These questions are meant to be a choose-your-own-adventure. That is, use what you like. Skip what you don’t. And add to it in any way you see fit.
- Nothing original about this question, but here you go…If you could share a meal with anyone (living or dead) this is famous, at least in their own field, who would it be? And why?
- As it concerns people who know and interact with, what qualities do you admire the most?
I Am Not the Messiah
Read John 1.19-23, 29-30
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
- The Jewish leaders seemed to be quite intent to figure out John. He was attracting a lot of attention and gathering followers. It’s not that everyone was impressed with him. His message was “Repent” after all. Even so, he certainly had become a well-known figure. So, what do you make of his answers to their questions? (esp. vs 23)
- What, if anything, does this tell us about John?
Everyone Is Going to Him
Read John 3.26-30
26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” 27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
- We can’t overlook what’s happening here to John. He’s losing the crowds and even disciples to Jesus. Many, in this position, would have been upset or jealous. Can’t you hear someone say something like, “I’ve worked my whole career for this”? Or, “Who do you think they are?” It’s easy for us to overlook the humanness of some people in the Bible. And yet, so it seems, John was secure in his identity, about his role. How does that change a person’s perspective and attitude?
- Read verse 27 again – “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.”
Your Works Are Wonderful
Read Psalm 139.13-14
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
- All of us, at our most honest, would admit that (perhaps, often) we feel like we are not enough or that we don’t do enough. We have a tendency to believe that, somehow, we should be more than we are. When have you experienced this? How does it affect you? What do you do when you find yourself feeling less than adequate?
- How has God created you? What gifts and talents has he given you? What has he given you to do that is worth celebrating?