Shocking Forgiveness

October 7, 2019

Discipleship Blog Author

Scott Long

Discipleship Pastor

Everyone is talking about the astounding display of forgiveness shown in a video of Brandt Jean hugging his brother's murderer. Botham Jean (26) was in his apartment watching tv, and eating ice cream when ex Dallas police officer Amber Guyger entered his apartment, accidentally thinking it was hers. Her reaction to seeing Bothom in his own house was to shoot, fatally taking his life. In this video, Brandt Jean publicly forgives and embraces Ms. Guyger, and at the center of his address was his hope that she would give her life to Christ. You can watch the video here.

This young man's words and actions are truly supernatural. They make no sense at all unless we believe that the good news of Jesus Christ is actually true. Why would he want to forgive her? How could he forgive her? The way he embraces her feels a bit scandalous. At least in my mind, I'm watching it and thinking that doesn't seem like it's supposed to be.

But then we remember the gospel. We remember the cross, where our king Jesus endured crucifixion in the place of those who had rejected his father and hated him. He was hanging there for those who had spit on him, mocked him, beaten him and handed him over to die. Yet from the cross he said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." ... (Luke 23:34 ) 

Jesus' sole purpose for coming to the earth was to make that forgiveness possible. The forgiveness of sin. The forgiveness of God's enemies, as a scandalous and shocking free gift. Here's the thing the entire nation currently is awestruck by. It's on every social media feed, every news outlet, everyone is giving their "take" and sharing their amazement. It's the perfect set up for having a full gospel conversation with someone. Here are a few ideas on turning conversations about this shocking video to ones about the Savior who motivates it.

When the conversation comes up, either by you or someone else, ask them what they believe about forgiveness as it relates to God. 

-Ask where they think the power to forgive comes from. Based on their answer, this will give you an opportunity to share a passage like Colossians 3:12-13 that exhorts Christians by the power of the Holy Spirit to forgive as they have been forgiven in Christ. You could begin sharing how the gospel helps us treat others how God has treated us. 

-Ask how they believe forgiveness is possible. This will give you an opportunity to discuss grace based salvation from passages like Ephesians 2:8-9, helping them see that the fundamental teaching of Christianity is unmerited forgiveness based of the blood of Jesus for sinners like them and us.

-Ask how they think forgiveness squares with justice. This will give you opportunity to discuss God's holiness and how his penalty of death and wrath still fell on Jesus, so that He could be merciful to us. See 2 Corinthians 5:21. 

At some point you will want to make the conversation personal, asking where they think they stand in terms of God's acceptance or forgiveness.

With passages like Romans 3:23 and Romans 3:10-18, you can help them see that their sin against God needs forgiveness just like someone standing trial for murder. 

Lastly, ask them if there's any reason they wouldn't want the forgiveness of God for sin through repentance and faith in the gospel. As with any gospel conversation, it will require intentional follow up and potentially multiple conversations.

Missional Halloween

Seth McBee shares some practical ideas for engaging people at Halloween. These ideas can lead to gospel opportunities to make disciples.

Disciple Makers Breakfast

Please join us for our next Disciple Makers Breakfast on Saturday, October 12th. During this time we will tackle some of the questions and challenges you guys have submitted over the last few months of practicing discipleship. This will be a time of encouragement and celebration as we also want to highlight some key things God has done through D-Groups. You won't want to miss it. Register by responding to this email.

Image credit:

Tom Fox