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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

God is approachable!  Look at Jesus,  He never turned anyone away, even when it would seem there was urgent business, or He was tired, or the people coming to Him seemed repugnant.  Jesus ‘is the image of the invisible God’. (Colossians 1:15 NIV)  If Jesus is approachable, then so is the Father.


Many have a hard time believing God is approachable.  For years I held two completely contradictory views of God.  There was the view of my preconceived notions. Then the view as I experienced Him dealing with my successes and failures.  The two views were completely at odds.  When things went wrong I would anticipate a harsh response. From God however, I received only gentleness.  He would reassure me, help me learn from my mistakes and move on. It took time to learn that the God who I met was the real God.


Bible Zone

The zone below looks at three encounters with Jesus.  They demonstrate how God responds to different people in situations where one might have expected a brush off.


Jesus like God

Jesus made some bold claims in His time on earth. This one, that He is like the Father is essential to our understanding of the Father, for it puts God in the human context, and enables us to see how God responds to our very human challenges.

  1. What claims does Jesus make?
  2. What does this tell you about Jesus and God?
  3. What can you learn about God from looking at Jesus?


John 12:44 Then Jesus cried out, ‘Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.


Accepts the unapproachable

Often those who find it hardest to accept that God will accept them are those who know that their lives don’t measure up to who God is.  In this example we see Jesus accepting someone whom everyone else thought should be rejected.

The passage is Luke 7 .  Some questions to help engage with the text.

  1. Why did people not accept the woman?
  2. How confident was the woman of being accepted by Jesus?
  3. How willing would you have been to accept the woman and how she acted?
  4. Why did Jesus accept the woman?


Luke 7:36-50    36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat.*37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

  39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She's a sinner!"

  40 Then Jesus answered his thoughts. "Simon," he said to the Pharisee, "I have something to say to you."

  "Go ahead, Teacher," Simon replied.

  41 Then Jesus told him this story: "A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver* to one and 50 pieces to the other.42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?"

  43 Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt."

  "That's right," Jesus said.44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn't offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.45 You didn't greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet.46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

  47 "I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love."48 Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven."

  49 The men at the table said among themselves, "Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?"

  50 And Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."



Approached when busy

Another reason why people don’t think God will accept them is because He must be so busy running the universe, what are my needs compared to that.  Jesus however managed to show care for people even when other matters were urgently pressing in on Him.  The text is Luke 8

  1. Why would you think Jesus might have been too busy for the sick woman?
  2. Why might Jesus have just let the woman be healed and left it at that?
  3. What care was shown to this widow, someone who would have been among the most marginalized of her society?


Luke 8:41-48  40 On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him.41 Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come home with him.42 His only daughter,* who was about twelve years old, was dying.

  As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds.43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding,* and she could find no cure.44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.

  45 "Who touched me?" Jesus asked.

  Everyone denied it, and Peter said, "Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you."

  46 But Jesus said, "Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me."47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed.48 "Daughter," he said to her, "your faith has made you well. Go in peace."



Approached when tired

Our final encounter finds Jesus and His followers exhausted.  Mark 6

  1. What was the physical and emotional state of Jesus and His followers?
  2. How might you have behaved if you were ambushed in this way?
  3. How did Jesus’ followers respond?
  4. How did Jesus respond to the people?


Mark 6:31-36   31 Then Jesus said, "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile." He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat.

  32 So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.33 But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them.34 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

  35 Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late.36 Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat."

GOD IS APPROACHABLE