Study Guide: Gatekeepers of the Royal Son

Sunday June 28, 2009 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

The disciples sometimes got in the way of people who were coming to Jesus. When this happened, Jesus had to correct the situation and go directly to the people seeking him. This happens today too when Christians and their agendas get in the way of people who simply need to be pointed to Jesus.

Extended Summary:

In the passage for this week, Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem and was passing through Jericho. As he and his followers were making their way, a beggar called out to Jesus. His disciples tried to intercept the beggar and told him to be quite, but Jesus ordered them to bring the beggar to him. When Jesus asked the beggar what he wanted, he replied that he wanted to see and Jesus healed him immediately. The beggar praised God and followed Jesus as did many others.

Greg focused on the obstacle that the disciples of Jesus were to the beggar. They stood between the beggar and Jesus and tried to keep the beggar from interfering with their progress toward Jerusalem. Jesus didn’t tolerate this but rather stopped and interacted directly with the beggar despite the intentions and actions of the disciples. How much better it would have been had the disciples brought the beggar to Jesus rather than trying to keep him at bay!

The point is that as followers of Jesus, we ought to point people to God rather than get in the way with all of our rules, ideas, theology, politics or whatever agendas we have that go beyond simply leading people to Jesus. Every human being is just like the beggar. We all are in need of mercy, healing and grace. As followers of Jesus, our role is to humbly live and walk in that grace and when possible… point others to Jesus so they too can live and walk in the love of God.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What stood out to you most from this message and the supporting text?
  2. Why do you suppose the disciples tried to intercept the beggar? There must have been some “logical” reasons for doing so, try to list several of them.
  3. What are some of the ideas, values, principles, or truths that you hold dearly which are not exactly the same as “Jesus is Lord.”? Some examples might be: pro-life/pro-choice, Republican/Democrat, Calvinism/Arminianism/Open Theism or other theological identifiers, etc. Make a list.
  4. When we interact with people who may not know Jesus, how could some of these ideas (from question 3) get in the way of our pointing someone to Jesus?