Hello Ladies….can you believe we are in our 4th week already? I so love this book. Today we are discussing chapters 7 and 8.
I must admit that chapter 8 is one of my all time favorite chapters. I could probably write a whole post on it…haha!
Let’s get this meeting started.
Chapter 7 :: Disruptive Honesty
This chapter makes me think. It makes me go back and read other stories of Jesus and see how He is very honest….but also goes about it in different ways. That He can so soft for those who need soft and hard for those who need a firm hand. John Eldredge tells us that “Jesus is going to tell you the truth in the best possible way for you to hear it.”
JE’s reminder that when we are reading these amazing stories, “I am at this very moment watching love in action” is such a big takeaway for me. To read this disruptive honesty at times can be hard but to remember even that is love in action.
I must admit the JE steps on my toes about the not being honest because we don’t care enough. I am too afraid to put myself out there because I have already worked it out that I will be rejected or they will get angry.
This chapter reminds me of something I have often heard, speak the truth in love. This to me is the essential part of His disruptive honesty. He loves and wants to rescue each of us and that means honesty…even when it is hard to hear. And when it offends…it is because of something within us…not the honesty. Truth and reality are often avoided when it’s painful.
JE’s idea of open heart surgery is something I know of so well. It has been my last year and half. To work on seeking Him instead of myself. To seek the truth of my life and not what I want it to be. When is the last time you were still and ask God for the truth?
We have someone who knows us so intimately and sees our every secret, knows of our every sin, every word, every single thing within our heart and loves us regardless. Do you understand this truth? Do you believe this truth?
Truth is not like conviction. Conviction might be a matter of person opinion, but truth is solid and immovable. Christianity is not a set of convictions it is truth. (page 79)
This is a big problem for some of us because sometimes His truth is harder to accept than our convictions. And at times our convictions come from religious rules and not from Him.
JE’s reminder of John 1:17… both Truth and Grace come from Him. I find such beauty in that.
The last line of this chapter is one of my favorites:
Sometimes those he reaches his hand to are so far out of the mainstream it is scandalizing. (page 80)
Chapter 8 :: Scandalous Freedom
We see two of my most favorite encounters with Jesus in this chapter and they show a Jesus my heart is so drawn too.
First we see Jesus and the Leper. He is not fearful to reach out and touch the leper. He knows what He needs. I find such beauty in this because Jesus doesn’t care that others see this man as unclean. He just sees a man in need of love…and a human touch. Jesus speaks and people are healed yet He takes the time to touch this man. Mark 1:41 tells us Jesus was moved by compassion. He knew one thing this man needed and it wasn’t a word but a touch and in His loving-kindness He touched Him.
Oh. My. Heart.
Jesus cares about the right things. Not the politics but the people.
“The risks Jesus is willing to take with his reputation are simply stunning”. (page 83) What does this tell you about our Jesus that He went out of His way to love on this man? How can you go about doing something today that is like this Jesus?
Religious rules are a downward spiral. Justified legalism. We all get caught up in it. It is something I am working really hard to become less entangled with. It’s harder than I thought…especially since it has been with the disapproval of some people in my life. Yet I cannot help that my heart wants Him and only Him.
Matthew 12:1-8 shows us an example of the disciples breaking a rule set forth by the religious institution. Jesus defends them. This is such a outlaw thing to do. We see here there is a distinction in the laws of God and the law of man.
Jesus’ scandalous freedom is based on a deeper understanding of holiness, deeper than anything we know.
The story of the sinful woman in Luke 7 36-50 is my most favorite story in the whole Bible. The woman gives Jesus all that she has. She uses her hair and tears to wash His feet. Her most expensive belonging to anoint Him with. The man who invited Jesus is outraged. He finds what she did wrong and you can tell He finds her beneath Him. A sinner invited Him to dinner and a sinner anointed His head and washed His feet. At the end we see the compassion, grace, and love that is Jesus.
The more you fall in love with Jesus and his genuine goodness the more you detest the false piety and shallow morality.
He is the most remarkable man we will ever know. He was not safe. He broke rules. He loved others extravagantly. His scandalous freedom is beautiful. He was free from religion. Free from what others thought. Free from false obligation. This was dangerous to the Pharisees.
I want to be dangerous too.
Now it’s your turn to share your thoughts. Join us in the community or the comments here!