How God loves the world

A Gospel Enquiry 

Introduction 

I used to think that the saying “The world’s your oyster” was about the individual and that the potential for achieving greatness is for every person. Then I realised that the saying might be a parable and that it is somehow related to Jesus’ parable about the pearl of great price. And if I did stop to think of it in this way, then the saying is not about me or any other person, but about God. 

Jesus came to give witness to the presence of God in the world and to invite everyone to join with him in giving witness to God’s presence and God’s goodness and love. 

I accept this to be true. Why did the students in my RE class not accept this truth? Was their refusal because God had not blessed them with faith? Or had they turned their backs on God? Or was it peer pressure that prevented them from acknowledging the presence of God in their lives? 

Perhaps the answer lies here in this Gospel. 

The Gospel 

Jesus said to the crowd:

No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God, and to hear the teaching of the Father, and learn from it, is to come to me. Not that anybody has seen the Father, except the one who comes from God: he has seen the Father. I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal life.

‘I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead; but this is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’ (John 6:44-51)

The Enquiry 

See

  • Read the Gospel passage a few times. Imagine that you are in the crowd. Why did you seek Jesus? You might find it easier to answer this question if you read Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel. 
  • Read the Gospel passage again. List the different parts of the reading in sequence. Examine the relationship between the parts in terms of cause and effect. 
  • You are still in the crowd. What do you find to be meaningful in his address to the crowd? As you listen to him, how will what he says change your life? 

Judge

  • Step back into the present. What do you make of this scene in the Gospel? How is this gathering like gatherings that you have been part of recently? How is it different from other gatherings that you have heard about? 
  • What do you accept as the ideal towards which you are drawn?    
  • Read the Gospel passage again. How does what Jesus says help you to chart your way through life?

Act

  • What do you want to change in your life and in the world in response to what Jesus promises to those who believe in him?
  • What small action can you take that will contribute to bringing about this change? 
  • Who can you involve in your action and how, when and how often will you get them to participate in your action?

Author: Pat Branson 

Image Source: Brett Jordan (Creator), Flickr, CC BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 Generic


Posted

in

by

Tags: