Before the Session

Facilitator: In advance of the session

  • Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
  • Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
  • Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media).

Context (From the Current Session Page)

Share this collection of the Top 10 Nonviolent Protests and ask:

  • Which picture was most moving and why?
  • Which of these protests were most or least significant to you and why?
  • What kinds of resistance do you think these people faced in their protests and why?
  • When have you faced opposition from people who either do not like you or something that you really believe in?
  • How do you typically handle such opposition and why?

Content (From the Mind Session Page)

Read Matthew 5:38-48, then watch the Bible Background Video.

Then ask questions like these:

  • Jesus referred in this passage to things that the hearers would have “heard said” at some point. Where do you think they heard such things and where do we hear such things?
  • Why do you think the author if this gospel lumped Jesus’ sayings about people who want to borrow from you in with enemies and others who might hurt you?
  • In what ways might the culture of that time have affected the way people reacted to Jesus’ words int his passage and where might we differ in our understanding today?
  • Given that some of these teachings were merely a restatement of Old Testament scriptures, like Proverbs 25:21-22, what was “subversive” enough about these teachings to make people harbor eventually resentment for Jesus?
  • What does it mean to be “perfect” (or “complete”) in the context of these sayings and why might that be important?
  • Nikki said that “Jesus knew that what he was calling for was hard, and he also knew that the only way to take it on was to be motivated by love for even those who oppress you.” How do you feel about that?

Closure (from the Media Session page)

Play the Strange Policy movie clip and ask:

  • When have you met a person like Steven Strange?
  • When have you been the person like Steven Strange?
  • Why would the law be necessary if we were focused on the needs of other people?
  • What would life be like for you and those around you if your actions were based on who you are in Jesus instead of your circumstances and personal desires?
  • How might we move beyond forgiving and making way for others as a means to gain control over a situation to doing so because it is intrinsically righteous?
  • How can we help others find their way into living as Jesus taught in this passage?

Close in prayer

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