unchristian: reframing our faith

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most well-known passages of the Bible. The content of the sermon is amazingly practical, and yet, as General Omar Bradley stated, “We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.” Does Jesus really expect us to live out the Sermon on the Mount? If we do not do so, are we unchristian?

GROUP QUESTIONS

What comes to mind when the Sermon on the Mount is mentioned?

Read Matthew 4:23-5:2. What three things was Jesus doing? What is the difference between teaching and preaching?

During this time, Jesus was obtaining a large following…and no wonder! He was “healing every disease and sickness among the people”. In his commentary on Matthew, Thomas Constable writes, “Matthew was hyperbolizing when he wrote that Jesus healed ‘all who were ill’. He could not have healed every single individual, though His healing ministry was extensive.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

Who do you think was the audience for the message – the disciples, the crowd, both (see Matthew 5:2; who does “them” refer to?)? Do you think the intended audience affects how we view the Sermon?

APPLICATION

In Jewish tradition, when someone read Scripture, they stood. When they taught, they sat down. This was a signal to those listening to prepare to hear a message. As we begin this new series on the Sermon on the Mount, is your heart prepared to hear what Jesus is saying? Pray that you would have an open heart to listen and respond to the Spirit’s prodding.

Read through the Beatitudes every day this week (Matthew 5:3-12).

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Matthew notes that Jesus began His ministry in Galilee (see also Mark 1:14). This location is important in Jesus’ life. Read the following verses and note what you learn about Galilee:

  • 2 Kings 15:29
  • Isaiah 9:1
  • Luke 2:39
  • Mark 6:21
  • John 7:41, 52
  • Matthew 21:10-11
  • Matthew 28:7
  • Mark 15:41
  • Acts 1:11

Jesus grew up in Galilee. His disciples and a number of his followers, including Mary Magdalene, were from Galilee. He did some of his most noted miracles in Galilee and much of his ministry takes place there. God, in human form, chose to be associated with Galilee, with people who were not highly regarded in society. Why do you think He chose this route to reveal Himself, rather than coming with power, might, political clout, etc.?

Read through the entire Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). What do you believe is the main emphasis of the Sermon?

SCRIPTURE

23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and He healed them. 25Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed Him. 1Now when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, 2and He began to teach them. Matthew 4:23-5:2

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