NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use in our LIFE groups at MoSt Church tomorrow (Oct. 6). This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon tomorrow morning from Matthew 8.18-22 (and related texts). This sermon is entitled “Follow Me” and is another installment in the Jesus: Master & Commander series.
To find previous group discussion guides, look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous issues.
All Scripture texts reproduced below, unless otherwise noted, are from the CEB.
Stated in a single sentence, this is the purpose of the sermon series, or this particular sermon in a series.
To call our attention, and our conscience, to some of our Lord’s direct charges to us.
These texts are Scriptures directly related to the foundation and development of the sermon.
As Jesus walked alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, because they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” Right away, they left their nets and followed him. Continuing on, he saw another set of brothers, James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father repairing their nets. Jesus called them and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matthew 4.18-22)
Now when Jesus saw the crowd, he ordered his disciples to go over to the other side of the lake. A legal expert came and said to him, “Teacher, I’ll follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens, and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Human One has no place to lay his head.” Another man, one of his disciples, said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8.18-22)
The Jewish opposition circled around him and asked, “How long will you test our patience? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I have told you, but you don’t believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you don’t believe because you don’t belong to my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life. They will never die, and no one will snatch them from my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them from my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10.24-30)
Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you can’t follow me now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I’ll give up my life for you.” Jesus replied, “Will you give up your life for me? I assure you that you will deny me three times before the rooster crows. (John 13.36-38)
These icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start thinking, talking, and relating to the topic or texts. Discuss one.
1. I find myself motivated to go along with someone, or something, if __________.
2. When told what to do, what tends to be your default reaction: comply, question, or challenge?
These questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture(s) related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.
1. Find and circle every form of the word “follow” in the four Scripture texts above.
2. In which text above does Jesus note his disciples’ following of him as answer to his enemies?
3. What are two huge hurdles Jesus calls out to following him in Matthew 8.18-22?
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.
1. What does Jesus mean when he says “follow” me? That is, what all does “follow” imply?
2. Instead of following Jesus, it’s tempting to merely __________ Jesus.
3. Many (most?) people settle for being associated with Jesus rather than following him? Why?
4. What’s the difference between a nominal Christian and a true follower of Jesus Christ?
5. When do you most clearly and consistently sense that you are “following” Jesus?
6. Engage this claim: if we all follow Jesus, we’ll all think and act alike. True? False? Explain.
These ideas/suggestions are for your use beyond the group meeting; to aid you in living out today’s message in the coming days.
1. Identify the excuses you use for not following Jesus in something you know to be his will.
2. Do something each day this week that’s easy for you in following Jesus, but don’t often do.
3. Do something daily that’s hard for you to follow Jesus in; something that takes you out of your comfort zone.