Jesus, Monarch (part 1): Startled

TO START

What are your thoughts on graffiti? Nuisance or delight? Argue your case. (If you like it, do you have a favorite piece? Artist? Style?)

For this sermon series we’ve chosen to embrace graffiti as a symbol for the way Jesus asserted His reign as King. Any thoughts on what graffiti might have to do with Christ? (You’ll get an answer next week in part 2)

TO DISCUSS

Let’s do some word association. What do you think of when you hear the word “Jesus”? Any answers will do. Spit them out as fast as you think of them.

Do you feel like you know/understand/get Jesus? Explain your answer.

  • What do you feel like is easy to know about Jesus? In what ways is His character straightforward?

  • What’s hard to know about Jesus? What’s mysterious about Him?

On Sunday we identified four ways that Jesus startled the religious people of His day: forgiving sins, eating with sinners, healing on the sabbath, and refusing to mount a war against Rome. Justin said, “Each collision with Expectation demonstrates a truth about who Jesus is and what he’s after. When Jesus forgives sin like only God can, Jesus is saying ‘I am God.’ When Jesus eats with sinners, Jesus is saying ‘This is who I care about; these are the people I love.’ When Jesus says he is ‘Lord of the Sabbath,’ Jesus means he is the Sabbath. When Jesus refuses to wage war on Rome’s army, Jesus is demonstrating that he intends to engage Rome’s hearts. And Israel’s.”

Which truth about Jesus is the most startling to you? Which is the most comfortable?:

That Jesus has power over you?

That Jesus loves (and seeks time with) the people outside the church walls?

That Jesus brings deep rest?

OR

That Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world and won’t be accomplished through nations?

Justin said in the sermon, “When your experience with Jesus collides with your expectations of him, that’s a chance to get to know him better.”

When have your expectations of Jesus collided with your experience of/with Him?

Share a time when you were startled or surprised by Jesus.

If Jesus was startling/surprising to the religious establishment AND the world, how should we follow in His footsteps? How should Christians be startling in this current culture?

We sing a song on Sunday mornings titled “Jesus at the center of it all.” What does that mean? Why is Jesus so important to the Christian faith? Why can’t the Father be “enough”?

TO READ

Consider Matthew chapter 8. Work your way through the chapter looking for answers to this question: Where do you see Jesus acting in a way that likely surprises the people around him?

When you read this chapter, what’s your overall impression of Jesus?

What’s Jesus like?

What’s clear about Him? What’s confusing?

TO PRAY

Tonight, begin your prayer time by asking Jesus to give you eyes to see Him. Invite Him to surprise you.