Theme: Loving Problem People
Know: The Scriptures indicate that the marks of a Christian include the ability to deal effectively with problem people.
Think: Our daily interactions with others should be guided by the mindset that we are all problem people in need of a Savior.
Do: Follow the teaching of Scriptures to effectively deal with the problem people in your life.
Scriptures: Romans 12:14-21 and Matthew 18:15-17
Questions and answers:
B1 Ever have a problem with someone? Can you name (in your mind, please) any one who is a problem person?
B2 What is the definitions of a problem person?
B3 Why are they a problem?
B4 What emotion do we feel if we find this person is not around today, whether it be work, church, family gathering, etc.?
B5 How is a Christian differ from a non-Christian in dealing with problem people?
B6 "Bless those that persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but rather associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Do not repay anyone evil for evil; providing that which is good before all men. If possible, as much as depends on you, keeping peace with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy should hunger, feed him; if he should thirst, give him drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals upon his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:14-21, EMTV)
Bless; do not curse
Rejoice with those rejoicing; weep with those who weep
Discord, conflict, friction, strife
Live in harmony with one another
Do not be proud but associate with the humble
Do not be wise in our own opinion
Do not repay evil for evil, instead providing that which is good
Disagreements, agitation, upsetting, fighting
As much as possible keeping peace with all
Angry, abusive people
Do not avenge; give place to wrath. God will repay.
Give them food and drink
Evil people, governments, churches, leaders, family, etc.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good
B8 What do we do when/if someone gets in our face and yells? ...lies? ....slanders?
B9 What did Jesus do with these kind of people? Consider
do unto others
B10 Any application for us here? "“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. " (Matthew 7:12, NKJV)
B11 Matthew 12:14
- C1 What is wrong with the Pharisees?
- C2 Was it necessary questions about Sabbath keeping, or was it due to envy, revenge, or something else. The Lord Jesus had beaten them in debate and righteousness.
- C3 The Pharisees in this passage showed more concern for sheep than humans.
- C4 From the College Press commentary on this verse:
- Mat. 12:14 But the Pharisees went out, and took counsel against him, how they might destroy him. Their counsel was not merely about Him, but decidedly prejudiced against him. Justice and evidence, fair play and commonsense have nothing to do with this discussion among these ecclesiastics, for no gentle graciousness nor logical argument on His part could sway them from this verdict of guilty. Their reaction, according to Mar. 3:6 and Luk. 6:11 is immediate and pointed:
- 1. They became furious (eplçsthçsan anoías), true enough, but their motivation may well have been mixed with envy of His sway over the people. Even a relative outsider like Pilate could sense this. (Mat. 27:18) Why should they not be furious? He had ignored their traditions, reduced them to silence and publicly shamed them on vital moral issues! Their list of complaints against Him is growing:
- He had attacked their illicit economic gains produced by the market which He claimed desecrated the Temple (Joh. 2:13-16)
- He applied Messianic Scripture to Himself (Luk. 4:18-21)
- He claimed to forgive sins, risking the charge of blasphemy (Mat. 9:3)
- He mingled freely with the scum of Jewish society (Mat. 9:9-13)
- He did not observe their stated fast days (Mat. 9:14)
- He ignored their rules for Sabbath observances and justified His disciples in the same (Joh. 5:16; Mat. 12:1-14)
- He claimed to be equal with God (Joh. 5:17-18)
- Lange (Matthew, 218) summarizes the fundamental basis: Objections of less weight, and an interminable catalogue of calumnies, were connected with these charges. But the real stumbling block of the Pharisees, was that conflict between the spirit and the dead letter, between the gospels and traditionalism, between salvation and unbelief, righteousness and hypocrisy, and holiness and proud self-seeking, which Christ represented and embodied.
B12 Often those of us who read and study the Bible in its plain, normal sense are labeled Pharisees. Is there any justification for that label?
B13 Of all the things that the religious leaders of the Jews did to Jesus, how did Jesus respond to them?
- C1 He told them the truth, whether they liked it or not.
- C2 He attempted to lovingly correct them until they totally rejected Him.
- C3 He told them of coming judgment against them. He warned them in many ways.
B14 How are we to respond to people that are problem people? (It depends on what the problem is. If the problem is of doctrine, or lifestyle, or the death penalty for being a Christian).
B15 How did the Apostles and early Christians respond to persecution? (They prayed. They encouraged each other. They remembered the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus. See Matthew 5:10-12, Acts 7:59-60, Romans 8:35, Romans 12:14-21, 2 Corinthians 4:9, 2 Corinthians 12:10, 2 Thessalonians 1:4, etc.).
B16 What are we to do if we respond wrongly? (The Scriptures have told us what to do, but we are not perfect. First, ask God for forgiveness. Second, ask the offended parties for forgiveness. We do not ask forgiveness for the truths that we tell but for our attitude and actions).
B17 Even if all attempts fail, what are some things we can still do? (Pray for them and be kind to them).
B18 How many discussions are won by arguing (the fighting, yelling, in-your-face type of argument)?
B19 Matthew 12:15, after the Jewish leaders withdrew to find a way to destroy Jesus, what did the Lord Jesus do? Did He rant, rave, criticize anyone at this point?
B20 Matthew 12:16, why did Jesus not want to be publicized? (He wanted to preach the Gospel to those who had not rejected Him. If He had been known His enemies would send people to cause trouble at His meetings).
B21 Matthew 12:18-21, Some things about Messiah in this verse. Utley writes in his commentary on this passage, "This is a quote from Isaiah 42:1-4 (but not the LXX), which is the first of the "Servant Songs" of Isaiah. Notice the characteristics of the Coming One which are being displayed in Jesus.
- 1. called
- My (YHWH) Servant
- whom I have chosen
- My Beloved
- in whom My (YHWH) Soul id well-pleased
- 2. YHWH's Spirit upon Him
- 3. proclaim justice to the Gentiles
- 4. personal characteristics
- will not quarrel
- will not cry out
- will not hear His voice in the streets
- 5. personal actions
- will not break the battered reed
- will not put out the smoldering wick
- will lead justice to victory
- in His name Gentiles will hope”
B22 "And if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have won your brother. But if he does not hear, take along with you one or two more, so that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' But if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you as a heathen and a tax collector." (Matthew 18:15-17, EMTV).
- C1 What are some of the sins that we commit against each other?
- C2 What is the standard for right and wrong in the church?
- C3 What attitude are we to have when there is a disagreement?
- C4 What is the purpose for this activity that Jesus speaks of in this passage?
B23 As Christians what is our primary purpose for the way we treat non-Christians?
B24 As Christians what is our primary purpose for the way we treat Christians?
B25 What is more important for helping others? A. To listen B. To talk
B26 How are we going to treat our problem person/s this week?