- How many times have you thought or said, “If only…”? Give examples.
Read John 11:1-16
- While Mary and Martha watched their brother die, Jesus decided to stay another two days in the wilderness across the Jordan (10:40). How may they have felt hearing that Jesus did not come right away and heal Lazarus?
- When have you felt Jesus delaying while you were praying for help?
- What clues do v.41-42 give us regarding why Jesus did not come right away to help his friend?
- What do you think Jesus meant in his cryptic answer to the fears of the disciples (v.8-10)?
Read John 11:17-27
- How does Jesus challenge Martha to look into the future, and at the same time, bring the future into her present?
- How do we bring God’s future into our present?
Read John 11:28-46
- If God is just like Jesus, how does the fact that ‘Jesus wept’ shape your view of God?
- When Jesus asks the people where to find Lazarus they say, “Come and see!” When Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave, He told the people around Him, “Come and see what I can do!” Where have we invited Jesus into our world? He in turn has invited us to see what He can do!
- What is Jesus telling me through this story and what do I need to do in response?
- Talk about a time you experienced something unexpectedly powerful.
Read: Ephesians 1:15-23
- Power is one of the great themes in Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus. That may have been strategic on Paul’s part because Ephesus itself was regarded as a place of power. Socially and civically, the city was powerful and was set to become more of a major player in the Roman Empire of the day. But it was also a center of religious power. Before Paul writes about power, he tells his readers how thankful he is for them. Why is he grateful for his readers (v.15-16)?
- How does Paul blend praise with petition when he prays (v.17)? What are his specific prayer requests for those reading his letter (v.17-19)?
- According to Paul’s prayer, we grow in wisdom the more we get to know God. How does knowing Jesus more help us see and understand things differently?
- What was the greatest display of power the world has ever seen (v.20)?
- Part of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers is that they understand that the power seen at Easter, now vested in Jesus, is available to them daily. Sadly, too many believers are either unaware of this power or don’t access it, which is why he prays that God would open their eyes to see what’s available for them. What should and shouldn’t using this power look like in our daily lives?
- How have you experienced this power in your life? How can this power help you change for the better in your life? Give specific examples.
- What authority does Jesus have now (v.21-22)? Why is this significant?
- Jesus is the head of the church. The church is his body, his hands and feet, carrying out his mission in this world. How can we, his church, act as his agents within the network of relationships in which we live? Give specific examples.
Pray: Thank God for the power we have through Jesus’ resurrection, and ask him to help you see it and access it in your daily life.
God spoke this world into existence. Such is the power of His word. In John 6:33, Jesus tells us that the words He spoke are spirit and life. His Word is living and active. That is the power of the Word of God, and that is the power that all those who have a living faith in Jesus have available to them.
- Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I wish I would _______” or “I wish I wouldn’t _______”? If you could change one or two things about your character, what would they be?
- Hebrews 4:12: “The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Which word of this verse stands out to you? Share some examples of how you’ve seen God’s Word living and active in your life. How has it affected your character? How has it affected your thoughts and attitudes? How has it changed you?
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV): “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Substitute your own name for “the man of God” in this verse and read it to yourself several times. How does this exercise personalize God’s promise for you? What “good work” has God’s Spirit brought to your mind?
- John 8:31-32 (NASB): “If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!” Put these verses in your own words. How would applying this verse change you?
- John 13:17 (NIV): “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” It has been said that, “We’re not blessed for knowing the Bible – we’re blessed for doing the Bible.” Spend a moment and consider some ways you can do the Bible. What has God’s Spirit brought to mind that you can live out this week?
- Mark 12:24 (LB): “Jesus said ‘Your trouble is that you don’t know the Scriptures.’” According to this verse, how might believers avoid some of their problems in life? What are some of the ways that God helps believers through the Scriptures?
- Psalm 119:105 (NIV): “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” This verse was written at a time when people typically used oil lamps that often only gave enough light to take the next step. Why do you think it is important for believers to walk in the light they have without delay?
- What have you sensed God saying to you through this study? What are you going to do about it?