28 Mar Discussion Guide: What About Week 7
Before We Get Started
For our discussion today we will be using the sermon series discussion guides. If you would like to follow along you can access this discussion guide on the website at mosaicchurchaustin.com and then select “community group resources” in the menu options.
Because the main goal of our time together is to establish relationships and learn how to walk with one another in all that God has called us to be and do, we’d like to begin by praying for one another. So, does anyone have anything you’d like us to pray for, or anything to share regarding how you’ve seen God moving in your life that we can celebrate together.
This Week’s Topic
This week we conclude our series titled What About? We have been taking a look at emotional, cultural, and rational reasons for not only why we can believe the claims of Christianity, but also why would should want to believe those claims to be true. Today, we finish out our discussions by asking the question, “Can we really believe Jesus is who He claimed to be?”
Why You Can Have Faith In Jesus Christ
Do you think what we believe about Jesus of Nazareth really matters? If so, why? If not, why not?
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“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.”
Why do you think Jesus has been such a controversial figure throughout the course of human history?
Why might someone want to claim Jesus was either a legend, a liar, or a lunatic?
John 10:30, Jesus claims to be equal to God
“I [Jesus] and the Father are one.”
Luke 7:48, Jesus claims to have the power to forgive sins
“And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.””
John 5:22-23, Jesus claims to be the Judge of all things
“For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”
John 8:58, Jesus claims to be eternal and refers to Himself as I Am, which is the name God used in the Old Testament to reveal Himself to Moses
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.””
John 14:6-7, Jesus claims to be the only way to obtain eternal life
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.””
Matthew 28:9, Jesus allows the women to worship Him following His resurrection.
“And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.”
After seeing these claims Jesus made in Scripture, would you say it is a logical conclusion to say Jesus was simply a good moral leader or just a wise teacher? Why or why not?
If Jesus made these claims, as the men who claimed to have been eye witnesses to those moments say He did, then what options do we have in regards to how we respond to them?
If His claims are true, then what are the implications to us today?
If His claims are not true, then what are the implications to us today?
Tacitus (Roman historian & senator), Annals A.D. 14-68
“Therefore, to scotch the rumor, Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men, loathed for their vices, whom the crowd styled Christians. Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus, and a pernicious superstition [believed to be a reference to Christian claims of Jesus’ resurrectin] was checked for the moment, only to break out once more, not merely in Judea, the home of the disease, but in the capital itself, where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and find a vogue.”
“The Jews proposed the ridiculous story that the guards had fallen asleep. Obviously, they were grasping at straws. But the point is this: they started with the assumption that the tomb was vacant! Why? Because they knew it was!”
The claims and recognition that the tomb Jesus’ body was laid in was in fact empty just a few days later, have been recorded in both Biblical and non-Biblical, historical accounts. The fact that the tomb was empty is proven historically.
What are some possible explanations as to why the tomb was empty?
What is the most plausible and logical explanation? Why do you say that?
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
If we truly believe Jesus is who He claimed to be, did what Scripture claims He did by living the life we have not lived, died the death we deserved to die, and rose again to conquer sin, death, hell, and satan, how should that affect the way we live?
Why would someone say they believe all of those things and yet still live a life that, as Gandhi says looks, “so unlike your Christ?”
‘”What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
What would you say the life of a Christian community should look like, and what kind of impact might that have on the world around us?