What would it be like to be discipled by Jesus himself? As you work through these 11 studies on the second half of Matthew's Gospel, you will be brought face to face with Jesus as he calls, teaches, and prepares his disciples—and find yourself called to follow him too.
Getting the Most Out of Matthew 16-28: The Sacrifice of the King
This section introduces the topic, explains the structure followed in each study and offers tips for those approaching the study on their own as well as those participating in a group.
The Work of the King
Jesus reveals the ultimate cost of following him, a cost that Peter indeed paid at the end of his life as he was killed in Rome. Why didn't Jesus tell Peter and the disciples about the issue of cost when he first called them? How does the cost of discipleship affect the way you think about the Christian faith?
The Greatest in the Kingdom
The disciples want to know who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. How does Jesus' appeal to little children answer their question? How would assuming the status of a child affect you in your circle of friends or coworkers?
Life in the Kingdom
There is tension between kingdom wealth and worldly wealth. How might that tension express itself in your life?
The King Occupies His Capital
How do you think the disciples felt as they witnessed the excitement of the crowds and saw Jesus riding on a donkey, fulfilling a prophecy about the Messiah? Are there times when you have been swept up in the public celebration of Jesus? How do these affect you?
The King Silences Opposition
What does the parable of the two sons reveal about the chief priests and elders? Which son do you most identify with, the one who was passively resistant or the one who was aggressively resistant?
The King Condemns the Rebels
Jesus instructs his disciples to avoid being called Rabbi, teacher or father. Why? How can Jesus' instructions to the disciples encourage you to have an attitude of humility?
The Return of the King
Before the end comes, what dangers will believers face, and how are we to handle them? How do the parables of the thief and the wise or wicked servant emphasize the importance of living in the light of Christ's return?
Preparation for the King's Return
Oil for the lamps is a metaphor for being prepared. What do you think is the "oil" you need in order to be prepared for Christ's return?
The Betrayal of the King
Peter's attempt to be courageous turns to cowardice. What role do fear and faith occupy in his denial of the Lord?
The Crucifixion of the King
The lordship of Christ means that he's always in charge. In what ways can you deceive yourself, like Pilate, into thinking Christ serves your purposes instead of submitting to him and his purposes for you?
The Victory of the King
At the beginning of Jesus' ministry, John the Baptist prepared the way. Now the angel prepares the way. In what ways is a witness helpful in preparing for a divine encounter? How have you seen the principle of a witness who helps to prepare for an encounter with the Lord active in your own faith and life?
This section includes information on preparing and leading studies, components of small groups, selected discussion questions, and background notes and suggestions for each study.
Total number of pages—64 pages
Stephen D. Eyre is a consultant for Church Discipleship Services, which provides guidance, coaching and resources for small groups in churches of all different sizes and denominations. He is also minister of congregational development at Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also wrote the LifeGuide® Bible Studies Christian Beliefs, Deuteronomy, Jeremiah and Moses.