UNPACKING THE WEEK
- This has been a very heavy week. The unjust killing of George Floyd, the country’s response to the killing, the continued effects of Covid-19, and then NASA and SpaceX successfully sending a rocket to the space station. Can you try and articulate what you felt/thought as all of this unfolded this week?
- What do you think it means that “fixing our eyes on Jesus” is a practical step to changing our hearts towards racism? Why would that be true?
INTRO QUESTION—Have you ever made a solid well-intentioned effort to read the Bible? What happened? What was the result?
Context: This week we want to fix our eyes on Jesus by exploring Jesus’s identity. In response to the question, “what is the identity of Jesus?”, two things stand out.
- Jesus is the communication of God
- Jesus is the Beloved of God
READ HEBREWS 1:1-3
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
- What do you think the phrase, Jesus is “the communication of God,” means?
- Respond to the quote, “Jesus is not merely a moral example; He is the truth made person.”
READ LUKE 3:21-23
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.
- When you look at this text in context, what miracles, sermons, or ministry has Jesus performed prior to this moment (at least as it is recorded)?
- This declaration from God the Father over Jesus happens before Jesus has done anything of note. Luke has yet to record a single miracle or sermon. This declaration is made prior to Jesus starting his ministry. What does this say about God’s love for us?
- Have you ever struggled with the idea that you had to earn God’s love? How does Luke 3:21-23 counter that idea?
READ HEBREWS 4:14-16
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
- In Jesus, we have a God that can completely identify with His people. Why does that matter? What is significant about God being able to identify with humans? What might be different if God could not identify with people?
CLOSE IN PRAYER