Jesus for President – Week #1

Summary: This week we dove into the difficult and often contentious subject of politics.  Jesus did make a couple comments about politics in his day.  This week we focused on Jesus’s comment in Mark 8 where He warned the disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod.  This warning was really a warning of faith and trust.  It was calling out places where we so often are tempted to place our trust and look for hope.  Instead Jesus represented another Kingdom and reminded His disciples where they are to anchor their hearts… in His Kingdom.

Scripture: Mark 8:14-21; Matthew 5:9

Icebreaker: What’s one thing on your bucket list and why?

Focus Questions

  1. Do you avoid, actively engage in, or begin conversations about politics? On a scale from 1 to 10 how uncomfortable are you when the topic of politics comes up? How frustrated do you get when someone doesn’t agree with the same politics as you?
  2. Do you avoid, actively engage in, or begin conversations about God? On a scale from 1 to 10 how uncomfortable are you when the topic of religion comes up? How frustrated do you get when someone doesn’t agree with the same religious beliefs as you?
  3. How do you determine the truth from false information, especially when it pertains to politics and the media? What are the sources you find most helpful? 
  4. What does leadership look like in the world today? What should it look like? If God allows a leader to take a position, does it matter how they lead?
  5. Do you see a difference between servant leadership and public service? How are they the same? What makes them different?
  6. Read Matthew 5:9. What does it mean to be a peacemaker when discussing politics, whether it’s with close friends and family, people you might know in the community, or strangers online? What are some examples from your own life where you (or someone you know) succeeded or failed in being a peacemaker during a conflict you were involved in? 
  7. The value of civility in our culture seems to be diminishing, especially since we’ve seen an increase in accusations, slander, and personal attacks when it comes to discussing politics. If you participate in heated political exchanges, how do you justify the anger in which you communicate with the people God commands you to love? How can you personally improve civility or increase the value of civility in our world today?
  8. Does God want us to stay silent on the topic of politics? As Christ followers, what should be our attitude and our involvement with politics be? How can we express our political viewpoint while putting God first? Is that even possible?
  9. Can you think of a time in history when the “yeast” of God’s principles permeated and changed things for the good? (e.g., abolishment of slavery)  What are some parts of life today in which you can pray and work for that to keep happening?