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Small Group Questions

Small Group Questions
December 2nd & 3rd
Jeremiah 31:31 – 34, Isaiah 49:1 – 6, 8-10, 13 – 16
 
Get to Know You
 
1) What is your favorite family tradition in the lead up to Christmas? Do you have any favorite aspects of Advent that you look forward to?

Into the Text
 
2) Imagine yourself as one of the Israelites who had been taken captive into Exile in Babylon to live, even while many other Israelites died when Jerusalem was overtaken. Read Jeremiah 31:31 – 34. What kind of hope does it inspire in light of the tragedy just faced?
 
3) In the first several verses of Isaiah 49, the “Servant of the Lord” speaks. According to this passage, what kind of special relationship does the Servant of the Lord seem to enjoy with God? What seems to be the nature of his mission/task?
 
4) Read v. 8 – 10. Is there anything in these verses that remind you of the ministry of Jesus? If so, what and why?
 
5) Read v. 13 – 16. Most of the time, Christians speak about God using masculine terms. What is significant about God describing His love using maternal imagery here? Does that say anything about God’s “gender” and if so, what?
 
6) Many Christians look at v. 16 and see in it a Messianic prophecy about Jesus’ crucifixion. Do you see any other places throughout Isaiah 49:1 - 16 that seem to speak in advance about Jesus’ ministry?
 
Application
 
7) In the midst of Israel’s broken & hopeless situation in Exile, God speaks words of encouragement and hope. What role does going to Scripture have in your life when you go through difficult times? What places in the Bible would you go to for hope?
 
8) Spend some time reading Isaiah 49 this week, reading it in different translations and even perhaps prayerfully reflecting on it.