Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: “Are you sitting down?” This is the question typically asked by the bearer of really bad news. There’s an understanding that the reception of calamitous information can have a physical and emotional impact on the hearer. Well, when Jesus heard about the death of his friend and relative, John the Baptist, he wanted to be alone. So that he could process and pray. Instead, however, he was mobbed by 15,000 people, who were tired, hungry, and not inclined to go home.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. What was Jesus’ immediate response when he saw the massive crowd that had followed him to the shore (see verse 14)? What does that tell us about Jesus’ concern for us?
2. Why would Jesus tell the disciples, “You give them something to eat” (verse 16b)?
3. Church is who we are. How does that statement resonate with you? What does it mean practically in your life?
4. What are some trials in your life that you can “bring to Jesus”?
5. How do you tend to respond when confronted with your own shortcomings and failures? How does the gospel bring comfort?
6. A lyric from a song we sang this morning says, “my soul is satisfied in him alone.” What does it mean to find satisfaction in Christ alone?
1. Read Matthew 14:13-14
2. 01. Jesus regards ministry to the broken, needy and helpless not as a distraction but as the purpose of his coming.
3. “As to ‘caring for’ the Sermon on the Mount. … Who can like being knocked flat on his face by a sledge-hammer? I can hardly imagine a more deadly spiritual condition than that of the man who can read that passage with tranquil pleasure.” – C.S. Lewis
4. Read Matthew 14:15-17
5. “Bring them here to me” (verse 18).
6. 02. The recognition of our inadequacies and shortcomings should not cause us to despair, but drive us to Jesus.
7. “One day as I was passing into the field, and that too with some dashes on my soul, fearing lest all was still not right, this sentence fell upon my soul. Thy righteousness is in heaven. And I thought, well that I saw, with the eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God’s right hand; there, I say, was my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was doing, God could not say of me, he lacks my righteousness, for that was just in front of him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, ‘The same yesterday, today and, and forever’. Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed…I went home rejoicing for the grace and love of God.” – John Bunyan
8. Read Matthew 14:19-21
9. 03. Out of his abundance of riches and power, Jesus has the ability to meet our every need.
10. A. I am guarded and defensive about my imperfections and flaws.
B. I am transparent about my weaknesses. I disclose myself.
11. A. I focus on the positive, strong, successful parts of myself.
B. I am aware of my needs, my weaknesses, and I freely admit failure.
12. A. I keep people from really seeing what is going on inside of me.
B. I show vulnerability and weakness, that Christ’s power may be seen.
13. A. I hold grudges. I write people off when they offend me. I rarely grant or ask for forgiveness.
B. I forgive others. When offended, I ask questions to learn what happened. I grant mercy to others and ask for it myself.
14. “The good news of acceptance in Christ alone creates a culture of emotionally secure, adaptable [people]; conversely, trusting in ourselves that we are righteous and viewing others with contempt always go together. When we see these negative dynamics of dismissive condescension, there is a reason. And the reason is a gospel deficit in the heart, however genuine the gospel profession is in the head.” – Ray Ortlund