Week 1 – Dealing with Anger
Read: Matthew 5:21-26 and your notes from Sunday morning’s sermon.
Intro: As we pick back up in Matthew, lets remind ourselves of the context of what we’ve learned so far. Jesus has just told everyone that He has come not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. And these next several passages he elaborates on some specific laws and how they’ve commonly been interpreted. Jesus provides a lot of clarity here and reveals the true intent of the old testament Law. Jesus reveals to us that the Law goes far beyond the literal sense and with each law there is an underlying principle that we must apply to all parts of life. We shouldn’t just avoid murdering people. That would come pretty easy for most of us, right? What Jesus is concerned with is the underlying anger that would cause someone to murder. When we can get to the root or the principle behind each commandment, we see that they encompass a much wider scope of ungodly behavior than we see at first glance.
In the passage, Jesus gives several examples of anger being right up there with murder. He tells us that we must not only control our own temper, but also make every attempt not to provoke another person’s anger. Only then would we be fully following the commandment. In verses 23-26, we see that it is also necessary to take whatever steps are needed to reconcile and restore relationships before they reach a place that would make reconciliation impossible and to do so urgently!
- Is there ever a time where we should be angry? Give an example of that kind of situation. (Bonus points if you can back it up with an example from scripture!)
- Think of a time recently where you were angry. How did you deal with that anger?
- How do broken relationships (verses 23-25) effect our relationship with God?
Feel free to discuss or ask additional questions as they arise
Spiritual Practice: This we are starting a new spiritual practice. We will looking at the spiritual discipline of Service and preacticing it together over the next several weeks. Jesus was the ultimate servant and he showed us His example on multiple occasions. One of His most famous and important examples of service was when he washed his disciples feet. Look back at John 13 for a refresher of this beautiful story. The passover meal is about to be served and it was customary at the time for a servant or the “least” person there to wash the feet of the dinner guests. The evening meal was already being served and none of the disciples had volunteered to do the feet washing. Jesus takes the opportunity to give teach them about humility by wrapping a towel around his waist as a slave would, and washing the feet of the disciples. With this one act of service, Jesus shatters their ideas of what serving in God’s kingdom on earth should look like. It is not always great, and radical calls to leave everything and spread the gospel, but it is the mundane and ordinary acts of service we do for the people around us. We will upack this more in the following weeks. This week, find 1 other example of service in the bible and read about it in their full context. Share what you found at group next week.
Closing verse: Proverbs 19:11 – “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”