Welcome to week seven of our summer series, Dinner with Jesus. This week, we discuss the difference between religious activity and following Jesus.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
Do you have any big plans for August?
What’s one thing your group can be praying about concerning your spiritual life right now?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read Luke 11:37-44. Where is Jesus? Who is he talking to? What do you think is his tone?
Who were the Pharisees? What are the groups in our culture that run the risk of being like the Pharisees?
What does Jesus say about the Pharisees and dishes? What do you think cleaning pots and dishes meant for the Pharisees? What do you think it was supposed to help them remember?
What does Jesus say they are full of? What’s the contrast he is making here?
How are people today more concerned about what others see than the inside? What externals do we tend to focus on today?
Why do you think Jesus is more concerned about what’s on the inside? Do you feel like you spend more time thinking about the outside or the inside in your own life? Why?
What was a tithe, and what was it for? What character trait do you think it was supposed to help develop?
Jesus says the Pharisees neglected justice and love of God. Pastor Aaron Buer summarized this idea as, “Your problem becomes my problem.” How did Jesus live that statement out? What could this look like in your life?
Jesus doesn’t say they need to stop being financially generous. How can we shape our hearts to make regular giving not merely an automatic routine but something we do to reflect the heart of God?
How were the Pharisees only concerned about their reputations?
What are some ways we try to self-promote today? Why do you think it is easy to look out for only ourselves?
How can you show humility with those you interact with regularly?
Have someone read Matthew 23:13 aloud. How does this verse help us understand why Jesus comes down so hard on the Pharisees?
This conversation has been about focusing on externals, lacking love and justice, and self-promotion. How can doing those things turn people away from Jesus? How could a focus on religious practice—instead of changing our heart—confuse people about following Jesus?
What’s one area that you feel like you need to focus on this week? What’s one step you can take to grow?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Discuss how your group can serve someone else this summer. Maybe it is a group project, or maybe it is filling a need at church. Talk about summer serving options and think through how you can work together to meet a need. For ideas, visit adabible.org/serving.
Download a printable PDF here.