Summer on the Mount: Week 9
Welcome and Opening Prayer:
Welcome the group and open with a prayer.
Following Jesus in What We Value:
This week focuses on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:19-24, which focuses on Jesus’ call for His disciples to focus their attention and desire on the things of the Kingdom of Heaven. The verses include three contrasting pairs: treasures on earth vs. treasures in heaven, healthy eyes vs. unhealthy eyes, and serving God vs. serving wealth. In each pair, Jesus calls His disciples to one and not the other.
Notice the repetition and inversion of phrases, the use of contrast and either/or statements, and the invitations of Jesus communicated through these differentiating principles. Read Matthew 6:19-24 and then sit silently with the passage for 5 minutes.
Treasures – Earthly or Heavenly:
In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus contrasts earthly treasures with heavenly treasures. In Scripture, the earthly realm below differs from the heavenly realm above. The heavenly realm is anywhere God has clear dominion and His will is done, while earth remains a place for His heavenly Kingdom to be manifest (as in “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”). In light of this, Jesus appears to be contrasting earthly, mundane, or base treasures with the heavenly, transcendent, or higher treasures.
- To understand Jesus, what does it mean for you to treasure something?
- What are examples of earthly treasures and heavenly treasures?
- To what degree do you (or are you tempted to) prefer earthly treasures over heavenly treasures? What does this look like in your life?
- When you choose to store up treasures in heaven, what practical shape does this take in your life? What would it look like for your CG to store treasures in heaven together?
Eyes – Healthy or Unhealthy:
In Matthew 6:22-23, Jesus poetically describes how healthy eyes bring light to the body while unhealthy eyes bring darkness.
- If the eye represents attention, observation, and awareness, and the body represents the state of a person’s soul, heart, or being, what is Jesus communicating?
- What are the implications of this teaching for how you choose to observe the world?
Masters – God or Wealth:
In the final verse of the section, Jesus highlights the simple fact that a person can only have one master which they serve.
- Jesus contrasts God and wealth. In what ways does serving wealth, money, success, or acquisition get in the way of serving God in your life?
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.
- What stood out to you from today’s discussion and from Sunday’s sermon?
- 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?)
The sermon next Sunday, August 6th, will be on Matthew 6:25-34. In order to be prepared for Sunday’s sermon and CG next week, try to read these four verses daily and take note of how they resonate with you.