Summer on the Mount: Week 1
By: Reality SF
Welcome and Opening Prayer:
Welcome one another and open in a prayer that commits the time to following Jesus by loving God and one another.
Following Jesus in Context:
As we begin studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we see His message as central to what it means to be a disciple or follower of Jesus. But what tradition did Jesus follow? He came from the rich tradition of Hebraic teaching—what we know as the Old Testament. He followed Jewish teachings from the Law and Prophets, and the Book of Matthew especially emphasizes Jesus’ Jewish roots. Therefore, in order to comprehend Jesus’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount well, it means knowing some background. This will help us understand and follow Jesus’ instructions.
Watch The Bible Project Video: Matthew Chapter 1-13
Large Group Discussion Questions:
- What did you learn about the context of Matthew through the video that was new or insightful for you?
- Zooming in on the context which is described in the video, what is Jesus’ relationship to the Old Testament in the Book of Matthew?
Matthew 4 Breakout Groups:
Break into four groups (if your CG is less than 10, break into two groups and and combine Group 1 & 2 into one group and Group 3 & 4 in the other).
Assign a paragraph from Matthew 4 to each of the groups, and after 5-10 minutes, ask each group to share their findings with the rest of the group. Try to remember how the The Bible Project video above can play into the answers.
Group 1: Matthew 4:1-11
- What does this passage convey about the way Jesus sees the world and interacts with temptation in the world?
- What aspects of Jesus’ character are emphasized in this text?
Group 2: Matthew 4:12-17
- What does the Isaiah prophecy (v. 15-16) communicate about Jesus?
- What is the message Jesus has for the world? What does it mean?
Group 3: Matthew 4:18-22
- What does this passage communicate about Jesus’ followers? What kind of people are they, and why would they be interested in following Jesus?
- How do the disciples respond to Jesus’ invitation?
Group 4: Matthew 4:23-25
- What does this passage show about Jesus’ power and reputation?
- What kind of people does Jesus attract?
Large Group Discussion Questions:
- In light of who Jesus is and the kind of followers He gathers, what does it mean for you to be a modern-day follower of Jesus?
- What parts of following Jesus seem particularly inviting (or challenging)?
Read Matthew 7:24-27:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Jesus culminates His Sermon on the Mount with this parable about the importance of practically applying His teaching. Because of this, every week there will be an emphasis on practical application of what we learned as a group. Split into pairs and discuss, support, and then pray.
- What stood out to you from today’s discussion?
- What are practical ways you can apply what you noticed? (For example, is there a conversation to have, a commitment to make, or request for help that you need to make?)
We want to help you prepare each week for the sermon coming on the following Sunday. So in the “Looking Ahead” section, we will give you the passage of Scripture that the upcoming Sunday sermon will cover and sometimes a reflection question to guide you along with the Scripture reading. Don’t worry—these Scriptures are never longer than 12 verses!
In order to look ahead, try to read Matthew 5:1-12 (the Beatitudes) daily until your next CG meeting.