03.15.2020 | GOD, PART 2 | Wk 7: “A New King”
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Who is the leader that you admire most? Why?
Read Matthew 16:13-20. This is the first time that a disciple has acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah – the long awaited King of God who would make things right. Peter proclaims this & is told that he will be central to this Kingdom movement.
What do you think is going through Peter’s head at this moment (excitement, joy, pride, etc.)?
In the 1st century – the Jewish people had come to a number of expectations about who the Messiah would be & what the Messiah would do. Relying on stories like the Exodus, they had come to expect that the Messiah would:
- Defeat the enemies of God (the Romans)
- Free the Promised Land (kick out invaders)
- Renew Israel (morally & spiritually)
- Lead Israel to rule the other nations of the world
Next, read Matthew 16:21-23.
How does Jesus’ prediction of his own death impact the Messianic expectations listed previously?
Why does Peter respond by rebuking Jesus & insisting that he’s wrong? Remember – this is both totally opposite to what Peter would have expected & Peter has just been told that he will be a central part in this Messianic movement after Jesus.
How would you have responded if you were in his situation?
Jesus responds to Peter in the same way that he responded to Satan when he tested Jesus to give up his calling in favor of worldly power in the wilderness story (Matthew ch. 4).
Why does Jesus respond in the same way here to Peter’s rebuke? What is Jesus saying about the disconnect between what Peter wants Jesus to be & what Jesus actually believes he is here to do?
Read Matthew 16:24-28.
What does Jesus believe the Messiah has come to do? How does Jesus believe the Messiah will achieve victory over evil & make things right in our world?
Why does Jesus believe that self-sacrifice, not those other expectations, is the pathway to God’s Kingdom victory over evil in the world?
How might Jesus’ victory through self-sacrifice change how you understand building the Kingdom of God in your life & world?
Getting Out of the Hole
Take time this week to reflect on what it means that Jesus is a new King who builds his Kingdom through self-sacrifice.
- How does this understanding of Jesus change how you go about building the Kingdom in your life & in the world?
- Where do you have expectations about who Jesus is & how he operates that are challenged by this story?
- Where do you need to let this story change how you follow Jesus in this season?
Journal about your answers to these questions & pray for insights. Share your experience with the group next week!
Matthew Commentary by Stanley Hauerwas
Simply Jesus by NT Wright
Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright
Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament by Chris Wright
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, March 22: Join us for the next week of our series GOD PT 2, where we will be looking at how Jesus acts a new prophet calling God’s people to a new way of existing in the world.
* Please see mye3.org for details.