Study, The Physician at the Table

The Physician at the Table

Newbreak’s Sermon Study Guide is an in-house resource that serves sermon-based Life Groups and/or individuals who want to reflect further on how the message contributes to their spiritual formation. In this week’s study, we begin a series exploring Christ’s encounters with people at the table. Meals are something that is a necessary part of ordinary life. And yet, Jesus took these mundane moments and made them missional opportunities for people to experience the gospel.

Icebreakers for Life Groups

  • What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
  • What habits and/or traditions do you and your family have at the dinner table?

Going Deeper Into the Message: What happens at the table?

Read Luke Luke 5:27–32; Psalm 86:11

There’s a seat for us at the table.

Have you ever had to sit at the kids’ table for a family dinner, such as Thanksgiving? Did you look at the adult table and think that it would be more fun up there? This never happens at Jesus’ table. There is always space for you. More than there being space available for you, Jesus plans a specific seat for you at the table. It’s got your name on it. He seeks you out and invites you to His table. And the brilliant part is that it’s in your own house, in familiar surroundings. He wants to sit and eat with you. He wants to make memories with you around the table. He wants to show you all the wonders of following Him and invite you to be part of the amazing adventure that following Him results in.

Levi chose to leave everything to follow Jesus. He had know idea what Jesus had in store for him, but he believed everything he was leaving behind was nothing compared to what following Jesus would give him. Jesus wants you to follow him completely. He wants you to be willing to leave everything to follow Him. He may not change everything in your life, but He wants the heart that’s willing to leave everything for Him. He may make you so uncomfortable in your current circumstances that you realize you are unsatisfied and want to follow Him. He may show you to go deeper in your current relationships and show others how good He has been to you. Whatever He has in store for you will be worth anything you could potentially give up to go and sit at His table.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  • What is your “booth” in life right now that Jesus wants to draw you away from? What does He want you to leave to come and eat with Him, learn from Him, make memories with Him?
  • Is it hard for you to accept that Jesus is inviting you to His table to spend some quality time with you? Why might this be?
  • Socrates, the famous Greek philosopher, gathered disciples to follow him. One man called Aeschies came to him and said, “I am a poor man. I have nothing else, but I give you myself.” Socrates said in front of everyone, “Do you not see that you are giving me the most precious thing of all? Your very self.” What would it look like for you to give Jesus your very self today?

Read Luke 5:33–39

When we sit at the table with Jesus, something new begins to happen.

Jesus sought out Levi, son of Alphaeus. He went to the tax collector’s booth and told him to follow Jesus. It wasn’t a mistake or an accident that Jesus called him. He didn’t mean to choose someone else and then accidentally got Matthew. He called him on purpose, for a purpose. Jesus does the same with us. He knows us, right where we are right now, in our booths, and calls us anyway. He wants us just as we are, so He can do the changing work in us to help us become the people He wants us to be.

People do not have the power to change Jesus; Jesus has the power to change people. Jesus knows my hypocrisy and chooses to still draw near! Doesn’t he know that I would make him unclean? But His presence doesn’t work like that... The Pharisees were worried that proximity to people like Matthew, a tax collector, would defile them. Yet Jesus knew that if Matthew would have the chance to draw near to Him it would make Matthew holy. When you draw near to Jesus he doesn’t catch your filth; you catch his fire! Jesus isn’t afraid to draw near to you. He seeks you out in order to draw near to you.

Contrary to the saying, “God helps those who help themselves,” the opposite is true. God helps those who know they cannot help themselves. That’s what makes Him the only sufficient Savior and such a compassionate physician. He comes for the sick and for the sinners.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  • Ask Jesus this week to help you see things the way He sees them. Ask Him to show you specifically how He sees you and how much He loves you. Ask Him to give you His heart for His people.
  • This week go to the places Jesus would go. Go to the hurtling, the sad, or the lonely. You probably won’t have to go far. Where would that be in your life?
  • Lastly, we encourage you to walk in the ways Jesus would walk. Have joy, in spite of your external circumstances, because of what He has done in you. Be the light in the dark places around you. Have words of encouragement ready for the lost and the lonely. What would “walking” like Jesus look like at your job? In your neighborhood? In your home?

Final Challenge Questions

  1. How are you going to think or live differently in light of what you have read, heard, and discussed this week?
  2. How does this week’s message shape or nurture your relationship with God?
  3. BONUS: For those of you with kids or around kids: What is one truth from this message that you can share with your kids in a way that they would relate to or understand?

Memory Verse: Luke 5:31–32 (NIV) 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

About Our Current Sermon Series

What did you eat today? Isn’t it crazy that we can all assume that you either have eaten or will eat today? Meals are a necessary part of ordinary life. And yet, Jesus took these mundane moments and made them missional opportunities for people to experience the gospel. Join us in this sermon series as we see what happens when Jesus meets people at the table for an encounter that changes everything!

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