It is difficult to relate to the suffering of Jesus. He was sent by God to die on the cross. There was no other way the world could be saved from sin.
When His time came to die he set an incredible example by praying for those who were crucifying him (Luke 23:34) but why did he ask the Father to forgive them?
Read about Jesus suffering in 1 Peter 2:21-24. He was willing to suffer even though He deserved none of the mistreatment He received. What comforted Him in His suffering?
What does Romans 5:8-10 teach us about Jesus and His love for His enemies?
This week we want to consider Jesus’ attitude toward those who wanted to do Him harm. We know He taught in the sermon on the mount that we are to “love our enemies, do good to those that hate us, bless those who curse us” (Luke 6:27-28). Is there any example in the life of Jesus where He practiced what He preached?
John’s gospel records two incidents in which the Jews tried to stone Jesus. This is certainly not an exact parallel to people who might mistreat us today but perhaps it is a starting place for our discussion (more to come tomorrow).
John 8:56-59, John 10:31-36, John 11:7-10.
Again, twice the Jews took up stones intending to kill Jesus. How did he respond?
What else do you see in these accounts?
As we saw yesterday, Jesus was a Jew but during His day the Jews were ruled by the Romans. There were different attitudes among the Jews toward the Roman rule. Sadducees received their power from the Romans and so they tried to conform. Pharisees thought they alone were holy and were blind to the reality that Rome ruled (John 8:33). Zealots were a more radical party and sought to rebel.
In an attempt to get Jesus into trouble He was asked whether or not it was lawful to pay taxes to Rome.
How does Jesus answer and, more importantly, what is the logic behind His answer?
How would we follow His example?
Luke 19:41-44, Matthew 23:37-38
Jesus was a Jew and the Jews did not have much political power in His day. The Herod’s had political power within their own country but everyone was ruled by the Romans.
In our reading we see Jesus coming to the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, and we see His concern for the country’s future. How are His feelings expressed? Why was He so concerned about the city and nation?
In today’s story Jesus encounters a man who is going through one of the most difficult trials of life: the sickness and death of a child.
As you read the story note the contrast between the man and his friends and their attitude about what has happened and the attitude of Jesus. They are naturally distraught. What does Jesus say in the narrative?
Jesus raises the girl from the dead and that does not happen today. But is there any sense in which what Jesus says IS true when we lose loved ones today?
How can we be more like Jesus?
In Mark 4:35-41 we read that one evening Jesus ordered His disciples to cross the sea of Galilee by boat and as they crossed a great storm suddenly arose and the ship appeared to be sinking.
Contrast the reaction of Jesus with that of His disciples.
What do you think? Is this just a miracle, or is there a lesson for us about how we should react in the “storms” of our lives?
What else impresses you about this account?
Filed under Faith, Trials, Trust
There were spiritual conflicts between Jesus and his physical family. His response to those conflicts teaches us about our relationship our own families.
In John 7:5 we are told that His own brothers did not believe in Him and in Matthew 12 we see that they were concerned about His work and teaching. It was this conflict coming to a head which led Jesus ask the question in Matthew 12:46-50, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” How does He answer His own question?
Is Jesus answer there “too extreme”? Does it mean He does not appreciate His physical family or honor His mother?
Thinking back to yesterday, what does its say that Jesus entrusted the care of His mother to John, and not to His physical brothers?
NOTE: If you are in the Jacksonville area join us for a review of these lessons Wednesday night at 7 pm at 1796 Old Middleburg Road North.
Jesus was born into a physical family with a mother, father, and eventually brothers and sisters. There are references to His submission to His parents (Luke 2:40, 50, 51).
Jesus love and sense of obligation to His mother is illustrated in His words to her and John as He was dying on the cross: John 19:25-27.
What do we learn about our obligations to our parents from Jesus instructions to John?
Another example of Jesus compassion: Matthew 9:35-38.
What “touched His heart” on this occasion? How is this different from the earlier examples we saw? How would we apply this one to ourselves?
Many times in the Bible we are told Jesus had compassion on the sick and hungry.
What is compassion?
What do you see about the compassion of Jesus in Luke 7:11-17? How can we be like Him?
Bonus: Jesus felt compassion toward the sick and healed them. If we are going to be like Him then we should we should feel compassion and though we cannot perform miracles like Jesus there are great resources available to us if we are willing to help.
Jesus miracles validated His claim to be God’s son. How does our being compassionate validate our claim to being God’s children?