Fifth Sunday of Lent 2023

Isaiah 61:1-11

Fifth Sunday of Lent 2023

Meeting Jesus in Lent

I. LESSONS of the LENTEN journey.
A. Our TENDENCY to look ELSEWHERE. (Is. 30)
B. God’s RESPONSE to HUMBLE need. (Is. 37)
C. The FUTILITY of IDOLS. (Is. 44)
D. Substituting RELIGION for RELATIONSHIP. (Is. 58)

Lent is a time of reflection – allowing the Spirit to expose things in our own lives that may be hindering a deeper surrender to Jesus. Isaiah has taken us on a tour of the issues within our own hearts. It’s a difficult process to be honest about what we see there, but it is important to lift these things us to God as they are exposed.

1. Kid’s Question: What do you think that God wants you to do in your own life?
2. What have you seen as you’ve reflected on the state of your own heart during this season of Lent. How are you responding to what you have seen?

II. Meeting JESUS on the JOURNEY. (v.1-3; Lk. 4:16-20)
A. Jesus as our TEACHER. (v.1)
B. Jesus as our HEALER. (v.1)
C. Jesus as our LIBERATOR. (v.1)
D. Jesus as our COMFORTER. (v.2-3)
E. Jesus TRANSFORMS all of LIFE. (v.1-3)

In today’s text we see the passage that Jesus took as referring to His own ministry when he was teaching in the synagogue in Nazareth. He didn’t get the best response to that teaching, but for us, coming in the middle of Lent, this “mission statement” is good news. As we explore the issues in our own lives, Jesus isn’t afraid to walk with us on the journey.

3. Which of these aspects of Jesus speaks the most loudly to you at the present moment? Why do you think that is?
4. Is there a phrase from Is. 61:1-3 that seems to have special meaning to you? What is it and why?
5. What area of your life are you most longing for Jesus to bring transformation to? Have you shared with Him your desire?

III. For the DISPLAY of His SPLENDOUR. (v.3; Jn. 9:1-3; Mt. 27:54)
A. GETTING the GOSPEL right. (v.1-3; Mark 1:15)
B. Jesus and the SCHOOL of LIFE. (v.1,2; Mt. 11:28-30)
C. A posture of RECEIVING over RESISTING. (v.1-3; Gen. 50:20)
D. LIVING as a PARADOX. (v.3; 2 Cor. 4:7-11)

Isaiah describes those touched by the Messiah as “oaks of righteousness…for the display of His splendour.” I often feel more like a branch lying on the ground, blown off by the winds of everything life throws at me. What are some of the things that can help me as I grow into this oak that God is shaping me to be?

6. What is the gospel/good news of Jesus? Did what Jeff shared challenge your thinking at all in this matter?
7. What are you resisting at the moment that God may be inviting you to receive?
8. What does it mean to you to live as a paradox that is honest about your ownweakness but also able somehow to display the splendour of God?