April 29, 2018
1. In his book, Habits of the Heart, Robert Bellah argues that freedom is the most deeply held, most resonant American value -- but it is a freedom that can be defined as "leave me alone!" Do you agree with Bellah? Are there ways that common misconception of freedom shapes our own understanding of true freedom?
2. In 8:31-32, Jesus insists that true freedom is only possible for those who make Him their Master. Why was this so offensive to the crowds? Why is it difficult to accept as well?
3. In 8:34-36, Jesus tells us that He sets us free from the slavery of sin. How is sin a form of slavery? What does it mean that Jesus, the Son of God, has freed us from our sin?
4. In what ways do the Jews in the crowd insult Jesus?
5. What has Jesus saved us for? Why is this such an essential ingredient of true freedom?
6. Are you 'hearing the words of God' (v. 47)? Are you giving them your full attention? What about when those words clash with your desires, and your dreams, and even your expectations? Like when God’s words about generosity challenge your selfish spending habits? And when God’s words about envy shine a spotlight on your jealously over our friend’s success? And when God’s words about sex condemn your lust or His words about marriage interrogate your relationship with a non-Christian?
7. Why were the Jews so infuriated by what Jesus says in verse 58? What is Jesus saying with these words? How should we respond?
8. What is one take-away for you from this passage?