I. Ingredients for a great community group aka our hope for tonight 1. Information vs. Revelation— We would have a change of heart not just change of mind! But the time we leave here tonight you would not just know God loves you, but you would experience his love at a heart level… As result your big problems would seem small. 2. Exegete Text – We want to listen to the text, rather than speak to it. The Bible was written 2000 years ago, so we have to see what it means to them, in their culture FIRST, before we can understand what it means for us today. Exegeteing is like a time machine) 3. Be Real Don’t be fake. Don’t give religious answers. If you don’t want to answer, don’t answer!
II. Prayer for those things. Action: Have student pray. Sample if no student will pray: Since our goal is too encounter Godâ€™s love through community, through listening to text lets ask God to open our heart to be vulnerable with each other, and help us hear what text is saying.
III. PRE-TEXT: Background of Book / Chapter / Occasion
1. Context for this week What Matthew is most concerned about is not telling us how to live, but telling us who Jesus is, and what He has come to do! This book, Matthew, is the good news of Jesus, not the good advice of Jesus. Its about who Jesus is and what He has done, not primarly about who we are and what we are supposed to do.
IV. SCIPTURE READING (Have students take turn reading) Matthew 11:25-30 The Father Revealed in the Son 25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. 27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you 29 rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 1
1 The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 11:25–30.
1. Jesus is_____ Scripture: 25
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…
Exegete: To understand the magnitude of what Jesus is saying hear to his Jewish audience read: John 5:18. Question 1: By calling God His Father what is Jesus claiming about himself? Answer 1: In Jewish culture, everyone could say, “God is our Lord.” A very few could say, “God is my friend,” (ie Moses) but no one could say, “God is my Father.” To call God your Father in Jewish culture was to equate yourself with God.
For us today: 1. Based on what we just read, and from what you know about religions, what is unique about Jesus’ claim? 2. Take a few minutes in a tiny group (2-3 people) and come up with two comparative metaphors. Fill in the blanks as a tiny-group: Jesus, creator of heaven and earth, is to me, as _____ is to _______
2. The disadvantages to knowing a lot about God.
Scripture: I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. Exegete: Hidden from the wise and learned – Hidden from the educated people. In Jesus day, this would be people who could read. Which was mostly a very small portion of bible teachers (ie the Pharisees, Saducees). So the religious leaders, those who were wised and learned about God, in other words those who know a lot about God. Jesus suggest there are disadvantages to knowing a lot about God. Revealed to little children – 3-4 year olds, generally speaking, can’t read, but are hungry to learn, and eager to get bigger! They are excited about growing! For us today: Jesus is saying I am God, and if you acknowledge that -you must not come to me acknowledging there are disadvnatages to having a lot of knowledge about God. -You must come to me like an uneducated child who is eager to grow, get big, mature!
Question for tini-groups 1. Would you consider yourself a person who has more knowledge more about God or Bible than your peers? 2. Jesus seems to suggest there are disadvantages to knowing a lot about God, as a believer what do you think the disadvantages are of knowing a lot about God and the Bible?
3. The yoke of knowledge, and the lightness and child-like joy of Christ’s yoke SCRIPTURE 28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” EXEGETE: -A yoke - is a 50lb+ wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to 300lb+ plow that they are to pull through dense terain. In the ancient world not only was this extremely uncomfortable for the ox, but eventually wounded them. FOR US TODAY: Jesus knows we will put the yolk of something on our shoulders. He knows this because He being God, made us, and made us to worship (ie to be yokled to something) He knows, that if it’s not him, we’ll worship something else. He knows that, if you worship him, and him alone, there will be a lightness, and a childlike joy and eagerness to grow abot you. BUT if you worship anything other than Him, than it will be like the yolk of the oxen, it will be heavy, and eventually hurt you.
One of the things that Christians have tendency to yolk themselves to is their knowledge of God. There are two ways we yolk ourselves to our knowledge of God. Yoke #1 happens when we begin to have pride in our knowledge of God -When the Corinthian Christians do this Paul says they will begin to be puffed up. (1 cor 8:1) -When Christians are puffed up like this they will be unable to edify others, -and unable to be edified by others. -Then Bible study and church become grounds not to grow, but to prove ourselves, and show others our knowledge. -Instead of experience God’s love afresh and reminding our hearts of the lightness of His yolk at all turns, we carry the weight of our pride on our shoulders. -To those with this yoke Jesus is saying -LEARN FROM ME BE LIKE A CHILD, AGAIN: -Little children are eager to grow up -You should be so eager, like a child, to grow up and mature you’ll take anything you can to grow in your relationship with God. -You’ll let your heart learn from Jesus in a thousand different ways, from all types of Christians. Mature and immature. Young and Old. In basic teachings, and rich teachings! ! From those who are strong and those who are weak! Learning from the newest of believers the love of God afresh.. at just the mention of His name. -You’ll be just like a child, always growing, all the time, in any environment, through almost any situation! Yoke #2 happens when we begin to have guilt about our knowledge of God -Some of your are worshipping knowledge of God, but you feel guilty for not knowing what you think you should know about him. -You’ll feel inferior -For you bible studies become heavy reminders of your insecurities about your knowledge about God and the Bible. -You are under the yolk of knowledge too, but instead of pride, it brings guilt. -Such a yolk makes life heavy and steals child-like joy from times, like bible study & church, that are meant to be refreshing and freeing! CONCLUSION: Both ways are ways are ways of worshipping knowledge of God, over God. QUESTION (in tiny groups): Which yolk are you most prone to? Why do you think that is?
JESUS Jesus is inviting you, tonight, to cast the yolk of the knowledge of God, and the Bible at his feet, and stand in him (and not your knowledge) and him alone, gloriously complete! -To have his love revealed to your heart again -This happens. As you look at how far he went to remove the stain of pride, and the weight of your guilt. -To take your heavy yolk upon him, so that His yolk of child-like joy, and lightness of heart can be restored in your life. -Our yolk is light, because his was infinitely heavy on the cross. -Our burden can be easy, because his was so hard. -We can have rest, because he became weary and burdened by the weight of our pride and guilt, - which is now forever forgiven through taking our yolk of the cross!
When Satan tempts me to despair And tells me of the guilt within Upward I look and see Him there Who made an end to all my sin Because the sinless Savior died My sinful soul is counted free For God the just is satisfied To look on Him and pardon me To look on Him and pardon me
V. PRAY/APPLICATION: Pray for each other that God would -Ask him to help remind your heart of the truth of the good news: That your sins are on his shoulders. And your relationship with him is not dependent on your intellectual knowledge of him, but his love towards you! -Ask him to bring this to mind in times of pride and guilt.