Date: March 26, 2023
Session Title: Jesus Opened My Eyes to the Truth
The Point: Jesus led me to increasingly see who He is.
Get Into the Study
After asking the opening question, share this recent news article.
Point out that some snakes can make themselves camouflage to hide from prey, making it difficult to detect the snake. Snake catchers know this. To show how well a snake can be camouflaged, show the image from Snake Catcher warns of perfectly camouflaged beast hiding in plain sight—can you see it?
As you recap the content in “Get Into the Study,” share that sometimes something like a snake can be “hiding in plain sight.” The truth can often be like that for those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus.
Transition into the Bible study by saying: Today, as we look more into the story of the blind man, we’ll see an example of how Jesus can heal and how some lack spiritual eyes to see the truths in front of them.
Get Into the Study [Option from the Young Adult Leader Guide]
Display several optical illusions for the group to examine. Use this activity to introduce your study of how Jesus opens our eyes and changes our perspective about truth and life.
This option gives the group an opportunity to discuss what they see and recognize how people can look at the same image but see totally different things.
Get Into the Study [Option from the Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide, p. 22]
After asking the opening question: When have you missed something, only to find it sitting in plain sight?”, explain that sometimes our eyes seem to play tricks on us, and we miss the obvious thing right in front of us. Display a couple of these ambiguous images (a picture that is an optical illusion where two viewers can look at that same image and see totally different things).
Call for volunteers to name what they see in the picture and contain with the directives in the Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide.
Study the Bible
After reading John 9:35-38, ask: Have you ever been blind to something that you can now see? Allow time to discuss.
Explain: According to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading cause of blindness is cataracts. Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens and is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, and the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. Cataracts can occur at any age because of a variety of causes and can be present at birth. Although treatment for the removal of cataract is widely available, barriers such as insurance coverage, treatment costs, or lack of awareness prevent many people from receiving the proper treatment.
- 20.5 million (17.2%) Americans aged 40 years and older have cataract in one or both eyes
- 6.1 million (5.1%) have had their lens removed operatively.
- The total number of people who have cataracts is estimated to increase to 30.1 million by 2020.
Say: Imagine being blind for years but not realizing you had access to a procedure to restore your sight.
Ask: Would you have the procedure if you could? Allow time to discuss. The answer should be, “Of course I would have the procedure.”
Explain: Scientists debate many of the causes of cataracts. The consumption of sugar is one such issue that scientists have been studying for years. Refer to this recent study from Science Daily titled Research Challenges ‘sugar hypothesis’ of diabetic cataract development (January 25, 2023). Here’s the summary to review with your group as time allows:
New findings contradict previous notions about sugar’s role in the onset of diabetic cataracts. Using an animal model that more closely recapitulates type 2 diabetes in humans, the research team found early signs of damage in the eye before the onset of type 2 diabetes, suggesting that diabetic complications may start during the pre-diabetic state.
Scientists are always studying and learning new methods to treat and cure blindness. As believers, we should always seek to “have our eyes open” to see the truth from God’s word. The trickiest part about being deceived is that you don’t know you’re being deceived. Like having an issue with our sight, we can have trouble with the ability to see truth in our lives and live life “just going through the motions”—never realizing we can encounter Jesus, who is truth. It’s only when we encounter Christ that our perspective can change and we gain a proper understanding of truth and life.
Point out that we are all blind on some level and need to encounter Christ so our perspective can be transformed by truth. We need Jesus to open our eyes and heal our blindness, to give us the proper understanding of truth.
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.
- What is the most breathtaking scene you have ever seen?
- When have you been overwhelmed by something right in front of you?
- Why do people presuppose that problems are always the result of sin?
- How can difficulties bring glory to God?
- How might even the challenges in our lives be part of the way “God’s works” are displayed?
- How does this passage shift the way we view suffering in light of Jesus’s words?
- What are some ways God’s works are “displayed” in our lives?
- What makes a personal testimony so powerful?
- Why are we sometimes hesitant to ask God for things only He can do?
- How can suffering embolden us to share the good news of Christ?
- What are some specific ways you have encountered God or experienced His power?
- What are some obstacles that prevent people from recognizing God’s work today?
- Why is worship the natural response of one whose life has been changed because of Jesus?
- What actions might we need to take to help persons who have been mistreated by religious people?
- How has your understanding of Jesus grown over time?
- How would you describe what it means to “believe” in Jesus?
- How has your understanding of Jesus changed or developed throughout the course of your life?
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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