10-14&15-2017 Dr. Dale E. Locke & Rev. Trevor Johnston
Series: It’s Alive! Resurrecting Dead Faith Week 1: Fine Print Pharisees
- This week’s sermon examines how the scriptures are to be viewed in regards to how we live our lives. Share with your group what you understood about the Bible growing up. Talk about how you were exposed to it, and the attitude about the scriptures of those who influenced you as a child. Share your view of the scriptures now that you are an adult.
- The Mitzvah in the Pentateuch that the Pharisees upheld contained 613 commandments. When the Pharisees asked Jesus which commandment was the most important, his response is found in Matthew 22:37-40: 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
How do you suppose the ‘law-abiding’ Pharisees felt about Jesus’ reply? Why?
- Read Matthew 23:23-24 23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
What is Jesus telling the Pharisees exactly?
When It Comes to the Law (Scripture), Keep This In Mind:
It’s All Important!
- Matthew 5:17-20 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
What was Jesus’ mission according to these verses? What does He mean by ‘fulfill’?
- What is Jesus saying about the duration of the Law? The value of the Law?
- Read II Timothy 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Where does scripture originate?
- Talk about the list given for all that Scripture is good for (teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness). Share a time when Scripture has equipped you in any of these areas.
It’s Not All Equally Important!
- From Matthew 23:23-24 in question 3, re-read Matthew 23:23
If all Scripture is important, what does Jesus mean by this statement: “you have neglected the more important matters of the law”?
- In verse 24, when Jesus talks about straining out a gnat but swallowing a camel, what is he referring to? Remember the 613 commandments that the Pharisees were so careful to abide by as you consider your response.
Focus on What Is MOST Important!
- One verse of our scripture verse for this discussion is Matthew 23:23 “…the more important matters of justice, mercy and faithfulness.”
Pastor Dale talked about these qualities (justice, mercy and faithfulness) as being ‘atmospheric’. What does he mean by this?
- Why would these qualities lived out be of more value to God than say, tithing on herbs and spices? Or on keeping the law to do no work on the Sabbath even at the expense of the life of another?
- Read Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God
Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk humbly – These are all actions to be lived out in our lives.
Give some examples of what each of these actions can look like when they are lived out in a person’s life.
- What are some ways your faith community acts justly, loves mercy and walks humbly?
- What is your orientation to the Word of God in your life? Are there some ways you act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly? If you can’t think of any examples, ask your group to help you identify ways that you do or that you could act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. Pray for each other as you discern God’s word for you through Scriptures.