When we meet Jesus, we discover He impacts our life completely, inside and out. Once, four men brought a paralysed friend to Jesus on a mat. They were so determined to bring him to Jesus and had faith that Jesus would heal him that they broke in through the roof. They had a radical, almost irrational, commitment to his well-being. Because of the faith, friendship and devotion of these friends, Jesus responded by healing and forgiving the man.
Read Mark 2:1-12. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?
1. Describe a time when someone has “carried your mat.” Describe what was most helpful, their words or their actions.
2. Read 1 Peter 4:8. Love is persistent, intentional and fervent. How do you express this kind of love practically to people in your world?
3. How do you respond to a person who has a disability? How can we meaningfully journey with a person who has a long term condition that continually impacts their life?
4. Every relationship has a cost, physically and emotionally. How do we prioritise which relationships we invest our time into?
5. The four friends went to an extreme effort to bring their friend to Jesus. What are you doing to bring your friends to Jesus?
6. Read Mark 2:5. Jesus saw and acted upon the faith of the friends. How might we demonstrate such a level of faith for the wellbeing of others?
7. Who are the people in your life who may demonstrate an “irrational commitment” to you? Who do you show that kind of commitment to?
The crowd was amazed at Jesus’ authority to heal and forgive and God was honoured as the crowd saw the man walk. All because four friends had faith and carried their friend on a mat to Jesus. Whose “mat” are you carrying? Who is “carrying your mat”? Take a moment to share who these people are in your life. Then take some time together to pray for them. Give God thanks for them. Pray for opportunities to express your love and commitment to them.
In the time of Jesus, walking was the main form of transportation and the dirt roads were shared with people and animals alike. Today when we arrive at a friend’s house, we may remove our shoes as we enter. In Jesus’ time, the lowest house servant would come and wash the road grime and filth off the visitors’ feet. For Jesus to do this to His disciples, He was putting himself in the position of the lowest house servant. Yet He did this as an example for us all.
Read John 13:1-15. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?
1. How does this story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples impact you personally? What can you take and apply from His example?
2. What does the term ‘Servant Leader’ mean to you?
3. Read John 13:6-8. Why did Peter not want Jesus to wash his feet? How would you have responded in the same situation?
4. Why might we resist allowing Jesus to wash us and clean us from areas of sin or hurt in our lives? What are the outcomes of this resistance?
5. We all have “soil” and “stains” in our lives that we need Jesus to wash away. How can we allow Him to do so? What might this look like in a practical sense?
6. In your circle, whose feet can you wash by serving them? Who is close enough to you that you would allow them to “wash your feet”? Why do we often resist allowing others to serve us?
7. Read Matthew 20:25-28. How do you understand this verse? How can you apply this?
Jesus washed the disciples’ feet as a demonstration of servant leadership and to give the disciples an example that they could imitate. This was also a physical demonstration of what He has done for us when we bring our lives to Him and when we allow Him to cleanse us from the dirt and grime of life and sin. Take a moment now to prayerfully ask Jesus if there are any areas of your life that you need him to wash clean? Ask Him now to do so. Take time to pray for each other.