Life in the Household of God An Invitation into a Story
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Every living person wants to believe that his story matters. That her life counts for something. But how can we make sure? How can we guarantee that our lives will actually be significant? There’s one way, and it has nothing to do with where we were born, how much education we’ve attained, or even what we were able to accomplish.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. Why does Matthew begin his gospel account with a genealogy, when none of the other evangelists include this information?
2. How would Matthew’s former profession (tax collector) potentially impede his efforts as an evangelist?
3. What is significant about the people included in this genealogy?
4. Are there sins that you consider beyond forgiveness? What “types” of people do you have a difficult time seeing in God’s Kingdom?
5. What does it mean to merge our story with the Jesus-story? Is your life part of God’s story of reconciliation? How so?
1. 01. This is the story of the One the prophets foretold, the long-awaited Savior of the world.
2. “As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.” – Matthew 9:9
3. “Christ’s entrance into Matthew’s life and his invitation to a new life of apostleship is truly extraordinary. His future with Christ will have an ironic hint to his previous life. Just as the Galilean fishermen moved from catching fish to ‘catching’ souls, so Matthew will convert from collecting taxes to ‘collecting’ souls in the order of grace.”
4. 02. Jesus invites all people into his story, even the immoral, irreligious and outcast.
5. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” – 2 Cor. 5:17-19
6. “We live in an age of despair. But it’s a smiling despair, softened by consumer convenience, driving through for a ‘happy meal’ along the way. Into our age Jesus says, ‘I came to bear your guilty despair far away, and to replace it with joy inexpressible.”
7. 03. The story of Jesus is first news about what God has done; not instructions on what we are to do.
8. “For to us a child is born, to us a sign is given.” – Isaiah 9:6