Mar 15, 2015
Observations of Jesus’ Invitation . . .
· Reaching those far from Jesus involves drawing near to them and sharing the gospel.(v. 13)
o The best way to reach people for Christ is up close. The testimony of a gospel-centered life amplifies gospel-centered conversations.
· Calling sinners to the hope of the gospel is not the exception in Scripture, but rather the expectation in Scripture.(v. 14-15)
o Jesus invites to the table the unlikely. (“If He invited Matthew maybe he will accept me.”)
· Attracting those far from Jesus happens when they see Christ at work in you. (v. 15)
o “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
· Acknowledging spiritual sickness is necessary before you can experience spiritual healing. (v. 16-17)
o To admit that you need a physician is to first realize that you are most certainly sick.
§ Regardless if you are entrenched in the pit of depravity or entangled in the heavy chains of legalism, you are in need of the gospel of grace. (Luke 15:1-2, 11-32)
Questions for Discussion . . .
1. Think about the people God has placed within your reach (family, community, work, school, networks) What keeps you from drawing near to those who are far from Jesus and sharing the gospel?
2. In what ways do you identify with Levi (Matthew), who was considered a sinner that was viewed by some as beyond reach? Or in what ways, before you met Christ, could you identify with Matthew?
3. What was so astonishing about Jesus approaching and asking Matthew to follow Him? What message do you believe that sent to those who were the outcasts and unlikely who witnessed of heard about this? What message does it speak to people today about Jesus’ invitation?
4. Think about those whom you might consider to be viewed in the same way that the tax collectors were. Be honest. What is difficult, or the tension that seems to exist at times, about reaching out to them?
5. If Jesus were walking our streets today, who would he go to or hang out with? Would He be tolerant or full of conviction regarding sin? How would He relate to them and what would He say? What is there about you that attracts those far from Jesus to Christ in you?
6. The Pharisees wanted to do the right thing in upholding the Law, but where did they go wrong? In what ways could we be like the Pharisees?
7. Moral therapeutic deism is believing you can be right with God by just obeying all the rules. Discuss this statement: “Moralistic therapeutic deism does not exempt, but rather exposes, your need for the gospel.” –Pastor Shawn
8. What is your takeaway from today?