Discussion Guide: For the Love Week 8

Ice Breaker

One of the things we value within community is fun. In the midst of all the pressures life throws at us, it is our ability to laugh, play and celebrate together that reminds us we serve a good, loving, and resurrected Lord who stands above it all. So, we want to take the first few minutes of our time together to play, have fun, and celebrate the fact that we belong to Jesus.

Today’s Ice Breaker: Botticelli (it was so fun we’re doing it again)

This is a bit complex so read carefully.

Botticelli is a strategic question game similar to 20 questions, but there is one major difference. One player takes on the role of a famous person who would be reasonably known by those trying to guess the correct answer. In a community group scenario, you will choose one person to be the celebrity and all others will be trying to guess which celebrity that person has chosen.

Once the chooser has chosen a celebrity he/she gives the first letter of that celebrity’s name, or nickname if the celebrity is better known by that (i.e. Prince, Merilyn Monroe). The guessers will then ask a question such as, “are you an actor?” Here’s where the game is different from 20 questions. Rather than answering the question directly, the celebrity can attempt to dodge the question by asking a counter question if he/she thinks he/she knows who the guesser is thinking of. For example, if the chooser has chosen Tom Hanks as the celebrity and has given T as the first letter, and the first question is, “are you an actor?” If the celebrity thinks the guesser is thinking of Tom Cruise then he/she can answer the question, “are you an actor?” with the response of, “No, I am not Tom Cruise.”

If the counter question is correct in the assumption that the guesser was thinking about Tom Cruise then the celebrity does not have to directly answer the question, “are you an actor?” If, however, Tom Cruise was not the correct assumption then the guesser gets to ask another question that must be answered directly. If the guesser, at any point in the game, makes a direct guess as to who the celebrity is and the guess is incorrect then they do not get to ask any more questions. The game goes until the celebrity is guessed or until no one is left to ask questions.

What You Will Need:

  • One person to choose a celebrity name
  • A group of people to ask the questions

Watch this video to see how the game is played.

Today’s Discussion

This week we continue our series that will take us into the Fall titled For the Love. We will be walking through the Gospel of John and seeing God’s love as revealed through the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ. We will see that love may not always look and feel the way we think it should, but that if we will allow God’s love to reveal itself to us then our lives will never be the same. 

Discussion Questions

Why do you think different cultures around the world all have a difficult time accepting the Jesus of the Bible? 

Preguntas en Español

¿Por qué crees que las diferentes culturas de todo el mundo tienen dificultades para aceptar al Jesús de la Biblia?

John 8:56-59

Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Why do you think Jesus’ claim to be God matters?

Preguntas en Español

Juan 8:56-59

Abraham, el padre de ustedes, se regocijó esperando ver Mi día; y lo vio y se alegró.”
57 Por esto los Judíos Le dijeron: “Aún no tienes cincuenta años, ¿y has visto a Abraham?” 58 Jesús les dijo: “En verdad les digo, que antes que Abraham naciera, Yo soy.” 59 Entonces tomaron piedras para tirárselas, pero Jesús se ocultó y salió del templo.

¿Por qué crees que la afirmación de Jesús de ser Dios es importante?

Leader Notes

Had Jesus merely claimed to be a prophet or a teacher or even a revolutionary He would have become someone of whom we read about in history books and maybe give credit to for some good moral teachings in the same way we tip our hats to people like Socrates, Plato, or Ghandi. However, Jesus did not claim to be any of those things primarily, He claimed first and foremost to be God come in the flesh to forgive sins and reconcile the world back to His original design. This is immensely important because if Jesus’ claims are false then we should pay no attention to Him because He is a madman who is delusional or an evil man who is deceitful.

However, if Jesus’ claim to be God is true then that changes everything. It means our life is not some random set of circumstances that spontaneously occurred without a purpose or cause. It means that we are not in control of our world or our lives. It means that man’s intellect is not the ultimate power in the Universe. It means that we are accountable to someone for the way we live. And, perhaps most obviously, it means that we are not God. Jesus’ claim to be God come in the flesh is the claim on which all of human life and human history must hinge.

NOTAS EN ESPAÑOL

Si Jesús simplemente hubiera afirmado ser un profeta o un maestro, o incluso un revolucionario, se habría convertido en alguien de quien leemos en los libros de historia y tal vez nos diera crédito por algunas buenas enseñanzas morales de la misma manera en que damos respeto a personas como Sócrates, Platón, o Ghandi. Sin embargo, Jesús no afirmó ser ninguna de esas cosas ante todo. Afirmó, ante todo, ser Dios venido en la carne para perdonar los pecados y reconciliar al mundo con Su diseño original. Esto es inmensamente importante porque si las afirmaciones de Jesús son falsas, entonces no debemos prestarle atención porque Él es un loco que es delirante o un hombre malvado que es engañoso.

Sin embargo, si la afirmación de Jesús de ser Dios es verdadera, entonces eso lo cambia todo. Significa que nuestra vida no es un conjunto aleatorio de circunstancias que ocurrieron espontáneamente sin un propósito o causa. Significa que no tenemos el control de nuestro mundo ni de nuestras vidas. Significa que el intelecto del hombre no es el poder supremo en el Universo. Significa que somos responsables ante alguien por la forma en que vivimos. Y, quizás lo más obvio, significa que no somos Dios. La afirmación de Jesús de ser Dios venido en la carne es la afirmación que toda la vida humana y la historia humana debe depender.

C.S. Lewis, The Trilema

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. … Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”

If His claim is true what are the implications for our lives?

If we’re not living out those implications then, in essence, what are we saying about who Jesus is to us?

Preguntas en Español

Cristianismo…y nada mas! C.S. Lewis

“Estamos tratando aquí de evitar que alguien diga la mayor de las tonterías que a menudo se han dicho en cuanto a Él: “Estoy dispuesto a aceptar a Jesús como un gran maestro de moral, pero no acepto su afirmación de que era Dios”. Esto es algo que no deberíamos decir. El hombre que sin ser más que hombre haya dicho la clase de cosas que Jesús dijo, no es un gran moralista. Bien es un lunático que está al mismo nivel del que dice que es un huevo o el diablo del infierno. Puedes hacer tu elección. O bien este hombre era, y es el Hijo de Dios; o era un loco o algo peor. Escarnécele como a un insensato, escúpelo y mátalo como a un demonio; o cae a sus pies y proclámalo como Señor y Dios. Pero no asumamos la actitud condescendiente de decir que fue un gran maestro de la humanidad. Él no nos proporciona campo para tal actitud. No fue eso lo que Él intentó…. A mí me parece obvio que no fue ni un lunático ni un chiflado; por consiguiente, por extraño o terrible que el asunto nos parezca, hemos de aceptar el punto de vista de que Él era y es Dios.”

Si su afirmación es cierta, ¿cuáles son las implicaciones para nuestras vidas?

Si no estamos viviendo esas implicaciones, entonces, en esencia, ¿qué estamos diciendo acerca de quién es Jesús para nosotros?

Leader Notes

Again, Jesus’ claim to be God has huge implications for our lives. If He is God, the God in Whose image we are made, then He is Lord and King. Jesus is the One for Whom we live. It is His image we are meant to reflect out into the world. It is His Word that we are to submit ourselves to and walk in obedience to. It means we don’t get to just live however we want and treat people, however, is convenient. It means we have a calling and a purpose to love Him and love our neighbor as ourselves.

If we are not living out those implications then very simply put it means that Jesus isn’t really God to us. It means He is not the King of our lives. It means that we think we get to decide right and wrong for ourselves. Regardless of what we may say with our mouths, our actions will reveal the belief in our hearts.

NOTAS EN ESPAÑOL

Una vez más, la afirmación de Jesús de ser Dios tiene enormes implicaciones para nuestras vidas. Si Él es Dios, el Dios de cuya imagen estamos hechos, entonces Él es el Señor y el Rey. Jesús es el Uno para quien vivimos. Es su imagen la que estamos destinados a reflejar en el mundo. Es Su Palabra que debemos someternos y caminar en obediencia. Esto significa que no podemos vivir solo como queremos y tratar a las personas como es conveniente. Significa que tenemos un llamado y un propósito para amarlo y amar a nuestro vecino como a nosotros mismos.

Si no estamos viviendo esas implicaciones, en pocas palabras significa que Jesús no es realmente Dios para nosotros. Significa que Él no es el Rey de nuestras vidas. Significa que pensamos que podemos decidir lo correcto y lo incorrecto para nosotros mismos. Independientemente de lo que podamos decir con nuestra boca, nuestras acciones revelarán la creencia en nuestros corazones.

Mark 10:45

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

2 Corinthians 5:21

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.

What does Scripture mean when it says Jesus came to be our substitute?

How should that claim impact, or influence, the way we treat others?

Preguntas en Español

Marcos 10:45

Porque ni aun el Hijo del Hombre vino para ser servido, sino para servir, y para dar Su vida en rescate por muchos.

2 Corintios 5:21

Al que no conoció pecado, Lo hizo pecado por nosotros, para que fuéramos hechos justicia de Dios en El.

1 Pedro 2:24

El mismo llevó (cargó) nuestros pecados en Su cuerpo sobre la cruz, a fin de que muramos al pecado y vivamos a la justicia, porque por Sus heridas fueron ustedes sanados. 

¿Qué significa la Escritura cuando dice que Jesús vino a ser nuestro sustituto?

¿Cómo debe esa afirmación impactar o influir en la forma en que tratamos a los demás?

Bara Dada, Indian Philosopher

“Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians, you are not like him.”

Glenn Sunshine, Why You Think the Way You Do

“Christians were the first people in history to oppose slavery systematically. Early Christians purchased slaves in the markets simply to set them free.”

 

Would you say the church, historically, has accurately reflected that kind of self-giving love to the world? Why do you say that?

What motivation is required for us to live in a way that does reflect that self-giving love accurately?

Preguntas en Español

Glenn Sunshine, Why You Think the Way You Do (Por qué piensas como lo haces)

“Los cristianos fueron las primeras personas en la historia en oponerse sistemáticamente a la esclavitud. Los primeros cristianos compraron esclavos en los mercados simplemente para liberarlos.”

¿Diría usted que la iglesia, históricamente, ha reflejado con precisión ese tipo de amor al mundo? ¿Por qué dices eso?

¿Qué motivación se requiere para que vivamos de una manera que refleje con precisión el amor auto-entrega?

Closing Thought

How does the Gospel of Jesus reconcile us to that kind of love from which we are to live life?

Preguntas en Español

Pensamiento Final

¿Cómo nos reconcilia el Evangelio de Jesús con ese tipo de amor del que debemos vivir la vida?



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