How to use the Sermon Discussion Questions:
1) Scripture is provided as a convenience to you and for those who may not have a bible.
2) Excerpts are provided from Tom’s sermon to help the group remember the important parts of his message. Feel free to read these together as a group, or you may simply want to use them as a reminder to put in your own words. Don’t feel the need to read everything in this document as a group. Use what you need, skip what you don’t.
John 8:1-11 (NIV)
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
This week’s message talks about a joyful imperfection. What are some of the funniest imperfections in your own life? (Do you drive a quirky imperfect car? Are you terrible at baking? Think of your own imperfect moments that have made you laugh.)
1. Toward the beginning of the message, Pastor Jeremy shared this statement, “Yes, it is true that we are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world. And yet a perfect God sent His perfect Son so that, through Him, an imperfect people may reach and love an imperfect world.”
What are some ways that your imperfections might help you reach an imperfect world?
2. In his message Pastor Jeremy talked about the concept of Joyful Imperfection. What are some of the things that come to your mind when you think of imperfection? How do you think joy and imperfection are related?
3. Read John 8:1-11. Summarize what is happening in this story. What can we learn from Jesus’ response to the woman caught in adultery? How can we respond more like Jesus and less like the Pharisees when we run into “sinners”? What might that look like?
4. Excerpt from Pastor Jeremy’s message: This is what the Pharisees missed: Christ did not spend time with sinners because He believed sin was not sinful. He spent time with sinners because He was going to pay the price for their sin.
What are some of your reactions to this statement? Why do you think Jesus spent time with sinners? What might it look like for us today to relate to sinners the way Jesus did?
5. In his message, Pastor Jeremy shared 3 unhealthy ways that we respond to imperfection:
- Pride – Pride says, “I may not be perfect, but I’m better than those people.”
- Shame – Shame enters my life when I feel bad about “who I am.”
- Apathy – Their response to an imperfect world was – “it’s none of my concern.”
As you look through this list, which of these can you see in your own life? How can you know you are struggling with pride, shame, or apathy? What encouragement might you give to someone who is wrestling with shame, pride, or apathy?
6. Excerpt from Pastor Jeremy’s Message: Humility is when you look out at the world and all you see is the needs of others. All you see is him and her and your spouse and your children and your family, your friends, your roommates, and your coworkers and your classmates and your church. And people who don't know Jesus. And your parents.
What are some other ways that you have seen or heard humility defined? Look at John 8:1-11. How do you see humility in this passage? Who are some people in your life who model this kind of humility?
7. Toward the end of his message, Pastor Jeremy shared this: In this passage we see that both were invited to a place of humility. The Pharisees and Scribes from a place of power and pride, and The Woman, from a place of shame.
The Pharisees and Scribes chose to walk away from Jesus, yet the woman chose to walk towards the invitation.
Do you identify more with the Pharisees and the Scribes, struggling with pride or the Woman, struggling with shame? Why do you think that is? What might it look like for you to accept Jesus’ invitation to humility today? How might humility impact the way you view others and yourself?
8. What statements, ideas or thoughts from this week’s message did you find most helpful, challenging or confusing? Share your thoughts with the group.
I suspect that it’s in our imperfection that Jesus most actively pursues us.
Can you think of some times in your own life when Jesus has pursued you in your imperfection? Take some time to share these stories with your group.
The irony in this story is that the woman, in her imperfection, is the one that walked away with true joy. And we too, in all of our own imperfections, have been given this same invitation. We can either grab the hand of Jesus and receive his gift, with humility, or we can grab ahold of the hand of Pride, the hand of Shame, and the hand of Apathy.
What might it look like for you to take your pride, shame or apathy to Jesus? What areas in your life did you feel challenged to change after this week’s message?
Share one practical next step that you would like to take this week as a result of what you talked about in your group.