Read Matthew 5:3-10

 
1. "Blessed are the poor in spirit" - what does this mean and what difference does it make? Why did Jesus begin with this?
2. "Theirs is the kingdom of heaven" - what are the benefits of gaining the kingdom of heaven?
3. "Blessed are those who mourn" - what are we to mourn? Why? What should it inspire us towards?
4. How do we receive comfort from God? (see John 14:26-27), The Holy Spirit is called the "Comforter" - how does the Spirit of God comfort us?
5. "Blessed are the meek"... What is meekness? How would you define it? In what way is it good to be meek? How was Jesus meek?
6. Psalm 37:11 mirrors this beatitude. What are the blessings of meekness? What do they mean for your life? How do you become a person of meekness?
7. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness"... How satisfied are you with your spiritual life? Psalm 42:1-2 speaks about a thirst - how thirsty are you? How would others see this thirst within you?
8. Read Philippians 3:1-16. How true is this for your life? How are you "pressing on towards the goal" (vs. 14)?
9. We have been looking at the first four steps to vibrant living with Christ... (i) recognise your poverty (ii) mourn the loss (iii) be meek (iv) hunger and thirst... Where are you on this journey? How can you move to the next step, or go deeper in the step you're on? How can you help someone who may be afraid to journey further?

TAG Questions – Matthew 5:7-10 - Beatitudes

 

  1. Recap the first four beatitudes – what do they mean?

    1. Poor in spirit

    2. Those who mourn

    3. Meek

    4. Hunger and thirst for righteousness

  2. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (vs. 7)

    1. What does it mean to be merciful? Finish the sentence, Biblical mercy is…

    2. Does showing mercy have a limit? When do you know if that line has been crossed?

    3. Can you think of a personal example of when you showed mercy and/or someone showed you mercy? What was the outcome / what difference did it make to the situation and to you? 

  3. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God” (vs. 8)

    1. What does it mean to be “pure in heart”?

    2. How can you grow in your purity of heart?

    3. What stops you growing?

    4. How can you judge whether you are growing in this or not?

  4. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (vs. 9)

    1. How do we become peacemakers? What are the areas where we need to exercise peacemaking?

    2. Can you think of an occasion when you were a peacemaker? How messy did it become? What general advice would you give to others who are trying to be a peacemaker in a situation?

    3. How do you reconcile this verse with Jesus’ statement in Matthew 10:34-36?

  5. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (vs. 10)

    1. What persecution should we be experiencing today?

    2. If we are not experiencing persecution, what does that say about our lives, our faith?

    3. What are the benefits of persecution? (see James 1:2-4; Matthew 5:43-35; Galatians 6:7-10).

  6. Re-read Matthew 5:3-10 through several times slowly. 

    1. What is God saying to you about these beatitudes?

    2. Which one speaks to you today? What is it saying to your life?

In what way are these statements by Jesus foundational, achievable and essential for every believer?

TAG Questions: Overcoming a spirit of Anger

Matthew 5:21-26

 

How often do you get really angry? Why? What happened last time to trigger the anger? 
Remind yourself of the 8 blessings… (Matthew 5:3-10) that you can receive from God. Now Jesus goes onto share ways we block those blessings from being evident in our lives.
 

Read Matthew 5:21-22. 

Why do you think he raises anger as the first block to blessing?
What is anger? Try and define it. What causes us (internally) to get angry?
Is anger always wrong? See Mark 3:5, Matthew 21:12-13. 
What is the difference between righteous and unrighteous anger?
How can you tell which is which?
Read Luke 6:43-35. What does this teach us about the core issues when we get angry?
Read Matthew 5:23-24. How does anger with someone else affect our relationship with God? Can we be angry with another person and still have peace with God?
Read Matthew 5:25-26. Jesus gives an example of unchecked anger escalating. Once that happens it becomes more difficult to deal with. 
How can you deal with anger in yourself? 
What steps do you need to take? 
How can you help someone else who is angry or bitter towards another person?

TAG Questions: Matthew 5:13-20

 

Read Matthew 5:3-10. In your own words what are the 8 ways to be blessed by God?
 

Read Matthew 5:13-16.

Why does Jesus use “Salt” and “Light” to describe us? What does he mean?
What does he mean by “you are the salt of the earth”?
Who is in your sphere of influence?
How are you being “salt” to them?
What did Jesus mean by “losing its saltiness”? (vs. 13)
Why is Jesus so harsh about “being thrown out and trampled by men”? What does he mean by this? 
What does Jesus mean by “you are the light of the world”? (vs. 14)
How is being light different to being salt?


Read John 8:12. What does Jesus mean by this statement?
In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says the same thing about you and me. How can this be? Does this mean we are to be the same as Jesus? How? In what ways?
In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Apostle Paul describes himself being light in the world. Apply this verse to your own life. 
How are you being light to others? 
How are you hiding your light under a bowl?
How can you increase the light in your life being shown to others?
“We are God’s plan for the transformation of others.” Think about and share examples of other people’s lives who have been transformed by God helping you to be salt and light to them.

TAG Questions: Breaking the spirit of Immorality

Matthew 5:27-30

 

 

  1. Define “Immorality”. Where are the boundaries? Who decides?

  2. Remind yourself of the 8 blessings… (Matthew 5:3-10) that you can receive from God. Now Jesus goes onto share ways we block those blessings from being evident in our lives.

 

Read Matthew 5:27-28.

  1. What is “lust”? Where does natural attraction stop and lust begin?

  2. But in this passage Jesus is not just speaking about adultery, but goes deeper to the spirit of immorality. Compare Genesis 3:6 and 2 Samuel 11:2-4 with our Matthew reading. How does immorality gain a food-hold in us?

  3. Read Psalm 24:3-4. What are the consequences of allowing immorality into our lives?

 

Read Matthew 5:29-30.

  1. How do we break the spirit of immorality?

  2. How can we fulfil the command of Galatians 6:2 in this regard?

  3. How “fragile” is your heart to influences from outside? How can you effectively guard/protect your heart?

TAG Questions: Covenants and Commitments
Matthew 5:31-37


Jesus has explained the 8 blessings (Matthew 5:3-10) that you can receive from God. Someone likened these to flowers in a garden – remind yourself of them. Then Jesus describes 6 ways we can limit or eliminate the blessings – the weeds in the garden that need rooting out and destroying from our lives.

 

The first two ways (Matthew 5:21-30) are not guarding what comes out of our heart (anger)

and what goes in (adultery). Read Matthew 5:31-32. 


1. What is Jesus speaking about in this passage? What is the certificate of divorce

(see Deuteronomy 24:1-4)? 
2. This passage is a great example of the need to understand the context of the situation in which Jesus was speaking. How so? 
3. What was the situation of women in the culture of Jesus’ day?
4. What would happen to a woman if she was issued with a certificate of divorce?
Look at vs 32. Why does divorce cause adultery?
5. What is the difference between a covenant and a promise?
6. What covenant relationships do you have?
7. Why are they so special / different?
8. Why do you need to especially focus on maintaining covenant relationships?
9. How should you respond if one (or more) of these covenant relationships breaks down? 

Read Matthew 5:33-37.
10. When was the last time you promised something to someone? What happened?
11. Why does Jesus say to not make promises, but to speak plainly? 
12. What does John 14:6 teach us about the importance of our words?

13. What is God saying to you from these passages?

TAG Questions: Passive Love vs Active Love

Matthew 5:43-48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

1. Define “Love”. (1 Corinthians 13, Matthew 22:37, 1 John 3:18)
2. Why has God commanded us to love one another?
3. Who is your neighbour, according to Jesus? (Read Luke 10:25-37).

4. After reading the story of the Good Samaritan, please give some examples about passive love

and active love.
5. What are the rewards of demonstrating active love?

6. What are the consequences of demonstrating passive love?
7. How can we show love to someone that doesn’t appreciate it? 
8. How can we imitate Jesus’ perfect love in our local church, community, workplace and world around us?

TAG Questions: Open Hearts – resisting retaliation and defensiveness

Matthew 5:38-42

 

 

  1. Jesus has explained the 8 blessings (Matthew 5:3-10) that you can receive from God. Someone likened these to flowers in a garden – remind yourself of them. Then Jesus describes 6 ways we can limit or eliminate the blessings – the weeds in the garden that need rooting out and destroying from our lives. Remind yourselves of all these...

 

Read Matthew 5:38-42. 

  1. Jesus uses 4 examples to explain the underlying principle of resisting areas which close / harden our hearts to Him and others. What are those 4 areas in his examples? 

  2. Are there times when you’ve felt closer or more distant in your relationship with God – what has caused those times?

  3. Consider the first example – an eye for an eye… (vs. 38)

    1. Read Exodus 21, (especially verses 23-25) - What does this passage refer to? How were the teachers in Jesus’ day taking this out of context from its original intent?

    2. Read Leviticus 19:18 – what is the underlying principle in dealing with the law and with others who hurt us?

    3. How should we respond to others to hurt us? Why?

  4. Consider the second example - turn the other cheek (vs. 39)

    1. To what is this referring? 

    2. Read 1 Peter 2:23 and Matthew 5:11-12. How should we respond when others speak ill of us?

  5. Consider the third example – taking your tunic (vs. 40) (see also Deuteronomy 24:10-13)

    1. What is your most precious possession? Why?

    2. How attached are you to your material things? What does it feel like of someone “borrows” something and doesn’t bring it back? How does this affect what you think about them?

    3. How does our attachment to material things affect the softness of our heart?

  6. Consider the fourth example – walking an extra mile (vs. 41) 

Roman soldiers had the right to insist that any man carry their kit for a mile. People despised this humiliating infringement on their time and their rights.

    1. How do people infringe your time or personal rights?

What does this make you feel like? How does this affect your relationship with them?

TAG Questions: Giving

Matthew 6:1-4

 

 

  1. Jesus has explained the 8 blessings (Matthew 5:3-10) that you can receive from God. Someone likened these to flowers in a garden – remind yourself of them. Then Jesus describes 6 ways we can limit or eliminate the blessings – the weeds in the garden that need rooting out and destroying from our lives. Remind yourselves of all these...

 

  1. In the US recently, a religious leader recently asked his followers to buy him a $54 million private jet to help him spread the gospel.

    1. What do you think about someone asking for such a blessing?

    2. Some say the Bible teaches that wealth is a sign of the blessing of God – how would you respond?

 

Read Matthew 6:1-4

  1. Why is the use of our money such a large issue with Jesus? (over 2,350 references to the management of money in the Bible. 16 of the 38 parables of Jesus were about money/possessions).

  2. Why did Jesus say for us not to do “acts of righteousness” before men in vs 1, when in Matt. 5:16 he calls us to let our lights shine before men… is he contradicting himself?

  3. Why shouldn’t we let others know about our giving?

  4. What are the consequences of telling others about our generosity?

  5. How much should we be giving to God? (see Deut. 26)

  6. What are the “rewards” Jesus is speaking about? 

    1. On what basis do we receive these rewards? (see Rev. 22:12)

  7. How does your giving show your love for Jesus?

How can you become an even greater channel of blessing from God?

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