Love your neighbour as yourself

Small Group Material: 
Week Commencing: 
20 Feb 2011
Bible Base: 
Leviticus 19: 1-4, 9-18, 32-37; Matthew 5:38-end

1)      Read Leviticus 19: 1-4, 9-18, 32-37
2)      Read Matthew 5:38-end
3)      What principle for the behaviour of the people of God connects these two readings?
4)      Look at Leviticus 19:9-10. Why would you want to reap to the edges of the field or go over your vineyard a second time?
5)      Who should benefit from your restraint in maximising your profit in this way?
6)      What examples can you think of in our individual and business lives today of how this command is ignored, and how it might be observed?
7)      Look at Lev 19:13b. In what ways could we be in danger of breaking the spirit of this command? (Hint: Not many of us employ anyone – but what about bill paying?)
8)      The group should pick out any of the commands in verses 14-16 where they can see a connection to life today.
9)      Look at verses 17-18. What do these say about divisions and grudges between God’s people? Does this mean we should be doormats? (Look at v 17b).
10)   Look at v 33. Why were the people of Israel to love foreigners in their midst? Was the idea of neighbour just confined to their own people? What might this have to say to (a) our society (b) modern Israel?
11)   How is the nature of love to be expressed according to Leviticus 19?
12)   How does Jesus expand the idea of loving your neighbour in this passage? In practical terms in our own daily lives, how can we put this command into practice?
13)   What particular aspect of God’s perfection does Jesus encourage us to imitate? Have a look at Ephesians 4:31-5:2 for Paul’s similar view.
14)   Is Jesus hopelessly idealistic in this passage? Why do we find it hard to forgive?
15)   You might like to conclude with prayer for the world, and prayer for your own lives – perhaps giving people the opportunity to pray (silently!) for people they find it had to love/forgive?