Everyone has a story of family conflict. In today’s message, we are going to look at some families in scripture who faced huge conflicts and issues with reconciliation. Listen as we focus on the Patriarchs and Jesus as we continue our One Story series. Pastor Paul Kiss unpacks the stories in Genesis as together we discover the Patriarchs point us to Jesus because they show us God’s developing plan for our reconciliation with each other and with him.
Patriarchs and Jesus
Speaker: Paul Kiss
Date: January 13, 2019
Family Stories About Conflict*
● Cain – Dealing with conflict through ELIMINATION.
Text: Genesis 4
● Abraham/Isaac – Dealing with conflict through SEPARATION.
Text: Genesis 12-27
● Jacob and Esau – Dealing with conflict through CONCILIATION.
Text: Genesis 27-36
● Joseph – Dealing with conflict through RECONCILIATION.
Text: Genesis 37-50
● Three steps in seeking reconciliation.
1. Recognize what has happened in the past. Name it.
2. Forgiveness is asked for and given. It is a process.
3. Mutual submission happens and the future is defined.
“Am I my brother’s keeper,” asked by Cain in Genesis 4, finally gets answered in Genesis 50 in the story of Joseph and his brothers. “Yes, I am my brother’s keeper.”
How do these stories point us to Jesus?
● Jesus’ view of reconciliation. (That Joseph points us toward)
● Total reconciliation even includes an ability to love our enemies.
Which story of conflict reflects your life right now?
1. How do you typically handle conflict? (Accommodate; Collaborate; Avoid; Attack; Problem Solve; other)?
2. With which story do you most identify, as it relates to conflict? Cain: uncontrolled anger? Abraham: separation? Jacob: conciliation/appease? Joseph: reconciliation?
3. Paul suggested that these stories of conflict show a progression of conflict management and this progression points us to Jesus who takes reconciliation to its full extent – love for enemies. What are your thoughts about this progression? Agree? Disagree? Why?
4. Read Matthew 18:15-20. How do these instructions from Jesus relate to how we move along the trajectory of these Genesis stories of handling conflict – from Cain to Joseph?
5. Jesus calls Christians to love even our enemies, Matthew 5:38-48. What are the consequences of this approach to reconciliation though,(good or bad)? How do these consequences compare to what we find in Joseph’s story?
6. How comfortable are you with the idea that the Kingdom of God may involve our suffering if we take Jesus’ teaching to its full extent?
7. Who is there in your life right now, with whom you need reconciliation but are not sure how to go about it? Share, if you’re comfortable doing so, and then pray for each other and talk about how you might help each other in this.
1. Watch the following video by lecturer, Dalton Reimer, on The Moral Progression of Handling Conflict: Watch Here.
2. Read the story of Joseph, Genesis 37-50, looking for how reconciliation takes place.
* Adapted from a series of lectures by Dalton Reimer, PhD.