1.In what ways do people still say not true when it comes to Jesus? Why do they do this? Sonic people are inclined to make decisions on the basis of what seems rational to them.
While God gave us winds and expects us to love Hint with those minds (compare Matthew 22:37), we need His revelation through Scripture to make accurate spiritual decisions (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).Others are inclined to trust their feelings and subjective impulses. While God sometimes con-firms our decisions through such subjective means (Acts 2:37), these sieges cannot be trusted in and of themselves.
The popularity of a decision or the number of people making the same choice also is an un-trustworthy means of assessment. The majority is not always right (though the minority is not al-ways right either).
2.What causes people to reject Jesus as their source of spiritual guidance in favor of some-thing or someone else? How do you protect yourself from making this kind of mistake?
In some cultures many people reject Jesus be-cause of His absolute and exclusive claims. If He claimed to be a way to God rather than the way to God, they would find Him less offensive. If He offered ethical suggestions rather than commands, He would be more acceptable.
Pride deludes others into thinking that they have no need for spiritual guidance at all. These people prefer to live life without accountability. Believers, who claim Jesus as their source of spiritual guidance, guard themselves against falling in to this error through prayer. Prayer by its very nature recognizes that God exists and that we are answerable to Him.
3. How does God’s protection of Jesus provide spiritual encouragement to you? What are some dangers of directly applying this example to our own lives?
We can derive great spiritual strength and contentment front knowing that God’s ultimate purposes are never thwarted. Nothing and no one could stand in the way of Jesus’ mission of reconciliation! It is comforting to be reminded of God’s authority and power (Isaiah 55:11).
The uniqueness of Jesus’ person and work must also be noted, however. God undoubtedly protects and sustains His people as an expression of His concern for us and for His global mission. There are no passages in the Bible that guarantee that God will preserve our earthly lives. Through Christ, however, He does provide significance to our earthly lives and an eternal hope beyond them.
4.The lesson describes John 12:37-50 as bridging Jesus’ public and private ministry. How does His example help us balance concern for the crowd with concern for the individual?
Jesus’ example demonstrates that all people need the gospel; therefore, it is appropriate and necessary to present the message to anyone and everyone. While Jesus taught the masses, He also focused on pouring His life into a few. Jesus’ relationship with the 12 disciples reflected this dynamic. Limited quantities of time, energy, and resources limit our ability to minister equally to each and every individual we encounter. Even so, a few people may warrant our most intense efforts as God leads.
5.How can we get people to accept the idea that there is such a thing as “spiritual darkness”? How important is this in getting them to see their need for Jesus?
If a person doesn’t believe that he or she is “lost,” you probably won’t be successful in giving him or her directions! Helping others to see their condition as spiritual darkness may require powerful images to be effective. One thing that may make this a bit easier is that the word dark is already used metaphorically in modern culture (example: “I was in the dark on this”).Dark can relate to fear because places of complete darkness often create that emotion. Both physical and spiritual darkness are places of great danger. Realizing the seriousness of one’s spiritual condition can motivate people to seek the gospel. Complete darkness brings with it a sense of helplessness. This, in turn, creates a greater sense of longing for light and the security it brings. People won’t see the need for security in Christ unless they first realize their helpless condition.