Looking back over your notes, what did you find most helpful, challenging or interesting in this week’s teaching?
1. Oftentimes in our culture people aspire to be like celebrities. 2016 was a year abnormally filled with celebrity deaths and many people were emotionally rocked. Were there any musicians, actors, etc. that passed in 2016 that particularly struck you? Why or why not?
2. Celebrities may be a source of adoration or even admiration, but that doesn’t mean we always aspire to be like them. Role models need to have something more than fame or talent. Who is someone that has been a role model in your life? What did they do?
For Christians, Jesus is the one we aspire to be like. Not in everything, perhaps—we aren’t anyone’s Savior and we won’t ever die on a cross (hopefully!). Still, we can aspire to love like Christ. One of the ways Jesus loved people was by understanding their pain, by having compassion. Compassion literally means to suffer with someone—to feel their pain. Please read the following passages about Jesus’s compassion. As you read, underline the things Jesus saw in people that aroused his compassion.
Matthew 15:32 (NIV)
32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
Mark 6:34 (NIV)
34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Matthew 20:29-34 (NIV)
29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
What insights did you have reading these selections?
It’s pretty normal to feel compassion for suffering people. In what ways do you think Jesus’s compassion went beyond what’s normal? What is special about Jesus’s love?
2. Jesus demonstrated his love in many practical ways. Besides feeling compassion for people, he served them with great humility. In the following passage, we read about Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Understand that this was like a king throwing his robe down on a puddle to help a peasant keep his feet dry. It wasn’t just generous; it seemed downright inappropriate. Please read the passage and note the instruction Jesus gives at the end.
John 13:12-17 (NCV)
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and sat down again. He asked, “Do you understand what I have just done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that is what I am. 14 If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet. 15 I did this as an example so that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, a servant is not greater than his master. A messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
What insights did you have reading this passage?
What are some practical ways in the modern age that we can serve with great humility? Washing feet isn’t as degrading now, even if it is gross to us. What’s a form of service that’s truly humbling?
Bringing it Home
What do you think is the most important thing to remember from this week?
How is your group doing serving the needy? Is everyone involved? How can you get everyone to be unified in loving like Christ?