Opening questions 1.If you were given a huge amount of money to spend on yourself, what would be first on your list of items to purchase? What “treasure” have you admired or longed for? 2.Which of your possessions has the highest monetary value? 3.Which of your possessions has the highest sentimental or emotional value? 4.Compare these two possessions. Which would you rather give up if you were forced to make a choice? 5.Think about your faith walk. Are there items you’ve given up because of your faith? What sacrifices have you made in order to follow God more fully? Think beyond material items. 6.Brainstorm a definition of the word “idol.”
Today’s theme is: The kingdom of God is more important than anything else. The words “kingdom of heaven” have been used 31 times in the gospel of Matthew The words “kingdom of God” have been used 47 times in the gospels of Mark, Luke and John “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” are the same Who is the King of that kingdom? Where is that kingdom located? “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world’.” (Matthew 25:34)
Read aloud together Matthew 13:44-46 (two short parables) 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. 馬 太 福 音 13: 天 国 好 像 宝 贝 藏 在 地 里 ，人 遇 见 了 就 把 他 藏 起 来 ，欢 欢 喜 喜 的 去 变 卖 一 切 所 有 的 ，买 这 块 地 。 45 天 国 又 好 像 买 卖 人 寻 找 好 珠 子 ， 46 遇 见 一 颗 重 价 的 珠 子 ， 就 去 变 卖 他 一 切 所 有 的 ，买 了 这 颗 珠 子 。
Analysis questions 1.In the first short story, Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to treasure buried in a field. A poor farm worker finds it accidentally. Would you do the same as the farm worker and why or why not? 2.The second short story describes a merchant who is searching for fine pearls. This man is diligently seeking the treasure. Would you do the same as the merchant and why or why not? 3.What is the difference between the two stories? 4.How do the two men in the parables show that the treasure they’ve found is worth far more than all they have? 5.This treasure is not only the best of all their possessions, it’s better than all their possessions combined. Why is this an important distinction? Can you imagine literally giving all that you have in order to gain the Kingdom of God? 6.Read Matthew 19: Why would it be harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God than a poor man? 7.God wants to be first in your life. How do you know if something or someone has become an idol in your life, taking the place of God as your top priority? 8.The narrator closed his speech in the movie with this Bible verse: “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits (looses) his soul?” (Matt. 16:26) What does it mean? The Rich Young Man (Matthew 19:16-24) 16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Understanding and Application Questions 1.What do you think Jesus is teaching here? 2.Am I willing to give up my ‘idol’? 3.Do I need to change something in my life?