16 Feb Discussion Guide: Jesus: The Man Who Acts – Week 3
Before We Get Started
For our discussion today we will be using the sermon series discussion guides. If you would like to follow along you can access this discussion guide on the website at mosaicchurchaustin.com and then select “community group resources” in the menu options.
Because the main goal of our time together is to establish relationships and learn how to walk with one another in all that God has called us to be and do, we’d like to begin by praying for one another. So, does anyone have anything you’d like us to pray for, or anything to share regarding how you’ve seen God moving in your life that we can celebrate together.
This Week’s Topic
This week we continue our journey through the Gospel of Mark as we step into the first of a three part series; The Man Who Acts, The God Who Heals, and The King Who Suffers. We will be taking at look at Mark’s claims regarding the life of Jesus and how this Jesus of Nazareth not only changes lives, but has changed history itself. Today’s discussion is going to be a bit of a testimony session as we discuss when, how and why our faith journey began and how, if you’re a Christian, following Jesus has impacted your life.
When writing about the beginning of his own journey of faith, C.S. Lewis said…
“And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Put yourself in this paralyzed man’s shoes for a moment. How would you feel if Jesus said those words to you?
Has God ever answered your prayers in a way that offended you? Explain.
Looking back on that now, would you say your appreciation for His response to your need has increased, decreased, or stayed the same?
“Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”
Why do you think these people were so upset, confused, and offended by Jesus’ actions and claims?
If Jesus really is who He claimed to be (and He is), what would that have meant for those men, and why do you think they resisted that as a possible reality?
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
How would you describe what Lewis is saying here in your own words?
What is it about surrendering our plans and expectations to Jesus that causes us to feel anxious at times?
“And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!””
What was the result for the paralyzed man who was able to submit to, and trust in, the authority of Jesus?
What was the result for the religious leaders who were unable to submit to, and trust in, the authority of Jesus?
What might that submission and surrender lead to in our lives?
How does the truth of the Gospel enable our hearts to trust in the goodness of God so that we can surrender to His authority in our lives?
Let’s break up into groups of 2-3 and pray for one another regarding any areas where we might be struggling to trust the Authority of Christ in our lives.