- 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.
If you missed the sermon, you can pick it up here: It started with a kiss….
- Read the passage: Mark makes a point of translating the Hebrew word Abba, to ensure everyone knows what this word means – why is it a significant word and what does it tell us about the kind of relationship God wants to have with us?
- Discuss and work out what we can learn from:
- the words of Jesus prayer – what exactly did Jesus mean?
- why did the disciples keep sleeping?
- why did Jesus pray the same things more than once?
- What if anything surprises you about Jesus arrest?
- If Peter was willing to draw a sword and fight, what made all the disciples run away?
- What can we learn from this passage for our lives in the here and now in Ely?
If you missed the sermon, you can pick it up here: Don’t Argue With God!
- What was different about the Passover meal at the ‘last supper’?
- As they finished the meal they sang from Psalms 115-118. Take a look at those psalms and pick out anything particularly that might have been poignant for Jesus (knowing He was going to the cross within hours)
- We spent a good amount of time looking at Peter’s argument with Jesus about the fact he would deny Jesus. discuss why Peter became so forceful in his argument.
- How might we argue with God, bargain with Him, or claim to know better than Him.
- Why, when and how might we ever refuse to accept what the Lord is teaching us?
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.
This week’s study is based on the sermon Might you be suffering from IF…itis? and Mark 9:1-29.
- What was going on before the “Jesus went on to say” in verse1?
- What did it mean Jesus was transformed? What was the point of it?
- Moses and Elijah turn up… Why?
- What’s with the talking cloud?
- What was the problem with the boy in verse 17?
- Would the boy have been free of the demon if these disciples had prayed about it?
- What’s the only way to never be disappointed in yourself?
This study is based on the above passage and you may find it helpful to listen to the accompanying sermon: Three Steps…
- Take a few minutes to recap on what has been going on since Mark 7:1.
- Discuss the healing of the blind man: what was unusual, what was similar to other healings, as well as the man being healed what was going on here?
- What do you know about Caesarea Philippi and the journey?
- Why do you think the disciples got the right answer about who Jesus is, and what was wrong about their ideas as to what that would mean for Him (and them)?
- Discuss Peter’s response to Jesus talking about the cross – what might we learn?
- There are three steps to following Jesus – discuss the difficulties we face in following them and how we can encourage, challenge and help each other along in our following Him together.
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 🙂