February 10 Everyone is included / / Jesus focuses on those far from Him
Key Passages: John 9:1-41 (Jesus heals man born blind) & Acts 15
Writer: Mark Riggins
In 1995, I was serving in the US Air Force and stationed for one year in South Korea. When my plane landed in Seoul, I was immediately surrounded with the sights, sounds, smells, and culture of a place that was . . . well . . . foreign to me. Suddenly, because of language and cultural barriers there were limitations on where I could go and things I could do because it was too difficult to navigate.
For centuries Christians have made Christianity so complex that many people write it off as confusing and irrelevant. The tragedy is when someone is interested in turning to God but they do not turn to the church because they have found the church too difficult to navigate.
Today, let’s see how this problem surfaced in the early days of the church, how they dealt with it then, and how we should deal with it now.
The message of Jesus is for everyone, so we shouldn’t create obstacles for anyone.
Readings: Acts 15:1-21
For context, John 9:1-42 is an example of Jesus demonstrating the simplicity of Gospel (“I was blind but now I see”).
- How were you introduced to Christ? Did it seem simple or complicated at the time?
- Read Acts 15:1-2. The Jewish Christians were adding circumcision to the list of things you needed to do in order to become a Christian. Over the years, how have you observed Christians complicating the message of Jesus?
- Read Acts 15:3-11. Why do people have a tendency to make things complicated?
- What is the simple message of Christianity?
- Read Acts 15:12-21. How can we continue to keep the message of Christianity simple and accessible to everyone?
- What happens if a church unintentionally makes it more difficult for people who are turning to God?
- How can you partner with the church to keep the message of Jesus accessible to people who are turning to God?
- If there’s someone far from God in your life whom our group could pray for?
Memory Verse: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” Acts 15:19
Prayer Focus: Let’s pray that we will see people the way God sees them and that God would develop our hearts for those who don’t know Him yet.