Practice What You Preach

Discussion questions:

1. Surprisingly, in vv. 2-3 Jesus tells his hearers to live in accordance with the rulings of the Scribes and Pharisees. Why does he do this (see Deuteronomy 17:8-12)? What specifically is his problem with the Scribes and Pharisees in this chapter?

2. Here are two ways that hypocrisy creeps up on us: knowing more than we do and desiring to be recognized when we do a lot. Which one of these is a particular danger for you? Are there any particular situations where you are aware of the danger of hypocrisy right now?

3. Jesus critiques the use of distinguished titles. When are titles helpful and when are they dangerous? Have you ever been upset that someone didn’t address you with the deference or respect you thought you deserved? What gets lost when we are focused on titles?

4. Jesus says those who humble themselves will be exalted. Discuss what it means to humble yourself. How is that different from when God humbles you? How can you humble yourself right now?