The Fierce and Tender-Hearted Savior

Discussion questions:

1. A key to understanding what Jesus is doing in this passage is the word “woe.” Why does the word “woe” signify sorrow and lament over sin as much as anger? How does that change your perspective on this difficult passage?

2. Discuss Jesus’ sharp rhetoric in this passage. Was Jesus being unloving by speaking this way? When can speaking sharply (even ironically) be an act of love? When is it necessary?

3. Read though Jesus’ woes against those who play with religion, major in the minors, are more concerned with externals than the heart, etc. Which one resonates most with your own life right now? How can you live the life of faith more authentically?

4. Jesus is fierce but he is also tender. Reread vv. 37-39. What is Jesus’ singular desire? How does he feel about Jerusalem’s unwillingness? Where even in judgment do you see Jesus giving hope to Israel? Reflect on where you might be clashing wills with Jesus and turn toward him in repentance and hope.