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Small Group Notes
Small group notes - Jan 7
Welcome: as this is likely to be your first session back after Christmas, spend some time sharing each others joys and sorrows of the season.
Worship: spend some time praising God together for answered prayers and blessings.
Word: Matt 2: 1-12
1. What do we know about the Magi from Matthew 2:1–2? Is there any other mention of them in the Bible?
2. How do these men stand in contrast to the shepherds mentioned in Luke? What is the significance of the “good news” coming to both groups?
3. Read Numbers 24:17 and Isaiah 60:1–6. Does Matthew 2:1–12 fulfill these prophecies? How? Could mere man orchestrate these events? What does the fulfillment of prophecy leads us to conclude about God’s sovereign rule over nature, people, and world events?
4. Read Matthew 2:3–8. Why is Herod troubled by the birth of Jesus? How does he react? Why are some people today likewise angered by the kingship of Jesus?
5. The religious leaders seemed indifferent to the Magi’s news. They knew the Scriptures, especially the prophecies regarding Messiah’s birth, but did nothing in response. How does this example speak to whether biblical knowledge can save us? Can we have knowledge yet lack faith? What are the differences between knowledge, intellectual assent, and saving faith in Jesus?
6. What should be the proper response to the news of Matthew 2:1–12? What action(s) should we take?
7. Read Micah 5:2 and 2 Samuel 5:2. Why is it important that Jesus was born in the line of King David?
8. What do you think it means for a king to also be a shepherd? In daily life what does it mean for Jesus to be our shepherd and our King?
9. What meanings and significance can be interpreted from the gifts the Magi brought to Jesus? How do the royalty, deity, and humanity of Jesus bring us joy and provoke us to worship? Why do all three gifts represent good news for us?
10. The Magi worshipped Jesus. How does worship honor Christ and bring us joy? How does worship fuel witness? Can we be effective witnesses without first worshipping? What is the ultimate global purpose of God?
11. Why do you think Matthew essentially began his Gospel with the Magi and concluded with the Great Commission? What significance would these events (and their organization within the book) have held for a mainly Jewish audience in the first century? What significance should they hold for us today?
12. Far from Jerusalem and Bethlehem, God drew the Magi to Jesus. Have you seen God draw to Himself people from various backgrounds and people groups? Did it surprise you? Did it encourage you that God is at work around the world among all kinds of people?
Witness: How can you be a witness to those in your neighborhood, in Chester le Street, and among the nations.
Small group notes for Jan 14
Welcome: Who first introduced you to Jesus?
Worship: sing a song of worship or commitment to Jesus. Ideas: Lord Reign in me , Reign in me.
Word: John 1: 43- end
1. What do we know about Philip and Nathanael?
2. What is Philip’s first recorded act after being called by Jesus? What is significant about this?
3. Are there any principles we can gather from this?
4. How does Philip deal with Nathaniel’s question?
5. How effective do you think it would have been if Philip had tried to explain why it was OK that Jesus came from Nazareth or that perhaps he was really from Bethlehem and they didn’t know it? What can we learn from this?
6. Where was Nazareth? (You might find a map useful)
7. What was the general opinion of Nazareth at that time?
8. What does the phrase an “Israelite indeed” mean?
9. What does it mean that Jesus saw Nathanael under the fig tree? Did Jesus pass by there earlier? What is this meant to show?
10. Is it good or bad that God is everywhere?
11. Compare Nathanael’s response to the response of most Israelites at the time?
12. What does the phrase “no deceit” or “no guile” mean to you?
13. Is it important that Nathanael believed when he didn’t see the greater things and most Israelites didn’t believe even when they did see the greater things? What does this teach us about faith?
14. Explain verse 12.
Witness: pray for those who have not yet met Jesus and ask God to show you what your part in helping them should be.
Small group notes for Jan 21.
Welcome: What kind of invitations do you enjoy receiving? Why?
Worship: sing or listen to Bless the Lord O my soul
Word: Mark 1:14-28
1. When Jesus said, “the time has come” and “the kingdom is near” (1:15) was he referring to chronological time (the calendar) or to something else?
2. How did Jesus want the people to respond to the fact that the kingdom of God is near? (1:15) What exactly is repentance?
3. How did Jesus get people to follow him? (1:17) Do you think the promise to make them evangelists (fishers of men) was enough incentive to follow Jesus?
4. For what kind of relationships are you willing to sacrifice your own needs?
4.Would you sacrifice personal achievements, job, friends, or even family for the sake of Christ? Do you think Christ really expects us to give up everything to follow him? What prevents you from following Jesus wholeheartedly?
5. Capernaum is a town on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (also know as Tiberias, Gennesaret, and Kinnereth) in northern Israel. Peter and his mother lived there close to the synagogue where Jesus taught. Why was Jesus allowed to teach? What OT scripture did he read? (Luke 4:16-19, Isaiah 61:1-2)
6. What makes a person a good teacher?
6.Why were people “amazed” at Jesus’ teaching? (1:22, 1:27) How do you feel when you are around people of authority? What gives a person authority?
7. Why would a demon-possessed man be admitted to the synagogue? What did the evil spirit say to Jesus? How did Jesus respond? (1:23-25) Do we find demons and evil spirits in churches today?
8. How did the evil spirit respond to Jesus’ command, “Come out of him?” (1:26) Was there a purpose in this act? How did the people respond to this miracle?
9. Demonic activity in the Bible appears in waves with more in Jesus’ time than any other. Why should this be? Are demons still active today? How can we get rid of them?
Witness: what lessons do we need to take from this study?