August 22, 2014
This week’s study is about,
‘Justice – Real & Practical Love’ and ‘Loving Your Enemies’
Let’s remind ourselves who Jesus is speaking to here. Refer to Matthew 5:1-2.
Read the passage this week’s study is based on, Matthew 5:38-48.
1. Are we to take v.39-42 literally and do these things that Jesus says?
Discuss your thoughts with each other in your group.
What is the principle Jesus is highlighting in these verses?
2. Let’s now look at the following verses.
· V. 43-44. List the things Jesus tells His disciples to do.
· V. 45. If they do these things who will they be like?
Jesus mentions two things God the Father gives and sends to all people whether they deserve them or not. What are they?
How many other things can you add to the list?
· V. 46-47. What point is Jesus making regarding the way His disciples treat people and the way others (those not is disciples-eg: ‘corrupt tax collectors/pagans’) treat people?
· When Jesus said ‘….what reward is there for that…’ v.46 and ‘….how are you different than anyone else….?’v.47, what was he suggesting?
· V.48. What does it mean ‘….to be perfect?’ Does it mean we are to be sinless? If so is this realistic? Could Jesus be saying something else?
Read James 1:2-4 where ‘being perfect’ is also mentioned.
3. What is God’s goal for His children?
· Read Romans 8:29 & 1stJohn 3:2.
· How can we become like this? Read John 15:1-8 & 2nd Peter1:5-8.
· What does John 15:5b & Philippians 4:13 say?
· Compare John 15:8 ‘….true disciples….’ & Matthew 5:45 ‘….true children…’
Discuss with each other what you think the Holy Spirit is communicating to us through Paul and Jesus in these passages.
Do you have ‘enemies’ you find hard to love?
For further reference as to how to treat our enemies rather than taking revenge, read Romans 12:17-20.
What dynamic principle does Paul declare in v21?
What does Jesus say to do for our enemies? Matthew 5:44b
Spend some time in your group praying for such people. Include asking God to show you ways to ‘feed’ and ‘give them something to drink’. Romans 12:20.