Page 4 - TeenText HS Sample
P. 4

Today’s text mentions group sizes from where two or three are gathered to members in a congregation. List some of your groups that came to mind. The list might surprise you. How much of your life is spent in a variety of different groups and communities?
When people live, work, play, or pray close to one another, sometimes people get hurt. Yes, they might get physically hurt. But they might also just rub each other the wrong way. People say the wrong thing; they do the wrong thing. Stuff happens. Raw nerves. Hurt feelings. Jealousy. Selfishness. Revenge. Sometimes things occur (or don’t occur) which force individuals to be cut-off from the group. Sometimes the group decides to throw-out the individual. Cut-off, thrown-out, plucked-out, led-astray, lost, and abandoned: however you say it, the result is separation.
How might the pressures and tensions that build within a group dynamic be acknowledged and resolved? How might the integrity of the group be honored and cared for? How might a group member who becomes cut-off or thrown-out be welcomed back and reconciled? Today’s text provides a model, a set of instructions if you will. How good are you with instructions?
The most effective questions and activities (ENGAGE)—the ones that help participants connect their story with God’s story each week—are often those that are based on your personal knowledge of the participants and where they are. Listen carefully to their responses; ask follow-up questions that help them reflect on the text and their lives, right now, right where they are.
(What’s happening in the story?)
1. Who is Jesus speaking to here? Back up and read the beginning of the chapter to give these words some context.
2. What question is Jesus responding to? Who does Jesus say the disciples have to become like? What does he say they aren’t to become for the children? How might they have been guilty of doing this?
3. What specific issue is Jesus addressing? How do you think the early Christian community defined ‘sin’?
4. Why do you think Jesus is addressing this? What situation do you imagine might have led to these instructions?
5. Summarize Jesus’ directions to the disciples? What is the first course of action? The second? The third? How do they build on one another?
6. If the offender still doesn’t listen, who does Jesus say to treat them like? What do you think this means?
7. Jesus employs the legal phrase ‘bind and lose’ meaning something forbidden or something allowed. Re-read these verses, with this definition in mind. What do you think Jesus means here?
8. What promise does Jesus make to the disciples? How do you think they understood these words pre-resurrection? How does this compare to how you hear them today?
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