Bible studies tend to take on their own personality. Depending on the format, the author, the teacher, the attendees. Every change alters the experience. I favor those studies with a variety of ages, maturity levels and Bible translations. For example, I always tell my ladies to go out and recruit someone who uses the New Living Translation Bible because it adds a unique interpretation of Scripture. I find these elements offer a recipe for great discussion.
Good Bible study feeds on great discussion.
One night, the conversation flowed nicely. Everyone offered insight and we could sense the Holy Spirit teaching us. Towards the end of the night, we went around the room answering the question, “Tell us an attribute of Jesus you have learned anew from this study.”
A wide open question, right?
The theologically minded can wow us. The infant Christian can pull anything out of their baby hat. Even those that missed 75% of the study sessions can come up with an answer to this one. I don’t remember any of the answers save one.
This lady comes from a vastly different background than mine. She grew up in a Catholic church. Went to Parochial school. A family faithful to church attendance but they didn’t spend much time in relationship with God at home. As an adult, she wandered from the church and didn’t attend for years. Through a mentoring relationship with her neighbor, she started attending our church. She found a relationship with Jesus and it changed her radically. The past few years had been extremely hard on her family financially and emotionally. She brought all of this to our Bible study table. Her own traces of faith. And week after week, she showed herself to be one of the most spiritually hungry individuals in our whole group. I admired her eagerness to learn. By now, many of us knew her story and had been offering support when we could.
Our question came to Deb.
Tell us an attribute of Jesus you have learned anew from this study.
I learned you can can talk to Him.
Sometimes us church folk try to dive so deep we miss the childlike aspects of faith. Guilty as charged. I don’t remember my own response that evening but I guarantee I tried to come up with some attribute that sounded extremely wise; perhaps words even Christ Himself would have uttered had He physically attended Bible study with us. I will never forget Deb’s answer though.
Her response instantly brought tears to my eyes. I don’t have the benefit of coming to a relationship with Christ later in life. That’s right, I said benefit. I can’t think back to one time in my life when I didn’t know I could talk to Christ. The very idea someone once thought that and now knows otherwise gives me holy goosebumps.
Yes, we are all sinners. I need the blood of Christ to redeem me also. But Deb? “I once was blind but now I see!”
Reminds me of that woman in the Bible, who anointed Jesus with her tears and expensive perfume from an alabaster jar. The one to whom Jesus said,
“Your sins are forgiven... Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:48, 50 NLT).
You can talk to Jesus! Your sins are forgiven and He has saved you. Peace be with you.
“Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair... I tell you, her sins - and they are many - have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” (Luke 7:44, 47 NLT)