All people are worthy of respect because of the infinite value God places on each one of us.
If you’ve got a small group (10 or less) you’re already set to go. If you’ve got a bigger group, break students down into groups of 8-10 each. Boys and girls can be in the same group. When all the students have been put into a group, tell them to make a circle and then, pick out a partner across from them.
Next, tell them to quickly think of their favorite TV show, why they like it, the last time they saw it, what they hope will happen in future episodes. Yes, it’s a lot, but it’s important for them to be clear before you start.
After giving them a few moments to think, tell them that they need to shout out the answers to those questions about their favorite TV when you say “go.” That’s right, everyone in the circle will be screaming all at once.
That wasn’t very easy, was it? In fact, it probably even wasn’t very much fun, either. That’s because nobody likes to be ignored or shouted over or made to feel like they’re invisible. On the other hand, everyone likes to be listened to, appreciated, and respected. That’s what we’re going to spend our time doing tonight. I want us to leave understanding that all people are worthy of respect because of the infinite value God places on each one of us.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite TV show.
- ASK A FEW: Did your “partner” even hear you when you shouted your favorite TV show, the reasons why you like it, etc.? How do you know?
- ASK A FEW: How do you feel when someone doesn’t listen to you?
- ASK A FEW: How do you define respect?
- ASK A FEW: Why is respect important (to give and receive)?
- ASK A FEW: Does God respect us? How do you know?
- ASK A FEW: Does God value us? How do you know?
- ASK A FEW: What is the relationship between valuing a person and respecting that person? (Leaders – It’s very difficult to respect a person if they aren’t valued. Likewise, it’s much easier to respect a person who you think has value.)
Read the following passage:
CONTEXT: Jesus is in the middle of His earthly ministry. By now, the crowds are either REALLY for Him or REALLY against Him. There are only a few who haven’t yet made up their minds about Jesus. More importantly, Jesus knows that His fate lies in Jerusalem at the hands of the leaders like the Pharisees and King Herod. But in spite of this, Jesus pushes on with His mission.
ASK A FEW: What did Jesus say about the inhabitants of Jerusalem? (Leaders – The answer is in verse 34.)
ASK A FEW: Why do you think Jesus felt this way, EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW THAT HE WOULD DIE BY THEIR HANDS IN JERUSALEM?
ASK A FEW: What does this teach us about Jesus?
ASK A FEW: If Jesus could love, value, and respect people He knew wanted Him dead, how will that help you love, value, and respect those that differ from you?
ASK A FEW: Without naming names, who is most difficult for you to value and respect?
ASK A FEW: All people are worthy of respect. Agree or disagree? Why?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: How will you value and show respect to others this coming week?
Luke 13:31-35 (ESV)
31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you." 32 And he said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.' 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
Tonight we learned that it is very difficult to respect someone that you don’t value. We also learned that Jesus was a Person who valued and loved everyone…even those He knew who would kill Him.
Look, I know that respect is a tough issue. It’s a problem that’s been noticed as far back as 1967 when Aretha Franklin sang about it. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean we’re excused from it. In fact, I’d tell you that if we excel at valuing and respecting others – especially those who are very different from us – then it stands out even more!
Think about it this way: How different are you and Jesus? How much better and greater and more perfect is He than each of us? Yeah, a lot, right?!?! Now, reflect on this: even though you are far less than Him, He valued you enough to die on the cross for your sins because He loves you.
Jesus isn’t asking you to die on the cross for anyone’s sins, but He is asking you to value and love and respect others. God has shown US respect by His actions. Now He wants us to show respect and value for others by our actions.
That’s something that each of us can do this week.
Close in Prayer