Persecution

Ice breaker:

What are your pet peeves?  What drives you crazy?

Review It:

We can so easily develop a sense of entitlement.  It starts small and can become full blown. It is hard to see it in ourselves but we see it as annoying and obnoxious when we recognize it in others, especially if what annoys them is different than what bothers us. Phil used the example of the cruise where people complained about the mosquitoes, the fish in the water, the beach was too sandy, and the outside of the ship was not air conditioned.  

We are upside down from the things that Jesus was concerned about. 

What we get worked up about and the way we think and relate to others can be very different from Jesus.

When we look at people and situations we often evaluate them consciously or unconsciously by the way they will impact us. If we get involved with this person, if we are seen with that person, how will that look?  If it doesn’t benefit us, we may pause, or choose to walk the other way. We tend to judge people by how we look when we are with them.

Jesus turns things upside down. He values people no matter what their situation.  He calls those “poor in spirit”, “merciful”, “meek” “peacemakers”.  Maybe the movers and shakers would NOT choose these people to be on their team but Jesus is available to all who will come to Him.

There are some things we can learn from Jesus wanting Matthew to be included in his circle. Luke  5:27 -32
Jesus told people what would happen to them if they followed Him.  Insulted, arrested, beaten were some of things. Some people left, some stayed. 

Peter went from being the disciple that denied he even knew Jesus to being a bold witness who ended up dying because he followed Jesus.

Some say the church is dying but the Bible tells us the gates of hell will not prevail against Jesus’ church.

Talk About It:

Mt 5: 7-12, Jesus continues to welcome people to kingdom of God life. He includes the meek, the peacemakers, the merciful and the persecuted.

  • Why would Jesus want those who were listening to Him to know that they were “blessed when they were insulted and spoken about falsely and accused of all kinds of evil because of Jesus and that they would be in good company” in Mt 5: 11-12?
  • How could that happen when you do what is right?
  • What did people tell you would happen when you followed Jesus? How would/did that message impact you or others?
  • When Jesus called Matthew and hung out with his friends how did other people react?
  • Luke 5: 27-32
  • Why didn’t Jesus care about what some people thought?
  • What changed Peter from the “afraid to admit he knew Jesus” guy to the bold guy in Acts who eventually died because of his relationship to Jesus?
  • Why do some people walk away from Jesus and His ways?

Explore It:

  • How do your choices reflect your relationship with Jesus?
  • If you are insulted etc…when you are trying to do the right thing, it is a frustrating position to be in. How do you usually respond when people don’t “get” you? 
  • How do you react when people don’t “get” Jesus?

Apply It:

  • Some Christians are obnoxious. How do we know when we are just not handling a situation well versus being persecuted like the prophets? 
  • How can we be loving and inviting like Jesus?
  • Can you think of a specific time you didn’t step into someone’s life or situation that you now wish you would have?
  • If we make it our mission this week to look out for those outside the circle and show them the love of Jesus what would we have to do differently?  What would have to change in our thinking? What would we have to believe to be bolder?  How do we go from being on “pause” to “play” in representing Jesus?

Jason McBride

Southeast Christian Church, 9650 Jordan Road, Parker, CO, 80134, United States