- What can close us off from Jesus’ work and power in our lives? What causes us to reject him?
- One commentator makes the distinction that the Twelve are sent, not with independent authority, but as an extension of Jesus’ authority.
- What is important about this distinction?
- In regards to the sending of the Twelve: “Learning to hear a passage like this and to respond obediently involves learning to listen to the prophetic call of God, and to the pain of the present world, and to live at the point of intersection between the two. And when the call comes, there’s not time to lose.” – N.T. Wright
- What does it look like to live in that intersection? How do you discern that call?
- One commentator asks, “Are we more interested in ‘business as usual’ than we are in the power of God to deliver our disordered lives and the ones of those around us?”
- How do we resist God’s deliverance as the people do to Jesus? What drove their resistance? What drives ours?
- The man is sent to share the good news to the very people who were once afraid of him. Who are we sent to? Who is sent to us?
- This story not only refers to the liberation and healing of an individual, but the experience of people under imperial dominion.
- How does this passage continue to reflect Jesus’ dominion? How does this dominion relate to our lives?
Proverbs and Parables
- The subject of the teachings of chapter 4 is how do we have a fruitful faith that survives and grows to harvest rather than one that bears no fruit. What are some of the answers and wisdom provided by all of these teachings?
- We become the sower in this second part of chapter four. We are responsible for scattering the seed. What are the reasons we are not faithful in the “simple” task of sharing the Word?
- Where/when have you seen the “Word” that you have sown seem not to take, but you are trusting something is happening in the ground?
- Luke and Matthew change the mustard bush to a tree. What seems lost in this change from the point that Jesus wanted to make? How has the Church/Christendom lost the point of this teaching?