Matthew - Discussion

WEEK 5: Radical Manifesto

Read this overview 

Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. He is Messiah, the long awaited king of Israel and the world. Jesus came to usher in a new era of human history called the kingdom of God and to show us a new way to be human. This is good news for all of us. Join us as we walk through the Gospel of Matthew and encounter the Jesus who changes everything.

Begin with silence and prayer
5 min

Gather together as a LifeGroup, as a family or find time alone in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of the living room, etc.). Invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time. Then spend a few minutes in silence. 

Why silence, even while together? Because we live in a busy, noisy world, under a non-stop assault of distraction. In the midst of all the chaos, it’s hard at times to hear the voice  of God, and that of our brothers and sisters. As we gather together as a family, we want to hear what the Father is saying to and through each of us, and respond in turn. A great way to do that is to begin each time with silence and prayer.

Reflection on Sunday’s Sermon
15-20 min

If you are in a LifeGroup of 10 or more, divide into small groups of 5 – 7 people each (ideally same gender). Spend a few minutes catching up on life. Then talk about the following debrief questions:

1. What thoughts or reflections do you have about the sermon?

2. What have you thought about the beatitudes before Sunday? Was anything new or different revealed to you through the sermon?

3. Were there any specific things you heard from God?

Open the Bible together
15-20 min

Have somebody read Matthew 5:1-11.

Discuss the following questions:

1. In the sermon, we saw that in Jesus day, makarios was often used as a celebratory greeting to someone. So you get a new job or you get married or, a friend may see you on the street and say Makarios!  You could translate it “congratulations!” How does that impact the way we interpret this passage?

2. The first entry of the beatitudes is “blessed are the poor in spirit..” How might this light setup the framework from the remainder of the beatitudes?

3. In light of last week’s study on the kingdom of God, how does this opening message of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount connect to our understanding of the God’s kingdom and our life as citizens of that kingdom?

Work through these reflection questions
10-15 min

1. What does our culture associate with being blessed?

2. How do the beatitudes vary and/or align with our cultural understanding of blessing? Why difference do the similarities and/or differences make in our understanding of life, faith, and the kingdom of God?

3. In the sermon, David stated, “These opening blessings are words of invitation, words of grace, welcoming us into life with him, into his kingdom. Repent for the kingdom is near. It has come near for you. And from here Jesus goes on to explain this whole new way of living, of how we can take up his way of life. He blesses us and invites us in.” Do you read this and feel invited? What is Jesus inviting us into? 

4. What will it look like for us to live and walk as people who are blessed?

Close in prayer
5-10 min

Share prayer requests and end with this collect from the Prayer Book.

O Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow after us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.Amen.