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Sabbath School Lessons on The Role of the Church in the Community
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 11: Jesus Bade Them, "Follow Me." *
Introduction: Do you have knowledge about marketing? I don't. But, I
do have some common sense. My guess is that the first principle of
marketing is to believe in your product. Our lesson this week
encourages us regarding God's attitude toward us. Another important
marketing principle is to determine who is most likely to want your
product. Our lesson this week shares with us some pointers on those
who are most likely to be converted. Let's plunge into our study of
the Bible and learn more about marketing the gospel!
- Seeing and Hearing
- Read John 9:1-2. This raises some questions about the God
who calls us to follow Him. What do the disciples think
about the nature of God? (He punishes people with
blindness because of their sin or the sins of their
- Do you like that picture of God?
- Read John 9:3. What does Jesus say about the nature of
God? (That bad things sometimes happen to glorify God.)
- Do you like that picture of God?
- Read John 9:4-5. What is our obligation toward God? (We
were created to work for Him. This makes the comment about
the blind man more understandable. Whatever our situation,
our destiny is to advance God's will.)
- Read John 9:6-7. What is God's work here? (To heal the
- How can it be God's will for this man to be blind and
God's work to give him his sight? ( John 9:3 did not
say it was God's will that he be blind, but rather it
was an opportunity to display the work of God.)
- What does this say about God's work and the
tragedies of life? (God's work is to repair the
- Read John 9:8-12. If we are studying Jesus calling people
to Him, why would Jesus not stay with the formerly blind
guy and explain the gospel?
- Read John 9:13-17. How does this conversation advance the
- Read John 9:24-25 and John 9:30-33. The formerly blind guy
starts out saying that he only knows that Jesus healed
him. Is that true? (Hardly! The formerly blind guy then
proceeds to make a great logical defense of Jesus.)
- Read John 9:34. If you were one of the religious leaders
would the formerly blind man's argument cause you to
reconsider your position?
- Were these "disciples of Moses" open to the truth?
- Read John 9:35-38. Why is the formerly blind man so open
to the truth?
- Let's revisit our initial discussion. Were you a bit
uneasy about the idea that this fellow was born blind
to bring glory to God?
- If so, ask yourself whether you would rather be
him right now or the religious leaders?
- When Jesus comes to take the saved home to
heaven, who would you prefer to be?
- Read John 9:39. I thought Jesus came to this earth because
He loved us. Why does Jesus say He is coming for
"judgment?" (Can you see how the work of Jesus (and our
work) is all directed towards the judgment? The important
thing is not whether we are blind or suffering in some
way, the important thing is the judgment and eternal
- Read John 9:40-41. What is the key to the judgment? (Jesus
teaches us that having a lot of knowledge about religious
things is not the key to a favorable judgment. Rather, it
is a willingness to believe in Jesus.)
- Read John 10:1-3. Continuing on the theme of "seeing," who
is the "watchman?" (Someone with responsibility for the
sheep. Opening the gate could be an illusion to the Holy
Spirit opening hearts.)
- Read John 10:4-5. We go from a story about seeing and a
reference to watching, to a story about hearing. How are
the hearing sheep different than the Pharisees and the
formerly blind man? (The sheep are people who have already
accepted Jesus. The formerly blind man and the Pharisees
are people who are confronted with the issue of whether
they will believe in Jesus.)
- What does this suggest about the way in which we
should present the gospel? (People in need are an
opportunity for the work of God. Since Jesus first
healed the blind man, we find a mix of helping and
sharing the logic of the gospel.)
- What do the Pharisees teach us about sharing? (There
are those who simply will not listen.)
- How does Jesus treat those who will not listen?
(Jesus is blunt with them. He says (John
9:41)that they understand, and they are guilty
- Read John 10:6. We have a lot of concepts rolling around
in the listening sheep story. Do you think you understand
Jesus' message? (I could use more clarity.)
- Read John 10:7-10. Wait a minute! Jesus says He is the
"gate." How is Jesus the gate? (Jesus is again talking
about judgment. He says those who enter "through Me will
- Look again at John 10:10. What is Jesus' goal for the
formerly blind guy? (That he have life to the full.)
- We started out with two rather scary pictures of God.
One picture has God directing terrible punishment on
sinners. The other picture is that we could suffer
just to help God's work. What is the picture we find
in John 10:10? (Whatever happens on earth, God's goal
is to give us life, and not just life, but "full"
- Read John 10:11-15. Jesus tells us that He is not only the
gate, but He is also the shepherd. What is Jesus' main
point about the shepherd? (That he puts the interest of
the flock above his own interest.)
- What do you say about that picture of God? Is that a
compelling picture, a picture that draws you to
- If you answer, "yes," what does this say about
your ability to see and hear the things of God?
- Read Luke 19:1-4. What do we learn about Zacchaeus? (He
was smart, short, rich and a tax collector for the Romans.
He wanted to see Jesus.)
- Do you think Zacchaeus thought he would have a
conversation with Jesus?
- Read Luke 19:5-7. Why do you think Jesus had a different
reaction than the people?
- Let's revisit our first story. Read John 9:30-34.
What opinion did the people have of the fellow born
blind? (He was "seeped in sin at birth." Recall that
even Jesus' disciples had a similar view ( John 9:2).)
- We think the Pharisees were sinners, the Pharisees
thought the rest were sinners, and everyone thought
the blind guy and Zacchaeus were sinners. Which
sinners should we pursue?
- Re-read Luke 19:4 and read Luke 19:8-10. How difficult was
it to convert Zacchaeus? (It was easy!)
- Compare the difficulty of converting the Pharisee sinners
with the difficulty of converting Zacchaeus. What is
different between the two? (Zacchaeus was chasing Jesus!
The Pharisees were opposing Jesus. We need to learn a
lesson about bringing people to Jesus. We need to reach
out to the community, but then look for those who are
interested in the gospel, rather than on those who are
enemies of the gospel.)
- Friend, have you considered how you can bring others to
Jesus? I think the Bible tells us to go for the "low
hanging fruit" - those people whose hearts are opened by
the Holy Spirit to an interest in the gospel. I don't
think we are supposed to spend time on those who reject
(or who actively oppose) the truth. Will you today seek to
reflect God's wisdom in seeking the lost?
- Next week: Urban Ministry in the End Time.
* Copr. 2016, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.