|Jesus: Loud & Clear;
Front & Center (Hebrews)
Why Did Jesus Become A Man
|November 30, 2014|
For the Week of November 30, 2014
Sermon in a Sentence: “The incarnation of Jesus Christ is fundamentally important, for without it, He could not have functioned as our brother, high priest and Savior.”
This Week’s Resources:
- The Compass Bible Study
- Word Search Answer Key
- Lighthouse Discussion Guide
- Lighthouse Leader Study Guide
What is Your Perspective on Suffering?
It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually, it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes… right through every human heart. . . . So, bless you, prison, for having been in my life. [Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, as quoted by Philip Yancey, in Where ls God When It Hurts (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1977), p. 51.]
- Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
- Can you describe a time when you were hurting, and someone was able to comfort you. What brought that sense of comfort?
- Where do you usually turn for comfort when you are hurting? Why?
Read the Text (Hebrews 2:10-18)
Jesus Christ is unique. He is God, greater than all the angels and creation. Yet Christ also became a human being and identified himself with our limitations. He is the one and only God-man. Jesus is able to save us because of his divine perfection. He was willing to save us by submitting to death on the cross and is waiting to save those who respond to him. His suffering not only created a way of salvation for us but also allowed him to identify personally with our struggles as human beings. Christ understands us because he has been human. Therefore, we can trust him not only for our salvation but for our daily needs–whether they are emotional, physical, or spiritual. Read Hebrews 2:10-18.
- Why did God allow his Son to suffer?
- What effect did Jesus’ victory over death have on Satan?
- What can free people from their fear of death?
- Why is Jesus the perfect high priest for us?
- In times of trouble, why do we turn to other people rather than to Jesus?
- Four Ways Pain Forces Us to Look to Jesus [Swindoll]
- The pain of identification. It was Jesus’ suffering that identified Him with humanity.
- The pain of enslavement. The second realm of pain is found in Hebrews 2:14-15.
- The pain of failure. There is a third realm of pain noted in verse 17.
- The pain of temptation. The final area of suffering in our passage for this week is found in 2:18.
How should Christians respond to the pain that comes their way?
What can you do to show God’s love to someone who is hurting?
How might the fact that Jesus suffered help you cope with suffering?
What would you like to say to God about your situation, knowing that Jesus understands?
It is an undeniable fact that usually it is those who have suffered most who are best able to comfort others who are passing through suffering. I know of pastors whose ministries have been enriched by suffering. Through their trials they have learned to “live through” the difficulties of the people in their parish. They are able to empathize as well as sympathize with the afflictions of others because of what they have experienced in their own lives.
Our sufferings may be rough and hard to bear, but they teach us lessons which in turn equip and enable us to help others. Our attitude toward suffering should not be, “Grit your teeth and bear it,” hoping it will pass as quickly as possible. Rather, our goal should be to learn all we can from what we are called upon to endure, so that we can fulfill a ministry of comfort—as Jesus did. “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, niv). The sufferer becomes the comforter or helper in the service of the Lord.
By the way, by “enduring” suffering, God led me to my wonderful wife, Ruth, who was His intended one for me.
Unto the Hills