Welcome. This weekend guest speaker Brad Gray helps us understand who Jesus is and what he really came to do. In the weeks leading up to Easter, we are reminded Jesus came to deliver us from the bondage of our sin.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
Updates. What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20-30 minutes checking in with each other.
This week and last, we have been talking about some tough issues. The small group should be a safe environment for people to share not only their joys but also their struggles. What does the small group being a safe environment mean for your group? If your group is a couples group, how might you benefit from sometimes separating the women and men for prayer and discussion?
Share Part of Your Story.
Next Sunday is Easter. Share some meaningful ways you celebrated Easter growing up or how you celebrate it now. Consider sharing your story with us!
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read Luke 19.29-44 aloud. Thinking back to the sermon, how did Bray Gray describe what is going on here?
We learn the people are excited because they think Jesus is going to save them from their Roman oppressors. They think he is a military leader. They want him to be a military leader, completely misunderstanding Jesus. What are some ways people misunderstand Jesus today?
The people wanted a military leader because they were under oppression. What kinds of Jesus do people want today? Why do you think that is?
The people worshiped Jesus because of what they thought he would do for them. Some of the same people shouting “Hosanna” will soon be shouting “Crucify him!” People still want to worship Jesus conditionally today, only following him when it works for them. What might worshipping Jesus conditionally look like? Why do you think people worship Jesus conditionally?
What does it mean to follow Jesus on his terms rather than ours?
Our Understanding of Jesus.
Just like the crowds, sometimes we misunderstand Jesus. We often want Jesus to rush into our lives and fix things. Even more, we want him to do it when we want and how we want. Why do you think it can be easy to have a skewed view of Jesus?
Have you ever experienced a picture of Jesus that was a bit kittywampus? How did you realize it?
Trusting Through Unmet Expectations. Sometimes our unmet expectations of Jesus can lead to disappointment. We so desperately want him to take away a temptation but instead, we find ourselves struggling with the same sin over and over. We want to be instantly rescued from a trying season, but Jesus might want something different for us. Why might Jesus not rescue us from things instantly?
How has God used a trying season or struggle to strengthen your faith or give you a way to strengthen the faith of others?
Communion is a reminder that we can trust Jesus. When Jesus walked his disciples through the first communion, they had no idea what was going on. Jesus was telling them, “Trust me, I’ve got this.” When Jesus started talking about his death, how do you think the disciples felt? If you were there, how would the plan have sounded to you?
Jesus’ plan to die on the cross was not at all expected by even those closest to him. Yet, it was the best plan. God’s plan is always the best plan. Where in your life do you need to place trust in God’s plan?
Invest in Others
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Spend some time talking about how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
The last two weeks you’ve been encouraged to consider someone you can invite to the Easter services. Update your group on how that is going and how they can continue to pray.
Perhaps Easter has provided opportunities to have conversations with those around you about your faith. What are some good ways to respond to those opportunities? How can you use your own story of what Jesus has done in your life?