Community Group Questions 5/12/13

Evidence Series Artwork [vimeo 65961752 w=500 h=281]

Announcements:

  • New Women’s Ministry Study
    • On June 12 our Women’s Ministry is starting a new 6-week study!
    • The study will be Wednesday nights from 7-9PM as we study "Jonah - Navigating a Life Interrupted" by Priscilla Shirer.
    • Study guides will be available for $15 each at the study.

Sermon Title: Evidence, Part 6: The Case of the Unique Savior

Main Text: Matthew 11:25-30

Topics:

  • If there is only one way to heaven, then what makes us so sure that the way is Jesus? Why not Mohammed or Buddha? Why Jesus over Moses or Confucius?
  • In Matthew 11:25-30, he says his yoke is easy and his burden is light.
  • What is a yoke? A yoke is a piece of agricultural equipment that is used to harness to animals together, like oxen. There is a cross beam that goes across the back of their necks. Then there is two loops that goes around their necks. The importance of this is that it locks in both oxen keeping them going the same direction.
  • This was a common household item that probably all of them saw everyday. So it was a common metaphor. It was used to describe the Old Testament Law. They were to yoke themselves to the law. Whatever direction the law went, they were supposed to go. They were to take the yoke of a Rabbi’s teaching. If you took the yoke of a Rabbi, you would align your life to all he said. Jesus says, take your yoke on you.
  • But that is exactly why some of us feel tempted to reject church, religion, the Bible, etc. We feel like it will be so restraining and confining, and restrictive. We will feel locked in and not free.
  • The problem is that we are under the illusion of not being in a yoke. We think we are free. But all of us are under a yoke. There are a number of things we can yoke ourselves to:
    • pleasure
    • success
    • significance
    • religion
  • These are the things that tell us how to live, how to spend our time, what to do with our bodies, what to do with our money. We are all yoked to something. It is like this: every religion and every way of life is like trying to climb a mountain to attain something (pleasure, success, significance, religion).
  • So what sets Jesus apart? Isn’t He the same? Every religion and philosophy is the same, but Jesus. He is unique. He says, you can’t make it up the mountain, I’m going to have to come down and get you. Jesus came to earth to wash away our sins. We couldn’t get to God so God came to us.
  • The world is full of Saving Teachers. They have teachings and tips and trainings that will save our: families, money, bodies, health, business, finances, etc. Only Jesus is a Teaching Savior. He didn’t come to give us more tips. He came to die for us. And what He taught pointed to our need for Him as a Savior.
  • We are all in a yoke and it is exhausting. But we can take off that yoke and take on Christ’s yoke.

Key Questions:

  1. What was the High of your week? What was the Low of your week?
  2. How might someone look at Christianity and think that it is the same as every other religion?
  3. In what ways do you think people look at Christianity as burdensome?
  4. Read Matthew 11:25-30
  5. What stands out to you in the passage?
  6. In the Jewish culture that Jesus was in, a “yoke” was a metaphor for the law or a Rabbi’s teaching. What would a heavy yoke look like?
  7. Everyone has a yoke that they wear, rules that they live by. What are some different types of “yokes” that people wear, both religious and irreligious?
  8. In what way is living for pleasure or success or security a heavy yoke?
  9. What is it about the Gospel that brings rest to our souls?
  10. How does misplaced guilt and legalism weigh us down?
  11. How does the message of the Gospel inspire us to live godly lives instead of weigh us down with expectations?
  12. What are we not believing when we start to feel weighed down in the yoke with Christ?
  13. In your own words how would you say that the message of Christ is fundamentally different than other religions?

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