All in For the Outlaw

Sometimes its hard to stand up for what you believe when everyone else see’s things differently.  That is never more true when it comes to our faith in Christ.  Following Jesus means we will have to count the cost of being associated with him in an environment that isn’t always favorable for that.  Joseph of Arimathea had to experience that before any of us…in fact, he was the first one through that gate.

We’re going to read about him in the passage we’ll be exploring this Sunday, Luke 23:5-56.

As you think about who Joseph was in the society and culture of that time, what do you think this act of taking Jesus’ body to bury it would cost him?

Have you ever had to go against the flow of the culture around you to be identified as a follower of Christ?  How did you feel? What became your motivation for paying the cost to be associated with Him? We might think it’s smarter just to keep our faith a secret…but how does that compare to the message of the Gospel?
This is a thought provoking subject for us in a Post-Christian America.  I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.

 

Also – here is the last small group leader’s guide for this quarter: leaders guide 23-50-56

4 comments

  1. This is something that has been on my mind a lot since we’ve moved to Boston. While I was interviewing for jobs I was constantly asked “Why did you move to Boston without having a job secured?” I honestly didn’t know how I should answer… if I told the truth (that I moved here to be a part of a church) I could miss out on getting a job. If I lied I would be, well… lying. I can’t say that I always made the courageous decision.

    Much love, Eastgate!

  2. I have been unemployed for six months.I have been trying to get an office job with no luck. I promised myself and God that I would remove myself from the Bartending atmosphere. When asked why I left, I would say things like, “I’m too old for this job”, not wanting to offend those still working behind the bar. I am catching a lot of grief for not taking any job available, but I believe that this is part of his plan for me.

  3. I think the cool thing about Joseph is he does what he does without any fanfare. He wasn’t like the guys that stand on street corners yelling at “sinners” with their Holy Ghost bullhorns. He didn’t form a parade back to Pilate, all shouting, “We’re going after the body of Jesus.” He just lived in expectation of the kingdom. Too often I have felt like I needed to take a stand; that somehow I needed to protect “Christianity”. It was foolishness of the highest order. Jesus never asked for us to be Holy Ghost Crusaders, he asked us to follow. That’s what I see here. Joseph, in going to Pilate, was surely outed as someone friendly to Jesus. News of this “betrayal” probably made it back to the High Council before Joe left Pilate’s presence. Who knows what this meant for Joe and his family. Yet, there he is, simply doing what he feels is right. It reminds me of the story Ronnie McBrayer told about Dirk Wilhems. Dirk saved the life of the man sent to bring him to his death because he couldn’t do anything else.

    It’s in the following that we are identified as different from others. We don’t need signs, we don’t need slogans; we surely don’t need the bullhorn guys. Have you ever tried walking against the flow at O’Hare or Hartsfield? People will notice. It’s in the following that they will see. It’s in the following that they will know. We can do nothing else.

  4. I don’t know what all was at stake for Joseph as he made this risky decision. Surely his job as he went counter to the rest of the high council Jews, certainly his reputation or status in society and possibly his life? Love always involves risk and Joseph was clearly willing to risk everything to express that love. He held nothing back, challenging and beautiful…..

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