Made for More - April 14, 2019

Made for More

Week 2: Matthew 16:13-28

Jesus calls us to live on mission with him. Having a well-defined mission provides greater clarity, greater joy, and less fear in our lives. Living on mission starts with knowing Jesus for who he really is. He is the promised Messiah and the Son of God who suffered in our place. Knowing, believing, and proclaiming this truth is fundamental to our identity as his disciples. Living on mission also requires us to follow Jesus wherever he leads. He asks us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. Just as Jesus surrendered himself to God’s will when he took up his cross, we must surrender every part of our lives to God’s will too. This is high commitment and it might get unpleasant at times. But this path offers great reward. And the best part of it all is that we get to be right there with Jesus, working with him on his mission all along the way.

Discussion Starter:

In what ways do people often get you mixed up with others or think things about you that are not accurate?

Getting into the Text:

1.  (Matthew 16:13-17) Who do people say Jesus is in our culture today? Who is Jesus to you? The word Christ or Messiah here means Anointed One, Savior, King, the Promised Deliverer. What do you think Simon Peter had in mind when he referred to Jesus as the Messiah? What kind of a savior do you wish Jesus was?

2.  (Matthew 16:18-20) Jesus gives Simon a new name (Peter). What is the significance of this? Who does Jesus say will build the church? Whose church is it? What are the odds that the church fails according to this passage? How does all of this influence the way we should think about our mission?

3.  (Matthew 16:21-23) Why do you think that Peter felt the need to rebuke Jesus? How did Peter’s reaction to Jesus indicate that he was setting his mind on the things of man rather than God? How do you think Peter felt when Jesus first affirmed him and then called him Satan? Why do you think Jesus chose to give such a strong and public rebuke?

4.  (Matthew 16:24-28) According to this passage, what does it look like to follow Jesus? What specifically does he ask his followers to do? How does this differ from what the original disciples probably had in mind? How does this differ from what many today have in mind when they become Christians? What rewards are mentioned in this passage and why do you think Jesus includes these?

Application:

1.  Knowing and believing the truth about Jesus’ identity is fundamental to the gospel and to our identity as Christ followers. (See John 20:30) What can you do to ensure that your own mental image of Jesus remains accurate and meaningful?

2.  Jesus calls us to a life of total surrender that will at times involve suffering for his sake. And yet this ultimately ensures the greatest reward. Are there areas of your life that have not yet been surrendered completely to Jesus and his will for you? What is holding you back? What practical next steps will you take?