Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. A big "Thank you!" to RJ McCauley from Magnolia Church in Riverside for preaching this week and writing these questions for us. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.
Small Group Questions ::: The Cross Before Me, The Cross Behind Me ::: Mark 1:16-45
The Gospel of Mark is fast paced and full of action. It was written by John-Mark who witnessed all of the action in the book of Acts and through his cousin Barnabas, the Apostle Paul, and his close friend Peter. He writes his gospel in such a way that it calls true followers to radical discipleship. This gospel narrative hinges on the key passage in the middle of the book (see Mark 8:34-38). It’s all moving towards the cross. It’s all focused on the cross. It’s all about the cross. Too many go to the cross, but only a few get on the cross. As Christians, we are called to deny yourself, pick up the cross, and follow Christ. True followers of Jesus are actively sharing their faith and serving the people. In fact, it’s no surprise why Jesus performed these great works in Mark 1:16-45. He had a vision and lived it out. The cross was before him, and it motivated him to accomplish his purpose. After he accomplished it, the cross was behind him and it was finished.
1) Take a moment and read through Mark 1:16-45 to see the work of God that was being done through Jesus. Are you actively engaging in the work of God in your city?
2) If you are a Christian, you are called to be a fisher of men (Mark 1:16-20). This means you should be catching people with the good news. Therefore, have you been sharing your faith and leading people to salvation? If you have not been fishing, where should you begin?
3) Jesus demonstrates how he has authority over darkness and evil (Mark 1:21-34). Where do you need to take the gospel where the light of Jesus does not shine in Ventura?
4) The strength of Jesus’ ministry was based on the depth of his prayer time (Mark 1:35-39). When was the last time you got away from the busy world to just pray for several hours in a deserted place like Jesus did?
5) Take a moment and pray like Jesus did in a quiet place (Mark 1:35). Jesus most likely prayed for his mission, his followers, and himself. First, pray for God’s mission to be fulfilled in your life. Second, pray for those who need Christ. Third, pray for your personal walk with God. Do the same and in that order (see an example in Matthew 6:9-15).
6) There are many healings done by Jesus throughout the Gospel of Mark. The healings proved that he was the Son of God and the Son of Man from the Old Testament. When he did these healings, it was always to fulfill the Scriptures (see Leviticus 13-14; Luke 17:11-19). Why is it significant that Jesus healed a leper (Mark 1:40-45)?
7) After Jesus called his disciples, they followed him. After Jesus healed and delivered people from darkness and evil, they followed him. After Jesus prayed, they followed him. After Jesus restored a leper to full health, they followed him. Jesus lived with action. The cross was before him and behind him. His life was all about the cross. How can you keep the cross at the center of everything you do so people will follow him?