Going Deeper – 04.28.2024

Breaking Ground

What was the most dramatic or memorable world event from your childhood? How did it impact you in the moment & how do you remember it now? 

The Dig

This Sunday, we continued our series Apocalypse Now, in which we’re exploring what the word apocalypse means in the Bible & how it can speak into our lives today. In particular, Pastor Scott explored biblical apocalypses that speak towards societal change & upheaval. 

Before going further, recall the “Four Rules for a Biblical Apocalypse” that we’re relying on for this series:

  • RULE 1: A biblical apocalypse describes a God empowered epiphany through which God reveals to someone a previously hidden part of their reality. 
  • RULE 2: Biblical apocalypses come in different forms.
  • RULE 3: All biblical apocalypses rely heavily upon symbolism & metaphor
  • RULE 4: The primary purpose of a biblical apocalypse is to transform us HERE & NOW. 

Read Matthew 24:1-3. After being rejected by Israel’s leadership, Jesus sees that their current path will ultimately lead Israel into a hopeless war with Rome. This, in turn, leads him to lament & predict the destruction of Jerusalem & God’s Temple (the center of the Jewish universe). Following this prediction, Jesus’ Jewish disciples immediately link his prediction to the end of the world

Why do you think the disciples make this connection? What leads human beings to so often conflate the crises of our time with the end times? 

Next, read Matthew 24:4-36. Fascinatingly, Jesus explicitly separates this event from the end of the world. Instead, using apocalyptic language & imagery, Jesus focuses on how they should live in the present & within this chaotic moment in history. Then Jesus answers their question by refusing to give them what they’ve asked for (a specific sign about the end times or a timeline; instead, telling them to stop predicting the end of the world, trust that all will be well, & focus on living like he did. 

How does this text encapsulate the Four Rules of a Biblical Apocalypse? How does it give us another insight into how these encounters work? 

What stands out to you about the language that Jesus uses? How does it successfully honor how the chaos of our world can feel in the moment; while, simultaneously, reminding us not to get overwhelmed by those emotions? 

When talking about the end times, why do you think Jesus focuses on how to live in the present, instead of what they were hoping for (a sign to predict or timeline)? How do you think this will better equip them to be his disciples in the chaos of our world?

Close by reflecting on how this version of a biblical apocalypse can speak to you in the present. 

What do you tend to do when you feel like our world is tumultuous & chaotic? Do you find that your most common responses help you make a tangible, positive impact on the crises you are concerned about? 

What in our present world makes you feel like Jesus’ disciples? Why?

How might Jesus’ teaching help you respond to such crises & chaos in a healthier, more Christlike way

Coming Out of the Hole

Take time to reflect on the Sunday sermon & how this week’s teaching might speak into your daily life.

  • Read Matthew 24:1-36. What stands out to you about this passage? What do the disciples ask Jesus & how does he respond to this question?
  • How does Jesus’ response reorient the disciples focus in that present moment? Specifically, how does it move them from anxiously predicting the future to focusing on how they live in the present
  • How can this apocalypse help you navigate a big, scary, present world event with more trust & faith? How might this lead you to productive, positive action in this area of our world? 

Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through each week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!

Additional Resources*


The Theology of the Book of Revelation by Richard Bauckham

Binding the Strong Man by C. Myers

The Moral Vision of the New Testament by Richard B. Hays

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, May 5th: Join us next Sunday as we continue our series Apocalypse Now!

* Please see mye3.org for details.



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