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As many of us are reading through Matthew for Lent, we will be digging deeper on some of the passages in Connect Group and Sunday sermons until Easter.

It's not too late to join us! Join the Facebook group here

Read Matthew 3:1-2; 4:12-17

  • How does Jesus's ministry follow on from John the Baptist?

  • What does 'Repent' mean? [1]

  • What does 'the kingdom of heaven has come near' mean? [1]

  • How does this one sentence serve as a summary of everything Jesus and John were calling people to?

Read Matthew 4:18-22

  • Why do you imagine these men gave up their lives as fishermen to follow Jesus at this point? (see John 1:35-42 for more background information)

  • What did Jesus call them to do? What does this show us about our own discipleship?

Read Matthew 4:23-25

  • Here Matthew introduces us to the pattern of Jesus' public ministry. How do each of these activities contribute to the gospel of the kingdom:

    • Teaching

    • Proclaiming

    • Healing

  • As modern-day Jesus followers, how do we join in this gospel work today?

  • As we observe the kingdom 'coming near' in the life and ministry of Jesus, what does it teach us about the nearness of the kingdom in our own lives? How do we become more aware of the nearness of the kingdom (and the nearness of our king)?

Spend some time in reflection and prayer, that God would show you the ways in which his kingdom is present in your life and in your week this week. Then, if you like, you can take some time to share your reflections with one another when you gather again next week.

[1] R. T. France explains both 'repent' and 'kingdom of heaven' like this:

Repent means more than ‘be sorry’ or even ‘change your mind’; it echoes the Old Testament prophets’ frequent summons to Israel to ‘return’ to God, to abandon their rebellion and come back into covenant-obedience. This radical conversion is necessary in the light of the coming of the 'kingdom of heaven', which here means the establishment of God’s rightful sovereignty in judgment and in salvation, i.e. the Messianic age.

Tyndale Commentary Volume 1: Matthew, p. 96


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