Showing posts from April, 2018

What's your prayer?

We're kind of following Matthew's account in our Coffee and Bible studies, so now we come to the Lord's Prayer, which Luke (and maybe Mark) don't include until much later in the story. Chances are, Jesus taught the same prayer over and over, to disciples who, like us, could never quite remember. So now he teaches it to us... (21) What’s Your Prayer? We’re still reading the Sermon on the Mount, though Luke places the next section later in Jesus’ ministry. Maybe we’re reading several sermons, repeated sermons, or separate sermons. We can’t know which, but we can and do know, this teaching was believed to be true by those early readers, writers and followers of Jesus. As present-day followers, we also know this teaching and prayer was important enough that God inspired his writers to include it (twice) in his Bible. Following on from the “love your enemies” and “be perfect as your father is perfect” passages, Matthew looks at some of the ways we try to prove we’re

Why should we love our enemies? And who is my enemy anyway?

Last week's study encouraged us to (at least try to) love our enemies and be perfect and merciful like God. Wow! This week's looks at the passages Matthew places between the Beatitudes and "love your enemies." Just maybe, these passages will give us more reason, or more practical advice, on why and how to obey. Maybe... (20) What’s Your Purpose? Read Matthew 5:13-16 Last week (straight after the Beatitudes), we read we should love our enemies and become more like God. Does this give any other reason why those pronounced “blessed” in the beatitudes to love their enemies? 1.        What is the difference between letting our light shine, and forcing others to see how good we are? 2.        In a world with chilies, ginger, curry, sugar (always sugar!), coffee and more, what “flavor” would describe you, and what purpose does that flavor serve? (Salt served to preserve.) Read Matthew 5:17-20 1.        What purpose does the law serve? ( Read James 2:10 – We re

What comes next after learning you're blessed?

We looked at the Beatitudes last week - Luke's version and Matthew's - but how did Jesus move on from such a well-remembered snippet... and why can't we just learn everything from snippets? I decided to follow Luke and he moves straight away to Jesus saying we should love our enemies. Matthew has a few extra bits in between but we'll look  at them later... Do you have any enemies? (19)Love Your Enemies? Luke follows his list of the Beatitudes with an injunction to love our enemies. Read Luke 6:27-36. 1.        How might loving our enemies relate (today and in Jesus’ day) to a.        Blessed are the poor/woe to the rich ( Luke 6:20,24 ) b.       Blessed are the hungry/ woe to the full ( Luke 6:21a,25a ) c.        Blessed are the mourners/ woe to the laughing ( Luke 6:21b,25b ) d.       Blessed at the despised, excluded, reviled/woe to the admired? ( Luke 6:22,26 ) 2.        After listing the blessings and woes, Jesus says “But…” Does that help answe

Preaching to People in Glass Houses?

Jesus must have preached lots of sermons. The sermon on the mount might be a "collected works," as might the "sermon on the plain." But it's clear Jesus picked a small group of disciples from the large crowds following him. And he did preach to the crowds. So perhaps it's time to read what he said. (18) Mountains, Plains and (maybe glass) Houses Jesus has spent time near Jerusalem. John gets into trouble. Jesus moves north to Galilee, via Samaria where he meets the woman at the well. He stays with Peter’s family in Capernaum, goes walkabout to escape the crowds, can’t escape the crowds and chooses his own particular crowd of 12 disciples. Then… Read Mark 3:14,20, Luke 6:13,17, Matthew 5:1 Everyone’s heard of “The Sermon on the Mount.” But what about “The Sermon on the Plain”? In the house? 1.        Who was following Jesus when he chose the twelve? 2.        What was Jesus doing before he chose the twelve ( Read Luke 6:12 )? 3.        Why di

Have You Read All About It?

Still working our way through the New Testament, we're following Jesus as his Galilean ministry takes off. Crowds gather. Spies ask searching questions. And the overarching issue for everyone is, who is Jesus. It's a question that, just maybe, changed the course of history. (17) Lord of the Sabbath Those religious spies from Jerusalem are getting restless, up there in Galilee. Jesus’ disciples never seem to do as they should, and Jesus, as their leader, is obviously to blame. So he can’t be the Messiah, obviously… Read Matthew 12:1-8 We’ve skipped some chunks of Matthew again (healing, teaching, sending the 12 out to teach, telling John…), but this scene appears straight after the passages we’ve been studying in Mark and Luke (and there may not even be 12 disciples yet to be sent out), so we’ll follow their timeline for a bit. 1.        What law are they being accused of breaking? Read Exodus 20:8-10,34:21 2.        Are they working? Read Deuteronomy 23:25 so taking