The Good Life – Session 3
September 23, 2020
HAPPY ARE THE HUMBLE
The more we see God’s , the more we become. The more we see our , the more we God’s grace, and the more we desire to obey Jesus.
During the last week as you were challenged to see how our lament leads to our happiness, what was your most significant takeaway?
What does it mean to be humble? Who do you know who models humility?
Last week‘s study challenged us to see the surprising connection between and the good life. This week we’ll focus on . Jesus said happiness is found in humility.
While many would claim humility is a good to possess, fewer put humility into practice. True humility doesn’t call attention to itself, but focuses from itself toward . Today we’re going to examine humility from perspective.
WATCH THE SESSION 3 VIDEO FEATURING DERWIN GRAY.
(Zoom break-out sessions)
HAVE A VOLUNTEER READ MATTHEW 5:5.
Pastor Derwin said, “God only uses normal people, because that’s all He has to work with.” Can you recall someone who may not have been great in the eyes of the world but was a humble servant? What did you learn from that person?
What’s the difference between confidence and Godfidence? Why do we desperately need Godfidence?
We often think humility is timidity, shyness, or even weakness. But we’re wrong. The humility God imparts to us takes root in the soil of our souls, and as we water and fertilize it by faith, courage and conviction begin to grow in us. We become stronger because our confidence is in God not ourselves. Instead of having self-confidence, we have Godfidence.
When has God accomplished something through you that you never could have accomplished on your own? Why should this lead to humility?
How can you cultivate true humility in your life?
Think about it: Jesus wasn’t timid, shy, or weak, yet He was the most humble man who ever lived. Why? Because He fully trusted in and depended on His Father. Humility isn’t weakness. Humility is placing yourself under the grace, glory, love, and mission of God. In our humility we tap into God’s power.
The disciples heard Jesus teach, “Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5). The Greek word translated humble (or meek in some translations) conveys the idea of power under control. It’s like a stallion that has learned to heed the commands of its rider. Jesus is saying happy are those whose power is found in God not themselves.
HAVE A VOLUNTEER READ MATTHEW 26:33-35,74-75; AND 1 PETER 5:6-7
Peter went from being a denier of the faith to a defender of the faith. How can you relate to Peter? When have you experienced moments of weakness in your faith?
How have you, like Peter, been humbled and transformed through knowing Jesus?
Out of all of Jesus’ disciples, Peter is most often the stand-in for us. At moments he was loyal, dependable, and wise. At other moments, he ran from servant girls who questioned him about knowing Jesus. Peter at times was brave enough to walk on water, and at other times his bravery was severely lacking. There’s a little of Peter in all of us.
Peter learned humility and Christlike service by being humiliated. He had to be shaped by difficult circumstances. As Jesus prepared for the cross, He told His disciples they would abandon Him. Peter boldly responded that even if everyone else abandoned Him, he never would (Matt. 26:33,35). Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus not just once but three times that night (Matt. 26:34). As Jesus was being led like a lamb to slaughter, Matthew recorded Peter’s actions.
Compare Peter’s words in 1 Peter 5:6-7 with Matthew 5:5. How are these passages similar?
How does our connection to Jesus enable us to be humble?
Humility allows us to access Jesus’ supernatural ability to defeat sin and adversity. Eventually Jesus restored Peter and sent him on mission. Peter was a pillar of the early church and gave his life for the sake of the gospel. Jesus radically changed this often proud, unpredictable disciple. The good life is a humble life of leaning on Jesus. The same Spirit working in Peter works in us today. We can ask Him to make us humbly dependent on God.
Help your group identify how the truths from the Scripture passage apply directly to their lives.
Why should knowing the reward of humility (inheriting the earth) help us focus on humility right now?
What keeps us from embracing humility?
Is there any sinful pride disrupting your relationship with God? Take a few moments in prayer to confess your sin and receive forgiveness.
Is there any sinful pride disrupting your relationship with a brother or sister in Christ? Find a time to speak with them and request their forgiveness.
Lord Jesus, thank you for humbling Yourself to the point of death on a cross. Please convict us of our pride, replace our pride with humility, and allow us to receive the cleansing power of Your blood.
Like the preceding Beatitudes, this one parallels Is 61. Isaiah 61:7 (LXX) uses the words “they will inherit the earth,” an exact parallel to Mt 5:5b. The first three Beatitudes thus confirm Jesus’s identity as the Servant of Is 61. This identification is important for understanding the sacrificial nature of Jesus’s death since Is 52:14-53:12 describes the Servant as suffering the punishment that sinners deserved (see Mt 8:17 and 12:17-21 which appeal to Is 53:4 and 42:1-4). This beatitude also echoes Ps 37:11 in which the humble are those who trust God and surrender to his authority even when they cannot make sense of their circumstances. Inherit the earth (land) in the OT refers to inheriting the promised land of Canaan. Thus most of Jesus’s hearers recognized that his disciples were a new Israel that would inherit the land promised to Abraham. In the context of the Sermon on the Mount and the Gospel of Matthew as a whole, “inheriting the earth” involves more than the promise of living in Palestine. It refers to living in a recreated earth over which Christ rules eternally. Matthew 19:28 anticipates the renewal of earth and assures Jesus’s disciples that they will enjoy great reward in the eternal kingdom.
MATTHEW 26:33-35; 74-75
26:33-35. Each of the eleven disciples felt as strongly as Peter, and they told Jesus so (26:35). But it was Peter, their spokesman, whose verbal contradiction of Jesus’ prediction was recorded by Matthew. Peter took his promise of loyalty to great heights; he would stand by Jesus even if he had to do it alone ( even if all fall away… I never will).
We can read sorrow, and possibly affection, into Jesus’ words, as he solemnly affirmed to Peter: I tell you the truth, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.
Peter was within a few hours of this denial. Not only would Peter not stand by Jesus, but he would go so far as to disown him three times before morning. The disciples expected to get at least a little sleep before morning (Passover was customarily a late night observance for most people). This cut down even further the likelihood that Peter would have the opportunity to deny Jesus three times during that time.
All of the eleven affirmed that they would go to their deaths with Jesus before denying him. The disciples recognized that Jesus faced danger, though they still did not understand that it was almost upon them, and they promised to face it with him. The linguistic construction of Peter’s protest indicates he could not imagine Jesus was actually going to die.
26:73-75. Some of the same people came to Peter again and said to him with greater certainty. Surely you are one of them, meaning one of Jesus’ disciples. Although Peter had said very little, they picked up on his northern accent: for your accent gives you away.
Things were getting tense for Peter. They were on to him now, and any minute they might act on their suspicions and arrest him. In an attempt to convince them once and for all, Peter began to call down curses on himself. He swore to them, repeating the words of his second denial, this time with even more force: I don’t know the man!
Immediately a rooster crowed. This reminded Peter of Jesus’ prediction that he would deny his master three times before a rooster crowed (26:34). It was his deep sorrow at betraying his master, more than fear, that caused Peter to flee from the courtyard, weeping bitterly. All of this probably happened well before dawn.
Peter had been so sure of himself and his loyalty (26:33,35), but he failed to recognize the weakness of the flesh. He did not depend on God for strength and wisdom (26:41). We would do well to heed Peter’s example, becoming less confident in ourselves and more dependent on God. It is the most basic and the most difficult lessons to learn in Christian living.
1 PETER 5:6-7
5:5b-7 Peter reminded all believers to practice humility and trust God with their cares. Humility commends us to God and fellow humans, and this is the opposite effect of arrogance and conceit.