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March 14, 2021

Matthew 12:9-14

1. We began by answering the question, "Why did the religious leaders hate Jesus?"

-One of the reasons given was that Jesus exposes the wickedness & hypocrisy of the religious leaders. However, we heard that these moments were actually kind acts (Romans 2:4). Biblical kindness speaks the truth in love for the purpose of repentance from sin. How can we display biblical kindness to others? 

-We also see that Jesus proclaims a gospel that attacks & annihilates works-based righteousness. What are modern-day examples of attempts to earn your way to right standing before God?

2. We then unpacked the account of Jesus interacting with the religious leaders & the man with the withered hand.

-From Matthew 12:9, it was pointed out that Jesus went to the synagogue to worship...even though that meant he would be alongside the religious leaders of Matthew 12:1-14. So why is corporate worship, gathering with fellow saints, such an important aspect of the Christian life?

-In Matthew 12:10, we see that the religious leaders use a man with a withered hand to attempt to set up a trap for Jesus. They use this man for their own evil purposes. What are ways we see people continue to use people for their own evil purposes this today?

-Jesus replies in Matthew 12:11-12a that although sheep are a valuable commodity, people matter more. What are material goods that can compete for our attention & affection & cause us to neglect others made in God's image? 

-In Matthew 12:12b, Jesus shows He's immeasurably superior to his opponents. Jesus moves from being the one judged to judging them at this moment. How does it gives us hope to know that Jesus is far superior to every opponent? 

-From Matthew 12:13-14, we see that the man with the withered hand is healed...but rather than this leading to worship of Jesus...the religious leaders work all the harder to find a way to destroy him. How does spiritual blindness, spiritual deafness, a hardened heart...fuel our prayers as we seek to share the gospel with others?

-We ended with a word of application...there is no neutrality concerning Jesus. We either love or hate Jesus, oppose or obey Him, eliminate or exalt Him, see Him as a friend or a foe, rest in His work or reject His work. So in light of 2 Corinthians 13:5, how does your life give you encouragement concerning Jesus? What are areas of life that, by the grace of God, need to fall more into line with the truth of Jesus?

-A very practical question for followers of Jesus: how can you love your neighbor?