Questions for Small Group Discussion

 Based on the Sermon of January 13, 2019 – Matthew 12:1-21 “What God Desires”

1. Would you consider yourself who rather enjoys a good fight, or a person who avoids conflict if at all possible? Give examples from personal experience to illustrate.

2. Were there any points in Sunday’s sermon that seemed particularly helpful, troubling, or thought-provoking for you? What from Sunday’s passage would be worth discussing together?

3. Read Matthew 12:1-21. Who were the Pharisees? Why were they so strict and ready to judge others regarding the practice of Sabbath?

In what ways were they in line with Old Testament teaching?  (Some passages to consider include Exodus 20:8, Numbers 15:32-36, Nehemiah 13:15-21, Jeremiah 17:21-27.)

In what ways did the practice of the Pharisees go beyond the Old Testament teaching and in fact contradict it?

4. What point was Jesus making in referring to David and his men eating the bread from the temple? In pointing to the priests who continued the work of sacrifice in the tabernacle on the Sabbath?

5. What are the implications of Jesus claim, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”? (8)

6. What was the Pharisees’ purpose in asking Jesus if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath? How did Jesus confront their lack of compassion?

7. What are some examples of rules and religious technicalities that might keep us from compassion? What are some ways to remind ourselves that God desires compassion?

8. In what ways did Jesus fit the description of God’s suffering servant from Isaiah 42 quoted by Matthew in verses 18-21? In which of these ways should we emulate him? Who are some “battered reeds” and “smoldering wicks” in your life that you can show compassion to?