BEATITUDES PART 2
THOSE WHO MOURN
|John Goh||012 207 email@example.com|
|Dr Lee Fook Sin||019 230 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Moh Ee Lin||019 273 email@example.com|
|Ng Cho Hoo||012 878 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Susanah Ng||012 email@example.com|
Kindly contact any of these Gamma Facilitators. They will be hosting Zoom meetings for Discussions every Wednesday starting from April 1, 2020.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS – STUDY 2
In what way did the story for adoption by Rachel illustrate how spiritual poverty and mourning are related? In what way was Rachel’s joy of being unconditionally loved by her mother heightened by her own heart felt sorrow and perceived lack of value to her parents. Would she have felt the same way if she were not adopted? Do we share the same mix of feelings being adopted by God?
Why is it that a genuinely spiritually poor person will also mourn? How is mourning related to spiritual?
Mourning is the emotional or visceral response to our self perception of spiritually bankrupt. Imagine being an very rich banker respected in the community and one day , you open up your bank account details in the computer and you discover that the balance is RM 0.00. Now that is
the objective state of your finances which much surely evoke and emotional or visceral response in your heart? There will be a great sense of loss, agony, sorrow because one has been reduced to nothing in the eyes of the community. Mourning is our genuine emotional response to the realisation of our spiritual bankruptcy. It is also the reaction to our realisation of the enormity of our personal sin and wretchedness before a holy God.?
Look at Psalm 51:16-17 . Is King David genuinely repentant of his adultery with Bathsheba?
Psalm 51: 16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise
This psalm is penned by King David, the pinnacle of his career only to be undone why his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah. The realisation of his evil resulted in his confession his mourning is the source of these words. Mourning is important as it indicates to a certain extent a persons genuineness in his understanding of the gravity of his sin and bankruptcy and will be basis of his repentance.
Look at the woman in Luke 7:36- 49 and explain why she is debasing herself in such a shameful way using her tears to wash Jesus feet and her hair to dry them and 8 months worth of pay to perfume His feet. What does this tell us about her spiritual state?
The woman in Luke 7 is an example of spiritual mourning she had real heart felt tears in copious amounts enough to give jesus muddy feet a good wash and use her hair the symbol of glory for a woman to be used in such a humble manner to clean His dirty feet. It is a sign of true and deep contrition of mourning.
What did Jesus mean in Luke 7:47? Are there degrees of forgiveness or is Jesus referring to mourning? Do you think that this is our own problem as well especially those of us who have been Christians for a long while, why is this so? Please share around the group.
Jesus then said “ 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little. The actions of the woman showed deep contrition and mourning over her sins and her actions showed how deeply she mourned her sins and how sorry she was. It was a measure of her spiritual bankruptcy. The Pharisee Simon did not provide water for Jesus to clean his feet which was customary nor kiss nor anoint His head with oil to welcome Jesus because he did not feel he was spiritually bankrupt , he left he did not “need much forgiven” because he was not spiritually bankrupt. He was a Pharisee and depended on his own personal achievements for spiritual standing and his lack of mourning for his sin was placed in stark contrast to that of the woman who felt her sin so acutely that compelled her humble behavior.
The Pharisee was not forgiven…the term forgiven little and loves little did not literally mean he had very little sin. It was a sarcastic rebuke to the Pharisee who regarded himself spiritually superior i.e. little sin and did not need much forgiveness when in actual fact he was as spiritually bankrupt as she was with the only difference being that he was blind to his own spiritual state and she was not.
How do you think those who mourn will be comforted ? When will it happen ? Look at Isaiah 61:1-3 and Rev 7:17 as well.
Isaiah 61: 1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. These are the very words of prophecy which Jesus took to apply to Himself when he was witnessing as to his identity and mission. The fulfilment of comfort can only come through the payment of the penalty of sin.So those who mourn will revive comfort from the forgiveness of their sins already won on the cross by Jesus.
So the comfort is in the here and now. The comfort will also be in the future ,look at Rev 7: 17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelations further underscores this and the mourning will be relieved by the Lamb ..a metaphor for Jesus emphasising the sacrificial aspect of his mission and identity. However the complete comfort will come at the coming of Jesus where all sin will be done away hence all source of pain and sorrow will naturally be resolved hence no more tear. God will wipe away all tears is a personal and tender expression of what we have to look forward to in future.
Stanley was an intern working in a district hospital. His immediate supervising Medical officer was always picking on him and bullying him in subtle ways. His other colleagues felt indignant and goaded him on to fight back. True enough one day when the Medical officer was being difficult Stanley retaliated and fought back shouting at the Medical officer who got even more angry and since then the two have never spoken. His colleagues were in awe of him be cause he had the guts to fight back. The following week Stanley found out that the consultant on the ward who already had a reputation for being incompetent was again misdiagnosing patients and as a result two patients died unnecessarily. Everyone knew why but no one would speak up and the issues were covered up and the consultant continued fairly unrepentant. Even Stanley’s colleagues although they felt indignant but none had the courage to speak out and nor was Stanley thought to be cowardly for keeping quiet like the rest of them. Stanley reflected on Matthew 5 and concluded he was being meek with the consultant and was hungering and thirsting for righteousness with the Medical Officer.
a. Do you agree with Stanley? When should he have kept quiet and when should he have spoken out and why?
b. What does it mean to be meek? Does an understanding of being spiritually bankrupt cause us to be meek?
c. What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness?
d. What kind of risks would Stanley be facing if her spoke up against the consultant?
e. Look at John 15:18-24 and share why would Christians always be persecuted?
f. Can you share in the group of situations where you struggled to be meek or failed to stand up for righteousness
Stanley has completely misunderstood Matthew 5. When the Medical Officer was being difficult he should have been meek and kept his mouth shut but instead he retaliated because keeping quiet would have given the impression to his colleagues that he was weak. He wanted the esteem of his colleagues to show he was no pushover and no one should mess with him. He did it out of his personal pride. He misunderstood the meaning of being meek which is that to be meek is weak. However the original meaning is self controlled and gentle Aristotle described it a being “ the point between extreme anger and extreme angerlessness controlled and balanced, getting angry at the right things at the right time. Injustice in the world,
not personal insults”.
It is not weak it is controlled. He should have spoken out or complained to the hospital director because the actions of his consultant had obviously caused the unnecessary deaths of two patients and this was not a one
off mistake it was a continuing pattern of behaviour which would have posed a grave threat to the community. Hence if he was hungering and thirsting for righteousness he should have spoken up despite the risks of retaliation by the consultant which might have resulted in him being fired. Hence he was not really being brave when he should have been and he was
unnecessarily pugnacious when he should have been meek.
If we truly understood that for all our bravado and worldly accomplishments that we are still spiritually bankrupt then we would no longer be striving so hard in society to prove our selves and get ahead in order to bolster our innate sense of self esteem. We realise that as bankrupts. We are totally reliant on Jesus for our standing and meaning in life and look to Him for direction and meaning and seek to honour and glorifying Him as our means of glory we were created to reflect Him.
The meek suffer and who have been humbled, and yet they do not seek revenge but God’s glory and the welfare of others. In other words, they lovingly trust God and hope in God’s timing and God’s justice. The risks Stanley would face would be that faced by all Christians who decided to live godly lives they will be persecuted like Jesus as He stood up and opposed the corrupt religious officials. There will inevitably be a clash of the two very different values systems with the world. You see when Stanley complains against the consultant he will be upsetting the norm of society where the medical fraternity sticks up for each other and someone who speaks out will be seen as a traitor. He will loose the respect of other colleagues, his consultant and the hospital. His colleagues would also be embarrassed when all the truth comes out because they would be guilty of covering up a serious matter and they would share the blame.
The Christian hence is a very inconvenient person to have a round and no one at least those who are not doing the right thing they will not want a Christian around them. The lives of the authentic disciples will mirror that of Jesus and will incur the same persecution of Jesus.
John 15:18 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute
you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: They hated me without a cause.’
The coming of Jesus and the revelation of His authentic righteousness shows up the fake legalistic religious righteousness of the Jews and since they are threatened they will retaliate. Everywhere Christian disciples reflecting authentic integrity will show up unbelievers who when
confronted with genuine integrity will inevitably retaliate as it undermines their own sense of righteousness
Answers will be available on April 9, 2020.
Please feel free to post your comments in the comments section.