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.)
Any gardener or farmer knows one planted kernel of corn can bear several ears with a few hundred kernels each. God built many multiplying dynamics like that into the “natural” world. Jesus multiplied “five loaves of bread and two fish” to feed 5,000 people—the same power at work in a more unusual way. Knowing what Jesus did with that small lunch, what talents or resources might you offer to Jesus, trusting his power to multiply your gift to bless others?
Jesus laid claim to Isaiah 61:1-2 as his “job description.” We know that he later told his followers that his job description is also the job description for all who follow him (cf. John 14:12, 20:21). Re-read verses 18-19 in today’s Scripture. Which parts of this task stir the most passion in your heart? Will you accept Jesus' “job offer” and sign on to actively join him in carrying out God’s mission in our hurting world?
Old ways of doing things aren’t necessarily bad, but they aren’t necessarily good, either. With the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God was setting up new ways to pursue his age-old mission. It was new wine that required new wineskins. Reflect on your own spiritual journey: how has God transformed you from old ways of living to new ways?
Like Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55, this sermon offered God’s favor and comfort to people we usually see as unfortunate, and warned those we see as particularly fortunate. In a rich county like ours in the richest country on earth, Jesus' words can be disturbing. Which parts of his message most challenge your culture’s ideas of “success”? From Francis of Assisi to his namesake Pope Francis, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Mother Teresa, many Christ followers have stood with the poor and oppressed. In The Message, Luke 6:46 says, “Why are you… always saying 'Yes, sir,' and 'That's right, sir,' but never doing a thing I tell you? These…. are words to build a life on.”* Which of Jesus' promises in this sermon mean the most to you? How are you building your life on Jesus' values?
* Peterson, Eugene H., The Message Numbered Edition Hardback. Navpress. Kindle Edition.
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