On Sunday Jeremy talked about Jesus’ invitation to those who were thirsty to come to him and drink. Despite this, we often turn to other sources to get our spiritual thirst quenched. The challenge is to become aware of this pattern and learn to rely on the Spirit more.
Circle the words that best describe the approach you take when you are in a disagreement/conflict:
- clam up - angry - calm
- power up - uncomfortable - clear
- direct - smooth it over - afraid
- stumble over words - argumentative - avoidant
- defensive - persistent - patient
- logical - emotional - threatened
- other(s): __________ - ____________ - ____________
Now, which of these characteristics would you like to find in the other personyou are having a disagreement/conflict with?
Looking at Scripture:
Read John 8:31-59.
Make a list of the negative things Jesus is says about his hearers of in this passage:
- e.g. slaves to sin -
Who is he accusing of these things? So far in this gospel Jesus has reserved some of his harshest words for the religious leaders (Pharisees, etc.). However, they are not mentioned in this passage. Why do you think he is being so direct with/hard on this audience?
How does this passage help us get a greater understanding of how Jesus understood himself and his mission?
We live in a society in which Jesus words in this conversation would likely be viewed as extremely rude and arrogant. If Jesus was Canadian and speaking to a crowd in 21stcentury Canada, do you think he would have softened or changed his message? Why/why not?
Jesus is not afraid to offend even those who are just starting to believe in him. There is no question about where he stands and what he believes to be true. He speaks with great confidence and directness—even when delivering a challenging and unpopular message.
How can we, as his followers, better walk in his footsteps when it comes to being clear on and direct about what we believe? How is this in tension with our desire to overcome negative stereotypes against Christians and not turn people off?
Is there anyone in your life you could give the gift of being clearer and more direct with, even if it meant risking confrontation?