Matthew 4:12-23 – Following Jesus
Life group notes for 22 Jan 2017
- Have you ever been part of a club or a group, what did you have to do to be a member?
- What do you think Jesus is trying to communicate to people in v17? Why would does it matter today?
- Who does Jesus call to follow him and how does he explain what he is calling them to do?
- How is the cost of following Jesus shown in this passage?
- Can you share an example of how Jesus’ lordship has affected your life?
- Repenting (turning our lives around) and following Jesus is on one hand a terrifying thought. What convinced or would convince you that it is worthwhile to live for Jesus?
Matthew 5:21-37 – Getting to the heart of God’s law
Life Group Notes for 12 Feb 2017
- Have you ever used a saying or a word, only to discover that it meant something else?
Jesus continues his Sermon on the Mount, you may like to spend some time looking at the whole sermon Matthew chapters 5-7 later in the week. It ends with the crowds…‘amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority.’
We would probably want to agree with everything Jesus talks about in theory. However in practice, living in a broken world, we may struggle to accept some of these things.
- Jesus repeats the phrase “you have heard that it was said”. Jesus is teaching the law, something they would have known very well. So why does it seem like Jesus is teaching something new?
- We may think that we have never murdered anyone, so we don’t need to listen. How does Jesus get our attention? What does he say about our attitudes and thoughts?
4. How serious is our sin or law breaking according to v22?
5. To what lengths should we go to, to avoid these things?
6. What hope do we have knowing that we can never keep these commandments?
You may want to reflect on 1 Peter 2:22-25, 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Matthew 10:24-39 – A radically new life!
Life group notes 25 June 2017
- What have you given up or sacrificed for career, family, to develop a skill or devote yourself to something?
In Matthew 10:5 to 11:1 we see teaching about the Christian mission. In 10:17-22 Jesus speaking to his disciples says:
Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged…On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles…You will be hated by everyone because of me…
Jesus is preparing both his disciples and us as we begin to understand how the radical nature of discipleship and the great commission given in Matt 28:18-20.
2. The Reformation Study Bible says: ‘The Bible consistently teaches that fear and reverence are appropriate responses to God.’ What reasons are we given in v26-31 to both fear and revere God?
3. Romans 6:1-11 gives a picture which explains the enormity of coming to Jesus and following him. How does it help us as we seek to understand Matthew 10:32-38?
4. How is following Jesus both a help and a challenge in day to day life? Or how does it make life easier, more bearable and sometimes possible? How does it make it more difficult, more painful?
Pray that the Holy Spirit would help you put Jesus above everything else! Ask him to help you give up anything getting in the way.
Matthew 20:1-16 – Taken aback by Grace
From Sunday 24 September – Matthew 20:1-16
- Have you ever been overwhelmed by someone’s kindness or generosity?
Read Matthew 20:1-16
2. Why is it so important to know that this passage is not talking about salvation? What would it imply if it was?
3. How would you describe or explain what God’s grace is to someone?
4.What is it that has most helped you understand God’s grace for yourself? If you are unsure about what grace is, what would help you?
5. How does grace and salvation by faith alone set Christianity apart from other religions?
6. Those listening to the story may have had all sorts of reasons to complain. Pharisees and Jews who often felt they were justified by keeping the law, the disciples who had given up everything to follow Jesus. What might lead us to grumble against God’s kindness, mercy and grace.
7. How can we communicate and share the grace of God with people?
Listen below or download the talk from Advent Sunday 2016.
- Have you ever been caught off guard, forgotten a birthday, an exam or meeting up with someone? What happened?
- In what ways will Jesus’ second coming be like the days of Noah?
- What is the difference between those who are taken and those who are left? What is shocking about Matthew 7:21-23?
- What happens when we forget Jesus’ criteria for salvation and begin to think it is about what we do?
- What does the short story/parable add to what Jesus is saying? v43-44
- Are you looking forward to Jesus’ return, are you confident about the outcome?
Pray that Jesus will open the eyes of those who do not currently know him and for whom his return will be a disaster!
Matthew 28:16-20 – Being disciple makers!
Listen below or download the talk from 11 June 2017.
- Who is the most powerful or influential person you have met? How far does their influence reach?
- Why is it so significant that Peter was included in Jesus’ great commission? (See Matt 26:31-35, 69-75) How might this encourage us?
- What elements make up Jesus’ commission in v19-20? And why can Jesus call everyone to follow and obey him?
- What kind of evidence or witness might there be in our lives that we live for Jesus? Is our witness and love for Jesus as obvious as our love for (the thing you enjoy telling others about)? e.g. Favourite books, trip to the Philharmonic, your home or garden, Holidays…
- Do we feel able to speak about Jesus and call others to follow him? If not, why not?
- Who is missing from Christ Church? Who do we overlook to invite to church or to speak about Jesus with? In what way are we going out to the world?
Share whether you have had opportunities to speak to the people you were praying for during ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. If you haven’t been praying for people, share who you would like to commit to pray for.