Best. Sermon. Ever. Discussion Questions
Feb. 19 – Apr. 2, 2023
Week 4: The Art of Self Management
When you look back over your life, who is one person who invested in you to help shape your faith?
As a group, read Matthew 7:1-6 before you consider this week’s questions.
- What word or idea stands out as you review this passage?
- What do you think of this statement: “You are not a judge when you assess people critically… you are a judge when you treat people harshly.” Talk about a time when you were either someone who judged another person, or when you felt judged in a situation.
- Hypocrisy is easy to spot when we see it, but it can be harder to recognize in our own thoughts and actions. Eric said hypocrisy is “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.” Have you ever experienced a situation when you were afraid to be honest with someone, only to be surprised by their acceptance of you?
- How do gentleness and humility help us defeat the common traps of hypocrisy? What’s something you can do today to “work on you”?
- Is there someone you know who is broken and who needs to find healing in community? Spend time praying over these individuals and ask God to help you be an instrument of His grace and healing through gentleness.
Week 3: You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry
What’s your favorite action movie? Is there a scene, a stunt, or a particular character that makes it especially enjoyable or memorable for you?
- What has been your experience with “payback” – either as someone receiving or dishing out a “deserved” consequence or punishment? Share a brief story that comes to mind.
- Read together Matthew 5:38-41. What stands out in Jesus’ words in this passage? Do you feel like this way of working through conflict comes easily for you, or is it difficult? Explain.
- Adam said anger is “a reflective feeling that says ‘something is wrong and needs to be set right.’” How have you seen anger be helpful, or hurtful, in your own life?
- Read together Matthew 26:47-52. Based on this passage, or other examples you may wish to consider as a group, how did Jesus respond when someone opposed or offended him? What does it look like for us to follow his example?
- Application question for the week: Who needs from you the same grace God gives to you?
Week 2: Who Has The Good Life?
Name one ‘life-changing’ event/item that has occurred in your lifetime.
Group Discussion and Questions:
1. Before you begin today’s discussion, as a group, read Matthew 5:1-12. What stands out as you read this passage together? Is there an aspect of this passage that particularly challenges or encourages you?
2. Josh said the Beatitudes are not ‘commanding,’ but ‘announcing’ that Jesus is “on the side” of various people/groups who may have felt disempowered by the customs/culture of their time. How does this impact your understanding of the Beatitudes as you seek to understand its application to our lives?
3. Josh reminded us that we need to lift people up, not look down on them and that God’s blessing is available to everyone…no matter what they have done. Can you think of anyone in your life who you find difficult to relate to or understand, but who you can lift up or encourage-despite your differences?
4. Josh said Jesus was killed in part because Jesus was making God accessible to everyone, not just a select few. How have modern Christians unintentionally made God less accessible to others? What are ways we can help make God accessible to everyone?
Make time to share and hear from each group member, and take time to pray for one another specifically before you close your time this week.
Week 1: The Genius of Jesus
Have you ever had an “A Ha!” moment when you figured something out? How did you feel in that moment?
Group Discussion and Questions:
1. Josh mentioned several geniuses (Leonardo da Vinci, Orson Welles, Katherine Johnson, Steve Jobs), and asserted four “markers” of geniuses; they are: Original, Heretical, Transformative, Extremist. Josh pointed out that, even though few people talk about Jesus being a genius, Jesus displayed ALL of these qualities. Have you ever met anyone who portrayed one or more of these qualities and who made a strong impact on you, or your way of thinking?
2. Josh showed how the “genius of Jesus” was unique because it was not only transformative, but also transferable. Talk about those terms with your group, and share some examples from the Bible that support this idea.
3. Read Luke 2:41-50. What do you notice about doubt, faith, and questions in this passage? Can you share about a time when you learned something new that changed your way of thinking?
4. Josh shared his faith story, which included a wrestling with the question: “Is Jesus worth following?” How would you personally answer that question?
To prepare for the rest of this series, read Matthew 5-7 this week and consider taking time to pray/journal in one of these ways:
- Spend some time praying for God to show you ways your own biblical knowledge may fall short of the wisdom of God about which Jesus was teaching.
- Look for words or phrases that catch your attention and seem to resonate with you in a fresh way as you read over familiar verses.
- Challenge yourself to memorize a section of this passage that’s especially meaningful to you.