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Sample Sermon Outline: Healing the Hurts of Life

By Jere L. Phillips

John 11:1-46

ETS: Jesus cared about Martha and Mary's pain. He was willing and able to heal their pain by raising Lazarus and giving them faith in Himself.

Proposition: Jesus cares about us and wants to heal our pain through faith in Him.

Objective: To lead the people to bring their pain to Jesus and allow Him to heal them.

Introduction: Remember your first bike ride? Maybe you got a skinned knee and asked your mother to kiss it and make it well. Wouldn't it be great if all the hurts of life could be healed with a mother's kiss? Let's face it. Life hurts. Most people occasionally experience such severe personal pain that they think they are unique, that "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen."

Background: John 11:10-18

I. Pain Is a Universal Experience (vv. 19-20)

Some pain is physical, the result of injury or illness. Some pain is emotional, imposed by friends and foes or rising from our own fears or frustrations. Whether the hurt is real or imagined, it still hurts and usually is associated with some kind of loss.

 A. Different in kind (physical, emotional)

 B. Different in degree (pain threshold)

 C. Some pain is open (striking out)

 D. Some pain is hidden (callusing the heart)

II. People React to Pain Differently (vv. 21, 32b)

Death. Divorce. Disease. Disasters. They are all alike. They cause loss; loss produces grief; grief can lead the best of us to question God, raising our faces and fists toward heaven and asking, "Why?" Do we really think that having some rationale for loss will make the pain less? Hurting people are seldom rational. We really want someone to blame. Hurting people sometimes tend to hurt other people, striking a physical form because the real source of pain is often intangible. If God is supposed to be in charge of the universe, why did He let this happen? If He is good and powerful, how could He not prevent something like this from happening?

 A. Withdrawal ("Where do you go when you hurt deeply?")

 B. Aggression (Striking out at others)

 C. Questioning the goodness of God ("Lord, if you had been here our brother would not have died.")

 D. Overcompensation (Do more, be more, win more: "How do you express

your pain?")

III. Jesus Understands Your Pain (vv. 23, 33-35)

God does understand our pain, whether we are ready to believe that or not. What sickness have we suffered that could equal the pain of the scourge? What injury can we experience that approaches the wounds of the cross?

 A. Rejection ("He came to His own, and His own received Him not.")

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