These questions are connected to the message, “Dismantling Religious Hypocrisy,” from Sunday, March 20, 2022. You can watch it here.
Dive In: There is a lot going on in this passage and a lot that Jesus is calling out. Read this passage in a few different translations (e.g. The Message, N. T. Wright’s The New Testament for Everyone, Contemporary English Version, Amplified Bible, The Living Bible); does your understanding change?
- Think about a time in your life when you cared more about the optics of a situation (looking good) than you cared about what was really going on. If you could go back and change it, what would you do differently?
- Marc said that living a life that looks different on the outside than it does on the inside is dishonouring to God. Discuss.
- The antidote to the issue Jesus is calling out in this passage is a generous life. When you think about generosity, what could that look like in your life? In your church?
- Is there anything in your life that doesn’t look like Jesus?
- Be honest. Did someone come to mind you wanted to share this sermon with? Or was there an ‘a-ha’ moment that you thought someone else needed to hear? If so, how can you turn that inward?
- Marc shared a quote from NT Wright: “The Pharisees today might look a lot more like newspapers or journalists who take it upon themselves to be the guardians of public morality. They shriek at offenses and delight in pointing the finger yet, they are not examples of moral virtue. They are often the ones who load heavy burdens on people’s backs but don’t lift a finger to move them.” Do you agree with this statement?” Why or why not? Who else might you put in this category? What are ways we might fit in this category?
Act on it: We’re probably all guilty of posting something on social media related to a current issue without doing anything tangible to help. What’s going on in your community or the world right now that you can do something about? Can you donate money? Can you volunteer? Can you commit to praying regularly? How can you care about those who are suffering right now? If you’re going through this question with others, can you do something together?