Good afternoon, church! Here are some reminders and discussion questions for this week.
Deadline to sign up for the Philippines mission trip is tomorrow, 1/31. Please reach out to Sharon Pastre firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to sign up.
CG Discussion and Personal Study Questions
“The King’s Authority” Matthew 8-9
Jesus possess absolute authority in the world and warrants absolute allegiance from the world. When you think of authority, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is authority a good or a bad thing, explain? What are some examples of authority used well and authority used poorly?
Some sociologists suggest that there are three types of authority. What are some examples of these different authorities? Which of these authorities does Jesus have?
Traditional Authority (Title/Position/Rank)
Charismatic Authority (Captivating/Magnetic)
Powerful Authority (Strength/Threat)
In what ways was the leper physically, socially, and spiritually unclean (Matthew 8:1-4)? Who would you say our the “lepers” in our society? How does Jesus touching the leper dignify him? Jesus’ is the only person in the world that makes the unclean, clean. How does this healing miracle showcase the truth of the gospel?
Why would the Centurion be seen as the definitive enemy of the Jewish people and how does this affect the way we read the story (Matthew 8:5-13)? How is authority represented and respected in the military? What do we learn about the faith of the Centurion in this story? Why is Jesus amazed at the Centurion? What does it look like for us to practically believe, respect, and recognize the authority of JEsus in our lives?
Jesus’ miracles dignify and restore the lowly and the least within society. What do we learn about the heart and character of God from the miracles of Jesus (Matthew 8: 14-17)? Peter’s Mother-in-law begins to serve Jesus as she is healed. How is serving a response to being healed? What motivates you to serve Jesus? How has the power, truth, and love of Jesus brought healing into your life?
Jesus’ miracles are sandwiched between calls to costly discipleship (Matthew 8:18-22). A naive scribe wants to follow Jesus but how does Jesus respond to him and what do you think the response is supposed to mean? How can we have false expectations about what Christianity and following Jesus are actually like?
Most modern readers are shocked at Jesus’ statement that the dead should bury their own dead. How would you reword this statement to get across the sharp point Jesus is making here in a way that modern ears would understand?
Jesus has fallen asleep and his disciples are fearful that Jesus doesn’t care and isn’t going to help them (Matthew 8:22-9:8). When are you fearful that Jesus doesn’t really care about your situation? Jesus rebukes the disciples before the wind and waves, why is that? Jesus was determined to keep his promise and to make it to the other side of the lake. What promises has Jesus made to us that we can trust him to keep no matter what?
The demons in the story have the best theology of anyone who has ever meet Jesus (Matthew 8:28-34). How is it possible to know who Jesus truly is and to not have saving faith? The demons are concerned that Jesus will torment them before their time. What does this reference mean? Jesus casts the demons into a herd of pigs which drawn in the water and people run out to Jesus terrified of him and begging him to leave their area. Why are the people afraid of Jesus? Is ever right to be afraid of Jesus?
Instead of merely healing the man’s body, Jesus forgives the man of his sins (Matthew 9:1-8). Why is being forgiven more important than being healed? How can we cultivate a spiritual perspective that looks behind our physical needs to our deeper spiritual needs?
Jesus invites Matthew to become a follower (Matthew 9:9-17). Which types of people being invited into the church would produce a social scandal in many people's eyes? We’re called to be like Jesus can reach those who are lost but sometimes we’re more influenced by? How can we avoid sin without avoiding sinners? How do you know when you’re being more sinfully influenced in a situation than bringing redemptive influence into that situation?
Jesus heals a woman struggling with an issue of blood along with a young girl who he raises from the dead (Matthew 9:18-26). How do Jesus’ miracles not merely demonstrate his power but symbolize his coming kingdom? What do each of Jesus’ miracles say about the coming Kingdom of God?
While these two blind men can’t physically see, their faith is seeing something even more important, what do we learn about these blind men from the story (Matthew 9:27-31)? What did they believe about Jesus that cause them to call out to him? Jesus brings physically sight to these men, how does Jesus bring sight to people now? How has Jesus brought sight to you? How has he caused you to see new things even in the last few months by the power of the Holy Spirit?
The man is mute due to the power and presence of demonic opposition (Matthew 9:32-34). What do we learn about the effects of demonic oppression on the natural world from this story? What ways might the enemy come against us to make us mute so that we don’t speak the truth of God into a situation in our own lives? How does the enemy win when the people of God stay silent?
Thanks and have a great week!