The Essential Jesus – Week 4 Readings & Questions

Attached you will find the list of readings for the fourth week of our Essential Jesus sermon series — The Sermons of Jesus. The first three are Jesus’ most famous set of teachings — The Sermon on the Mount. We’ll focus on that next Sunday. (They come with some questions to help you process what you’ve read.) 

Remember, we will discuss the themes for each week’s readings in the sermon on the Sunday following our “homework.” (That means we’ll tackle this fourth week’s readings next Sunday, February 7.) And then on the following Wednesday, our 6:30 zoom bible study will go into more detail and address and questions you may have. (This Wednesday’s study (Wed, Feb 3) will look at last week’s readings about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, which we talked about in yesterday’s sermon.)

This is a challenging week — Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount really sums up what God’s Kingdom looks like. And it’s not for the faint of heart!

Essential Jesus Readings – Week 4

February 7 — The Sermons of Jesus

  1. The “New” Reality: Matthew 5:1-48

There are many teachings of Jesus in this first part of the “Sermon on the Mount.” Which ones are most meaningful to you? Which do you think are the hardest to follow today?

  1. Hungry For God: Matthew 6:1-34

How would you summarize what Jesus is saying in this part of his sermon? What challenges you the most? Is it “worrying” to prepare for the future (savings, insurance, etc.)?

  1. The Great Communicator: Matthew 7:1-29

Parents, friends, and work colleagues all must make judgments about others. Is this wrong? Have you made or been the subject of judgments that Jesus would say are wrong? Have you made judgments about others that Jesus would question?

  1. The Sermon on the Plain: Luke 6:20-49

This is often referred to a Luke’s shorter version of Matthew’s sermon on the mount. How is it similar and different from Jesus’ sermon in Matthew? Which one speaks to you more?

  1. No More Mr. Nice Guy: Matthew 23:1-39

 What is Jesus’ repeated condemnation of these religious leaders? Many people accuse the church of being “full of hypocrites.” Is that true? Why or why not?

Reflection Questions About These Readings:

  1. Do you think the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) are just ideals, or do you think Jesus really meant we should live that way today?
  2. Do you have an experience with the disciplines of fasting, prayer and giving? If so, how have they impacted your faith?
  3. Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life.” (Matthew 6:25). For many of us that’s very challenging. How do you try to live out Jesus’ statement?
  4. What has a greater hold on your life – God or money (stuff)? What’s your evidence?
  5. Which is more challenging – Jesus sermon on the mount in Matthew or his sermon on the plain in Luke? Why?
  6. What examples of hypocrisy have you seen in the church? What about in your life? What can we do about that?

Remember:

  1. Every Wednesday night, we have zoom bible study to look at the passages discussed in last Sunday’s sermon. This week we’ll discuss Week 3 readings about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
  2. Additional information and links to other resources is on our Cross of Glory website. Check it out at https://crossofglory.com/the-essential-jesus/

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