Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on February 9, 2020
Passage: John 13:34-35
This Sunday, Mike challenged us to love one another in the same way that Jesus loves us. Like Jesus, we should make time for others, make allowances for others, make room for others, and make sacrifices for others.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Who is one of the most loving people you know? How do they show their love to you and others?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenged a number of the common teachings of the day on such topics as prayer, anger, divorce, and love. In Matthew 5:43-48, what misconceptions about love did Jesus address?
Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
- What motivations do you see in this passage for loving others?
- What do you think it looks like in real life to love your enemy?
2. There are times when loving someone means exercising “tough love” – doing what is best for them even when they may not like it or appreciate it. The Apostle Paul had a personal “tough love” encounter with another great Christian, the Apostle Peter, in Galatians 2:11-14. After reading the passage, answer the following questions.
Galatians 2:11-14 (ESV)
11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
- How does it strike you that these two “pillars of faith” would be involved in such an encounter?
- What could have been some unintended consequences if Paul had simply ignored Peter’s actions?
3. Wherever Jesus went, crowds flocked to Him. His response to these crowds earned Him the reputation of not only being a miracle worker but also a friend of sinners and outcasts. What do you notice about Jesus’ response to people in Matthew 9:9-13 and Luke 7:36-39?
Matthew 9:9-13 (ESV)
9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. 10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Luke 7:36-39 (ESV)
36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
- In our culture, do you think Jesus is still thought of as a friend of sinners? Why or why not?
- What are one or two practical ways we, as Christians, could show His love in such a way that people are attracted to Jesus, the One who truly loves them?
- Can you think of any things we should stop doing?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?