Think of some things you may say or do at your job
every day that is ritualistic (scripts).
Some examples: Saying “Hi, how’s everything (or any variant of this)”,
or “Good morning”, or engaging in the latest office gossip, pretending you are
doing your work when the boss or supervisor shows up, changing your tone of
voice or mannerisms when you speak with your boss or supervisor, etc. Make a list of these things and discuss them
with your brother/sister in Christ as to how you can be more genuine in
Christ. Examine the following
6:5-8. Could you agree to
substitute slaves for workers or employees? How should you
obey your boss (supervisor)? Are there
any alternatives given to obeying your boss?
Is it OK to obey them only when they are looking at you? Should you only do something for them when
they ask you? Should you obey them as
you obey Christ? Should you serve
half-heartedly? Should you be gossiping
about them or giving them an attitude?
Now look at the list you wrote of ritualistic behavior. What could you do to love and serve
genuinely and whole-heatedly? What
things will you change? Remember, ritualistic means there’s no genuineness
or meaning to you personally. Routine
doesn’t necessarily mean ritualistic, depending on where your heart is.
Jesus begins Matthew 6 with a warning. Our tendency to seek man’s justification and
approval can lead us to live a double life.
4:15-24. What kind of
worshippers does our Father in Heaven seek?
What is more important in our worship of God, form or function (this is
a trick question!)? What is worship—how
do we worship (see Romans 12:1, 2)?
Was the Samaritan woman at the well living a double-life? How can you tell? Maybe she kept her private life hidden from the sight of others
so her peers would accept her. However,
can we keep a “private life” in Christ (see Hebrews 4:12, 13)?
Is it wrong to do your acts of righteousness in the
sight of others? Read Matthew 5:16; 2
Corinthians 8:24; Matthew 6:1; 23:5-7. What exactly is being condemned here, what you do or why you do
it? Can you see how the topic we are
discussing this week ties into what we discussed last week, “True Love is an Equalizer”? When you truly are a loving person, do you
only do loving things and say loving things to those whom you want to impress,
or do you do it to anyone and everyone?
Of course, we are going to have different relationships with every
single person, but should we be partial to some and not to others in sharing
and practicing our love? Notice in Matthew 6:1,
does Jesus expect us to do acts of righteousness? Why does He want us to be careful? What should be seen, our good deeds or us (Matthew 5:16)?
Read Isaiah 29:9-16.
Why did the Lord seal their eyes and covered their heads? Why couldn't they read the Word of
God? Verse 13 is the central focus of this
passage. What kind of attitude does
verse 13 describe? Were they more
interested in worshipping God or themselves?
Does this passage encourage us to make sure we are not acting out a pre-planned script (verse 15)? Read Mark 7:1-15. Were the Pharisees engaging in traditions
because it was pleasing to the Lord, or because they were honoring their
elders? What was their motive in
holding other's to their standard of tradition? What was their motive in encouraging others to devote themselves
to God through giving gifts (Corban)?