Study 5: Resurrection Living: Mercifully
Sermon Date: May 21st, 2017
Readings: Luke 10: 25-37; 1 Timothy 1:15-17
As we continue to think about Resurrection Living we look to Mercy this week. Firstly we look at Paul’s first letter to Timothy, seeking to understand God’s mercy for us. Secondly, we look at Jesus’ parable in Luke, exploring what it means to love our neighbour.
What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you? How was it for you? How was it for them?
Before you get started, take a few minutes to reflect back on the series so far and share how God has been working among you.
Questions: (see “Helpful Hints” at the end of this section)
During his fourth missionary journey Paul had instructed Timothy to care for the church at Ephesus (1:3) while he went on to Macedonia. When he realized that he might not return to Ephesus in the near future, he wrote this first letter to Timothy to develop the charge he had given his young assistant, to refute false teachings and to supervise the affairs of the growing Ephesian church.
Read 1 Timothy 1:15-17:
1. What is Paul conveying to Timothy in these verses?
2. Why does Paul think God has used him in this way?
3. How is God portrayed in these verses? Is there anything about Him that particularly stands out to you today?
4. What does this passage teach us about mercy?
Read Luke 10 verses 25-37:
5. What do you make of the exchange between Jesus and the expert in the law?
6. Why do you think the priest and the Levite passed by?
7. The Samaritan would have been cast as the villain in most stories. How do you imagine the crowd would have reacted to this change of role?
8. What do you notice about the way the Samaritan treats the Jew?
9. Who is God stirring you to have mercy on?
In these passages we are challenged to think about how we love our neighbour and to think about how we love those who are unlike us. How can you do this in the coming week?
You may want time to think about this on your own or as a group.
Feedback on anything from last week’s actions.
Helpful Hints for discussion questions:
5. The scribe who asked this question appears to be genuine. Jesus asked him about how he reads the law. Strict orthodox Jews wore little leather boxes, phylacteries, on their wrists. These contained certain passages from Scripture (Exodus 13:1-10, 11-16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11, 13-20) and the scribes quotes verses from them. The scribes had added Leviticus 19:18 to these verse which commands a man to love their neighbour as themselves, but they had confined neighbour to fellow Jews. Jesus challenges this interpretation of the law.
6. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was notoriously dangerous. It drops steeply, descending 3,600 feet in less than twenty miles. Rocky, winding and narrow it was a dangerous place for travellers and the hunting ground of thieves. In the fifth century the historian Jerome writes that it was still being called ‘The Red or Bloody way.’ In the 19th Century it was still necessary to pay safety money to the local Sheiks in order to travel along it safely. It was brave and foolish of the traveller to make this journey alone. Tarrying would have put the Priest and the Levite at risk.
Jo Trickey, 21/05/2017