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. SCIPTURE READING: Mathew 17:24-27 Leader Action: In the big group have one person read each part of the passage below. The Temple Tax 24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, ASK QUESTIONS: Imagine you are one of Jesus disciples 2000 years ago. This scene takes place in Peter’s house What are you sitting on What have you eaten that day? What does Jesus look like? Is he white? the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter You hear a knock at the door. Peter goes to the door! It is the temple tax collector. He collects money for to keep the temple running It’s a requirement for head of Jewish household, and considered VERY patriotic. 1. What kind of things are considered civic duty in the United States? Something that patrotic people should do? and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” 25 “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. The guy is waiting at the door. You over here Jesus start a conversation with Peter: “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” 26 “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. QUESTION FOR GROUP: Does anyone want to take a stab at what Jesus is getting at? Explaniation of what Jesus is saying: the temple tax was for the support of the house of God. Jesus was the Son of God. Why, then, should he pay tax for his Father’s house? A son in the royal house does not pay tax. Nevertheless, he proposed to pay, in order to avoid putting a 1 stumbling-block in the way of the collectors. God’s son = as we talked about a few weeks ago this means he is equal with God. Akin to charging Jesus for taking classes at NC State. He is God. He made all these people. He created the ground under the feet. The physics that hold it all together. Why should he have to pay anything??? 27
“But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my 2 tax and yours.”
1 Michael Green, The Message of Matthew: The Kingdom of Heaven, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 188. 2 The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 17:24–27.
IV. EXEGETE 1. Over look an offence is the building blocks for relationships Scripture 1: 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, … give it to them for my tax and yours.” 3 Exegete: Jesus does not technically have to pay the temple tax because his father owns the temple, -and not just the temple but the universe the temple is in. - And He not just owns the temple but the temple is a sign, like a road sign, that exists to point to -Therefore Jesus has ever right to the tell the temple tax collectors, “Are you kidding me? Do you know who I am? Do you know what is entitled to me as a son? Do you know who my dad is? Do you know anything at all? I am the Son of God! I have the right to do much more than not pay!” -YET Jesus does not appeal to his right = I am a son! -Jesus lays down his rights as to not put a barrier between him and others. Today: It is easy to be put off by people, and relationships are tough things that require overlooking many offences.
TINY GROUP Questions: 1. Have you ever had a friendship or relationship that ended? If so, what caused it to end? 2. Was there an offence you could have overlooked? Do you wish you would have?
3 The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 17:24–27.
2. Rights of being a child of God Scripture: What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” 26 “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. Exegete: In Jesus’ day the closest access a person could get to God was through the temple, and it wasn’t free. Only the holiest of holy people could spend any time in the temple At temple you did not approach the presence of God housed in its inner sanctuary as a friend, no one would dare consider it, much less even a servant. The select few would had the best access, the could go into the holy of holys, only saw themselves at most as servants of God. No one dared say they had free access to God as a son would have with his father. This was mad. This would be akin to saying, “My dad…oh yeah he owns everything, created everything…my dad is God! And I have the same that a son has with his father. Then Jesus comes on the scene and says, “I have this kind of access.” The temple level access is a dim hint of the level of access and relationship I have with God. Jesus then says, not only do I have this access, but anyone who repents and turns to me I will unite them with me and give them my relational rights, my access to God, not as a servant, or a friend, but as a Son or daughter of God!
Questions for tiny-group: 1. Do you primarily think of yourself as a son or daughter of God—why or why not? 2. If you are a Christian, then you are God’s son or daughter. How often do you take advantage of your relational right of access to God as your Father?
3. Freedom of being a child of God Scripture: “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. Exegete: In the Greek exempt literally means free! The freedom you get as a child of God is a freedom from offence that comes with your new vantage point as sons and daughters of God. Think about it… Your dad owns every spec of matter, time and all the space that makes up not only this campus, but the world, and universe it is in! Take a deep breathe. That is your dads air that he created so that you could breathe. Every ounce of that air in your lungs is his too! Look up to the sky at night…those are your dads stars. Look to those tree with blazing golds, red, and oranges…your dad owns and made them This perspective brings freedom Becouse when you are think about who your dad, that loves you, that is God…your problems seem sooooo small. This also makes other people’s offencses against you seem sooooo small. As God’s kid when someone hurts you it would be akin to someone smashing your phone, but if your God’s child you have quadrillion more phones. Becouse your dad is soooo big, those offences are sooooo small, and sooo are all your problems. Becouse your dad is God you can be free to not care about offences that would hurt a person whose dad is just a refuglar guy or girl somewhere. Don’t you know whose kids you are!
IV. JESUS –Costly Freedom for the Son! This temple tax would go into the treasury of the very Establishment that would betray Jesus to death. Yet he did it anyway! Why? Jesus didn’t just give you an example to follow… He did it, because he knew he had to go to cross. That making such access to God would not be free. Someone had to pay the penalty of our sin, so that it would be free for those who believed in his name! such Love for us lead him to the cross. He gave up his right, and took your offences past, present, and future upon himself so that nothing would block you from access to God as his children. He had to lose that access on the across eternally –an all at once, so that you can eternally access God as Father, and walk as a son or daughter FREELY. Though it cost him everything He loves you! Now you are FREE from caring to much about offence, or problems because your dad is God…and He loves you…and you can access him as Father 24/7.
V. PRAYER: You would see your freedom as sons and daughter, and walk in the costly freedom Jesus provided