Every now and then, in this crazy society we live, I think we need reminding of this:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
This study is based on Mark 2:13-28. The sermon can be downloaded here: Sinners called to be Saints
- Why was Levi being called by Jesus such a big deal?
- What can we learn from all of the different characters (and their responses) mentioned in the account of Levi’s calling (verses 13 – 17).
- Should Christians fast? explain the various answers.
- What was wrong with the Pharisees approach to the Sabbath?
- What can we learn from this, with respect to the way we spend our Sundays?
- Spend some time in prayer for each other and the wider church, asking the Lord to have His way in our church life and our personal lives.
A study based on the sermon: Called to bring the roof down!
- In verse 1 it says Jesus came home, but Jesus home was in Nazareth; why does Mark say this?
- Verse 2: What was Jesus preaching to the people? What should we preach to people and what happens if we preach something different?
- Verses 3&4: discuss the faith these men had and the effect their faith had on the different people around i.e. the paralysed man, Jesus, the four friends, the religious leaders, others in the house.
- How should this impact our own faith and our own approach to bringing people to Jesus?
- Verse 5: Jesus forgives the man’s sin – what does that mean?
- Verses 6-12: Jesus proves His authority, what do His words and actions prove? How should that impact our lives?
A Study on Mark 1:21-45 based on the sermon: Authority!
- Imagine the scene in the in the Synagogue as Jesus joins the regular crowd. What was different about the way He taught?
- Discuss Demons, being possessed and what that means. Are Christians possessed? Discuss your answers.
- Why don’t we hear of people being possessed today?
- We see Jesus healing many people. Does He still heal today? If so why isn’t everyone healed?
- Talk through the lepers request, Jesus response and the Lepers response to being healed.
If you missed the sermon, here’s the link: Don’t Mend Your Nets!
Reading Mark 1:1-20.
- What do we know about Mark, who was he, why was he writing and who to, when was he writing?
- What was John the Baptist doing and why? Discuss what it must have been like to have been around with him?
- Why was Jesus baptised? Discussed what happened when He was.
- Mark hardly mentions the temptations, but He mentions enough to tell us the important facts – what are they and what difference does it make to our understanding of Jesus?
- What does it mean to follow Jesus, and what might be stopping us from following Him more obediently (what kind of nets might we be mending?)
A Study based on our verses for the year (Hebrews 10:23-25) and this Sermon: Your Church Needs You!
- Take the passage and use it as a ‘sounding board’ to answer the following:
- What is Christian hope and how does it differ from the way hope is often used?
- The passage doesn’t talk about us doing what we want or getting what we want but focuses on other brothers and sisters in our church, why is that and what difference should that make to the way we relate to each other as a church?
- Sometimes we get restless as individuals and decide that we want something else, maybe a different style or more going on, a bigger church or a smaller church. Why is acting on what we want almost certainly the wrong thing? (if there are any brave characters in the group they might share about past occasions when they have left churches for personal preference rather than because they were called for a purpose);
- How can we motivate, encourage, and provoke (in a positive way) one another? And how might we demotivate, discourage and provoke (in a negative way) one another?
- Should we expect Christ’s return soon?
A study based on the sermon Is There Grass On Your Path?
- In the sermon we looked briefly at the following scriptures: James 4:1-2, Isaiah 59:1-2, 2 Chronicles 16:9a. Which other verses on prayer come to mind, when thinking about our need and reluctance to pray.
- Take the 5 sermon headings and talk through practical applications which we could commit to taking on board (individually and as a church). The headings were:
- We crowd out prayer with other things
- Sin separates
- We don’t see prayer as a relationship thing
- We don’t appreciate the massive importance of the facts that prayer prepares us for spiritual warfare. And prayer is spiritual warfare.
- We think we can handle things ourselves
- Spend some time praying for each other.
A study on Nahum Chapter 1.
This study is based on the sermon: Is God Really Jealous?
- How familiar are the group with this book? Why do you think that is?
- What are the first thoughts you have on reading the first six verses?
- Describe what it means to be jealous?
- How is God jealous?
- Jonah had been used by God to convert the whole of Nineveh, a few hundred years later and there are few believer left. What can we learn from this as we look at our own society?
- In which ways is this chapter comforting to believers?
A study on the sermon: Hunted down Chapter 2 of Zephaniah
- Discuss the first three verses of the chapter, specifically look at and talk through the following phrases – how might they apply to us today?:
- verse 1 “Gather together—yes, gather together…”
- verse 2 “the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger”
- verse 3 “Seek the Lord”,
- Verse 3 all who are humble, and follow his commands.
- Verse 3 “Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you
- Take the rest of the chapter and look at the individual ‘judgement oracles’, consider:
- the different directions mentioned,
- the sins mentioned
- the warnings given
- which of the prophecies were fulfilled and which are yet to come
- does any of this passage equate with what’s going on in the Middle East today?