For further thought and discussion:
1.What was helpful to you in this week’s sermon? What didn’t you understand?
2.As you approach the holiday season, what are you anxious to discuss with relatives or family members? What have you been anxious about discussing in the past?
3.Read Luke 4:18-30. How do the crowds in Jesus’ hometown react to his preaching (4:22-24; see also John 1:10-11)? Why are they unable to accept the content of his message? Can you think of ways you’ve discounted those close to you based on background knowledge (i.e. you knew them when they were little; you know their family history, their past behavior, etc.)? Can you think of ways others have done this to you?
4.Read John 7:1-10. What do Jesus’ brothers assume about his motives? Why do they think Jesus has gone into ministry? Why is it easy for us to assume the motives of those close to us? Can you think of ways family members have done this to you? Of ways you have done this to them?
5.Read Mark 3:31-35. Why is Jesus’ family seeking him (see v. 21)? Why would they have felt pressure to stop Jesus’ ministry (see vv. 22-29). What does Jesus do in response? Can you think of ways you’ve pressured family members to conform to expectations merely to keep up appearances? Can you think of ways this has been done to you?
6.How does Jesus respond in each of the above scenarios? How does Jesus display love towards his extended family (see Luke 2:40-52; Mark 7:9-13; John 19:28-29; Acts 1:14)? What can we learn from Jesus’ example?