Bible verses: Matthew 6, especially Matthew 6:16 and 6:5

What we want for our people (Outcome): We want to be a church that is committed to impacting our community not seeking credit.

Weekly Outline:

Our desire is that C3SYD would be THAT CHURCH known for being die-hard for the cause of Christ not try-hard for the influence of the crowd. We want to impact people not seek credit. We want our motivation to be pure.

Jesus teaches the way to act in Matthew 6. The chapter begins “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).

Jesus rebukes many for their attention-seeking ways:

Matthew 6:16 “When you fast, do not look sombre as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

Mark 12:40 “They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers.”

The culture of our Church is not desperately begging people, trying to be noticed or get attention, we are here to worship Jesus and confidently present Christ. We are here to be die-hards; we will die for this message of Christ. No matter what is happening in the world, storms, crisis we will follow Him through to the end.

The gospel of Mark focuses on the impact of Jesus and His goal to not seek credit or fame. Jesus does everything He can to get people to stop telling others about the miracles, He is doing. He wasn’t seeking fame He was seeking impact.

Check out the below extract from Bible Project:

In Mark 1:43–45 Christ commanded the leper He had healed, “‘See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’ But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.” Jesus knew the publicity about the healing would hinder His ability to minister in the area, which is exactly what happened when the leper disobeyed, and worse, the sensationalism caused by miraculous healings would hamper the spreading of His message. Because of the leper’s disobedience, Jesus could no longer enter a city without being mobbed by those seeking healing, causing Him to abandon His ministry in the city and keep to relatively uninhabited areas. The healing of the leper is also found in Matthew 8:1–4 and Luke 5:12–16, with Luke reiterating the reason for the command for secrecy in verses 15–16.

He sought God and got advice from the Father alone (Mark 1:35, 6:46, 14:35). Jesus’ goal, to do the will of the Father who sent Him (John 4:34, 8:29, Luke 22:42). He focused on those God had given Him: His disciples (Mark 4:34, 7:17, 9:31, 12:43). The crowd, a character, in its own right, in the gospel of Mark is seen as frivolous, swayed by the fame of Jesus but when it gets hard, they leave and even turn on him. 

In total contrast Mark shows how Jesus suffered at the cross with just the women in Mark 15:30, no crowds followed him. Our goal is to serve our city in secret, to be like Jesus. Nobody knew His secret mission was not fame or fortune but to lay down His life, to die a criminal’s death for us.  He emptied Himself of His rights as God to become human and die for our sins (Philippians 2:5).

Connect Group Resources:

Connect Group Discussion Questions:

GATHER: (ensure that these questions centre around the community)

  • Jesus was aiming for impact, not fame and often impacted society’s outcasts and the elite. Who are the elite and outcasts today? Politicians? Instagram influencers? The homeless? Would you invite them to dinner at your house? 
  • While Jesus warns us about trying to “appear spiritual”, it doesn’t mean we don’t’ do spiritual things. How can we keep our motivations right when we pray, fast or help on the team at Church?

GROW: (ensure that these questions prompt discussion on personal growth and maturity)

  • What is your next step in private? Do you need to dedicate time each day to pray and spend each time in the Word? Is there something to fast and pray about? We can hold each other accountable without boasting. 
  • Are there areas of your life where you have a crowd? Perhaps at work or on social media. How can we glorify God and direct the crowd’s attention to Him? How do you handle it when the crowd turns on you for your faith?

GO: (ensure that these questions prompt discussion ongoing and spreading the good news)

  • What are some of the good deeds or “random acts of kindness” we can do, without getting any credit for it? 
  • Has God given you a secret mission or purpose? How can you use it to meet new people and invite them to church?
Print Friendly, PDF & Email