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.)
A handbook for Bible translators said, “Fit for him [“perfect for him” in the Common English Bible] is literally “alongside him” or “corresponding to him.” The sense is “suitable for him, adequate for him,” or perhaps even “like him.”* When have you heard (believed?) that women are somehow less capable or worthy of respect than men? How does accurately understanding the words these archetypal stories used put the complex realities of gender in a more positive light?
Written words can’t show tone of voice or facial expression. If verses 24 and 26 were Jesus’ true view of this desperate Canaanite mother, what he did in verse 28 didn’t make sense. Might we understand the story better if we imagine Jesus with an ironic lilt in his voice, and a bit of a twinkle in his eye? Clearly, in the end, Jesus honored the mother’s plea. How did his behavior rebuke and seek to change outlook the disciples’ expressed in verse 23?
In Greek, “the many different varieties” in Ephesians 3:10 was one word—“polupoikilos.” It meant “many colored,” as though Paul was picturing God’s grace and wisdom as a kind of cosmic rainbow. In what ways have God’s grace and wisdom added richness and beauty to your life through contact with believers from other backgrounds? How can you help your church reflect that beauty to all who come in contact with us?
As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, we recall that Ethiopians were also Gentiles and people of color. Yet that man, despite all those barriers to acceptance, was reading from Isaiah 53 and seeking to understand the message. The Bible is literally at our fingertips today, printed as well as on our computers and smartphones. How can you, like the Ethiopian, plan to read and understand the Bible more clearly?
* William D. Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Genesis. New York: United Bible Societies, 1997, p. 71.
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