This week's Small Group Guide is composed of questions from this week's GPS Guide. The questions relate to the Scripture for that particular day. You can download the full week's GPS as a printable document for the context of each question below (in the printable version, the recommended small group questions are marked with a special bullet point.)
Pastor Hamilton wrote about verse 4, “It is the same kind of greeting we find in other New Testament letters. Revelation, it turns out, is a lengthy letter (slightly longer than Paul’s letter to the Romans) written to the churches and Christians of what is today central Turkey.”* The letter’s final verse said, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all” (Revelation 22:21). Have you ever read Revelation as a letter focused on helping you better grasp Jesus' grace and peace? Will you?
Calling Jesus “the lion of the tribe of Judah” drew from Genesis 49:9-10, Isaiah 11:1-10, Jeremiah 33:15. (David was from the tribe of Judah). But this strong “lion” also looked like a lamb that was sacrificed (cf. Exodus 12:3-13, Isaiah 53:7, 1 Corinthians 5:7). How could lion-like power reside in such a “lamb”? How does God’s power differ from the human kinds of power we most often see?
Ø Most of us are at least vaguely aware that as much as 1/3 of those on earth are at least nominally Christian. But not when John wrote Revelation. “By the end of the first century, Christians likely numbered fewer than 144,000, much less an uncountable multitude…. John’s vision offered a promise well beyond merely human expectation!”** How does John’s vision inspire you to dream about things well beyond merely human expectation that God can do through you and your church?
Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities, contrasting London and Paris during the French Revolution. Many Bible students have said that, in a sense, the Bible’s story is also a tale of two cities: Babylon symbolizing all forces that oppose God, and Jerusalem God’s faithful people. What does it mean for you to be a loyal citizen of “Jerusalem,” called to “come out of” (Revelation 18:4) a world that often has many of the qualities of “Babylon”?
* Hamilton, Adam. Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today (p. 281). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
** Zondervan, NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 288302-288304). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
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