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).
It’s clear that Jesus' parents didn’t just make a beeline for the Temple. Luke said they were shocked when they found Jesus there. What might Jesus' precocious fascination with the Temple teachers have said about him? When he began to preach publicly, he said, “Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6). How much of an appetite do you usually have for God? How can you maintain and increase that inner hunger and thirst?
“People were bringing children to Jesus so that he would bless them.” When you were a child, did your parents or other adults bring you to Jesus for his blessing and guidance for life? If you are a parent, grandparent or have another connection with one or more children, how can you bring them to Jesus so that he can bless them?
Loving, caring mothers help shape in their children an early sense of the world as a place with a reliable center of love and nurture. Are there ways in which God’s steadfast love seems more real to you because of your mother, or other people who may have played a “mothering” role in your life? How can such a sense support your trust at those testing times when God’s presence and power are not on obvious display?
For what reasons, conscious or unconscious, do families at times try to claim our greatest loyalty? We tend to say, “It’s for their own good,” and it may be. But not always: “Relatives usually tried to hide the behavior of family members that could bring shame on the family.”* What steps can give you confidence you are acting on God’s callings, not just your own impulses? How can giving your ultimate loyalty to Jesus make you, in the end, a better family member than if you ignore your true self to “get along”?
* HarperCollins Christian Publishing. NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture (Kindle Locations 226120-226121). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
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