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2)GG Questions 04/08/2018
Seeking First: Oaths, Eyes, and Enemies Matthew 5:33-48
1. Close Reading: After praying for God to enlighten your mind, read through Matthew 5:33-48 a couple times, slowly. Look for these three things: LIGHTBULB – something that shines from the passage, draws your attention; QUESTION MARK – something difficult to understand; ARROW – a personal application. Share the results of your study with your group.
2. Oaths: Read the OT teaching on oaths (Num. 30:2; Deut. 23:21-23). How had the Pharisees corrupted the OT teaching on taking oaths before God (Matt. 23:16-22)? What do you think the original intent of the OT teaching was? Is there a person in your life whose word is as good as gold? What is it like to have such a person as a friend?
3. Eye for an Eye: The Bible presents several powerful paradoxes. When we’re wronged, instead of taking retaliation into our own hands, Jesus teaches that we are to “turn the other [cheek]” and “pray for those who persecute [us],” (Matt. 5:40, 44) because “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). How do we reconcile this attitude toward our enemies with what Psalm 96:11-13 and 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10 and Revelation 6:9-11 teach about believers longing for God to judge the wicked? How will wrestling with this paradox empower you to live in this present world where there is so much evil and so much potential for good?
4. Love your Enemies: There are some people in life that are easy to love (your neighbor, those who love you, your brothers) and there are some who are hard to love (your enemies, those who persecute you). How does God treat His enemies (Matt. 5:45; Luke 23:34; Rom. 5:8) and how does he define our ‘neighbors’ (Luke 10:25-37)? Is there someone is your day-to-day life you find hard to love? How does Jesus’ work on the cross empower you to, likewise, do the impossible (Acts 7:60)?