Explore The Bible Study: Reconciled

9:30 AM


How easy is it for you to seek reconciliation with someone you have offended or who has offended you? Talking about reconciliation is easier than doing it. Whether out of pride or fear of confrontation or rejection, it is natural for us to avoid restoring what might have once been a healthy relationship. This is the focus of this week's Explore the Bible Study: Reconciled, from LifeWay.

Sometimes it seems easier to let relationships wither and die rather than to put forth the effort to seek reconciliation. But, as believers, we can't ignore broken relationships. Our heart for God and the reconciliation he has given us should cause us to pursue reconciling broken relationships.

Teaching Ideas
The downloadable teaching ideas offer two options for introducing the session and a review that will be helpful in setting the context. Help your group get into the minds of Esau and Jacob as they approach and respond to each other in this passage. It is a beautiful picture of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Here are some of the questions that you could use as you guide the study:

Genesis 33:1-4
  • What did Jacob do after he organized his family? How does this demonstrate the transformation that has taken place in Jacob's heart?
  • What did Esau do when he saw Jacob?
  • What can you learn from Jacob about how to seek reconciliation from those you have wronged?
  • What can you learn from Esau about receiving reconciliation from those who have wronged you?
Genesis 33:5-11
  • How did Jacob describe his family? What does this indicate about Jacob's view of his entire family, not just the son given to him by Rachel?
  • When have you seen an inheritance create hatred among siblings? Have you ever experienced this personally? Do you think reconciliation is possible?
Genesis 33:12-20
  • Consider conflicts you have had in the past that are now reconciled. What are some ways you can protect yourself from the conflict arising again?
Consider these ideas when concluding the session:
The chapter concludes with the statement, “And he set up an altar there and called it God, the God of Israel.” (Genesis 33:20 CSB).
  • This statement is very significant! Reconciliation leads to a sense of peace and breaks down the barriers to worship.
  • This man has not erected many altars to God. But now, he testifies to everyone in that land and to his family that God is the “God of Israel” – the God of Jacob.
  • Later, as Jacob looks back over his life, he is going to see God’s hand at work in all that has taken and will take place.
Consider your relationships that might be broken.
  • (In ETB PSG, p. 64) What obstacles get in the way of reconciling a broken relationship? 
  • How could reconciliation with that person foster spiritual growth in both of you?
  • What actions do you need to take in order to pursue reconciliation?
While reconciliation might cost us something, we can't ignore what can be gained: a restored relationship, healing, forgiveness, and renewed love not only for that individual but for God as well.

Handout Option for Concluding:
There is a great article by David Briscoe in this week's Explore the Bible blog that I would highly recommend copying and distributing to each person at the end of the session. The article is entitled, 5 Essential Ingredients of Reconciliation. CLICK HERE TO READ

DOWNLOAD THE SUPPLEMENTAL TEACHING IDEAS

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