“The Bible’s purpose is not so much to show you how to live a good life. The Bible’s purpose is to show you how God’s grace breaks into your life against your will and saves you from the sin and brokenness otherwise you would never be able to overcome… religion is ‘if you obey, then you will be accepted’. But the Gospel is, ‘if you are absolutely accepted, and sure you’re accepted, only then will you ever begin to obey’. Those are two utterly different things. Every page of the Bible shows the difference.” – Tim Keller
- Think of something you are very good at, a specific skill you have obtained, or a subject area you know very well. This could be related to your profession or perhaps your emphasis of study in college/university. Once you have identified at least one skill or area of knowledge imagine someone challenging your skill or knowledge in front of your co-workers or peers. Describe how you would feel emotionally and how you might react.
- By the end of John chapter 9, this is the situation the Pharisees faced—being informed that because they claim to see, they are in fact still in their sin (9:40-41). Read John 9:13-17. In this first interaction between the blind man and the Pharisees what fault did they find with what Jesus did? What kind of objection is this and was it legitimate?
- Read John 9:18-23. Why do the Pharisees bring in the blind man’s parents? What were they hoping to discover? And finally, did they find what they were looking for and would it even matter?
- Read John 9:24-34. In this final moment of questioning do the Pharisees discover any new information about the healing? Does the content of the Pharisees’ questions reveal anything about how they understand their relationship with God? What about the blind man—does he reveal anything about his understanding of God?
- Read John 9:35-41. Throughout the entire passage there has been an explicit contrast between seeing and failing to see. In the end, who really sees, and more importantly, how has this sight come about?
- Read the Tim Keller quote above. Of course the contrast between “religion” and the “gospel” in the quotation corresponds to the contrast between blindness and seeing in the passage. Most of us would likely say we believe the “gospel”—but how do you actually live? Discuss what occupies the functional trust of your heart; that is, whether on a daily basis you are trusting in God’s grace in the gospel or something else.