- What makes you really angry?
- Is the feeling of anger good or bad?
Read Matthew 5:21-26
- What do you think Jesus wants to say in v.21-22? Is Jesus intensifying the Old Testament Law? Is He laying down a new law?
- Look at v.23-24. What kind of person would do what Jesus is describing in these verses? What does that have to do with the command “do not murder”?
- How do you understand v.25-26? How is that connected to the command?
- As you take another look at this text what is Jesus trying to say? What kind of character does a really good person have when it comes to anger and contempt?
- How can I become such a person? What kind of spiritual disciplines could help me dealing with anger or contempt?
- Have you ever had a run-in with the law? Describe what happened.
- If the Old Testament did not exist, what would be missing in your knowledge of God? Do you feel Christians should be obeying everything the Bible says? Why or why not?
Read: Matthew 5:17-20
- This passage naturally divides into two parts, v.17-18 and v.19-20. What does each emphasize?
- Why might people have thought Jesus came to abolish the Law and the prophets (v.17)? The Law and the Prophets (the OT) consist of teaching, prophecy, and guidelines for living ethically. In what sense has Jesus fulfilled each of these?
- How does Jesus emphasize His high view of OT scripture (v.17-18)? How can Jesus’ words strengthen our confidence in Scripture?
- What portions of the Bible have you tended to skip over or even neglect? How can you make studying these a higher priority?
- What does Jesus say about the importance of our response to the Law and how it determines our status in the Kingdom of Heaven?
- The Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law were zealous about observing the Law. How can our righteousness possibly surpass theirs (v.20)? Jesus states that only those who have this surpassing righteousness will enter God’s Kingdom (experience life under His rule). How can this be harmonized with His statement about the poor in spirit entering the Kingdom of Heaven (5:3)?
- Some people claim that Jesus abolished the law for the Christian and that we are only responsible for obeying the “law of love.” Respond to this view in light of Jesus’ words in this passage. How should we study and apply the OT law today?
- What has God’s Spirit been saying to you through this study? What are you going to do about it?