29 Mar Discussion Guide: Jesus: The King Who Suffers – 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 on through the Gospel of Mark as we are in the last part of a three part series looking at Jesus: 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.
“So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?””
What is the role of a king?
If Jesus really is who He claimed to be, the King of the Universe, then what is His position in our lives?
What does that mean regarding the beliefs, choices, words, and actions?
Where do you find it most difficult to have Jesus on the throne in your own life?
If Jesus really is who He claimed to be, God come in the flesh who is King of the Universe, then that means He is the ultimate authority in our lives and in our world. In light of that reality, then, what we believe is of utmost importance because our beliefs produce the choices we make, the words we speak, and the things we do. And, if King Jesus has commanded us to believe in Him (the God who is Love) and His Kingdom (a Kingdom rooted in love) then by default our choices, words, and actions should be rooted in that same kind of unconditional, sacrificial love as well. The words we speak should lift others up when they’re down and call them to turn away from selfishness and back towards loving others as well. The actions we take should be for the purpose of serving others, fighting for justice in the lives of others, and caring for others in times of need. To do otherwise would be to disobey the ordinances of our King, and if the role of the King is to rule over, and decree what we ought to be doing with, our lives then to go against that is considered treason.
The irony of this, however, is that in committing treason against King Jesus we are acting treacherously against Love itself. The very thing we all claim we want to receive from others is the thing we resist submitting to ourselves.
“The modern habit of saying “This is my opinion, but I may be wrong” is entirely irrational. If I say that it may be wrong, I say that is not my opinion. The modern habit of saying “Every man has a different philosophy; this is my philosophy and it suits me” – the habit of saying this is mere weak-mindedness. A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon.”
Pilate, like many people around the world today, takes a relativistic approach to Jesus’ claim to being King of the Universe. If Pilate’s perspective is correct, what would that mean for the world today? (In other words, if Jesus isn’t King then who is?)
Why do you think someone might want Jesus to be King over others’ lives, but not over their own life?
What does that reveal about the human heart? About our own hearts?
Simply put, what this reveals about the human heart is how prideful we really are. Something inside of us believes that individually we know what’s best for everyone else, but refuse to accept that same advice from others on our own behalf. In other words, we each, individually, believe that we are good enough and smart enough to be god of our world but no one else is. It also means that ultimately we want to do what’s best for us as individuals but refuse to accept the constraints or boundaries someone else might request of us for their welfare and benefit. It’s selfish and hypocritical.
We want to be ruled by our own appetites and desires and expect others to abide by that rule, but at the same time we don’t want to have to submit to the appetites and desires of others. We, as humanity, tend to exist as 7 billion individual universes bumping into and colliding with one another rather than as 1 universe living in loving unity as God designed it to be.
“Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.”
What, then, would you say is the solution to the dilemma we see all over the world today, the dilemma of people using, abusing, manipulating, taking advantage of, and destroying others?
What do you think makes it so difficult for a person to trust Jesus to be King of his/her life?
If you claim Jesus as King of your own life, what was it that helped you get past that fear and insecurity and finally surrender your life to His Kingship?
How has, and how can, a community of people worshipping Jesus as King impact the world?