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Remember: Love Others to the End (John 13:1-17)

Sermon Questions for further discussion

  1. Jesus loved His own until the end (including His betrayer and the 11 who abandoned Him in His time of need). How does this “loud” action inform us on living as His disciple?
  2. Peter asks to opt out of following until He understands. Where might this be happening in your walk? Why is it important to have the faith to follow His commands even when we fail to “understand” them (or even despise them)?
  3. It has been said that we live in the most narcissistic period in world history. How is the “religion” of loving yourself first destabilizing the command for Christians to love those the Father has given us “to the end”?
  4. Who is your John, your Peter and your Judas that you are being called to love to the end?

Why (Not) Honor? (Matthew 13:53-58)

Sermon questions for further discussion –

  1. What might the people have been expecting when Jesus returned to Nazareth? What might the disciples have been hoping for?
  2. How can Jesus’ friends and family in Nazareth be astonished at His wisdom and His works yet become offended by Him?
  3. Was it more the prophet or His prophecy that was not welcome in Nazareth?
  4. What prevents us from sharing/living out truth among family and friends? What specifically might it look like for us to “need them less and love them more?”
  5. Acts 1 tells us that Jesus’ family did (eventually) follow Him? How might the seeds He left behind in Nazareth have grown into saving faith? Are there areas where this grace should encourage you?

Why (Not) Tell Everyone? (Matthew 13:47-52)

Sermon questions for further discussion 

  1. Does Jesus’ clear declaration that all individuals will stand before the throne of judgment tend to mobilize or paralyze you? Why?
  2. The final judgment in the parable of the dragnet is clear. Do you see the unmerited grace?
  3. Why is it essential that the disciples understand “all these things” in order to understand all God’s words?
  4. How are the disciples fitted with new lenses that they may become “messianic scribes”?
  5. How are you being equipped to …
    1. Use all of God’s words”?
    2. Share the truth with all people?

Why (Not) Everything? (Matthew 13:44-46)

Sermon Questions for further discussion 

  1. Which of the 3 components of a gospel-centered life (recognizing, divesting, investing) do you find the most problematic?
  2. Arguably, the 1st man “stole” the treasure he found. Why is this presented as commendable? Consider Luke 16:1-13.
  3. Why do you imagine so many of the passing merchants “passed” on the pearl of great value?
  4. Why must one divest themselves of all they have to secure this treasure? Why does this seem so scary (risky)? What might those thoughts be revealing to you?
  5. Where are you currently on the gospel-centered life cycle?

Why (Not) Small? (Matthew 13:31-35)

Sermon questions for further discussion

  1. Are there specific parables (or verses) that have been preserved for years in your mind which one day suddenly “germinated?” How did circumstances providentially contribute to their coming to life?
  2. Why might some be offended by the parable of the mustard seed? Have you ever been disappointed by the “smallness” own testimony?
  3. Have you ever been surprised to find the Spirit of God was at work where (in whom) you least expected?
  4. How do these parables specifically prepare us for the spread of the kingdom of heaven? What should we be expecting to see?
  5. What comfort does the parable of leaven provide during times of persecution or tribulation?

Why (Not) Opposition? (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43)

Sermon questions for further discussion

  1. Does the “promise” that there will be opposition to gospel ministry until the end of the age bring you more concern or more comfort? Why?
  2. Opposition is sown as a deliberate act by the enemy to frustrate and destroy the kingdom. Why should this not come as a surprise the believer?
  3. Why is “weeding” (as defined in this parable) a forbidden practice for the servants of the Son of Man?
  4. Why do the angels make better reapers than the servants of the Son of Man?
  5. How can Ephesians 2 inform our understanding the parable of the wheat and the tares?

Why (Not) a Yield? (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

Sermon Questions for further discussion –

  1. Do you like or dislike the parable of the sower? Why? Is Jesus sowing hope or despair as He teaches on the condition of the heart of mankind?
  2. Do you error on the side of efficiency (careful and slow) or sufficiency (broad and complete) when you cast gospel truth?
  3. All four soils have the same composition. Three would appear the same to the “naked” eye. How does this inform your approach to casting the seed of the gospel?
  4. How does this parable help you observe and “condition” the various hearts that are around you?
  5. List 2-3 ways this parable challenges the way you serve Christ by broadcasting the seed He has given you?

Why (Not) Parables (Matthew 13:10-17)

Sermon questions for further discussion –

  1. Why do we often transform parables into children’s stories?
  2. Do you tend to focus your efforts on the heart or the head as you tell people about the good news?
  3. Why do we tend to invest more time in finding the right words than in praying for an act of the Spirit? What can change this?
  4. What makes one’s eyes blind, ears dull and heart hardened? What is required to change this state?

God’s Promises Come to Life: They Shall ALL Know Me (Jeremiah 31)

Sermon questions for further discussion 

  1. The promise of a new covenant was received while the people were in exile for breaking the old covenant. How would this affect the way they received God’s promise? How does hardship and tragedy affect our receptivity to God’s words?
  2. What changes in the new covenant? What stays the same? What made the changes “possible”?
  3. Is the Spirit of God writing the words of God on your heart? How do you know? What is the effect?
  4. How is your life being progressively transformed as you heed God’s call to hear > trust > act in faith?

God’s Promises Come to Life: Redeeming Us in Spite of Us (Exodus 19-33)

Sermon questions for further discussion –

  1. Why might we find it easier to trust our mechanic, doctor or financial counselor than our divine Creator?
  2. After God proved His love for them and His power, why would the people choose to trust following their own desires over God’s words?
  3. The deed response of the people did not match their word response. Assuming their words were sincere, what does this reveal that they didn’t understand about themselves? When is that true for you?
  4. What surprises you the most about the Son of God coming into our world – his birth, his teaching, his miracles, his death? Why?
  5. Like those redeemed from Egypt, believers are called to trust before we comprehend. What has God given us to demonstrate that we can trust Him wherever He takes us?