Hello This is a Test

Group Guide

This Week's City 7:

3. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? Since “all have sinned” and the “wages of sin is death,” Jesus had to die on the cross to pay the fine for my sin so I could be right with God.
(Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:21-23, 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:1-6; Colossians 1:13-14, 21-22)


If you were stranded in the wilderness, with no tools at all, could you build a fire? On the other end of the spectrum, how many of you couldn't start a fire if you had a match? 

Discussion Questions:

Have someone read Luke 12:49-59 aloud.

  • Jesus is telling us that fire, division and judgement are coming. Woah! Not very inspiring, is it? But it's true. The first fire he mentions is fire for himself.  Jesus is telling us that he didn't just come for salvation. His coming also means fire and division. Jesus said, "I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead for me, and I will be under a heavy burden until it is accomplished." Jesus left the glory of heaven, took on flesh, humbled himself and suffered greatly, both in his life and death. Jesus wasn't a contentious person. He wasn't argumentative. He was patient and kind. And yet he was the most divisive person in human history. What were (and are) the things that made him so divisive? Who were the people that had the biggest problem with him?

  • The next fire he talks about is fire for DISCIPLES of Jesus. He said that his coming would divide people and families. In one sense, Jesus did bring peace; that deep peace with God which leads to real peace with people. But in another sense his message is divisive. The cross challenges people. Jesus calls his followers to take up their cross and follow him. When people don't rise to this challenge they commonly become critical of those that do. In fact, the only thing in our culture that there is ZERO tolerance for is to say there is only one way to God. The fire reveals and divides the fans from the followers. Have you experienced any of the relational divisions that Jesus referenced because of your faith in him? If you haven't experienced any conflict because of your relationship with Jesus, could that be the sign of a problem?
  • Next, Jesus talks about a fire for DEBTORS. Jesus tells them that they can interpret the weather, but they can't interpret what God was doing right then. He tells them they're blind! The spiritual emptiness of their hypocrisy blinded them from understanding the signs announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God in Jesus' teaching and ministry. Jesus is saying it should be obvious, but some miss it. And those that miss it will owe a debt for their sin. In order for someone to settle their debts with God, they MUST come to grips with Jesus. His presence forces a choice. What was it like to have YOUR eyes opened to the truth of Jesus? Is there anyone in your life that is currently blind to this truth? What can we do to help open their eyes to the saving grace of Jesus?

  • The first takeaway on Sunday was that Jesus ENDURED the fire for you. He was slaughtered so we wouldn't have to be. The Father turned his back on the SON so he wouldn't have to turn his back on US for all of eternity. Just spend some time talking about how grateful you are for God's grace and for the unmatched love of Jesus, who was willing to suffer so much for you.

  • The last takeaway was that Jesus KNOWS the fire you're enduring. He sees your suffering. Have you suffered for Jesus? Have you been rejected by family or friends? By culture? Have you had to make sacrifices for following Jesus? If so, he sees you and is with you. He says that you are blessed because of your willingness to be rejected for his sake! On the other hand, if you're not experiencing any suffering for Jesus, why not? Spend some time reflecting and asking God if he truly has your whole heart. Are you really all in for him? Are you taking up your cross daily and following Jesus? Are you fully surrendered? 

Prayer Topics:

  • That you would be all in for Jesus.
  • That you would be willing to suffer for him.
  • That you would remember that your suffering is only for a little while.

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