Group Discussion: [Reading from Sunday, April 12, 2020 | Resurrection of the Lord, Easter | Year A]
GOSPEL: Matthew 28:1–10
1“Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.’ 8And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.’”
- How was the stone moved away from the front of the tomb? What effect did this have on the soldiers? Why was it moved?
- How did the women feel about the experience they were having? What did the angel tell the women about Jesus? What were they to do?
- What mixed emotions did the women have as they left the tomb to go report to the disciples what had happened? Who did they meet on the way? What did he tell them to do?
- What does this event tell us about Jesus Christ and our fear of God and death? When we see that Jesus is our resurrected Lord and Savior, what does he want us to do?
- In what ways does God’s perfect love cast out our fear? What can separate us from God’s love?
Group Discussion: [Reading from Sunday, April 5, 2020 | Palm or Passion Sunday, 6th Sunday in Lent | Year A]
GOSPEL: Matthew 21:1–11
1“When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. 3If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, “The Lord has need of them,” and immediately he will send them.’ 4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5‘Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold your King is coming to you, | Gentle, and mounted on a donkey, | Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”’ 6The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, 7and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. 8Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. 9The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David; | Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; | Hosanna in the highest!’ 10When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, ‘Who is this?’ 11And the crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.’”
- What was the purpose of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt? What made Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem different than the usual method conquering rulers used? Why was this important for Jesus to do?
- What was the purpose in people placing their garments on the road in front of Jesus? Why did the disciples put theirs on the animal and not on the ground?
- What did the crowd shout as he entered Jerusalem? “Hosanna” means “O, save”—why was the crowd shouting this at Jesus?
- What is the most important question we can ask about Jesus? (Hint: the people in the city were asking this.) What didn’t they understand about Jesus? How does the answer to this question affect the way we approach our relationship with God and with other people? How does it affect the way we handle difficulties in our lives?
Group Discussion: [Reading from Sunday, March 29, 2020 | 5th Sunday in Lent | Year A]
GOSPEL: John 11:18–45
- What did Jesus do when he heard his friend Lazarus was sick? Did this surprise the disciples? What did the disciples believe would happen to Jesus (and to them) if he went to Bethany? What did Jesus say had happened to Lazarus? Why was Jesus glad this had happened?
- What did Martha say to Jesus when she saw him? Did Martha still believe Jesus could solve the problem? How long had Lazarus been gone?
- What did Jesus tell Martha would happen to her brother? What did Jesus tell her about who he (Jesus) was? What response was asked of her? How did she actually respond?
- What did Mary do when she saw Jesus and what did she say to him? What was Jesus’ response to her grief and the sorrow of those around him? How was this response by Jesus interpreted by the people who were there? What did they believe Jesus could have done? How does this show God’s response to the things in life which happen to us?
- What did Jesus tell the crowd to do next? Why didn’t they want to do it? What did Jesus say would happen if they did do as he asked?
- How did Jesus pray? What was his prayer like? What did it demonstrate about his relationship with his Father? Why was Jesus doing what he was doing?
- What did Jesus tell Lazarus to do? What happened then? What did Jesus tell the people to do? What does this teach us about how Jesus likes to do things, and what he has called us as his people to do?
- What was the ultimate result of what Jesus did? What does this teach us about God and the way he works in this world? What does this parable teach us about death and God’s plan for humanity? How do we participate with God in what he is doing in this world?
Group Discussion: [Reading from Sunday, March 22, 2020 | 4th Sunday in Lent | Year A]
GOSPEL: John 9:1–41
- How long had the man by the side of the road been blind? What did the disciples assume about why he was blind? What was Jesus’ response and what did he mean by it? Who did Jesus say he was and what did he say he was doing?
- How did Jesus heal the blind man? Why did he have the blind man do what he did in order to be healed?
- What was the crowds’ response to the healing? Did the blind man know who healed him? What day of the week did this healing take place? Why was that important?
- Who did the crowd take the man to see? Did they believe that he had been healed? Why or why not? Who did these men say Jesus was?
- Why did they call the man’s parents forward to testify about the man’s healing? What did they say? Why?
- What was the one thing this man knew and was sure of? What happened when the man told them the truth about his healing and that Jesus was a man of God?
- What did Jesus ask this man when he found him later on? What was his response? What did Jesus say the fundamental problem with the Pharisees was? Who in this story were the ones who were truly blind?
- In what ways are we often guilty of spiritual blindness? What is the ultimate solution to spiritual blindness? How do we participate in our healing from spiritual blindness?