Monday, February 27, 2006

March 20-27 Matthew 5:21-48 Be Perfect

In this section of Jesus sermon he speaks of a radical moral purity. Some have considered this teaching to be a call to radical obedience and growth towards Godly perfection. Others have called the teaching so impossible that it must just be pointing us to our sinfulness and need for a gracious and forgiving God.

What do you think Jesus is trying to communicate?

What teaching seems to be the most difficult for people to live out as they attempt to follow Jesus: not becoming angry, not looking on one another lustfully, avoiding divorce, never making a vow, turning the other check, or loving our enemies?

Feel free to share your own observations or ask questions you may have

March 13-20 Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light

Salt is at its best when it brings out the flavor already present in the food. Jesus challenges his followers to bring out the best in the world they live in. Many people who claim to be following Jesus end up forming a salt block. This group of people leaves the world wanting more flavor, but their taste in isolation is repulsive.

What does it look like for Jesus follower to start being salt?

Jesus calls his followers to be a light in dark places. I think it might be helpful to define what it means to be a light. After we know what it means to be a light we can discuss the places in this world experiencing an absence of light (darkness).

Share your definition of being a light.

Where is there an absence of this light?

Feel free to share your own observations or ask questions you may have

March 6-13: Matthew 5:1-12 God Blesses Those...

There are at least four ways to understand the Beatitudes:
  1. They are a code of ethics for the disciples and a standard of conduct for all believers.
  2. They contrast Kingdom values (what is eternal) with worldly values (what is temporary).
  3. They contrast the superficial "faith" of the Pharisees with the real faith that Christ demands.
  4. They show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new Kingdom.

Which of these 4 best explains your understanding? And why?

Blessed refers to a state of favor with God, whether happy or not with one's circumstances. A person who is blessed may experience both joy and hope in times of mourning, hunger, brokenness and persecution.

Of the "blessed" attitudes in vs. 1-12, which have you experienced; either in yourself or someone else?

Feel free to share your own observations or ask questions you may have.

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