Over the next eight weeks we will be journeying through the first eight chapters of the Gospel of Mark, looking at the ‘words, works and ways’ of Jesus. The words of Jesus are rendered in red letters in some editions of the Gospels; the works of Jesus are the many miracles, teachings and interactions with people that Jesus had in his time on earth; the ways of Jesus are the principles and patterns that Jesus lived out and which He calls His disciples to imitate and follow.
Read Mark 1:1-11
- Jesus’ identity was secure. We are called to have our identity in Jesus. What does this mean to you? What might this look like?
- Where else may we seek to find our identity if not in Jesus?
- Jesus was led and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:10-12). What do we need to do to follow this example?
- Jesus intentionally and actively engaged with the brokenness around him. How can we also do this? What might this look like for you personally?
- What are some of the patterns and practices of Jesus that we can imitate?
- How might we know whether we are following the ways of Jesus or living our lives our own way? What might need to change for you?
- Jesus’ core strategy centred around making disciples. What does this mean for the way you live?
Over the next eight weeks we encourage you to read through the first eight chapters of the Gospel of Mark individually and as a group. Begin by reading and re-reading chapter 1 of Mark this week. Go through it slowly numerous times and ask these two questions: What is God saying to me? What am I going to do about that? As a Life Group, commit to do this and to keep each other accountable for this during the week.
Part 1 – Read Mark 1 (several times)
Jesus was not afraid to associate himself with and eat with those on the edges of society. Among the marginalised – tax collectors, lepers, prostitutes and others – Jesus found people with hearts that were open and willing to hear the good news of the Gospel.
Read Mark 2:13-17
- Jesus broke down many cultural barriers in his time. What were some of the ways that he did this?
- Why might Jesus have taken this approach to his ministry? Why might the Pharisees have rejected his approach?
- What are some examples where Jesus defied community expectations to show his love to others?
- Read Mark 2:15. Many whom were attracted to Jesus were seen as sinners by the community of the day. What was it about Jesus that attracted sinners? Might such people be attracted or repelled by his followers today? Why might this be the case?
- Jesus was willing to invest time with those rejected by others. What can we learn from this?
- There is something powerful about sitting down to eat a meal with others. Why is this? How can we use this insight to help us share with others?
- Read 2:17. How might we need to hear these words of Jesus today?
- What might we need to change in order for others to see Jesus in us?
There is a risk that once we have been a follower of Jesus for a period of time, many of our friends and associates tend to be from within the church. We have to be intentional about utilising our connections (at work, at the gym, in social clubs, in our wider families, through parenting connections, etc.) to stay connected with those who do not yet know Jesus. Who is one person who is already in your life that you can be more intentional about sharing with and perhaps inviting for a meal? Make a commitment to follow through this week.
Week 2 – Read and reread Mark 2