Week 3 Responses

Matthew 7:21

What is the outcome of doing the will? (gain the Kingdom of God)

What is not the way to enter the Kingdom? (accept Jesus as Lord)

What is Jesus saying about himself here? (He is not the way to the Kingdom, he has nothing to do with it.)

What, then, is the way to the Kingdom? (doing the will of God)

Write a word you could substitute for “will” for your own use right now.  (intention, desire, goal, plan, aim)

Write down another word for God for your use right now. (the unfolding pattern of the universe, the nothing wanting to become something, creator, I AM)

Now write those two words together for another way of saying “will of God.”  Share.  (the desire of the nothing wanting to become something, the plan of the creator, the intention of the unfolding pattern of the universe)

How does that place of longing respond to this phrase? (it stirs)

What does this phrase say about God? (God has a will, God cares what happens)

Where does this God operate? (in human beings, among human choices)

If we are drawn to do the will, what is required first in order to be able to do it?  (Need to know what it is; need to want to do it; need to commit to doing it)

Which of these comes first? (it can work no matter which comes first)

What does it do to our choice to first make the commitment? (makes our response unconditional, provides the motivation to seek it and discover what it is)

How often does one make it?  Does it need renewing? (over and over)

How do we discover the will?  (ask, ‘What would the serpent say?’ and then do the opposite; listen to your whole being, listen to the unconscious, listen to your body; ask, ‘Who/what does this serve?’)

**Pick a live situation in your life in your life and bring this passage to it in order to discover the will of God. (15 min.)  Without disclosing the content, what did you experience? 

Mark 14:35-36

What is Jesus doing with his feelings? (opening them to God, perhaps trying to pass them off on God, questioning them)

How do you respond to the prayer of Jesus? (admiration, feel inferior because I couldn’t do it.

Matthew 6:34

Rewrite this using your own words, especially “trouble”. (You will have ample need to make choices to stay on the ‘way’ today, without worrying about tomorrow; worrying about tomorrow is a distraction from what is required today.)

If you said a prayer each morning, affirming your intentions for the day, that included this, what difference would it make? (keeps consciousness grounded in the present; helps ‘doing’ vs. ‘not doing’ the will)

Matthew 15:10-11

What is Jesus saying about the source of defilement? (in the human heart)

What are some synonyms for the word ‘defilement’? (pollution, dirtiness, contamination, foulness)

If one is defiled, what must come before purification? (recognition, repentance, forgiveness)

Of what value is looking at defilement? (makes the opposite possible)

If you are to do the will of God, which of the above preconditions would most likely block you?  (your personal response)

If this issue was successfully addressed, how might it make a difference? (the defilement would be less likely to impede doing the will)

Where do these things come from? (God, respected others, greater self-awareness, my choice)

Luke 6:45

What does the word “treasure” add?  (it has intrinsic value)

What difference would it make in how we related to these treasures if under the influence of images from the Sistine Chapel vs. those of the Gates of Hell? (the Sistine Chapel images of judgment make it hard to understand inner evil as treasure, and we would fear it; the Gates of Hell suggests inner evil as potential to take us through the ‘Gates’ or not, depending upon our choices.)

What are we to do with this abundance of ‘treasure’, both evil and good?  (value it, respect it, use it)

What is the source of evil again? (the heart)

How did it get into the heart?  (part of being human, imbued with it at creation)

What would it imply if the so-called ‘evil’ is sourced in God? (demands respect, it’s an appropriate and necessary part of creation)

Do you remember Jesus’ great commandment?  (love God with your whole being and your neighbour as yourself) 

What would that mean to the issue of evil in one’s heart? (it, too, must be used to love God)

Matthew 8:5-13

Who is the centurion?  (a gentile, the enemy)

What is his evaluation of Jesus? What does he recognise in him? (a man of great authority)

What enables the centurion to seek out Jesus? (faith, desperation, love for slave)

What does he need from Jesus? (heal his slave)

Why does he think Jesus can do it? (he has heard stories)

What authority does Jesus have or is related to? (son of man, spirit, the ‘Self’ in Jungian terms)

What has enabled Jesus to stay in touch with this authority? (prayer, self-awareness, vulnerability, compassion, focus upon doing the will of God)

How does your sense of this authority work for you? (comes to the rescue when I don’t think I have the resources to cope) 

When are you in touch with it? (when I’m vulnerable, when my ego lets go of control) 

When are you not in touch?  (when I’m confident, in control, when life is easy)

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