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Bible Study: Helping marginalized people

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passage: John 5:5-16

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some typical responses we or others might have toward persons in need?
  • What did this miracle of the man’s healing reveal about Jesus?
  • What can you do to minister to someone who is hurting or marginalized?

Food for thought:

On His way into Jerusalem for an unspecified festival, Jesus found a large number of people gathered as usual around the Pool of Bethesda. In addition to travelers from the northern territories who stopped to wash and rest, many chronically ill and injured people gathered around the pool. Jews and non-Jews alike believed the waters had healing powers.

At this point, Jesus encountered a disabled man who had been lying at the pool for a long time. When Jesus asked the man if he wanted to get well, the man pointed out that no one was available to help him get in the pool when the water was stirred. Jesus directed the man to stand, pick up his mat and walk. The man instantly was healed when he followed Jesus’ command.

Jewish leaders questioned the man since he was carrying a mat on the Sabbath. He told them that the One who had healed him told him to do so. However, he was unable to identify Jesus for them. Later, Jesus found the man in the temple and instructed him, “Do not sin anymore” (v. 14). The man reported to the Jewish leaders that Jesus was the One who healed him. At this, the Jews began persecuting Jesus since he had done this act on the Sabbath.

This encounter demonstrates Jesus’ lordship over all creation. It also illustrates the value He places on all people. Each person we encounter is no different from the man at the Pool of Bethesda. As Christians, we can offer compassion to others and affirm Jesus’ work in their lives.

Where are you likely to encounter people who are hurting or who have been marginalized? We don’t have to look far to see people in need of help. Be ready for these opportunities. Consider how you can compassionately help others. Allow the Lord to use you to serve others as a display of your faith in Him.

Explore the Bible

Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/ExploreTheBible.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources