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The Gospel of Matthew

Feeding the Hungry – Discussion Questions

Interpretation Questions:

  1. Herod orders the beheading of John the Baptist, but it’s two women – Herodius and her daughter – who convince him to do so. Why does the author of Matthew give these women the responsibility for John’s death, instead of Herod?
  2. In Matthew 15:11, Jesus teaches, “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” Why do the Pharisees take offense to this teaching? How is Matthew portraying the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees?

Application Questions:

  1. Many people find Jesus’ response to the Canaanite woman offensive. Do you find it disturbing? Why or why not?
  2. Jesus changing his mind in 15:27-28 has been described as a “teachable moment,” in which Jesus learned from the woman. Yet, for some, the idea that Jesus would have anything to learn is troublesome. What is your reaction to this depiction of Jesus?
  3. Matthew 16:13-20 has led to centuries of debate over the organization of Christ’s church, from the establishment of the Pope in Rome, through the Protestant Reformation, and into today. How is your church structured, and why?
  4. What does it mean today to “take up your cross and follow Jesus continuously”? What is the role of suffering in discipleship?

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