A Bible Study on Examples of Jesus Setting Boundaries
Taken from http://www.soulshepherding.org/1998/07/jesus-set-boundaries/
Jesus, in his Incarnation, had Limits that he Accepted
- Basic Needs. He ate healthy foods, got the sleep he needed and even took naps, took time to relax, and did a lot of walking (Matt 4:6-7; 26:18, 20; John 12:2).
- Support from Friends. He sought the company of friends (Matt 26:36-38).
- Solitude. He withdrew from the crowds to go away on retreat, alone or with friends.
- Singular Focus (This people, this place, this time). He left one city to go to another because he couldn’t be in two places at the same time (Mark 1:38).
- Pace of Life. He was never in a hurry, except to go to Jerusalem and embrace his cross (John 11:6; Mark 10:32).
- Abandon Outcomes. Jesus was tempted to become paralyzed with fear about the cross. Satan and his demons, along with many people who hated him, were trying to kill him. Would he make it to the cross to die for us, to be “lifted up” publicly so as it draw people to God? He let go. He chose not to force things, but to trust the Father’s will. He abandoned to the Father the outcomes of his sufferings and trials to come, as he always did. (Mark 14:32-42)
Jesus Said No to Inappropriate Behavior
- Demands. He withdrew from the crowds who wanted him, for one-on-one time with the Father (Luke 5:15-16).
- Abuse. He fought his way through the crowd that was trying to throw him off a cliff for claiming to be the Messiah (Luke 4:28-30).
- Entitlement. He didn’t give in to his mother and brothers who tried to use their relationship with him to pull him away from the crowd he was ministering to (Matthew 12:46-50).
- Baiting Questions. When the religious leaders asked him baiting questions to make him look foolish he answered with incisive questions of his own (Matthew 21:23-27, 22:15-22).
- Cynicism. He said no to Herod’s mocking demand, “Show us a sign that you are the Son of God.” (Luke 23:8-9).
- Manipulation. He said no to Peter and the disciples who had an inappropriate agenda for Jesus to a political king or military warrior rather than a sacrificial lamb. (Matthew 16:23).
- Pride. He didn’t heal those who were too proud to trust Him (Matthew 13:58).
Jesus Spoke the Truth in Love to those Stuck or Wrong
- Exploitation. He used a whip to clear out the temple of the vendors and money changers who were taking advantage of the poor and turning God’s house into a marketplace (Matthew 21:12-17, John 2:12-16).
- Addiction. He told the Rich Young Ruler that he couldn’t help him until he gave away the money that was controlling him (Matthew 19:16-21).
- Misguided. He rebuked the disciples who tried to keep the little children away from him and told them that they needed to emulate the children’s faith (Matthew 19:13-15).
Jesus Had Expectations for People in Need
- What do you want? Two blind men called out to him for help from the Jericho road. He asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?” They needed to ask for what they needed and they needed to trust Him (Matthew 20:29-34).
- Do you want to get well? For 38 years the invalid at the Sheep gate pool hadn’t been able to get into the miracle waters. He felt helpless and sorry for himself. He expected someone to fix his problem. Jesus challenged him, “Do you want to get well?… Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” It was up to him to be motivated and to take responsibility for himself (John 5:1-14).
- Do you believe? A father sought deliverance for his son who was mute and had seizures and said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Jesus put it back on the father, “`If you can’? Everything is possible for him who believes.” The father needed to believe that Jesus could cure his son (Mark 9:17-27).
Jesus Offered Grace and Truth According to the Need (John 8:1-11)
- The humble and broken. To the woman caught in adultery he offered grace (“Neither do I condemn you.”) and truth (“Go and sin no more.”).
- The proud and self-righteous. To the Pharisees who tried to condemn this woman and to trap Jesus he listened (grace) and then confronted their pride and scapegoating with the truth (“Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.”)
Jesus Taught us Examples of how to be Setting Boundaries
- Personal Prayer Time: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen” (Matthew 6:6).
- Be Honest and Direct (Don’t Pressure People or Try to Get Them to Do Things): “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).
- Set Priorities: “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Luke 16:13).
- Please God, Not People: “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44).
- Obey God: “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “’The first,’ they answered” (Matthew 21:28-31).
Learn more from Jesus on how to live with good boundaries
in the book Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke
by Bill Gaultiere. You will be shown how apprenticing yourself to Jesus (learning to live in his easy yoke) is the key to a life of peace and power!