Small Group Weekly Discussion Guide
September 20, 2015
Theme: “Open My Eyes That I May See”
Offer relevant announcements and take attendance. Share joys and concerns for prayer, or let everyone know that there will be time at the end of the session for sharing prayer requests.
I. Getting Started/7-10 minutes
o What does it feel like to have something hidden from you?
II. Read scripture and discuss/25-30 minutes
Read Matthew 13: 33
o “He told them still another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough." (New International Version)
o “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” (King James Version)
o “He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”(New Revised Standard Version)
1. What is your initial reaction to this verse?
2. Do the different translations affect your interpretation of the verse?
3. This verse is often interpreted as the growing Kingdom in unexpected place. Geneva Notes explains it this way, “"God begins his kingdom with very small beginnings so that by its growing (even though men neither hope nor expect it to) his mighty power and working may be displayed all the more." Does something at surprise us have a greater impact than something that is expected? Given this understanding, does this change your attitude about the act of hiding something?
4. At times leaven has been correlated with images of evil, at other times it is associated with the movement of the church, and still at other times this symbol is associated with God’s work in the world. Contrast today’s scriptural image of leaven with these other references:
o “Your boasting is not a good thing. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, as you really are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.8Therefore, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 NRSV
o “The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him.And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, ‘Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.’And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.Now the disciples*had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.And he cautioned them, saying, ‘Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’*They said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?’ They said to him, ‘Twelve.’‘And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?’ And they said to him, ‘Seven.’Then he said to them, ‘Do you not yet understand?’“ – Mark 8: 11-21 NRSV
5. Symbols are used throughout parables. They are a connection to the here-and-now, relative to our everyday life. They are also opportunities for different perspectives and interpretations, as our life experience informs how we understand these symbols. How does your life experience inform how you understand the symbol of leaven?
III. Close and Pray/7-10 minutes
o In light of today’s discussion or other spiritually formative experiences you have had this past week, what do you believe God is calling you to be and/or do for the upcoming week? What acts of service to others or care for others is God calling you to embrace this week?
o Close by offering prayers of thanksgiving, petition, and/or intercession for the world, the Church, for others, and/or for yourself.
Posted on Sun, September 20, 2015
by Mark Taylor