Pre-Life Group Study Questions for February 17, 2019

Mark 7:1-13

What does the text say?

1.    How does Mark 7: 1-13 fit in the flow of Mark’s gospel thus far?  What have we learned about
the disciples?  The crowds?  The religious leaders?

2.    Why does Mark include that the religious leaders came from Jerusalem?

3.    What might it tell us about Mark’s audience that he includes an explanation in vv. 3-4, and
what does it tell us about “the tradition of the elders?”

4.    What is the primary issue the religious leaders address with Jesus in vv. 1-5, and why is it
important to them?

5.    Was it necessarily a wrong goal for the religious leaders to try to uphold the “tradition of the
elders
”? Explain.

6.    The word hypocrite refers to “an actor” or “someone who wears a mask.”  How is Jesus using
this word?  What is the contemporary usage of the word?  Explain.

7.    What are the two problems the religious leaders have, according to Jesus’ quote of Isaiah 29:13? 
Explain.

8.  How does v. 9 get illustrated through the example Jesus gives in vv. 10 –13?

9.   How does the allowance of “Corban” cause the religious leaders to “void the word of God?”

10.  Summarize how Jesus’ statements in vv. 6-13 answer the religious leaders question in v. 5?

How does the text apply?

1.    How can pursuing something good, even the Bible, go bad?  Is it possible for us to seek the
truth of the Bible, but have a heart that is very far from God?  Explain.

2.    What are some external markers that Christians use today to measure their spiritual health, or
that of others?  What are the dangers? 

3.    As we do things that we think will be pleasing to God, how do we maintain a heart that
honors God?

Pre-Life Group Study Questions for February 10, 2019

Mark 6:30-52

What does it mean?

1.   How would you summarize Mark 6:1-29?

2.   What is it the disciples are telling Jesus in v. 30?

3.   In v. 31, why does Jesus ask the disciples to come away?  Who are the “many”?

4.   In v. 34, why does Jesus have compassion on the crowds? What does it mean to be
a “sheep without a shepherd”?  What role is Jesus assuming in this interaction?

5.   How does Jesus respond to the disciples in v. 37?  What is he telling them to do?

6.   Do the disciples demonstrate faith in Christ and knowledge of who he is in their
dialogue with him about feeding the crowds?  Explain.

7.   Why does Mark include the details he does in vv. 39-40?

8.  Is there any indication in this passage that the disciples and those fed by Jesus have
an understanding of who he is?

9.  Immediately after feeding five thousand, Jesus performs another miraculous feat
by walking on the water.  Why were the disciples afraid again after seeing Jesus
displaying what he can do?  What does that say about them that their first
assumption is that Jesus is a ghost?

10. Jesus calms the wind and the disciples are “astounded”.  Explain what their
amazement is rooted in?  What clues does Mark give us concerning if this is
good or bad?

11. What change are we seeing so far through Mark (as we end Chapter 6) of the
perception of who Jesus is from the crowds?  And from the disciples?

 How does it apply?

1.   Are you encouraged or discouraged by how slow the disciples are to respond with
faith?

2.   Most Christians would say “Jesus can do anything.”  But practically, do we live
with the expectation that Jesus could do something amazing at any moment? 
Would we be astounded if he chose to do something amazing in our lives?

3.   How do we typically respond to the new and potentially overwhelming situations
in our lives?  How might we respond with greater faith?  How do we get there?

4.  How can we support each other when our responses are not as faith-filled as we
would like?  How can we encourage each other toward those faithful responses?

Pre-Life Group Study Questions for February 3, 2019

Mark 6:14-29

What does it mean?

1.   How would you summarize Mark 6:1-13?

2.    Why does Mark choose to sandwich the story of John the Baptist’s death in between the
sending out of the disciples and their return in vv. 30-32?

3.    What is the “it” Herod hears of in v. 14?  The works of Jesus?  The disciples?  
Something else?

4.    What kind of person is Herod, judging by this passage?  Compare Herod to John.

5.    Do we know if Herod was opposed to the works of John?

6.    How had John incurred Herod’s wrath and was imprisoned?

7.    Why does Herod fear John in v. 20?  Where else have we seen fear in Mark’s gospel?

8.    Herod kills John the Baptist as he is being pressured by the people opposing him.  How
does this compare to the way Jesus would also be killed (see Mark 15:1-15)?

9.    How would you paraphrase Mark’s big idea in 6:14-29?

 How does it apply?

1.     What are some of the issues you find it challenging to take a stand for?

2.     Are there any issues that you could stand for with unwavering certainty regardless of
opposition?

3.     What are some of the ways we could help equip and support one another in the face of
difficult opposition to living a life worthy of the gospel in today’s world?

4.     Who in your life have you known that you would say was strong in living the integrity
of the gospel that you’d like to be more like?

5.    Who in your life could you help by taking a more deliberate approach with regard to
something they are struggling with?

 

Pre-Life Group Study Questions for January 27, 2019

Mark 6:6b-13

What does it mean?

1.    What are the big ideas that we have seen in Mark (Chapters 1-6) thus far?

2.    Why does Mark follow Jesus’ rejection with his sending out of the twelve?

3.    Why do you think Jesus sends the disciples out two by two?

4.    When Mark tells us that Jesus gives authority to the disciples, what exactly is that
authority he is giving them?

5.    What is the significance of Jesus giving the disciples such specific instructions for
their journey in vv. 8-9?  How do you think the disciples felt about taking
nothing with them?

6.    In v. 10 when Jesus says, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart.”
What does he mean by this?

7.    Jesus seems to be implying that the disciples will experience rejection.  How does
he instruct them to respond to rejection in v. 11?  Does this instruction surprise
you?  Explain. 

8.    In vv. 12-13 describe what the ministry of the disciples looked like.  Is their
ministry the same as Jesus’?

9.    Is Mark intending his readers to think they are or will be given the same authority
as the apostles?  Explain. 

10. Does the ministry Jesus called the disciples to in this passage mirror what he
taught about in the parables in Chapter 4?

11. How would you paraphrase Mark's big idea in 6:6b-13?

 How does it apply?

1.    How would you apply the disciple’s mission to your sphere of influence?

2.    Are we required to leave our homes and preach on the road? Why or why not?  
Are we to go with no resources and not prepare for potential needs? Explain.

3.    In light of that, have you ever felt Jesus inviting you to “take nothing for your
journey” (v. 8)? Explain.

4.    What is it about our food, money, and possessions that can weigh us down?

5.    How can we determine whether or not someone has or has not received us and
whether we should shake the dust off our feet?  What might that look like?

6.    More than anything, Mark has made it obvious that this gospel is totally different
from what everyone expected - and to follow Jesus, it will cost you and the
journey will be difficult. What encourages us personally to move forward in our
journey with Christ? How can we call and encourage others into this journey
with us?

 

 

 

Pre-Life Group Study Questions for January 20, 2019

Mark 6:1-6a

What does it mean?

1.    How would you summarize the major ideas thus far in Mark?

2.    How does Mark transition out of Chapter 5? Why does he choose to follow Jesus’
miracles and power with his rejection in his hometown?

3.    What are some of the big miracles Jesus has displayed leading up to Chapter 6?

4.    What is the ultimate question the people are asking when they ask all their questions in
vs. 2-3? What is the significance of them mentioning that he is “the son of Mary”?

5.    What is keeping them from seeing Jesus for who he is?

6.    What does Jesus mean by his response in v. 4?

7.    What does it mean that “he could do no mighty work there”? Why doesn’t he try to prove
to them who he is?

8.    Why do you think those closest to Jesus reject him?

9.    How would you paraphrase Mark’s big idea of 6:1-6?

How does it apply?

1.    Are there times we find ourselves so familiar with Jesus that we lose the awe and wonder
of who he is?

2.   When was the first time, or most recent time, you felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of
who Jesus is?

3.   Is there someone your life that you desire to be overwhelmed with who Jesus is? Explain.

4.   How can we keep those around us from missing the identity of the real person of Christ?

5.   How can we reconcile the fact that we don’t see Jesus “attempting” to win over those
closest to him?

 

Discussion Questions for January 13, 2019

Mark 5:21-43

What does it mean?

1.    Give a summary of Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God in Mark 4:1-34. 

2.    What do the stories from Mark 4:35-5:20 have in common with v21-43?

3.    In the previous passage, we see Jesus demonstrate His power over the storm and over demons. 
What is He showing power over in the healing of the woman and also of the child?

4.    What is the impression Jairus the ruler has of Jesus in v22-23 when he first learns of Jesus
coming?  What is the significance that he is a religious leader?

5.    What is the impression the woman bleeding for 12 years has of Jesus in v27-28?  Is it the
same as the ruler’s?  What is the significance of all that the woman has done prior to seeking
out Jesus?

6.    Why does Jesus ask “Who touched my garments?” in v30?  Does He really not know who touched
Him?

7.    Is the disciples’ response to Jesus in v31 indicative of the way they view the authority of Jesus? 
Does He still not know who touched Him in v32?

8.   What is the source of the woman’s fear as Jesus turns to her?

9.   Why doesn’t Mark include the response of the ruler of the synagogue when he finds out his
daughter is dead?  Why do the witnesses at the house laugh at Jesus in v40?

10. Despite Jesus’ healings and miracles becoming more public, He still charges those who
witnessed His raising of the little girl to tell no one about it.  Why is this?

11. How would you summarize these previous four demonstrations of Jesus’ power from 4:35-5:43?

How does it apply?

1.   What would it look like for you to go to Jesus in faith rather than going to him in fear?  
Explain.

2.   What emotions, if any, are stirred up in you as you read of people in difficult circumstances?  
As you look back, which of the people in these stories do you identify the most with?

3.   What is your reaction to a total reliance on God?  How do you feel about the tension between
God’s protection and what we can personally do in the midst of tough times?  Has your view of
the balance of the two changed over time?

 

Discussion Questions for January 6, 2019

Mark 4:35 - 5:20

What does it mean?

1. Give a summary of Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God in Chapter 4:1-34. 

2. In v35, Jesus and the disciples leave the crowds on the shore to cross the lake.  Mark includes two interesting comments – first, that they took Jesus ‘just as he was,’ and second, that there were other boats with him (listening to him).  Why do you think Mark inserts these details?

3. In v38, why is it significant that Jesus is asleep?

4. What does the disciples’ question in v38 reveal about their state of mind in the storm and their view of Jesus?

5. What do Jesus’ questions in v40 reveal about his desire for the disciples?  Isn’t it understandable for them to be afraid?  What have they seen thus far (in Mark’s account), that could have buoyed their faith? 

6. Why does Mark include the rhetorical question from the disciples in v41?  What does it tell us about them?  In what sense do they not know who he is?

7. In the second story, starting in 5:1, why does Mark give so many details about the man with the unclean spirit - where he lived, how he lived, attempts to restrain him, numbers of demons, etc.?

8. Why is it significant that the local farmers raised pigs? 

9. Why, upon seeing the miracle that Jesus did for the man, were the townspeople afraid?  Why would they beg Jesus to leave?  Compare and contrast their response with the disciples’ response after Jesus calmed the storm (v40).

10. In contrast to Jesus’ healing in Mark 1:40-45, how does Jesus’ commission to the now-healed man differ from his command to the leper in Chapter 1?   Why do you think this one is different?

11. How would you describe the relationship between these stories of Jesus’ power and the parables about the Kingdom in Chapter 4?

How does it apply?

1. In both these stories, the people saw Jesus’ power and became afraid.  Was there a time in your life when you saw Jesus’ work and you were simultaneously afraid?  Explain.

2. Mark clearly wants us to see and trust Jesus’ power.  What do you desire more for yourself right now – to see more of Jesus’ power or to place greater trust in the power you have already seen?

3. How can we help each other in our seeking and seeing the power of Christ at work?  How can we help each other live more confidently with what we’ve seen?

 

Discussion Questions for December 16, 2018

Mark 4:26-34

What does it mean?

1.     Review Mark 4:1-25.  What common themes do you notice in these two parables?

2.     In verses 26-27, who is the “man”?

3.     In verse 27, Jesus says the farmer “sleeps and rises night and day” and “he knows not
how.
” What is he trying to emphasize?  How does this fit with the parables of the sower
and the lamp?  

4.     In verse 29, what does the harvest represent and who is harvesting?

5.     In verse 31, when Jesus says that the kingdom of God is “like a grain of mustard seed,
what is Jesus saying the kingdom looks like and will look like later?

6.     In verse 32, what does “the birds of the air can make nests in its shade” imply about  
growth?

7.     In verse 33, what does Mark mean when he says “as they were able to hear it”?  Does he
mean the ability to listen or the ability to understand?  How does this compare to how
Jesus spoke to his disciples?

8.    How would you paraphrase the big ideas of verses 26-29 and verses 30-32?

How does it apply?

1.     Through our time in these parables, does the concept of hidden or slow growth
encourage you or frustrate you?

2.    Does the parable of the mustard seed give us hope that God’s kingdom is and will
advance? How does that impact daily life?

3.     Can you think of anyone in your life that you see growing in their understanding of who
God is and growing in their trust of him?  Do you know someone that appears to be
struggling in these specific areas?  How can you be an encouragement to them?

4.     During this advent season, as you reflect on the upcoming celebration of Christmas, how
might the words “hope” and “joy” traditionally impact you?  In light of the learnings in
Mark 4, how might these words look different this year?

 

 

 

Discussion Questions for December 9, 2018

Mark 4:21-25

What does it mean?

1.  How would you summarize the big idea of Mark 4:1-20?

2.  What major theme is similar in this parable of the lamp to that of last week's parable of
the sower?

3.  Who is the “them” that Mark refers to in verse 21? To what does the “lamp” refer to in
verse 21?

4.  In last week’s text, verses 11 and 12 show of the secret of the kingdom being revealed as
well as hidden to some. What is now being referenced in verse 22 with "nothing is hidden"?

5.  In verses 23 and 24, we see the repeated use of the word “hear”.  What does Mark want to
communicate through the repetition?

6.  In verse 24, "pay attention to what you hear" is the focus intended to be more on the
content of what we hear or the response to what we hear?

7.  In verse 24, who is the measurer and what is being measured?

8.  Is the "more will be added to you" something we see now or something we experience
later?

9.  What does verse 25 mean when it says “even what he has will be taken away from him”?

10. How would you paraphrase the big idea of Mark 4:21-25?

How does it apply?

1.  How would your life be different if there was no light - if you lived completely in darkness?

2.  How do we know if we are shining (or hiding) Jesus’ light? 

3.  Can you point to someone who was an example of the light of Jesus shining that
encouraged a greater pursuit of Jesus in you?

4.  As a group, how do we encourage each other as we determine what our lights look like?

 

Discussion Questions for December 2, 2018


Mark 4:1-20

What does it mean?

1.    What are your initial thoughts on the parable of the sower? Would you have imagined the
parable to mean something different before Jesus’ explanation of it? What do you think
his purpose is in telling the parable to this large crowd?

2.    Why do you think Mark places this story immediately after Jesus declaring who is in his
true family?

3.    Who do you think has ears to ear (v 9)?

4.    What are the two reasons Jesus gives for speaking in parables in verses 11 and 12?
Why are some meant to not be understood?

5.   If the parables are supposed to be apparent to those who have been given the “secret of
the kingdom of God” (v 11), why do the twelve still have such a hard time understanding?

6.   Who is the sower? What do we know about him from Jesus’ initial telling of the parable
and then his explanation? Do you think it’s intentional that we don’t know much about
him?

7.   Why does Jesus describe so many options of soils rather than simply “bad soil” and
“good soil”?

8.   Who are those “along the path” in verse 15?

9.   In verse 16, how does Jesus describe the seed sown on rocky ground?

10. What does it mean to have good soil, and what do the seeds sown by the sower produce in
those that have good soil?

11. What would you say this parable is about, the sower or the soil?

How does it apply?

1.  What do the actions of the sower have to say about what our response should be to
receiving the word?

2.  Can you think of any examples of people you’ve met or talked to that resemble some of the
types of soil that Jesus describes?

3.  Do you have good soil? Describe what it might means for you to “bear fruit.”

4.  How do we reconcile God’s sovereignty over the different soils and our responsibility to
continue sowing? What encouragement do we have in sharing the word with others?

 

Discussion Questions for November 25, 2018

Mark 3:20-35

What does it mean?

1.    How would you summarize Mark 3:12-19?

2.    If you were to give titles to the three main sections of this passage (v 20-21; 22- 30;
31-35), what would they be?

3.    In our previous text, we see varying views of Jesus from the religious leaders, demons,
and the crowds.  What additional view are we seeing from His own family in v 21?
And from the scribes in v 22?

4.    In your own words, explain the parable of the kingdom and the house. What is Jesus
trying to say about the power He holds versus the power of Satan?  Has Jesus already
alluded to power over Satan anywhere else in Mark?

5.    Whose house is being plundered in v 27? Who is the strong man and when is Jesus
referring to this taking place?

6.    In v 28, who does Jesus say will be forgiven, and for what? Who is included in this group?
Have we seen Jesus reference forgiveness of sins in any section up until this portion of
Mark 3?

7.   In v 29, why does Jesus link the statements about the Holy Spirit to “eternal sin”? What
does he imply that this behavior points to?

8.   How does Jesus distinguish between the crowd “sitting around him” and His family who
were “standing outside?”

9.   How do these three sections fit together?  In your own words, how would you summarize
them?

How does it apply?

1.    In what ways are we vulnerable of making accusations of Jesus ourselves, based on the
way we view Him and the way we live our lives?

2.    If Jesus has the power to plunder Satan, what else does He hold power over?  How do we
see our lives reflect this view?

3.   Think back to that first feeling of being forgiven by Jesus. Do you remember it how it felt? 
Is this feeling something you often draw on?

4.   Thinking of your own family, who on your list would you like to become a part of the true
family of Jesus?  How can you share Jesus with them?

5.   Reflect on both your physical and spiritual family. Thank God for those He has placed in
your life as family and those that can be called your “family” because of their connection
to Jesus.

Discussion Questions for November 18, 2018

Mark 3:7-19

What does it mean?

1. How would you summarize Mark thus far? How does that fit with what we saw last week?

2. Immediately following the passage where religious leaders are plotting to destroy Jesus,
he withdraws. Explain the essence of Jesus’ response. Where have we seen this response
from Jesus before in the Gospel of Mark?

3. The crowds are fascinated with Jesus, but not always for the right reasons. In Mark 3, what
seems to be the reason? Do you think Jesus healed everyone? Explain.

4. What is Jesus’ primary mission and how does this compare with the primary desires of
the crowds? How does Jesus respond to the crowds even though their desires are
different from his priorities?

5. Why does Jesus tell the unclean spirits to be silent when they refer to him as the “Son of
God”?

6. In v13, what does it mean that Jesus “called to him those whom he desired”?

7. In v14-15, what are the two main reasons Mark gives us for Jesus appointing the apostles?
Are they already equipped to fulfill these roles? Explain.

8. In v16-19, Mark lists the apostles’ names. Why do you think Mark includes this list?

9. How would you paraphrase Mark 3:7-19?

How does it apply?

1. The last couple of weeks, we have focused on fasting, resting, and trusting God. How has
the experience been for you? Do you anticipate more of this in your life moving forward?
Explain.

2. Like the crowds, are there things we are more fascinated with than the truth of the gospel?

3. Those who trust Jesus and are closest to him are called to spread the good news. How
does it feel knowing we are called to do the same?

4. What would you say those closest to us think our view of Jesus is? What would you like
them to see, and do they differ?

5. In living out the truth of who Jesus really is, how can we encourage and support each
other?

Discussion Questions for November 11, 2018

Mark 2:23-3:6

What does it mean?

1. How would you summarize where we have been in Mark thus far?  What was the big idea of Mark 2:18-22?

2. The Pharisees last week asked about rules observing fasting and now inquire about working on the Sabbath. What actions do the Pharisees think are unlawful in this passage? Does it appear that they are asking in order to find fault, or to find clarity? Explain.

3. How does Jesus defend his disciples' actions?

4. Why does Jesus point to David as an example to the Pharisees?

5. What does it mean that "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath"?

6. Do the Pharisees recognize Jesus as who He says He is in verse 28? What evidence is in this passage for their views?

7.  In Chapter 3, what problem do the Pharisees have with Jesus and how does Jesus respond to them? 

8. Why does Jesus use the phrase "save life" when challenging the Pharisee’s views?

9. According to Mark, what is it that grieves Jesus? What is it that makes him angry? Is it significant that Mark includes both of these emotions? Explain.

10. How would you paraphrase the big idea of Mark 2:23-3:6?

 How does it apply?

1. What mentality of the law, or rules around Christianity, did you grow up with?  If you grew up in it, what was the motivation for the way in which we were to live our lives?

2. As we understand the gospels, do we feel more or less freedom when it comes to living with rules or guidelines of Christian conduct? How does this fit with the idea that God loves us and wants us to be happy?

3. Should we still be practicing some form of Sabbath? What might it look like? What might it look like this week?

4. If you spent any part of this past week fasting, how was your experience?  What are you hoping will come from it in the next couple weeks?

 

Discussion Questions for November 4, 2018

Mark 2:18-22

What does the text mean?

1.     How would you summarize where we have been in Mark thus far?

2.     According to v18, why are John’s disciples and the Pharisee’s disciples fasting?

3.     What the essence of the question being asked?

4.     In v18-20, what is helpful about Jesus’ analogy of the bridegroom and the wedding celebration? Who is the bridegroom, and why should they not fast while he is with them?

5.     What are the days that Jesus is referring to in or by “that day”?

6.     How does Jesus use the old and the new in these two examples to explain his purpose? 

7.     How does this narrative connect with the passage immediately before? Does the context of Jesus reclining with tax collectors and sinners change the way you read or interpret his teaching in this passage? 

8.     The reader is starting to get a picture of what it looks like to follow Christ, and it seems to be counter to what everyone expected. What have we seen so far of this “new way” that the disciples of Jesus seem to be following? How is it different than the “old way”? 

9.     In the ESV translation, the header for these 5 verses reads “A Question About Fasting” - Are they really asking about just fasting in this passage?  If we you were to title this section, what would you call it a question about?

10.  How would you paraphrase the big idea of Mark 2:18-22?

How does the text apply?

1.     We are awaiting the return of the bridegroom. How should we be waiting for him? Are we to be fasting? What could that look like today?

2.     Consider fasting every Wednesday until Thanksgiving. It could be a fast from: television, phone, social networking, shopping, amusement or beverages.  What would that look like for you?

3.     How can we, as a Life Group, help ensure that our motivations for the things we do together are always pointing us to God?

 

Discussion Questions for October 28, 2018

Acts 1:8

Share the Treasure: Trust.  Invest.  Share.

Week Three: Share the Treasure.

Review - Invest in Relationships

• What did you realize upon reflection of your relationships? In what ways have you found the investments you’ve made in the past week challenging and/or rewarding?

Opening Question:

• What do you think when you hear the phrase “Share the Treasure”? How does what you think now differ from what you thought before the series?  

Discussion Questions:

1. What have been ways that the treasure has been shared in our lives? How effective were those means in our lives?

2. How would you articulate the way we share the treasure at RCC?

3. If ‘Sharing the Treasure’ was done right or in the most effective way, what would that look like?

4. How equipped do we feel to share that treasure with others?

5. What benefit is there if we share the treasure with others? What liability is there  if we don’t share?

6. Who in your life was instrumental in helping you find the treasure?

7. Who in your life needs to find Jesus as their treasure, and what prevents you from sharing more boldly with them?

 How can we share our stories?

1. Are you comfortable sharing your story and telling people about the impact Jesus has had on your life? What makes it hard to do this?

2. Instead of sharing your story first, have you ever tried asking others about their story?

3. How can you focus on non-confrontational listening and create a safe place for honest two-way sharing?

4. What kinds of questions help people share their story at a deeper level?

5. How can we help each other in this?

 

 

 

 

Discussion Questions for October 21, 2018

Matthew 22:34-40

Share the Treasure: Trust.  Invest.  Share.

Week Two: Share the Treasure.

Review - Trust

1. What stood out to you last week about trusting God? What was your new or renewed awareness of God’s faithfulness?

Opening Questions:

2. How many relationships are you currently invested in?  From old friends, to casual acquaintances, to neighbors and family?

Why Invest in Relationships?

3. In what ways do you see that God has wired us for relationships?   (Gen.1:26-27; 2:18-24)

4. How does Jesus’ summary of the Old Testament laws (Matt.22:34-40) communicate God’s priority for relationships?

5. How does our relationship with God lead us to ‘Share the Treasure’ with others?  

Which Relationships to invest in?

6. Given the number of our relationships, how do we calibrate how much time, energy, and resource investment we give to each relationship? Are we proactive or reactive in that investment? 

7. How might we be more strategic in determining how we invest in our current relationships?

How to invest in Relationships?

8. How does our experience of God meeting our greatest needs change the way we interact in relationships?

9. How can we show genuine interest in people? How do we know that it’s genuine? What if we don’t have a genuine interest in them? What do we do?

10. How do we balance God’s responsibility and our responsibility in this process?

11. What if my family member/friend/neighbor is unreceptive to talking about faith?  

12. Identify a few people you care for deeply who don’t yet treasure Jesus. Set aside specific time to pray for them and ask God to use you. Choose one relationship where you could make a small investment this week and share it with your group.

 

 

Discussion Questions for October 14, 2018

Philippians 3:7-9

Share the Treasure: Trust.  Invest.  Share.

Week One: Trust God.

Opening Question: What does it mean to trust someone or something?  

Trusting Things:

1. What are the things in life that you trust?  Why do you trust them?

2. How many things did you have to trust to get to church/life group? 

3. When do we care about the things we’re trusting?

4. How does it feel when the things we trust reliably meet our needs?

Trusting People:

5. Who are the people in life that you trust?  Why do you trust them?

6. How does it feel to have trustworthy people in your life?

7. How does it feel when the people you trust let you down?

Trusting God:

8. What does it mean to trust God?

9. How has God proved Himself trustworthy?

10. Has it ever felt like God let you down?    

11. What emotions (plural) are associated with trusting God?  What emotions increase, and what emotions decrease as trust grows?

12. Is it fair to say that a life spent trusting God is the best way to live?
Is it the best life for everyone?

Discussion Questions for October 7, 2018

Mark 2:13-17

 Activity: Diagram the scene – who's present?  Levi, Jesus, tax collectors, sinners, scribes (Pharisees), disciples. 

What does the text mean?

1. How would you summarize the major ideas of Mark thus far?

2. Who is Levi? What was his other name? What similarities do you see between Levi’s call and the call of the other four disciples (1:16-20)?

3. Why was Levi a surprising choice for Jesus to call? What does the fact that Jesus called a tax collector as one of His disciples convey about Jesus’ ministry?

4. In the first part of v.15, to whom do the “he” and “his” refer?

5. The dinner guests are described as “tax collectors and sinners.” What does this say about how tax collectors were viewed? Who were the “sinners” Jesus was reclining with?

6. What appears to be Jesus’ view of the dinner guests as compared to the Pharisees’ view? According to v.16, why were the Pharisees so upset about the party?

7. Why do you think the scribes posed their question to the disciples instead of directly to Jesus?

8. In v.17, what does Jesus mean by the “righteous” and “those who are well” and “sinners” and “those who are sick”?

9. Is Jesus saying that there are indeed those who are righteous and not in need of having their sins forgiven? Explain.

10. How would you paraphrase the big idea of Mark 2:13-17?

How does the text apply?

1. Have you ever felt judged by “religious” people? Explain.

2. What does it mean that we are saved by God's grace and how does that apply when
we are relating to other people?

3. How do you balance relating to and loving sinners without validating or condoning
their sin?

4. What does it mean to be a “friend of sinners”? In our culture, who are our “scribes”
and how do we recognize them? Who are the “tax collectors and sinners” that we despise
and ignore?

5. Who is a person in your life that comes to mind that might fit the category of “tax collectors and sinners” according to the definition of the text?

6. What can you do to get out of your comfort zone this week and meet this person where they are at?

Discussion Questions for September 30, 2018

Mark 2:1-12

What does it mean?

1.     In Mark 1, what does Jesus say his main focus is for why he is in the towns?  What seemed to happen in his ministry that prevented this from happening at times?


2.     Why and how is Jesus’ preaching interrupted? How does he react to this interruption?

3.     Why did they go to such great effort for Jesus to see this paralytic?

4.     How do you think the friends and the paralytic feels when Jesus announces: “Son, your sins are forgiven?” How about when Jesus heals him?

5.     Why do you think Jesus only said to the one man that his sins were forgiven instead of to all five?

6.     In your own words, what are the scribes thinking? What is the point of the question Jesus asks in reply?


7.     What does Jesus expect to prove to the scribes by healing the paralyzed man?


8.     How does the paralytic express his faith? How do the people react to his healing?


9.     In the previous passage, Jesus charged the leper to say nothing to anyone.  What is different with the healing of the paralytic?  Why?


10. How would you paraphrase the big idea in your own words?


How does it apply?

1.     To sum up briefly, what have you discovered about Jesus from this story? What impressed you the most, or what did you see for the first time?


2.     How much time do we spend thinking about our physical needs compared to our need for a supernatural work of God to be done in our hearts?


3.     Was there a time when the realization of being forgiven was so incredible that the other needs that were previously important, became less concerning?


4.     How do we help increase this realization of “forgiveness being everything” in our
day-to-day life?

  

Discussion Questions for September 23, 2018

Mark 1:35-45

What does it mean?

1.     How would you summarize Mark 1:1-13? Mark 1:14-34?

2.     In v35, how does Mark transition us to his next idea? Now that we have a change of scene, where does Jesus go?  Why do you think Jesus needed to pray?

3.     In v36, what do you think the disciples implied that Jesus should do? What does it appear they were focusing on?

 

4.     In v35-39, what seems surprising about Jesus’ reaction to his new popularity? What do we see to be Jesus’ priorities?

 

5.     In v40, what might a reader expect to come next, after Jesus declares that he came to preach? How does Jesus combine spiritual healing with all other forms of healing?

 

6.     In v.43, why does Mark tell the readers that Jesus warned the leper “sternly”?  Why did he not want the leper to speak of the miracle?
  

7.     In v.44, why do you think Jesus told the leper to fulfill the requirements of the Law by going to the priest to prove his complete healing?

 

8.     In v.45, why do you think the leper did not do as Jesus asked?

 

9.     How was Jesus’ mission compromised? Explain.

 

10.  How would you paraphrase the big idea of Mark 1:35-45?

 

How does it apply?

1.     What are your biggest needs? List your top five needs.

 

2.     Do you believe that our spiritual need is the biggest need we have?  Explain.

 

3.     Does this discount our physical, emotional, or social needs? Explain.

 

4.     Think of a defining story where you experienced Jesus meeting your spiritual need? Have you ever experienced Jesus meeting any of your other needs? Explain.

 

5.     How could you care for someone’s physical, emotional, or social needs this week as a reflection of your following Jesus’ example?