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Small Group Questions

 “It’s not FAIR!”
Sermon Based Small Group Questions for 3/7/21

Exodus 20:1-17                   John 2:13-22              Matthew 20:1-16


  1. Pastor Murray began by talking about the 10 commandments.  What do those 10 rules mean to you?  Are they a part of life today?  Do we take them at face value, or do we interpret them to make “more sense” in today’s world?
  1. After the Ten Commandments, Pastor Murray moved to the story of Jesus cleansing the Temple that we find in John.  Take a moment to read John 2:13-22.  What catches your attention about this story?  Is it important that Jesus’ actions are interpreted as fulfillment of prophecy?  How does this story impact your vision of WHO Jesus is?  Does this image of an angry Christ match the stories we tell in the Church about “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild”?
  1. The heart of the sermon revolves around the story in Matthew 20:1-16.  Take some time to re-read this parable. After reading, what strikes you first about the story?  Does it make any difference that the story is in answer to the question as to “what is he Kingdom of God like?” 
  1. In a tangent reference, Pastor Murray talked about “Karma”.  Are you familiar with the concept?  Do you think it is an active part of our world today?  Would you LIKE it to be?  How do we attempt to tie “karma” into our understanding of the Christian faith?
  1. As you reflect on this parable, what is the hardest part to hear with our contemporary ears?  How do you think the workers of the time felt when THEY heard the story?  Is there as difference? 
  1. Pastor Murray made a very clear statement that “God is not fair”.  Do you agree?  How do you respond to the idea?  Do You find that concept shocking? Discouraging?  Encouraging?  Comforting? 
  1. One criticism of the Christian Faith (by non-Christians) is that we live as if God grades on a curve:  It’s less important that we are our best than it is that we believe we are doing better than some others.  Do you agree?  Why would others outside the faith look at us and believe that?
  1. Pastor Murray brought the message to focus with the statement that “God is not just, (or fair), God is generous.”  How do you respond to that? Which is more important to you, the image of a “just” (or fair) God or one that is “generous”?
  1. How does (or might) the concept of “generous” vs. “fair” impact how you live out your faith?  How does (or might it) impact the way you interact with others, especially those struggling with their faith?