Trying Times and Closed Minds

This Sunday as we continue through the book of Luke we’ll be reading ch 22:54-71. Things have taken a dangerous turn in the narrative. Jesus is arrested, beaten, mocked and subjected to an unjust trial. Yet before we get to that, we read an account of Peter who followed Jesus at a distance after his arrest, and who finds himself fulfilling to the word what Jesus predicted he would do that night.

Put yourself in Peter’s sandals. Have you ever been in a situation where hostile people have suddenly turned their attention to you? What did you feel and what did you do in that environment? Peter distances himself from Jesus as a measure of self-protection – have you ever been tempted to do the same? Have you ever thought it might be easier to figure life out on your own with the intention of returning to Christ later? What does Peter’s experience and his response in v62 teach us when it comes to our closeness to Jesus?

Now put yourself in the sandals of the temple guards who were beating and mocking Jesus. Why do you think they felt the need or even the right to do that? Do you see a contrast between the guards and Jesus – and what might that contrast communicate to us about how God’s kingdom operates in this world?

The trial before the Sanhedrin was a master-class in hypocrisy. Many Biblical scholars have pointed out all the ways in which Jewish laws were broken in conducting the trial the way it was. What does it tell us about the religious leaders that they were willing to violate their own laws to accomplish their goal? Jesus makes some strong declarations which we’ll explore on Sunday – but his bold assertion was based on something other than the Sanhedrin’s assessment of him. What perspective did he identify himself from? How might his example lead us to a more stable response when others are hostile towards us?

It will be an intriguing study, I hope you can join us!

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