Is reaching out to others with the gospel something we must do? 🤔
Often we feel either a sense of 'I must', or we flip to only doing it if we feel like it. But Jesus' grace to us isn't either of those! As we grow in knowing God's free and generous kindness to us, we experience an inner change that helps us move outwards towards others.
Share an opportunity in your life where you are not motivated to reach out to others (it could be showing kindness to your group members for a project, or sharing that you are a Christian). What's stopping you from reaching out to others from a place of joy?
Pray for one another, that God would help you change in your heart, and be released to overflow to others with his kindness.
1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."
16 Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means "Teacher").
17 Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.
What stands out to you about the first witnesses who discovered Jesus' empty tomb?
Why is Mary distressed as she remains standing outside the tomb?
What convinces Mary that Jesus is alive with her?
Does v.16 remind you of anything else we have read earlier in John? (Hint: see John 10:3-5)
Look at what Jesus sends Mary to tell the disciples (v.17). What new and different relationship with God is now connected with knowing, and being known by, Jesus?
What impact does this have on you?
What makes personal testimony so powerful in Christian witness?