January 17 - The Sermon
on the Mount
Small group leaders
Discussion Starter: In the second half of the sermon on the mount, Jesus talks about the law. He discusses that anyone who obeys God's law and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. Share with the group a time that you broke a rule (it can be when you were a child). What made you decide to step over the line? What were the repercussions of breaking that rule?
Read Matthew 5:17-20. This passage says Jesus didn't come to abolish the law but to what? How did Jesus do that? (Think about what the law required and what Jesus did.)
Many people think that since Jesus has come, we are "free" from all law. Jesus actually took the law from outward action and went deeper. He changed the law from physical to spiritual. Jesus shows them what he means in the following verses. Read Matthew 5:21-26. Discuss the difference of what they have heard in the Old Testament about anger compared to what Jesus is telling them. Which way is easier to follow?
Read Matthew 5:27-30. What is Jesus meaning by the phrases "gouge it out" and "cut it off"? What can we practically do to keep our eyes and hands from sin?
Read Matthew 5:38-48. These ideas were so countercultural in Jesus' time and still are today. What are some ideas or sayings from today's society that are opposite to what Jesus is saying in these verses? (Example: "You do you." "Do what makes you happy.")