Here are some questions based on last Sunday’s sermon text (John 11:1-16), in case they’re helpful to you for personal growth or group discussion…
- [4-6] The Scriptures don’t “sugar-coat” the hard realities of life. (It’s a hard idea to wrestle with, that Jesus loving the siblings would look like his delaying coming to them when they called.) Why do people often prefer to sugar-coat things, and avoid talking about difficult things? Do you know people who don’t sugar-coat things? Why don’t they? Why is it important for us to talk honestly about the hard realities of life?
- Jesus doesn’t spare his beloved from all pain, sorrow, loss, grief, or death. How do you feel about that? Does it surprise you? Can you really believe that it is his love that motivates him not to spare you from these things? Why? Can such a love be good? By whose definition?
- Are there hard things in your life that you’ve asked God to change, that he hasn’t changed, that you’re confused about? That you’re perhaps even resentful that he hasn’t stepped in to fix? If so, what do you think that means for your relationship with God?
- Jesus says that his disciples should stick with him (7, 9-10), and indicates that the priority of his love is to reveal himself to his disciples so that they will believe/trust in him (14-15). The one who is with you always is the crucified-and-risen one with resurrection power. Does that comfort you in the sufferings you endure? Can you think of friends who need to be comforted with this relational knowledge of Jesus?