Do you remember those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books that were all the craze at one time? They had all these multiple endings that a person could arrive at simply by choosing how they would respond to certain events and circumstances. Like, for instance, in a story where terrorists take you and your classmates hostage you can choose to give the terrorists your limited cooperation, all the while secretly getting information to the president and the army… Or you can give the terrorists your wholehearted cooperation and spend the rest of the book going to terrorist school and becoming a fully engaged radical extremist for a drug cartel….and no, I’m not making that up.
Anyway – the point is, our choices and responses effect the way life plays out, and never more so than when it comes to the kingdom of God. How we respond to God’s kingdom closing in on this world will have varying results in accordance with our response. That is something Jesus will highlight in the section of Matthew we’ll be reading this Sunday, Matthew 11:20-30.
Jesus gives some of his harshest rebukes outside of the religious leaders in v20-24. What is the repeated reason for their looming judgement? Do you think Jesus is angry with these people? What do you believe is motivating his words? What appears to be the result of rejecting God’s kingdom?
In v25-27 we see that everyone didn’t reject Jesus’ presentation of the kingdom. Who does it say it was revealed to? What do you think is significant in the contrast between the “children” and the “wise and understanding” ones? What implicit attitudinal response seems necessary for recognizing and embracing God’s rule through Christ?
Some of Jesus’ most beautiful words are spoken in v28-30. Here’s the thing – read them. Read them again. Read them from the Message version. Read those words out loud and hear them coming from Jesus to you, personally. Tell me how those words make you feel. What is the result of surrendering to God’s kingdom through Jesus?
This will be a great passage to dig into! Hope to see you Sunday!