Session 12 – Small Group Study Guide
Gentle and Lowly Chapters 22, 23, Epilogue
- Ortlund ends his book by describing the anguish of the cross, but he explains that spiritual anguish Christ felt as he absorbed the sum total of righteous divine wrath upon himself as infinitely greater than any physical torture he endured. All of this suffering was so that we, his enemies, could be saved and made his. This was what “loving to the end” meant in John 13:1. What does this love reveal to you about the heart of Christ? How does it encourage you as you meditate on this portrait of his love in the gospel?
- Put John 13:1 into your own words. What is John telling you about what Jesus bore on the cross and who Jesus is in your life?
- This portrait of Christ’s love should increase our awe of who he is and expand our worship. Yet when we daily consider our own sin and suffering, we can start to minimize his love. Reflect for a moment, How might we impose the fickleness and weakness of our love upon God, and not appreciate and live in light of his enduring and unwavering love that pursues us to the end?
- Many in our church are facing extended seasons of suffering and struggle. Some are suffering with pain that won’t be fixed this side of eternity. How might the knowledge of Christ’s persevering love provide meaningful comfort and support to those hurting?
- Where does your love stop or hit a ceiling? How might the love of Christ help raise that ceiling and allow you to love in deeper ways? (e.g. I love to the end of my comfort zone, as soon as things feel uncomfortable I retreat. Yet when I meditate on my Savior’s love, confess my selfishness, and pray for those that I struggle to love, I have found the ability to move toward others in ways that more clearly reflect my Savior’s heart.)
- What have been the biggest lessons for you personally in this book? What have you seen in the heart of Christ that has moved you to worship? This can give us a list of windows to reflect on.
- Before reading this book, what was a sin, suffering, or experience that made you feel really distant from God? How has studying the heart of Christ in this book helped you see his care surrounding you in the midst of that?
Sharing and Prayer
- What is one thing from this study that has impacted your understanding of Jesus? How might this add a dimension to how you relate to Him?
- As we conclude this study, our hope is that you would have gotten to know the heart of Christ more accurately and intimately. But as we grow in knowing Him, we also want to grow in making Him known. What’s one relationship you can display Christ’s heart to through your love this summer? How might you do that? Who can pray for you?
- Share other prayer requests:
For future reading, please consider reading Dane Ortlund’s Deeper, which helps us consider how we grow and mature as Christians primarily through deepening our relationship with Christ.