Sermon Questions

Post sermon discussion questions for further reflection…
Sunday 18th October – Psalm 139:1-6
1. What makes God’s knowledge in these verses different from human knowledge?
2. How does the psalmist feel about God’s knowledge? How should we feel?
3. ‘You know me’: what difference does it make that God knows us intimately?
4. This is a psalm ‘of David’: how does belonging to Jesus, the true and better David, change how we experience God’s knowledge of us?
5. If we are transparent to God, how would that shape our prayers?
Sunday 11th October – Matthew 11:25-30
1. What gives Jesus the right to invite people to Himself?
2. What wonderful things about Christ mean we should come to HIM?
3. Where else do you go for rest? Why?
4. Why should we take Jesus’ yoke upon us?
5. What will it mean to take His yoke upon us? And what will it be like?
Sunday 4th October – Matthew 9:35-38
1. How does Jesus see people?  How is that different to the way that we often see/categorise people?
2. How does Jesus’ compassion comfort us?  How does it challenge us?
3. In vv. 37-8, what’s the problem and what solution does Jesus give?
4. How might we live differently, if we trusted that the harvest was plentiful?
5. Where do you see a need for more workers? 
6. How does the command of v. 38 liberate us from…   
    a) frantic and self-sufficient activism?
    b) despair?
    c) pride?
After your discussions, do obey the command of v. 38 together!
Sunday 27th September – Matthew 9:18-34
NB – There are more questions here than you will probably have time for. Do select!
You want to ask a fellow believer how they are Christian-wise.
What would be a good question to ask?
Matthew’s record of these miracles is much briefer than Mark or Luke.
What do you think he is showing about Jesus in these chapters?
See 9:35; 11:2-6 and Isaiah 35:3-6
How are the situations of the ruler and woman similar?
What is clear about Jesus?
How does their faith seem to be different? And how is it the same?
What do the blind men see? How would you describe their faith?
What do you think Jesus is checking with them?
No recorded conversation and no details with this healing.
Where is the attention in this miracle?
How does that prepare us as we speak and live for Christ?
25% extra free! – Chapter 8-9
How has people’s faith varied over these chapters?
(see 8:2, 8:8+10, 8:25-26, 9:2, 9:18, 9:20-21, 9:28-29)
And what do these expressions of faith have in common?
How is this a great encouragement to us?
Rather than asking a fellow Christian, “How is your faith?”, what would be a better question?


Sunday 20th September  – Matthew 9:1-14
vv. 1-8:
1. What do we learn of Jesus’ priority and power?
2.  How does this add further reassurance, after the challenging call we heard in vv. 18-22?
vv. 9-13:
3. Why are the Pharisees so annoyed?
4. What does that teach us about how they view themselves?
5. What have they failed to understand about what God requires? (v. 13a)
6. What have they failed to understand about Jesus’ mission?
7. How does this comfort us, as we feel our failure/sinfulness?
8. Where do we live as if Jesus came for the righteous?
Sunday 13th September – Matthew 8:18-27
v. 18-22
The teacher of the law seems to be a great fan of Jesus.  But if he’s going to follow Jesus, what does he need to understand?  Where do we need that same reminder?
The second man seems to have a good reason for not following Jesus immediately.  But what does he need to understand? Where do we need that same reminder?
v. 23-27
What do the disciples get right in the storm?  But what do they still need to learn?
If vv. 18-22 leave you feeling daunted about following Jesus, how do vv. 23-27 leave you feeling?
“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  What’s making you afraid at the moment?  Do you need to be afraid? 
“Following Jesus wholeheartedly feels far too risky; I’d rather keep playing it safe.”  How does the calming of the storm address that kind of thinking?
Sunday 6th September – Matthew 8:1-17
The sermon focused on the willingness of Jesus with the leper. What else is clear about Jesus?
What is it that makes up “great faith” according to Jesus?
How should Jesus’ welcome of all kinds (v.11) affect us, the church?
How does Jesus’ warning (v.12) “speak” to the church today?
How do you tend to talk to Jesus? What do you tend to ask of Jesus?
How do they compare with the centurion in v.8?
Sunday 9th August – Isaiah 54
What are Israel instructed to do and why?
How do we see this fulfilled in the gospel of Christ? (Galatians 4:27-29)
What are Israel instructed to do and why?
What is this new relationship like?
How is this possible? (note context of the chapter)
How do you instinctively think God is disposed towards you?
How do these verses confirm or correct that thinking?
How does God confirm the reality of this wonderful new relationship?
What are the features of the new city that God promises?
Which of these blessings do we enjoy now as believers in Christ and which are yet to come?
Sunday 2nd August – Isaiah 53:10-12
1. What is the Lord’s attitude to his servant’s suffering? (v.10)
2. What is unusual about this guilt offering? How does that thought continue in v.11?
3. What does the servant’s suffering achieve, which satisfies him? (v.11)
4. What will help you to take that in for yourself?
5. How does God respond to the servant’s suffering? (v.12)
(‘the great’ can also mean ‘the many’)
6. How are these images of victory fulfilled in Christ?
(see for example John 6:39, 17:6, Eph.1:19b-21, 2:6)
How do those references reassure believers living for Christ in this world?
Sunday 26th July – Isaiah 53:7-9
1. How is Jesus like a lamb/sleep?
2. What does Jesus’ silence mean for us? (See 1 Peter 2:21-23)
3. What makes us slow to follow Christ’s example?
4. What is so unusual and amazing about Jesus’ suffering? (v.8)
5. How is v.9 fulfilled? (see Matthew 27:38, 57-60)
6. Why does it matter that Jesus was innocent?
Sunday 19th July – Isaiah 53:4-6
1. Try and imagine reading Isaiah 53:4-6 for the first time, without having heard of Jesus.  What would you conclude about the Servant figure?  What questions might you be left with?
2. Looking at v. 5 in particular, 
a) What happened to the servant?
b) Why did it happen?
c) What happens to us, as a result? 
3. Relating these specifics to Jesus’ crucifixion, how does v.5 teach the meaning of his death?
4. How do these verses help us understand ourselves?
5. How do these verses help us understand our rescue?
6. How do these verses build our trust in the LORD for the future?
Questions adapted from David Jackman, Teaching Isaiah (Proclamation Trust 2010)
Sunday 12th July – Isaiah 53:1-3
1. What does ‘The arm of the LORD’ (v.1) represent in Isaiah? See for example: 40:10, 51:5, 52:10
2. Why then is verse 2 so surprising? Why is it difficult to believe (v.1) that the servant is the arm of the LORD?
3. Using the details in v.2 and 3 try to relate them to their fulfillment in the life of Jesus.

For help see: Luke 2:4-7, Matt 2:13-17, Luke 4:22-30, Mark 3:20-21, John 11:45-54, John 13:27-30, John 18:25-27 (You don’t have to look them all up! Maybe in a group chose one or two each).

4. In what ways might our attitude to Jesus still resemble the rejection portrayed in v.3?
5. How does that further highlight God’s grace to us in sending us his servant?
Sunday 5th July – Mark 4:21-25
1. If Jesus is the lamp who sheds light on God and his kingdom, what will it mean in practice to keep letting Jesus light up our knowledge and understanding of God?
2. How do Jesus’ words in verses 24-25 challenge you?
3. How do Jesus’ words in verses 24-25 encourage you?
Sunday 28th June – Psalm 145
1. In verse 3 David declares, “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no-one can fathom.” How do verses 13-16 demonstrate that greatness?
2. We might expect that such a great God would be uninterested in us.  But how do verses 17-20 show that this it not true?
3. How do these verses prod you to praise God?
4. How do these verses remind you of the privilege of our mission partnerships?
5. With whom do you find it easiest to praise the LORD?  With whom do you find it the hardest?  Why not pray about that?
Sunday 21st June – Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Verse 13: 
Who is that God wants us to look to as we read this section (52:13-53:12)? 
What will this servant do?
Can this Servant be any ordinary person? (second half of verse 13. Maybe compare 6:1) 
Who is this Servant? (It might seem obvious, but just to be clear! See Acts 8:26-35, for one of several links to the New Testament.) 
Verse 14: 
How surprising is this verse, following on from verse 13?
Why does verse 14 say many will be appalled? Where do we see this fulfilled?
How might people be “appalled” by Jesus today? Does Jesus ever seem weak to us? Why? What should we then do?
Verse 15:
What does “sprinkle many nations” mean?* (Some examples of people or things being sprinkled in the Old Testament: Exodus 29:21, Lev 4:6, 14:7, 16:14, but it might be easier to get the sense from 1 Peter 1:2, Hebrews 9:13-14, 10:22, 12:24)
What reaction is there to the wisdom of this servant? Are we amazed at God’s saving wisdom shown in Jesus?
Back to the headline in verse 13 – how can we make sure we keep looking to Jesus and what He has done to save us? What might stop us from doing that? What does God give us to help us?
Sunday 14th June – Isaiah 51:1 – 52:12
51 v.17-20
What state are God’s people in and why?
We are not in exile because of our sin, as they were. But why might we be in a similar state? (see v. 12-16 for help)
51 v.21-23
What is the big news the people need to wake up to?
Read Luke 22:39-44
What do we learn about Jesus here?
When might we find it hard to trust that Jesus has taken the cup of God’s wrath for us?
52 v.1-2, 11-12
What is the privilege of being God’s people?
What is the responsibility of being God’s people?
52 v.3-10
Why is God going to bring redemption?
What are the features of the coming salvation?
Jesus has fulfilled this coming salvation (see Romans 10:15), but, like the people then, we now wait for the Lord’s return.
What will it mean, while we wait, to wake up to the fact that
– God has made us holy?
– God calls us to be holy?
Sunday 7th June – Isaiah 50: 4-11
1. Why can the Servant’s words sustain the weary? How is this fulfilled in Jesus?
2. What does the Servant’s obedience cost him? How is this fulfilled in Jesus?
3a. What assurances strengthen the Servant to persist with his obedience to the Lord’s will, whatever the personal cost?
How is this fulfilled in Jesus?
3b. Looking at Romans 8:31-38, how can the Servant’s assurances be ours as well?
4. How does this description of the Servant enable us to keep walking in the darkness?
5. Thinking about v.10-11, what would it mean for us to walk by the light of our own fires, rather than trusting in God?
NB Some questions are taken from this Bible Study resource: Jackman, D. 2014, Teaching Isaiah: Unlocking Isaiah for the Bible Teacher, Proclamation Trust.
Sunday 31st May  – Isaiah 49:14-50:3
Which grand promise of God is in view in these verses? (Isaiah 49:6, 11-12)
49 v.14-21
What is the people’s reaction to God (v.14)?
How does God reassure them?
How does God reiterate his promise?
49 v.22-26
What does God promise to do for his people?
What is the people’s reaction (v.24)?
What is God’s purpose in all he does?
50 v.1-3
What is the people’s implied reaction in v.1?
Why is the exile not proof of God’s deserting them?
What does God remind them of?
How do we echo the people’s reactions?
How does God reassure and rebuke us?
Sunday 24th May – Isaiah 49:1-13
verse 1-6
What do we know about the servant’s
– identity? (v.1-3)
– experience? (v.4)
– ministry? (v.2, 5-6)
How does v.6b correct our thinking about Jesus?
How does it spur us on to serve Jesus?
verse 7-13
What does God promise the servant? (v.7-9a)
What does God promise the servant’s people? (v.9b-12)
What is the spiritual substance of the metaphors used?
To what extent is our response the same as v.13?
Which verses will make it more so?
Sunday 17th May – John 11
verse 1-16
How would you describe the relationship between Jesus and this family?
What is strange about what Jesus does/doesn’t do? What is his explanation?
verse 17-27
What does Martha know?
How does Jesus’ claim fit into what she knows?
verse 28-37
How is Jesus’ response to death reassuring for us?
How would you answer the question in v.37?
verse 38-44
What does Jesus pray here? How does it fit with John’s purpose in writing the gospel in 20:31?
Why is Jesus trustworthy for all of life and death?


Sunday 10th May – Luke 19:11-27
1. Why does Jesus tell this parable?
2. How does the parable correct the people listening?
3. What was the master looking for in his servants?
4. How would you describe the character of the master?
5. How and why might you be tempted to think like the third servant?
6. When living in the delay, in what ways does this parable encourage us to keep serving King Jesus with all that he has given us?
Sunday 3rd May – Luke 19:1-10
1. How are the rich ruler and Zacchaeus similar?  And how are they different? 
2. How does 18:27 help us understand what happens to Zacchaeus?
3. How do you think Zacchaeus felt as Jesus summoned him down?
4. How would you describe his attitude to Jesus in v. 8?  And his transformed attitude to money?
5. When you idolise money, what do you think the “deep idols” are underneath?
6. How does knowing (and being known by) Jesus loosen the grip of those “deep idols”?  
7. What does 19:10 say about our situation and Jesus’ purpose? Why is it important to understand this? 
Sunday 26th April – Luke 16:1-15
1. In 16:1-9, what does Jesus say is the main lesson of the parable?  How is the manager, in the parable, putting into practice the principle of v9?
2. How can we imitate the shrewdness of the steward?  How does that excite you?!
3. What kind of things does the world count as a wise investment?  What would Jesus say?
4. What is the principle Jesus is teaching in 16:10-12? 
5.  Do you see money as your own, or as a resource entrusted to you by God?  How would your spending habits change, if you saw yourself as a steward, not an owner?
6. Where might we be justifying ourselves in the eyes of men, when it comes to money?
7. Where do you need to ask God for help, in your attitude to money?
NB Some questions are taken from this Bible Study resource resources/study/46/
Sunday 19th April – Luke 12:13-21
1. When and how are you most likely to be tempted to greed?
2. Which one ‘top tip’ will you work on in the next few weeks? Admit the danger, beware of browsing or grow in gratitude?
3. What do you tend to forget more; that life is more than this life or that life is more than your life?
4. Reflect on Hebrews 13:5 and the wealth of riches we have in God himself being with us and never leaving us.
Sunday 5th April – Isaiah 48
1. In what areas of life might you still be refusing to submit to the Lord (an iron neck) or change your mind (bronze forehead) (v.4)?
2. What is it about God in v.12-22 that will encourage you to keep trusting and obeying Him?
3. Read Romans 5:1-2 and Philippians 4:4-7
Christ has secured our peace that can guard our hearts and minds.
What are we to trust and obey in the Philippians verses so that we know that guarding more and more?

Sunday 29th March – Isaiah 46-47

1. Which idols are you still attracted to? Are there any which surface because of the current lockdown?
2. How have you experienced the burden of idolatry (46:1-2) and why is it so foolish? (47)
3. What is it about God from Isa.46 that will keep you trusting Him and not idols?


Sunday 22nd March – John 18: 1-27

1. Jesus said to Peter, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”  What was he talking about? 
2. Given how much we try and avoid suffering, how do verses 1-11 make you feel about Jesus?
3. Do you ever feel like you’re a failed disciple?  How does it help to to see Jesus going to his death while Peter is disowning him outside, just as Jesus knew he would?
4. How does this passage prompt you to thank and praise the Lord Jesus?