Understanding Part 1 - Understanding Racism

Text: Luke 10:25-37

Last week Bishop Claude Alexander, Senior Pastor of The Park Church in Charlotte, NC, examined the difficult topic of racism. As he explored Luke 10:25-37, we saw how Jesus dealt with racism in his day. If you need to, re-read these verses to re-familiarize yourself with this section of scripture.

GROUP CONNECTION

Target time: 5-10 minutes

What does it mean to be racist? 

STUDY/DISCUSSION

Target time: 45-50 minutes

Small Group Leaders, please always make an intentional effort to have each person engage in the discussion. Remember, all small group discussions are meant to “…[build] others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29b).

Also, as with every week, don't feel pressured to go in-depth on every question, or complete the entire outline. The purpose of this outline is to enhance your group time, and to encourage people to seek a deeper personal relationship with God. Do not let the pressure of thorough completion of the questions distract from what God might be doing in your group, at a deeper level.

Small Group Leaders- For Your Consideration: There were some things Bishop Alexander explained about Jesus’ day that we may have not known: For example, in Acts 1:8, Jesus tells his disciples to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the “remotest part of the earth.”

  • Question 1 – When Jesus told the disciples to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, what did he mean by it?
  • Question 2 – For Question 1, Jesus simply meant for the disciples to start where they were. They were already in Jerusalem, so he wanted them to begin witnessing immediately with those around them. As for referencing Judea, what was its significance?  
  • Question 3 – In referencing Judea, Jesus was sending the disciples to a people that regarded themselves as being spiritually superior to the disciples. What would have been the purpose of this assignment?
  • Question 4 – Samaria is the last specific location Jesus mentions when he tells his disciples to be his witnesses in Acts 1:8. What is the significance of mentioning Samaria?
  • Question 5 – The significance of Jesus directly mentioning Samaria is that he acknowledges the racial conflicts occurring in this area and the need to witness there. Read John 4:7-9. According to racial prejudices of the day, the Samaritan woman and Jesus knew that Jesus would be ceremonially unclean if he drank from her cup. When is the last time you overstepped a societal prejudice to reach out to someone who others might consider “unclean” or different?
  • In Luke 10:31-32, why did the priest and Levite avoid the “half dead” man? As Bishop Alexander mentioned in his sermon, if they thought he was dead, or about to die, they may have feared becoming ceremonially unclean. What might be some other reasons?
  • Question 7 – Bishop Alexander also said that, as Americans, we are sometimes okay being witnesses for Christ “to the remotest [parts] of the earth (Acts 1:8), but are less comfortable being witnesses with those near to us. Why do you think this is so?
  • Question 8 – When the Samaritan man got close to the “half dead” man, he realized that he was still alive. He also realized, intimately, what the man’s needs were. With this in mind, why was it important for him to get close to the man?

Live It Out:

Considering all this, are there any “half dead” people you tend to avoid? How can you intentionally get close to them, in order to be witnesses for Christ?

Prayer Time:

Don’t overlook the obvious, until we accept the invitation of eternal life with Jesus Christ and receive him into our hearts, we are all “half dead”—alive on earth, but on our way to eternal damnation. Only with Christ do we receive the promise of eternal life, and only with Christ do we have someone who loves us enough to get close to those who are unclean with sin.

Considering this, pray for opportunities to get close to those who are “half dead.” Also, pray to be like Christ, who saw no divisive racial lines between he and the woman at the well.

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