Who Is This Man? Exploring The Life Of Jesus

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Who is this Man?

The question was asked by the Pharisees in Luke 5:21. These same words were used in Luke 7:49, spoken by the people who reclined at table with Jesus. “Who is this man?”, was also the question uttered by King Herod when news of Jesus continued to grow.

Jesus came with a radical message of love, equality, and honor of women and children. He preached forgiveness, turning the other cheek, and going the second mile. He focused attention on the sick, poor, oppressed, and outcast, while challenging the powerful.

How could Jesus have such far-reaching influence in just three years?

How is it possible that His message of hope has continued to grow to this day? John Ortberg explores these questions in the study Who is This Man? The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus.

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The Man Who Won’t Go Away

I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as an historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. ~ G. Wells

Play the video segment for Session 1. As you watch, use the outline (pages 12-13) to follow along or to take notes on anything that stands out to you.

Notes

  • Jesus’ impact on human history has been without parallel.
  • His presence is unavoidable.
  • His influence is inescapable.
  • His appeal is inexhaustible.
  • His endurance is inextinguishable.

The personal question: How would you like Jesus to impact your life?

This week:

  • Take one of the things Jesus taught and allow it to shape your life: love your enemies; turn the other cheek; pursue reconciliation.
  • Live in a spirit of humility: serve in a way you normally wouldn’t serve, or remember someone who is poor and be generous with your money.

Study Questions

Take a few minutes to talk about what you just watched.

  1. What part of the teaching had the most impact on you?

Inescapable Influence

  1. On the video, John described the pervasive influence Jesus has had across history and on every sphere of life — art, science, government, medicine, education, social welfare, culture, philosophy, human rights (treatment of women, children, the poor and suffering), and more.
  • Of all the progress and revolutionary changes John talked about that can be traced back to Jesus, which do you think have become so woven into the fabric of contemporary life and culture that they are now perhaps taken for granted?
  • When you consider the ways Jesus has changed the world over time, which sphere of life stands out as one that
 has especially benefitted you? Share the reasons for your choice. For example, if you or someone in your family were born sick or with an obvious physical impairment, in ancient times you might have been killed or left to die of exposure. Knowing this, you might identify Jesus’ influence on medicine or the treatment of children as especially beneficial to you.

Revolutionary Teaching

  1. People who listened to Jesus were amazed and surprised by what he taught (Matthew 7:28 – 29). They said things like, “How did this man get such learning?” and, “No one ever spoke the way this man does” (John 7:15, 46).

Yes/No

Ten Revolutionary Teachings of Jesus

Embrace a surrendered and sacrificial life.

If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow Me. if you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it. — Luke 9:23-24

Love your enemies.

You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. — Matthew 5:43-44

Do not take revenge; turn the other cheek.

You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. — Matthew 5:38-39

If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. no more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. — Matthew 5:42 MSG

Forgive — without ceasing.

Forgive, and you will be forgiven. — Luke 6:37

Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying “I repent,” you must forgive them. — Luke 17:4

Share the best of who you
are and what you have with those who can’t reciprocate.

When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. — Luke 14:13-14

Yes/No

Do not worry.

I tell you not to worry about your life…. Can worry make you live longer? — Matthew 6:25, Matthew 6:27

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. — Matthew 6:34 MSG

Practice servanthood — it is the path to greatness.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. — John 13:14

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. — Matthew 20:26-28

Protect yourself from greed.

Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot. — Luke 12:15 MSG

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal… You cannot serve both God and money. — Matthew 6:19, Matthew 6:24

Do not judge or condemn.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. — Luke 6:37

Humble yourself.

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. — Matthew 5:5

If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored. — Luke 14:11

The Personal Question

  1. At the end of the video, John posed this question: How would you like Jesus to impact your life? Focusing on your desires and hopes, how would you answer John’s question? How would you most like Jesus to shape the person you are becoming?
  2. The four remaining sessions in Who Is This Man? explore Jesus’ inescapable influence on the world, and how we can advance — or impede — that influence through our own lives. In addition to learning together as a group, it’s important to be aware of how God is at work among you — especially in how you relate to each other and share your lives throughout the study. As you discuss the teaching in each session, there will be many opportunities to speak life-giving — and life-challenging — words, and to listen to one another deeply.

Take a few moments to consider the kinds of things that are important to you in this setting. What do you need or want from the other members of the group? Use one or more of the sentence starters to briefly note what is important to that person and how you can be a good companion to them.

It really helps me when…
I tend to withdraw or feel anxious when…
I’d like you to challenge me about…
I’ll know this group is a safe place if you…
In our discussions, the best thing you could do for me is…

What I Want To Remember

Complete this activity on your own.

  1. Briefly review the outline and any notes you took.
  2. Write down the most significant thing you gained in this session — from the teaching, activities, or discussions.

What I want to remember from this session…

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Your Turn

Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear your answers to this study about this study about the most significant Man who ever walked the earth!



John Ortberg

John Ortberg is senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of Who is this Man, When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box, The Life You've Always Wanted and If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. John and his wife, Nancy, have three grown children.

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