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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, July 4, 2021

July 4, 2021
  • 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
  • Psalm 48
  • 2 Corinthians 12:2-10
  • Mark 6:1-13

Several weeks ago, we saw Samuel anoint David before his father Jesse and his brothers. This week we see David proclaimed king, bringing David’s anointment to fruition. I have to wonder how his father and brothers felt in the midst of all this. Scripture is notoriously uninterested in exploring the inner lives of the figures it features and doesn’t tell us their feelings. I imagine David’s family likely took pride in David’s accomplishments, but can just as easily imagine that they may have been envious or baffled that the shepherd boy they had known had somehow grown into a mighty warrior king. There but for the grace of God goes David, indeed!

Jesus’s rejection by the people of his hometown speaks more directly to the difficulties we all face when relating to those who know us and our past selves. Jesus’s kith and kin had watched Jesus the boy play and done business with Jesus the adolescent carpenter. They could not reconcile the person they had known with Jesus the man grown into a teacher, a healer, and a prophet.

Those who have known us and our history develop a set of expectations and preconceived notions about who we are. In turn, we develop the same about them. We are like Christ when we leave our family and old friends behind for a time to see the world and return to find they no longer quite understand us. We are like Christ’s kin when a loved one asks for our help, but we think we know based on their past that their situation is their own fault and turn them away. We are like both when a minor disagreement with a partner descends into relitigating past arguments.

Ultimately, only God knows and understands each one of us fully. Our preconceptions of others can sometimes be what guards us from being enablers or victims of bad behavior. God as Christ knows from his own experience the myriad ways we are kept from truly knowing one another. In a world of misunderstandings, we Christians are called to be generous to one another and treat the mystery of each person with respect.

  • Have there been times in your life when being known too well has been a burden?
  • How do you decide when to let go of your preconceptions of another and when to trust them?
  • Is God knowing your full history and person a comfort to you or intimidating?

Author:  – Ryan Newberry


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