Receive + Communion with God
Read Matthew 12:46-50
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Spend some time in prayer giving God glory, honor, and thanks.
Relate + Community with others
What stuck with you from Sunday’s teaching? Why?
A key idea from this teaching is that Jesus is the new great unifier of humanity. Previously, only death was powerful enough to make us all ‘one’. Now Christ can make us one. Reflect on how these powers (death, Christ) level the playing field for all groups of people. (Recall the key verse in Romans 10:12 - There is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”)
Family is a gift that helps us form identity and belonging. What ‘families’ do you belong to? How have they shaped you into the kind of person you are?
Our innate desire to belong to a family is powerful. What are some of the ways people try to create family beyond their biological beginnings?
Paul both affirms and subverts our need to belong to a family. How does he subvert the Jews’ family identity in Abraham? How does he locate them in a larger human family?
Romans 5:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” What do you think of the provocative claim Paul makes, that Abraham was ‘credited’ or ‘justified’ as righteous before he did anything, that it was only his trust (faith, confidence) in God that set him apart?
We are counted as ‘saved’ not by what we do, but by the family to which we belong. We receive the free gift of salvation from God by trusting God. What are some everyday ways we live that demonstrate we trust (have confidence in) God?
Respond + Commission to action
Read Romans. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1&version=NIV
Download the YouVersion Bible App if you have a smartphone. Read Romans, or have the App read it to you!
Find one practical thing you can do this week that you would never do if you did not have confidence in God. Do one thing that makes no sense unless God is real and Jesus is raised. Do it. Then share that with someone.