reJesus

RE:JESUS - Homework: February 11-12:  Matthew 20

RE:
You—When you were a child, what chores were you expected to do around the house? How much did you expect to be paid, or, if there was no payment, how did you hope to be recognized for your work?

RE: Context
When Jesus taught, the traditional manner of looking at reality was often turned on its head. Take Matthew 20:1–16 and Matthew 20:20–28 as examples. In both teachings Jesus makes it clear that traditional norms of fairness and what it means to be great are not valid in the Kingdom of Heaven. The last are first and the servant is the one who becomes great. Take some time to reflect on these teachings in light of what Jesus says about His own vocation in Matthew 20:17–19.

RE: Response
Do you ever envy God’s generosity in the life of another person (cf. Matthew 20:15)? Name some ways you can serve people using Jesus as your model here in chapter 20.

RE: Application
Approach your working and relational life this week with the paradigm of Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 20 in the forefront of your mind. How does looking through the lens of this chapter change how you see things?




 

RE:JESUS - Homework: February 4–5:  Matthew 19

RE: You
When were you a sheep that wandered off? How did God get you back?

RE: God’s Word
The sheep we see today tend to be the plush ones in toy stores, but In Jesus’ day shepherding and sheep were a common visual. Jesus’ listeners would have easily tapped into both the life of a shepherd and the nature of a sheep. A GOOD shepherd was rough and tumble—sacrificial in protecting the flock. A NORMAL sheep was dumb, prone to wander and unable to defend itself. The word “weak” would easily come to mind. One of the threads through both Old and New Testaments is that of the Lord being the Shepherd and Israel being the sheep.

RE: Context
We tend to read Matthew 18:1–14 as having to do with children in the sense of age. But read the passage again and think of Jesus as using the idea of a small child as a platform to talk about humility in the life of a disciple. A “little one” is a humble follower of Jesus who believes with a childlike faith. Further, a little one who wanders off is like a follower of Jesus who leaves the fellowship of disciples and needs rescuing. This kind of little one (sheep) could very well be you and me.

RE: Response
What childlike quality do you need to recapture in your life? Why?

RE: Application
Consider your attitude toward those who “wander” —the weak, the powerless. What needs to change in your posture toward them?




 

RE:JESUS - Homework: January 28–29:  Matthew 18

RE: You
When were you a sheep that wandered off? How did God get you back?

RE: God’s Word
The sheep we see today tend to be the plush ones in toy stores, but In Jesus’ day shepherding and sheep were a common visual. Jesus’ listeners would have easily tapped into both the life of a shepherd and the nature of a sheep. A GOOD shepherd was rough and tumble—sacrificial in protecting the flock. A NORMAL sheep was dumb, prone to wander and unable to defend itself. The word “weak” would easily come to mind. One of the threads through both Old and New Testaments is that of the Lord being the Shepherd and Israel being the sheep.

RE: Context
We tend to read Matthew 18:1–14 as having to do with children in the sense of age. But read the passage again and think of Jesus as using the idea of a small child as a platform to talk about humility in the life of a disciple. A “little one” is a humble follower of Jesus who believes with a childlike faith. Further, a little one who wanders off is like a follower of Jesus who leaves the fellowship of disciples and needs rescuing. This kind of little one (sheep) could very well be you and me.

RE: Response
What childlike quality do you need to recapture in your life? Why?

RE: Application
Consider your attitude toward those who “wander” —the weak, the powerless. What needs to change in your posture toward them?




 

RE:JESUS - Homework: January 21–22:  Matthew 17

RE: You
Have you ever been at a loss for words? Or stuck your foot in your mouth? What was that experience like?

RE: God’s Word
It’s been said you cannot understand the New Testament without having lived in the Old Testament. Many of the truths and themes in Matthew through Revelation are tied to what transpired in Genesis through Malachi.

RE: Context
In Matthew 16, Jesus gave His disciples insight into his looming suffering. They balked. After grappling with the very real prospect of future pain, Jesus took the most influential disciples with him to the mountain where he is transfigured before their eyes. They got to see his eternal beauty and divine radiance. It was a very real (and terrifying) comfort to Peter, James and John who needed to know the suffering Son of Man was the very Son of God.

RE: Response
In what way do you need to see the power and majesty of Jesus in your suffering?

RE: Application
Study Matthew 17:1–13 throughout the week. Prayerfully meditate on a word or phrase that sticks to your heart and mind.




 

RE:JESUS - Homework: January 14–15:  Matthew 16

RE: You
(Please take time to read Matthew 16)
If you were to think back in time to when you were a teenager, what adjective would your peers have used to describe you?

RE: God’s Word
There are many places in scripture where a sense of what the author is trying to say comes clearly into view. Matthew 16 is like that. In this chapter we find the central confession of faith regarding who Jesus is.

RE: Context
Jesus has just grappled with the death of his cousin, John the Baptist. After retreating to be with his Heavenly Father, Jesus returns to his public ministry with a renewed sense of urgency. As he sets his face to Jerusalem, Jesus begins to plainly reveal his identity to the disciples…and to share the end reality of his path as one of suffering.

RE: Response
If you recognize Jesus as your Messiah, when did that first happen?

RE: Application
Focus on Matthew 16:25–26. How would you apply Jesus’ “gain and forfeit” argument to your own current priorities? Why?


RE: Application
Pay attention to your heart this week. Take note of who you are. Are you shallow in the things of God or are you open to having your heart renovated and transformed?




 
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