The Work of the People

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The Broad and Narrow Way


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Will Willimon on the broad and narrow way of Jesus.

Questions For Reflection

For Willimon, the Gospel of John illustrates deep and mysterious notions of God’s love. What does it mean for Jesus being the “way”?

  1. Willimon uses the illustration of finding his “girl” at Duke and thinking that God has stopped the world for Willimon, but he says that this is idiotic thinking. However, to try to understand God’s ways is now not important to Willimon. What might be the problem in trying to define how God works in the world? How can we find a balance in both accepting God’s love for us, personally, and God’s love for the rest of humanity? 
  2. Willimon does not see the “narrowness and exclusiveness” of the phrase, “I am the way.” For him, this means that Jesus says that he is the way to love broadly and not exclusively. This would define the Jesus’ saying as both “broad and narrow.” How can we, as Christians, have a more inclusive view of love? How can this inclusion be specifically Christian and Christ-like?
  3. Willimon ends by talking about how, even after 40 years of preaching, being still “shocked” by what God is showing him. How can we continue to be “shocked” by God’s work in our lives? How might some of our ways of thinking and behaving prevent God from revealing something new to us?


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