Making a Murderer | Zealot Part1 | South Jordan
QUESTION: Do people really change?
Zealot: a person who has very strong opinions about something, and tries to make other people have them too. – Cambridge Dictionary Online
CONVICTION + CONTROL – COMPASSION = ZEALOT
SERIES THESIS: God changes people—we DON’T.
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
SMCC VALUE: We trust the process in which God changes us from the INSIDE OUT.
QUESTION: What do we know about Saul, the Jewish Zealot?
Acts 22:3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.
Philippians 3:4-6 If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
Galatians 1:14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
He WEAPONIZED his faith in order to destroy the faith of others.
From the point of view of Saul of Tarsus, the first followers of Jesus of Nazareth were a prime example of the deviant behavior that had to be eradicated if Israel’s God was to be honored. Saul of Tarsus was therefore ‘zealous’ in persecuting these people…Everything possible had to be done to stamp out a movement that would impede the true purposes of the One God of Israel, whose divine plans Saul and his friends believed were at last on the verge of a glorious fulfilment. –N.T. Wright (Paul, A Biography)
CASE STUDY: The Stoning of Stephen
Acts 7:58 [They] dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 8:1-3 And Saul approved of their killing him [Stephen]. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
CAUTION: You can be a REPRESENTATIVE or you can be a WEAPON, but you can’t be both.
Romans 10:2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
John 15:12 My (Jesus) command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Galatians 4:18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good…
Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
BOTTOM LINE #1: if you’ve been wounded, let Christ WOO you.
BOTTOM LINE #2: WOO, don’t WOUND.
QUESTIONS FOR PARENTS & STUDENTS
1. If you could force people to agree with you on one thing, what would it be?
2. In your experience at our church, has it been more wooing or wounding for you?
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
1. What religious/church wounds do you have from your past? Or, what religious/church wounds have affected someone you care about?
2. What/who has been helpful to you in not giving up on Jesus?
3. Where do you see the makings of a zealot in you?
4. Read John 1:14, John 15:12 and Galatians 5:6. How do you truly care about people AND honor the SMCC Value: We trust the process in which God changes us from the inside out?
5. Which one of the BOTTOM LINES do you want to focus on for a next step?