09 Feb Discussion Guide: Jesus: The Man Who Acts – Week 2
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…
C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
“You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.”
Whether you’re a Christian or not, when would you say your faith journey began?
What motivated you to take that first step in your journey?
As you facilitate this discuss be mindful as to who is sitting in the room. If you know you have people who would not consider themselves to be Christians then make sure to ask the following questions in a way that invites them to share their experience in their faith journey as well. The difference in following Jesus and just following another religious prescription will hopefully be revealed when we talk about what enables us to trust in the scary moments our faith calls us to. If a person is just following some religious tenets, or just trying to be a good, moral, rule follower then in those scary moments they are forced to look to themselves and their ability to work harder at being good. For the person who is following Jesus, in those scary moments we have a person to look to, to trust, a person who has already gone before us to do for us what we were unable to do for ourselves, a person who was willing to step into the darkest and scariest place (death on a cross) in order to demonstrate His love to us and therefore we know He is worthy of our trust and will carry us through those moments of anxiety.
“Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.”
If you are a follower of Jesus, in what ways has He “inconvenienced” your life?
Would you say that “inconvenience” has been for the better or for the worse? Why?
We see later on in Mark 8, and here in Matthew’s account, that Peter’s relationship with Jesus progressed from leaving his boat to follow Jesus to the moment of revelation and calling.
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?””
How has your relationship with Jesus changed over the years?
How has that change also impacted other areas in your life (i.e. relationships, finances, time management, etc.)?
And then, immediately after that calling Peter’s faith is tested as he learns that following Jesus sometimes leads to some scary situations.
“From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
What has been the scariest thing to you about following Jesus?
What has enabled you to continually trust Jesus even through those anxious moments?
What would you say is the next step Jesus is asking you to take in following Him, and how can we support you in that?