Summer on the Mount: Week 4

By: Reality SF

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Welcome and Opening Prayer:
Welcome the group and open in a quick prayer and 5 minutes of silence.

Following Jesus with a Righteous Heart:
This week focuses on Jesus’ teaching on righteousness and the Law in Matthew 5:17-20, as well as anger and reconciliation in 5:21-26. Here we see Jesus instructing His followers in the high calling of righteousness of heart. He’s not just interested in a change of behavior but also the transformation of character, thought, and feeling at the core of His disciples.

Praying with the Scripture:
Read Matthew 5:17-26 aloud, and then take 5 minutes of silent prayerful reflection. Have a few people share what they experienced.

Watch The Bible Project Video: The Law

Large Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Imagine yourself amongst Jesus’ disciples hearing His teaching on the Law. How might you have perceived Jesus’ teaching in light of the laws that were given to you through reading and hearing the Old Testament Torah?
  2. Why is transformation of the heart so important in relation to the Law?

 

Anger as a Murderous Heart:
If Jesus is after the target of a loving heart, then it appears that commands in the Old Testament about particular behaviors—“Do not murder”—serve mostly to reveal the heart. When Jesus extends “Do not murder” to the heart, therefore, He examines the anger that gives birth to murderous acts. It’s this type of anger, Jesus says, that has no place among His disciples. But what is the way out of anger?

Read Matthew 5:23-26. Take note of the practical suggestions that Jesus makes about how to handle anger.

Large Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Why did Jesus need to, so to speak, extend the Old Testament Law to the heart and make it, at least at first glance, more drastic?
  2. What kind of things are you tempted to get unrighteously angry about? Consider the emotional range of anger—from feeling slightly bugged to feeling wrathfully resentful.
  3. Based on Matthew 5:23-26, how does Jesus offer a way out of anger, and how would that apply to you today?
  4. Discuss anything else that you might have found important, based on the passage, Sunday’s sermon, and/or video from The Bible Project.

 

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. Split into pairs and discuss, support, and then pray.

  1. What stood out to you from today’s discussion and from Sunday’s sermon?
  2. 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 you need to make?)

 

Looking Ahead:
The sermon next Sunday, July 2nd, will be on Matthew 5:27-37. In order to be prepared for Sunday’s sermon and CG next week, try to commit to read these eleven verses daily and take note of how they resonate with you.