- How do you feel about the seeming choice of endings shown in most English Bibles?
- What do you feel was the main thrust of theses verses (you can disagree with the preacher! – Just discuss why if you do)?
- As a group, as you move through this passage, try and explain to each other what each of the scenes looks like, how individuals might feel etc.
- What questions do you have about what was going on? As a group try and answer those questions from the bible.
- Why was Jesus so concerned about the disciples’ lack of trust… How might we find ourselves lacking in trust, and what is the effect?
Reading: Mark 15: 40-47
Sermon: Christ was buried…
- Read through all the gospel accounts for Christ’s burial; what do we learn about Joseph of Arimathea from these various accounts?
- What is important about Christ’s burial, the tomb, the aloes and Myrrh?
- Discuss which OT prophecies were fulfilled by Christ’s burial?
- What can we apply from this passage for our own lives (consider the two headings for service used in the sermon alongside any other areas which might come through).
- Pray for each other as a group especially that we will be challenged to respond more and more to Christ’s incredible love for us, that we may be better at recognising the gifts we have and be willing to use those gifts for His service.
If you missed the sermon on Mark 15:22-39, here it is: A Gamers view of the crucifixion (or looking out with Jesus)
- Discuss the different people who were present at the crucifixion – what were they doing there, what motives might they have had, how did they respond on the day?
- Discuss your reaction to the crucifixion (look at all the gospel accounts and Psalm 22).
- In the sermon it was suggested that the crucifixion requires a response? Does it? If so, what is your response?
- We were challenged earlier in the service to encourage eachother with scriptures which have been helpful to us this year. Spend some time as a group doing this and consider learning a new scripture, together, each week.
This study is based on the sermon: Two Ordinary People
- Passover is an important part of the Jewish year – in which ways is it a reminder of history and how is it also prophetic;
- In the sermon we looked at Mary’s ‘act of worship’ we had three headings to consider, what were they? Talk them through as a group. In which ways do these challenge you?
- In the sermon we also looked at Judas’s ‘act of betrayal’. How could the other disciples not have known?
- Judas could have repented even after the accusation in verse 18. Discuss…
- Judas’ act was foreknown and even foreordained (cf. Psalm 41:9). Nevertheless, Judas was responsible for his decisions. Discuss.
The sermon this week can be found here: Watch out…. FOR HIM!
- The ‘Olivet Discourse’ has been a challenging passage for the preachers – how has it been for you; i.e. have you learnt anything new, disagreed with anything you have heard? been confused or surprised by anything? Talk these things through as a group.
- Read Mark 13:21-37.
- Watching out for deception has been mentioned a lot, in which ways might we or others be deceived.
- The sermon ended with three points of application. Discuss what they were and how as a group and as a church we might help each other with these?
- In which other ways should we apply this passage?
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Isn’t this a great question? I wonder which disciple it was who asked…
Yes a great question followed by a famous answer. An answer which provides Jesus’ framework to help us with prayer. But there is something in this request and answer that we can easily sidestep, or overlook – both the question and the answer make an assumption that we will pray. You see The disciples are eager to pray (“Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”) and Jesus is eager to help them, as we find out if we read on (Luke 11:2-11).
A regular question in churches today is “how can I get better a praying?” It’s a great question and rightly Pastors across the world will turn up many passages of scripture to encourage us, to lead us, to remind us and be examples to us. God has provided all of this, but, as with all of the Bible, to profit from what we read we need at have hearts that are eager to understand, and get busy with what we learn – in short, the way to learn about prayer is to pray – do just what this disciple did, ask Jesus and be willing to respond to the answer.
Here are a few more pointers about prayer:
- Remember that ike everything we do well in our lives, we need to practice prayer.
- Use the framework set by Jesus for a start, or find one of the psalms that fits the need and pray it relating it to your circumstances.
- Make prayer a habit every day.
- Find a time and a space where you can focus.
- Expect to find prayer rewarding.
- Expect to find prayer hard work at times.
- Expect to God to respond, and watch out for those answers.
- Expect to be challenged by God.
- Expect to be Encouraged by God.
Direct communication with the Living God! Why wouldn’t we want to pray?
Children’s Prayer Activity
Adoring God – When you’re saying your prayers to day think of as many things as possible you really love and thank God for them, and remember too to tell God how much you love Him 🙂
“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”
The importance of sharing the truth of God with the next generation was made clear to Israel. Were we inspired to write these words today, we would have no doubt written them in CAPITALS, underlined and bold. Look at the urgency in this verse – watch out!
As that need was urgent in Old Testament days, it is urgent now. Israel was (and is!) surrounded by hostile and ungodly nations, and hostile and ungodly influences were bombarding them from the world around them. Today the church is bombarded by the same influences – God is a God of love and justice: He knows very well the temptations that will come to water down His word to be ‘more palatable’ to those around who want to continue living rebellious lives, He knows of the lies the enemy will weave to lure future generations to step away from the truth of His word, a little here and a little there… He knows that without good examples, without lives lived showing His Grace and Mercy in action, without firm discipline and full love, children will be left to wander away from Him.
Today, let us give thanks to The Lord for our church family, and lift the children entrusted to us to Him in prayer, and let us, as a church family, recommit ourselves to Him, asking Him to help us to be sure to share His word, show His love, and teach of His righteousness and justice. We must too give thanks for our human families, pray for marriages and relationships within our church, and ask Him to enrich us by His Spirit as we seek to live obediently by His grace, showing Him in our lives to this generation and the next.
Children’s Prayer Activity
Thank God for the family you are part of and for your church family. Why not draw a
picture/take a photo of your family and use it as you pray to God today.
“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Christian people ARE filled by The Holy Spirit of God; we are filled for many different purposes, and to fulfil many different needs.
Some of those needs will be personal, in that we have our needs met and our lives changed, bit by bit, as He works in our lives to sanctify us (that is to make us more and more like Christ). But here we also see that as He comes to live in our hearts we will, as a matter of course, become His witnesses; we will become people who have His grace, compassion, wisdom, and power to share that Gospel truth. Yes, to share that truth where we are and wherever He will lead us, even to “the ends of the earth”!
Today then, let us welcome afresh the truth of these words and the impact of them on our lives, and let us give ourselves over to His filling, and as we do so recommit ourselves where we are, and also recommit ourselves in prayer for others where they are, be it in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria or to the ends of the earth…
Children’s Prayer Activity
Today use a ball inside or outside. Each time you catch or kick it remember that without the air inside it wouldn’t work well, and that unless we have God in our hearts we don’t work well either!
Some questions based on Mark 6:33-52; if you missed the sermon you can hear it here: I Believe in Miracles
- Discuss our reactions to living the Christian life and being called to give of our time and energy when we’re feeling we’d like to rest or at least slow down a bit.
- What is the purpose of miracles?
- Do miracles still happen?
- Talk thorough the two miracles, what were the lessons for the disciples and what might we take away from them and apply to our lives?
- Spend some time talking about Jesus’ example to us in prayer and what we can learn from Him.
This study is based on the sermon The Death of A Conscience.
- Mark 6: 14-16 Discuss who the people were thinking Jesus was; what was the reason for each and why were they wrong?
- Mark 6:17-29 Talk through this glimpse of Herod’s life – at each twist and turn discuss the positives and negatives and look at how we might learn from this account.
- What is a conscience?
- How might our consciences become dull, damaged, and dead?
- Which ways can we keep our consciences in ‘tip-top’ condition?