Catch up on how things have been over the past week (over drinks and snacks if possible), taking time to let any new members introduce themselves. Then ask group members:
This term, we’re exploring some of the meals Jesus shared. Not only will this help us get to know Jesus better, we’ll see how the way he shared meals has loads of implications for how we experience student life today.
Ask for a volunteer to read Luke 11:37-44 to the group, praying a short prayer that, however much they’ve come to know Jesus, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
If you’re not gathered in person, the leader should project the video for the group through sharing their screen. If you’re using Zoom, make sure you have optimized your screen share for video. You can download the video to watch offline.
Suggested questions to help your discussion.
What does it mean that generosity to the poor makes everything ‘clean’?
Jesus is not saying that, if we are generous enough to the poor, then we have no need for forgiveness. Jesus alone can cleanse our hearts, and he does that through his death on the cross and through pouring his Spirit into our hearts.
In verse 41, Jesus is saying that the things we do should spring from a loving heart, and not out of a desire to impress others. Self-righteousness is something Jesus came to pay for – and not a characteristic Jesus wants in his people. Real obedience comes from the inside out, from hearts that have been transformed by God’s love.
In Matthew 23:27, Jesus compares the scribes and Pharisees to ‘whitewashed tombs.’ They were clean in appearance (i.e. on the outside), but inside they were full of death and decay.
Jesus’ imagery here in verse 44 is similar: they are ‘unmarked graves.’ Unmarked graves give no appearance of being places of death but, according to Jewish Law (Numbers 19:16), those who come into contact with them are made unclean. Those who follow the example and teaching of the scribes and Pharisees are being unwittingly drawn into a path of uncleanness and death.
Spend time praying for God to show you the wrong motives in your own heart. Thank him for areas where he’s already revealed it to you today. Ask God to help you love those you know who feel crushed by the burden of religious demands.
This week we’ve seen that there are misconceptions around what it means to live for God.
Feedback on how you got with last week’s activity, then choose another to undertake together this week (ideally a different category to whatever you did last time).
Get nourished: for group bonding
Host a text-a-toastie evening – get people to text in questions about Jesus and Christianity, and offer an answer along with a toastie with a filling of their choosing!
Offer a taste: to do together
Host a meal together for friends – perhaps teeing under conversation with this clip. Someone could share their testimony, and you could take friends’ questions on how Jesus relates to religion.
Add spice: a personal challenge
Your friends probably think of you as ‘quite religious.’ Write a post on social media explaining how you react to this idea.
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