The Seemingly Impossible Ethics of Jesus

The Seemingly Impossible Ethics of Jesus

June 27, 2020

The questions in this small group guide relate to the sermon from June 27th.  If your group has not had a chance to listen to the full sermon, they can find it at cor.org/leawood/sermons.  This week’s sermon was preached by Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor. 

Opening Prayer:

Lord Jesus, as we gather to study your Word would you open our hearts to hear your voice.  Help us to set aside our pride as we humble ourselves before you.  Be with us as we learn together and grow in our understanding of the life you are calling us to.  In the name of your Son Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.

This week’s sermon is centered on Matthew 5:17-48 (CEB)

1. Pastor Adam started his sermon by asking, “What does it mean to be a Christian”?  How would you answer that question?

2. What do you think it means to be a disciple?

3. Adam mentioned that often it can feel Jesus’ ethic is impossible to attain.  He shared that the word “teleios” in Greek means “goal”.  Does viewing this sermon on ethics as a goal to be reached inspire you?  Why or why not?

4.  Adam said that Jesus was teaching in prophetic hyperbole in his sermon.  How do sayings like “And if your right eye causes you to fall into sin, tear it out and throw it away”(v.29) or “if your right hand causes you to fall into sin, chop it off and throw it away”(v.30) help illustrate his point?

5. How can the “moment of the maybe” that Adam talked about in relation to adultery, where we begin to think about what something might be like, be a steppingstone to other types of temptations in our lives?

6. Jesus was concerned about more than the letter of the law and our behaviors.  He cared deeply about what was happening in our hearts and minds too.  Do you ever feel like you’ve reduced following Jesus to a set of check list behaviors rather than a transformation of the heart?  How?

7. What are some tangible ways that we can move beyond the letter of the law and focus on the spirit of it this week?

For deeper study read through Matthew 5:31-48 taking note of the other “laws” that Jesus taught on.

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, help me to see beyond a list of behaviors and to embrace the spirit of what you are calling me to. Chip away my resistance and reshape my thoughts and feelings in your image. Keep teaching me how to live out both your steadfast love and deep sense of mission. Amen.

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