NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week's Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passage: John 6:25-58
Discussion Questions: What are some physical needs that point to spiritual needs? How can we respond to people's earthly needs in a way that points them to Christ's eternal salvation?
Food for Thought:
In John 6, we see crowds following Jesus, hoping to get more food. Jesus redirected their attention away from the physical food they craved to the spiritual food they needed. A similar event is recorded in Luke 5:17-26. A group of men were on a mission. They had a friend who was paralyzed, and they thought that perhaps this Jesus could save their friend from his life of misery and begging.
The men got Jesus' attention, but they got something even better than what they thought they were looking for. Jesus commended their faith, letting them know that their friend's sins were forgiven. Jesus healed the man's eternal paralysis! After all of the great lengths they'd gone to looking for physical healing for their friend, Jesus was more interested in healing souls.
Jesus basically said: "So that you understand I have the power to save you from eternal paralysis, I'll take care of your earthly paralysis. I'm going to prove to you My glory, My majesty, My dominion, My authority as the Son of God right here and right now by healing this man. Yes I want to heal physically, but what I want much more is for you to believe that I can heal your soul!"
It's obvious when you read the story that the men who brought their crippled friend weren't seeking his salvation; they didn't know salvation was a possibility. They just wanted a better life for their friend. But Jesus understood what the man needed better than he or his friends understood. What the paralytic really needed was his soul to be healed.
God was able to use the physical need as a connection point to help the paralytic and his friends understand their spiritual need.The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered curriculum that examines the grand narrative of Scripture and how the Gospel transforms the lives of those it touches. Through a three-year study plan, participants are immersed in the Gospel through stories, theological concepts and calls to missions from Genesis to Revelation. Separate study plans for kids and students/adults ensure the proper focus and depth. The Gospel Project is designed to unify an entire church under a single Christ-centered curriculum. More information, free samples and The Gospel Project blog can be found at gospelproject.com
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool