FELLOWSHIP QUESTIONS

It is good to be in fellowship with one another!

Questions will be shared on this page and through the church newsletter so that you can dig deeper into the Sunday sermons. There are groups meeting virtually so let us know if you would like to join one or start your own.

SUNDAY 9TH MAY

Read Matt 7.24-29

1. What do you think the modern world thinks of morality?  How do normal people decide what is right and wrong?

2. How do people feel about Jesus, or the church telling them what is right and wrong? How do you feel about it?

3. In this passage Jesus draws a clear line between wisdom and foolishness, houses standing and falling and putting his teaching into practice. How should we respond to that?

4. Have you had experiences of whether a storm in your life and finding that you coped with it because of Jesus?

5. What about Jesus' teaching do you think "amazed" his hearers?

6. Looking over the Sermon on the Mount, do you think it sums up all of Jesus' teaching or is there more that we need to take into account?

7. Being a disciple is to be a follower, to follow a discipline. From all that we have been looking at over the last few weeks are there things that can help you to be a better disciple?

SUNDAY 2ND MAY

Read Matt 7.15-23

1. Do you find it disconcerting that Jesus says that some people would be turned away? v22+23

2. Why does he say he would say to some "I never knew you"?

3. Why do you think people become "false prophets"? What motivates them?

4. If we think someone is a false prophet. How should we respond to them?

5. Is it easy to spot "Good fruit"? What do you think good and bad fruit looks like?

6. How does this relate to what Jesus says in Matt 7.1-6 about not judging others and Matt 7.13-14 about the narrow and wide gates?

7. How do we make sure that we are bearing good fruit?

SUNDAY 25TH APRIL

Read Matt 7.7-14

1. Do you have experience of asking things of God and receiving?

2. Or have you felt that God did not respond? How do you explain this?

3. Jesus makes such a simple analogy between parental love and God's love. How do you see the comparison between a creator's love and the love of parent or child? Does that give you a better understanding of the love of God?

4. What does "Do as you would be done by" mean to you?

5. Jesus gives us the "Golden Rule" but he gives it in context, e.g. if you are someone who likes being shouted that doesn't make it right for you to shout at others. What is the context that makes this meaningful for summing up the law and prophets?

6. Why do you think it is that the road to destruction is broad?

7. Have you found it difficult to stay on the narrow path or enter through the narrow gate?

8. How does this teaching relate to the rest of the Sermon on the Mount?

SUNDAY 18TH APRIL

Read John 20.30+31

1. In John 20.30 John makes very clear what his purpose in writing is, does this make him a more or less objective witness?

2. John's message is very clear. Do people outside the church get this message as clearly from us?

Read John 21.1-end

3. Why do you think the disciples went fishing?

4. Why did they not recognise Jesus on the shore?

5. From v7 and v24 can you see why people have long believed that the disciple John is the author of this gospel?

6. Do you think Jesus is giving them a symobolic message by feeding them breakfast?

7. Why does Jesus call him Simon and ask him the same question 3 times?

8. Peter and John are key figures in the growth and development of the early church, how do we see Jesus preparing them here?

9. Is the calling that Jesus gives to Simon Peter also our calling?

SUNDAY 11TH APRIL

Read John 20.19-29

1. What names/titles does Jesus use to describe himself? What names/titles do others use for him?

2. How significant is that Thomas calls him "My Lord and my God"?

3. Why do you think Thomas did not accept the word of the other disciples?

4. Can you see how doubt might strengthen faith?

5. What is the signficance of Jesus saying "Peace be with you"?

6. What does Jesus send to the disciples to do?

7. What is the difference between Pentecost and Jesus giving the Holy Spirit here/

8. What does Jesus want us to tell people about forgiveness?

SUNDAY 4TH APRIL

Read John 20.1-18

1. In what ways might this event be described as the most important moment in world history?

2. Is it Christmas, Good Friday or Easter that the world was changed?

3. Why do you think Mary Magdalene was chosen to find the empty tomb first and then speak to Jesus first?

4. Is it significant that until they saw the risen Jesus they did not expect his resurrection to happen?

5. There are interesting details in the account: which disciple arrived first, which entered, how the linen was left, two angels and Mary thinking she had met the gardener. What do these tell us?

6. In v17 Jesus says for Mary not to hold him, that he is to return to the Father, she should go to his brothers and that God is their mutual God and Father. What does show us about how are potential relationship with God has been changed by Jesus' resurrection?

7. Is this a good time for chocolate? Why or why not?

SUNDAY 28TH MARCH

Read Luke 12.12-19

1. Why did Jesus ride a donkey?

2. Why do you think the disciples failed to understand the purpose of Jesus' journey to Jerusalem?

3. Why do you think the Chief Priests and pharisees didn't accept Jesus?

4. What motives did the crowd have for praising?

5. How did it happen that the people of Jerusalem started praising and welcoming Jesus and then turned against him to the point of crucifixion? 

6. Have you ever felt that you were praising Jesus for the wrong reasons?

7. How can we avoid the pit falls of all the people who were getting it wrong?

SUNDAY 21ST MARCH

Read Matt 7.1-6

1. Why do you think the church has a reputation for being judgemental?

2. Are we judgemental?

3. What is the difference between discernment and judging - How do we put Matt 7.1 together with Matt 7.15?

4. Jesus is clearly not saying that God's judgement would change so what does he mean when he says "with the measure you use, it will be measured to you"?

5. Do you find it easier to identify faults in others and excuse your own - if so, why do we do that?

6. What is Jesus talking of when he speaks of dogs, pearls and pigs?

7. Have you ever tried sharing things of faith with others and had your efforts "trampled"?

SUNDAY 14TH MARCH

1. Issues around motherhood can be difficult but if you can, share something that you are grateful about in your own mother.

Read Luke 2.21-40

2. Should we take Mary as a model for motherhood or not?

3. Is God telling us something about family, parenting and the nurturing of children in the way Jesus came to his ministry?

4. What do we learn about Simeon and Anna from the way they are described?

5. What do Simeon and Anna tells us about Jesus?

6. Simeon and Anna proclaim Jesus when he is only 8 days old, what do you think the significance of this is? Do you think this is the most important thing they did in their lives?

7. What do you think the impact of this event was on Mary and Joseph?

8. Simeon, Anna, Mary and Joseph had different roles in the life and ministry of Jesus, do you find this encouraging when thinking about what God might call you to do?

SUNDAY 7TH MARCH

1. What things do you think you most regularly worry about?

2. Why do you think Jesus cares about what we worry about?

3. Where is the line between things we need to think about and prepare for and worrying?

4. What does Jesus want us to learn from the birds and the lillies?

5. How does Jesus' teaching relate to pension provision or life insurance?

6. Many of us struggle with anxiety, what does Jesus say we can we do to change that?

7. What does it mean to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness?

SUNDAY 21ST FEBRUARY

Read Matt 6.1-4

1. What do you think your "reward from your Father in heaven" is?

2. People often do want folk to know when they have done something good - is that all bad?

3. Have you ever struggled to "not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"?

Read Matt 6.19-24

4. Where do we draw the line between the things we need to survive and storing up for ourselves "treasures on earth"?

5. How do we store up "treasures in heaven"?

6. What do you think Jesus means when he talks of eye being "the lamp of the body"?

7. Have you ever known what it is like to try to serve two masters?

8. Can the love of money/mammon pull us away from God?

SUNDAY 28TH FEBRUARY

Read Matt 6.5-15

1. When did you first learn the Lord's prayer? Who taught you?

2. Do you understand fasting? Do you think we take it seriously enough?

3. What specifically does Jesus want us to avoid in our giving, our praying and our fasting?

4. Do you think we are at any risk of falling into that trap?

5. What does it mean to ask for God's kingdom to come?

6. Why do you think Jesus talks of our daily bread - and not something else?

7. Forgiveness can be very difficult for some people, why do you think Jesus makes our forgiveness from God conditional on us forgiving others?

8. Have you known God's help in avoiding temptation and evil?

SUNDAY 14TH FEBRUARY

1. Have you had experience of forgiving enemies or being forgiven?

Read Matt 5.38-41

2. Jesus gives 3 examples which are rooted in the Old Testament and cultural/legal practices of the time. Do you know much of the background to these?

3. How far do you think not resisting an evil person should go?

Read Matt 5.42-48

4. How did Jesus demonstrate loving his enemies in his life and ministry?

5. Jesus says "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good," what do you think this tells us about how God see humanity?

6. What does Jesus mean when he talks of reward?

7. How are we "sons of your Father in heaven"?

8. Does Jesus expect us to be perfect?

SUNDAY 7TH FEBRUARY

1. Have you had experiences of dishonesty that have affected you negatively?

2. Have you had experiences of extreme honesty that you have admired or that you have thought were overdoing it?

 

Read Matt 5.33

 

3. What is the importance of an oath and how do you feel it differs from simply being honest?

 

Read Matt 5.34-36

 

4. How does this teaching reflect on swearing to tell the truth in church or making a vow in a marriage ceremony?

5. What is Jesus telling us about our lack of control over the things that people often swear by?

 

Read Matt 5.37

 

6. What level of honesty is Jesus calling for?

7. How does this compare with the 9th commandment?

8. Why do you think people tolerate "white lies"? Do you think we should?

SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY

In thinking through these questions, please be sensitive to each other's circumstances and don't assume that you know everything about each others experiences.

Read Matt 5.27-32

1. If members of the group are willing to share, it might be good to share whether you have had experience of being married or divorced and how that effects how you view the passage.

2. Do you think that marriage and how we live it matters to God?

3. Theologians would say that Jesus was using hyperbole to make a point. Do you think that is what he is doing when speaks of gouging eyes and cutting off hands?

4. Jesus must have known that practically all human being at some point look at others lustfully. If that is so, how does it change how we view his teaching?

5. How did Jesus manage to give very clear moral teaching at the same time as showing great compassion to those who were seen as immoral?

6. Is it difficult in our everyday life to know where to draw that line?

7. Our culture seems to have changed its views on marriage drastically over the last 70 years. Why and how do you think that has happened?

8. How do you think we can encourage and support marriage without condemning those who have had a difficult time with it?

SUNDAY 24TH JANUARY

Read v21-22

1. Why do you think Jesus tell us it is wrong to be angry with our brother?

2. What kind of judgement does Jesus speak of?

3. Do you think Jesus is using hyperbole in his comments?

Read v23-24

4. Jesus is basically saying that we should reconcile before offering a gift to God. How should we manage this if people do not want to reconcile with us?

5. Who does Jesus mean when he uses the term "brother"?

Read v25-26

6. This seems more like practical advice, how can we apply it spiritually?

7. Do you ever find it difficult to forgive and reconcile? How do you fix that?

SUNDAY 17TH JANUARY

Read Matt 5.17

1. Do you think that after hearing the Beatitudes Jesus' disciples expected him to abolish the law? What might that look like?

2. How do you think Jesus is the fulfilment of the law?

Read Matt 5.18

3. Do you think that people first hearing this might have thought that Jesus was saying that his followers should comply with all Levitical law and Temple ritual?

4. Can you think of places in Jesus' life and ministry where he showed that we were not supposed to follow Levitical law in the way that the Pharisees had interpreted it?

Read Matt 5.19-20

5. What does it mean to be "Least," or "Great in the kingdom of heaven"?

6. How was the disciples' righteousness supposed to surpass the Pharisees? How was it supposed to be different?

7. Do you think there is a need in our society (world) for a reclamation of what it means to be righteous? If the church were to be clear on righteousness would the world listen?

8. How can we apply Jesus' teaching in these verses to our daily lives?