Read: Matthew Chapter 2 and your notes from Sunday morning’s sermon.
Intro: We begin in Matthew with the story of Jesus birth. This is the answer that the jewish people have been waiting for, although they may not immediately recognize it. They know that they are in need of a savior and thet’ve been waiting for a long time for Him to come. This time in history was especially terrible for the Israelites (Jews). Matthew wants them to know, and it is still relevant for us today, that Jesus is the savior they’ve been waiting for. Matthew wants us to know that Christianity is the true continuation of Judaism and that Jesus is truly the Messiah – the savior who has always been promised.
- Matthew often references the Old Testament while telling the story of Jesus birth in chapter 2. Why do you think that is?
- As Drew mentioned in the Sermon this Sunday, the Jews were actively looking for a savior at this point because of how far from God they felt the world had gotten. What does this tell us about God’s timing?
- Has there been a time in your life where it felt like you lived in a season of darkness or that you were far from God for a prolonged period of time? What did this experience produce in you?
Feel free to discuss or ask additional questions as they arise
Spiritual Practice: We are currently focusing on the spiritual discipline of Meditation. This week we are introducing this discipline and what it means. The discipline of meditation in scripture has several meanings: listening to God’s word, reflecting on God’s works, thinking about His law, and things like this. The important thing to note about each of these instances of medication is that it should always lead to a changed behavior as we learn to BE in the presence of God. Meditation without obedience is not a faithful act. Simply put, Christian meditation is learning to hear God’s voice and obey his word. Take a moment to answer this question honestly – do you believe you can hear God’s voice, or that God can speak directly to you in some way? The examples of meditation we are given in scripture show us that when we go to Him with a hunger to think His thoughts, and want His wants, and to live as He would have us live, he can give us all of those things. We will expand on this more in the coming weeks. This week, think about the purpose of meditation. Why might it be important to slow down and make a space inside ourselves for God to dwell? Could this practice be the way that we make true and lasting change in how we think, and how we interact with the world around us?
Closing verse: Romans 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”