Read Exodus 20:1-17 and Matthew 5:21-30, 38-48
- What is a basic summary of the Exodus text?
- How strongly does Jesus feel about his followers keeping the law? How does he emphasize this?
- What does Jesus say is equal to murder?
- How are angry thoughts and words related to murder? Why do you think God would consider angry thoughts equal to murder?
- What effects do angry thoughts and words have on people?
- What does Jesus tell us to do about broken relationships? What importance does he place on fixing them?
- Why do you think it is important to fix broken relationships immediately?
- What does Jesus say is equal to adultery?
- How does Jesus emphasize the seriousness of thought sins?
- Some Christians have taken v. 29-30 literally and mutilated their bodies. How do you think Jesus intends us to understand his warnings?
- What are some practical ways to avoid the temptation to sin in our thoughts?
- What is Jesus teaching on divorce?
- What does adultery do to a marriage relationship that allows Jesus to consider it as a reason for divorce?
- In Jesus’ time, people would swear by something important to show they were telling the truth – but if they didn’t the right words in the correct way, they would feel free to not keep their promise or cheat others. What do you think Jesus means by “let your yes be yes and your no be no”?
- In America we have similar sayings, like “get it in writing” or “read the fine print.” What do these phrases mean? What might Jesus say about our need to do this?
Is living as Jesus described possible? Why do you think so?
*note: some questions were taken from Sermon on the Mount: Seeking First the Kingdom of God by John Stott (InterVarsity Press)