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New Hope Youth Ministry News
April 8th, 2024

Details, Reminders, Important Things to Know, and Plans for Wednesday Night

News:

I hope you all had a great spring break. See you all Wednesday. 

Reminders:

 

Murder Mystery Night: April 20th, 8th Graders and High School Students- For this to be successful, we need a list of interested students and small group leaders. Please chat with your groups and see who is interested.  Dinner is provided at 5-8 PM on the 20th, and there is minimal requirement to dress up or go all out for it. Please personally send your students the invite and registration form; it will also go out in Remind.  Murder Mystery Registration Link

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Wednesday Lesson

The miracles Jesus performs are fascinating.  Like most of God’s work and word, it's more than just a surface-level blessing for people.  Each miracle allows us to see more of God and his work today and is a window into the human condition.

From my research, scholars can align with 37 miracles recorded in the Gospels.  Some add a few more, and we know that all of Jesus’ work was not recorded, so there are more.  As you prepare this week for small group time, I would encourage you to do a little bible study of your own and share a miracle with your students that really captures your thoughts, perhaps one you personally relate to. 

For our time together, I will focus on just one miracle that will open the door to some fun and perhaps interesting small group conversations.  Jesus’ healing of the demonically possessed in the region of Gerasene, a demon called Legion. Then, the subsequent destruction of 2000 pigs as they stampede off the cliff and drown.

There are a few things to consider as we look at this miracle. Three gospels share in the recounting of this event, and they have some differences. Matthew speaks of 2 men, while Mark and Luke only talk of one.  Matthew offers the smallest description of the event, while Mark and Luke give an extended one and even provide commentary between Jesus and the possessed man.  Scripture differences are okay; they should not cause us to discount the truth but look deeper.  In this, we can see that Mark and Luke focus on the primary man in the story. The story is not special because of number of men, it’s the conversation that brings us insights into the limited power of the demonic and most importantly the unlimited power of Jesus.

This miracle shows us some important truths we need to hold to as we think about the limited power of the demonic.  Evil/the demonic/Satan do have the ability and desire to influence man.  The demonic desire is to destroy, not just influence, a power so great it causes 2,000 pigs to run to their deaths.  Jesus is greater. As Jesus shows up, the demons come running to him, breaking the chains holding them. They “know” who he is, and they come running and knee before him, they cannot resist Jesus. The demonic is no match against son of God, they fear him. They already know they have lost. They bow down in his presence. They even ask Jesus’ permission to move to the pigs.

There is an interesting truth here. When you know the truth about Jesus, you cannot resist him. Jesus is irresistible. 

When the townspeople hear about the healings, they come running to Jesus to ask him to leave. One of the men who was healed came running to Jesus. He begs to go with him, to follow him. When you experience Jesus, He is irresistible. The miracle ends with a unique twist: Jesus does not allow him to go. He leaves him behind to share his story with the townspeople. They need to know not what Jesus has done but who Jesus is, and they find him irresistible.

Life application: How often have we heard about Jesus and sent him away because we are scared? How many times have you felt the irresistible draw of Jesus when you cannot explain it?

Small Group Questions:

  • What do we find out about the man who met up with Jesus in this scene?

(Describe everything that comes to mind)

  • What are demons? Where did they come from? Fallen angels, created by God.

  • How did God treat the demons in our story?

  • How do you think the demons knew who Jesus was? Why were they afraid of him?

  • How did people who saw what happened respond?

  • Why do you think the crowd begged Jesus to go away?

  • How did the man who was set free from the demons respond?

  • Why did Jesus tell him he couldn’t go on the boat?

  • What do we learn about Jesus from this story?

Harder Questions:

  • What questions do you have about the story? What do you wonder about?

  • How did the story challenge or encourage you?

  • What amazes you the most about Jesus?

  • What miracle do you think would have amazed you the most?

  • How should we respond to Jesus today?

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