [Option from the Young Adult Leader Guide]
To reinforce your discussion of John 5:2-7 and supplement the corresponding commentary, show a picture(s) of the pool at Bethesda to the group.
This option gives the group an opportunity to imagine and discuss the smells, noises, and atmosphere that might have been present at the time of these events.
Study the Bible [Option from the Adult Leader Guide, p. 32]
Print the lyrics to a hymn that captures the healing Jesus brings. “He Touched Me” is a good example. Invite a group member to lead the group in worship. Then close in prayer.
- When have you been in a situation where you felt helpless?
- Why do you think DIY programs are so popular?
- What do you find most striking about this encounter?
- What are some occasions when you’ve felt like this paralyzed man?
- What are some places you see hopelessness or desperation in society today?
- How have you experienced Jesus as the Healer (Jehovah-Rophe)?
- How has life with Jesus exceeded your expectations?
- Where do you experience tension between what God wants and what our culture wants?
- When has Jesus met your needs in a surprising way?
- What are some evidences that God has given you life?
- What does Jesus teach us about the relationship between God the Father and Himself?
- How have you experienced God’s power in your life?
- What can we learn about Jesus from this passage?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
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Walter Rowell says
So Jesus enter through the same gate as the sacrificial lamb did?
Healed a man and gave him salvation?
Am I getting a contrast that is out of context?
Lynn Pryor says
Jesus entered through the same sheep gate the sheep were brought on their way to the temple for sacrifice. Jesus healed, but it is unclear if the man chose to trust and follow Jesus after his healing.