2023 May 3 | World Changers: Jesus’ Reputation
SMALL GROUP MATERIAL
Small Group Questions:
- How do you gain a reputation?
- Why does our reputation matter so much?
- How do you think Jesus didn’t allow others’ opinions to sway him?
- Jesus used food and drink as his method to reach and save the lost. How can food and drink be an important method today?
- Where are you spending intentional time with those who don’t increase your reputation?
THE MAIN POINT
Jesus got a negative reputation for spending time with those marginalized and hated by society. Jesus knew exactly what kind of reputation he was building.
Jesus’ mission was to save the lost, his method was eating and drinking.
Matthew 11:19 & Luke 19:10
How would you complete the sentence, “Jesus came to _______.” Preach the word? Establish the kingdom of God? Die on the cross?
There are three ways the New Testament completes this sentence, Jesus is referred to as “The Son of Man” and the Bible says:
- “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
- “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
- “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking.” (Luke 7:34)
The first two are statements of purpose. Why did Jesus come? He came to serve, give his life as a ransom, and seek and save the lost. The third is a statement of method. How did Jesus come? He came eating and drinking.
“Son of Man” is Daniel’s label for one who comes before God to receive authority over the nations (Daniel 7). And now in Jesus, the Son of Man has come. But how does he come? Does he come with an army of angels? Does he come on the clouds of heaven? Does he come with a blaze of glory? No, he comes “eating and drinking.”
The Jews of Jesus’ day would have said the Son of Man would come to vindicate the righteous and defeat God’s enemies. They didn’t expect him to come to seek and save the lost. And they would have said the Son of Man will come in glory and power. They would never have said he would have come eating and drinking. Jesus spent his time eating and drinking … His mission strategy was a long meal, stretching into the evening. He did evangelism and discipleship around a table with some grilled fish, a loaf of bread, and a pitcher of wine.
Jesus’ mission was to save the lost, his method was eating and drinking. Jesus spent time with those who were marginalized (women, sick, poor, tax collectors, prostitutes). He built up a reputation for being called a drunkard and glutton because of those he spent time with. Jesus didn’t allow the opinions of others to deter his mission.
As you prepare the core of the message using personal story and questions keep in mind these points:
- What does investing time in someone truly look like?
- In the ancient world, meals were of utmost importance, it is how you displayed honour and standing. Why do you think Jesus used this method to save the lost?
- Jesus’ method and mission were intertwined. What does this tell us about how we follow Jesus?
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- What happens to us as humans when our reputations get slandered?
- Where are we spending intentional time with those who don’t increase our reputation?
- How can food and drink be an important method today?