Isaiah 50:4-9a Discussion / Reflection Questions

Here are some questions I have on Isaiah 50:4-9a, the Old Testament reading for Palm Sunday, 14 April, 2019:

  • What questions do you have of this text?
  • This text talks twice about God’s will in verses 4 & 7. What can you learn about what God’s will might be from the words of this text?
  • What kind of situation does it sound like this person is walking into – something good, dangerous or something else?
  • From what you read in verses 7-9a, why can this person go into that situation? What gives this person the courage to do that?
  • Who do you think this text is talking about? What gives you that impression?
  • Why do you think this text is has been selected for the reading on Palm Sunday?
  • If you read this text from the point of view of Jesus, what might it say to you about him? How does it fit with the beginning of the week before Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection?
  • if you read this text from your own point of view, what might you hear it saying to you?
  • What good news can you hear in this text? What is God promising to do for you? How might that make a difference in your life?

Let me know if you have any additional thoughts or question on the text in the comments below. I’m always interested in your perspectives on the text…

Bless ya!

John 12:1-8 Discussion / Reflection Questions

Here are some questions I have when I read John 12:1-8 which is the text for the message on Sunday 7 April…

  • The average yearly fulltime wage in Australia for 2018 was just under AU$86,000. if someone gave you that amount of money as a gift, what would you do with it?
  • Could you imagine buying a bottle of perfume with it? And then pouring it over someone’s feet? Explain your thoughts about doing that…
  • Why do you think Mary did that for Jesus (v3)? What do her actions tell you about what she thought of Jesus? (Reading John 11 will give you some background to her actions)
  • Why do you think Judas said what he did in v5?
  • Would you agree with him – do you think it would be better to give a year’s wages to the poor or pour it over Jesus’ feet? Explain why you think that…
  • Does what Jesus says in verses 7 & 8 surprise you? What do you think he means by what he says?
  • What do you think is the point of this story? What might Jesus be trying to teach us through it?

This is a tricky story to understand. I’d appreciate any thoughts or questions to help me prepare for next Sunday if you could leave them in the comments section below.

God bless…

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Discussion / Reflection Questions

Here are some questions I have about 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 which will be the text for next Sunday’s message (31 March) at St John’s, TTG. let me know if you have any thoughts or questions of your own in the comments below.

  • What questions do you have of this text?
  • What do you think Paul means when he talks about ‘evaluating others from a human point of view’ (v16)? When we look at other people from ‘a human point of view’ what do you see?
  • What changes when we view people from the point of view of Jesus? How do people look then?
  • What is the big change that happens to a person when that person is ‘in Christ’ (v17 NIV) or ‘belongs to Christ’ (NLT)? How can that change how we see others? How can that change how you see yourself?
  • What is the job of an ambassador? Is that a job you think you would like? Explain why or why not.
  • What is the message given to Christ’s ambassadors? (hint: there’s more than one answer to this question) How is this message good news for people?
  • In verses 18-21, Paul talks a lot about ‘us’ and ‘we’. Who do you think he is talking about here – his friends (the apostles and evangelists) who were traveling with him? All Christians of every time and place? Someone else?
  • How does your understanding of who he means by ‘us’ and ‘we’ shape how you read verses 18-21? If he is talking just about his friends, how does that shape his message? If he means all Christians, including us, how does the message of this text sound now?
  • What is the exchange that Paul describes in verse 21? Does this exchange sound fair? Why would Jesus make that exchange?
  • Everything that Paul says in these verses gives us a new point of view of ourselves and others. Who is someone in your life (including possibly yourself) about whom you might need to change your point of view? How will this new point of view change what you might do or say this week?

God bless…

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Discussion / Reflection Questions

The message at St John’s on Sunday 24 March will be based on 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Here are some questions I have on the text. Maybe they might help you reflect on what Jesus might be saying to us in this text:

  • George Santayana is quoted as saying, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ Would you agree or disagree with this statement? Discuss why you think that, possibly drawing on your own experiences where you have learned or haven’t learned from something you’ve done in the past.
  • Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. What questions do you have of the text? Discuss them together or post them in the comments below if you’d like some help with them.
  • What was the past that Paul is referring to in verses 1-11? Are there any stories in there that you’re not familiar with?
  • Paul writes in verses 6 & 11 that these stories are there to warn us. What is the warning you think Paul might be wanting to give his readers? What is the warning Paul might be wanting to give us?
  • Paul then goes on to talk about temptation in verses 12 & 13. What was the main temptation the Israelites faced? How are the temptations they faced similar to temptations we face? What can we learn from the temptations they faced?
  • What do you think Paul means when he writes that ‘God is faithful’? Would you agree or disagree with him? Discuss why you think that…
  • Paul writes that God ‘will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand’ and ‘when you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure’ (v13 NLT). How do you understand these words? Do you agree or disagree with what he writes? When have been some times in your life when you have seen God doing or not doing that?
  • What temptations are you facing right now? How might you see these temptations differently if what Paul says in v13 is true?
  • What might be a way out that God is showing you of the temptation(s) you’re experiencing right now?

Then I suggest that you pray for each other, that God will keep you strong & find the ways out of any temptations you might be experiencing…

Feel free to leave any comments or questions of your own in the comments below.

God bless…

Luke 13:31-35 Discussion / Reflection Questions

The message for 17 March at St John’s will be based on Luke 13:31-35. Here are some questions for you to reflect on or discuss in a small group to help you prepare for Sunday’s services…

  • What questions do you have about this text?
  • What do you think Jesus meant by his reply in verses 32 & 33? What do you think he understands as his ‘purpose’?
  • What do you hear Jesus saying with the image of the mother hen in verse 34?
  • Why do you think baby chicks wouldn’t want to find shelter under their mother’s wings? What does this image tell you about the way in which Jesus saw the people of Jerusalem? What might it be saying about people in general?
  • In verse 35, what does Jesus say is the consequence of the people rejecting him? What can we learn from his words?
  • When you think about your life, in which direction are you moving – towards Jesus or away from Jesus? Why is that?
  • If Jesus describes himself as a mother chook, what might he be offering people under his wings? What might he be offering you?
  • Lent is a time of repentance, meaning turning around & changing direction. How could you move closer towards Jesus to find shelter under his wings? What changes might you need to make to do that? What might you gain by doing that?

Please feel free to leave your comments or further questions in the comment section below. God bless your reflection & discussion…

Psalm 91:1,2,9-16 Discussion/Reflection Questions

Next Sunday’s message at St John’s will be based on Psalm 91:1,2,9-16. Read the text and then discuss or reflect on the following questions:

  • What questions to you have of the text?
  • What promise do you hear from God in this text?
  • What is difficult to believe about this text? Why do you find it hard to believe?
  • In Luke 4:9-12 the devil used these words to tempt Jesus. How does what the devil say show us how we can interpret them wrongly?
  • How do you think Jesus might have interpreted these words while he was hanging on the cross? What do you think they might have been saying to him then?
  • When we are going through difficult times or suffering in life, would these words be difficult to believe? Or might they be able to give you hope? Explain why…

Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

God bless ya…