Bible Study (Youth)
Overview: In these verses, God is trying to restore perspective to his people. As we seek to love mercy and do justice, we restore ourselves to the right place in God’s kingdom and we participate in restoring humanity to its rightful place under God.
- Have you ever felt lost in your efforts to see justice?
- How can we as Christians stay motivated to tackle injustice?
- Have you ever served people who are poor or oppressed for selfish reasons?
Explore and Apply
Read Genesis 1:26-28.
- According to Jesus, what did the Spirit anoint Jesus to do?
- Why do you think Jesus proclaimed this passage at the beginning of his ministry and in his hometown?
- How do we see themes of oppression and justice in this passage?
Explore and Apply
Read Isaiah 53:4–12.
- How does this passage fulfill Jesus’s declaration in Luke 4:16-21?
- Where does the theme of injustice surface in this passage?
- How did Jesus suffer injustice and why?
- Have you ever thought of the gospel in terms of justice and injustice?
- How are oppression and injustice central to the gospel?
- How does seeing Jesus as the victim of injustice for your sake impact you?
Commit to praying for young people everywhere, every single day. As a group, commit to take time out of our busy schedules to lift people up before God as well as ask him how we can make a difference in our communities and the world.
Seek out social justice projects that can take some time in order to build relationships with those you serve. For project suggestions contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teachable Points on Racism
Please note that the point of discussing racism is not to provide more information or to come to a consensus about racism. It is simply a point of contact for open, honest discussion, remembering the discussion ground rules stated earlier.
Scripture Discussion Points
- All are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
- The Hebrews were not all the same (Exodus 12:38; Joshua 2:10-14; 9:3-27; Book of Ruth)
- Jesus is the Messiah for all people and all nations (Matthew’s genealogy includes Ruth the Moabite; see Matthew 1:5; Simeon in Luke 2:31-32).
- Jesus’s interactions with Samaritans (Luke 4; 10:25-37).
- The spreading of the gospel beyond Israel (Acts 8:26-39; 10:34-35).
- Paul often spoke about tearing down walls that divide Jews and Gentiles (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 3:1-11).
Through prayer we can become one in Jesus. We are intentionally seeking God and drawing closer to him. Let us remember that we do not have all the answers, but we serve a God who does. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). More than just another activity in our busy lives, this prayer time will can assist us as individuals and as a youth group in deepening our desire to pray that God will move in a transformative way.
Jesus, you prayed that we would be one as you and the Father are one (John 17:11). This is more than all of us believing the same thing—it means we are on a mission together with you at the center of all that we do. We pray that you would draw us closer to you and to one another, that you would meet us where we are in our search for truth, love, and justice. And we pray that as we meet you and each other, we would learn to love and serve one another.
Guide us to hear your truths and where your Spirit is leading us. Empower us to take the posture of servants, to listen, care, and show compassion. May we hear everything you are trying to teach us so that we move out in the world in such a way that our presence makes a difference in the lives of others. May we approach the work before us, never for our own benefit or to gain esteem but instead for the benefit of others and for God’s glory.
Reform us, revive us, renew us, restore us, and teach us how to follow your example of loving with the heart of a servant. Help us to forgive as you have forgiven us. Help us to change any thinking that needs your fresh anointing. Help us to let go of our grudges, to forgive our enemies, and to treat others as we would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).
In answering our call to love mercy and do justice, God, help us to become the people you created us to be. Help us to become the believers who will carry out your work to bring people into proper relationship with you and the church. Amen.
America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, by Jim Wallis
Witnessing Whiteness, by Shelly Tochluk
The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates