Study for Jan. 3, 2021: Backward Blessings (Matthew 5:1-16)
“Do the Opposite” by David Faust (Lesson Application)
Study Questions for Groups
1. What challenge did you face last week?
2. In what specific way did you live, love, or serve like Jesus over the past week?
Ask three people—two readers and one reteller—to help. Ask the readers to read Matthew 5:1-16 one after the other, preferably from different Bible versions.
Ask the third person to summarize the teaching in one minute or less.
3. What worldviews do you see represented in Jesus’ teaching?
4. Let’s dig more deeply into the passage.
• To whom is Jesus teaching these lessons?
• In what specific ways does Jesus separate (call out) his disciples from the crowd?
• To what kind of life, in general, is Jesus calling his followers?
• Note the different verb tenses—is and will—in the beatitudes (vv. 1-12). What does this indicate about our blessings now and in the future?
• What does this passage demonstrate about the priorities of a disciple of Jesus?
5. What do you learn about God from this passage?
6. What do you learn about people?
7. What will it look like this week for you to obey Jesus’ directive to “let your light shine before others”?
8. Based on our study and discussion, complete this sentence: “This week, I will . . .”
9. What challenges or blessings do you anticipate as you go about your next week?
For Next Week: Over the next week, read and reflect on Matthew 5:17-48 as we continue studying the Sermon on the Mount. You can also read next week’s supplemental texts as well as the Study and Application sections as part of your personal study.