- 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?
Here is the sermon, in case you missed it: Your Choice
1. Read through the ‘Good shepherd passage’ John 10: 7-18. As a group discuss the passage, unpicking the various aspects i.e. who are the sheep, who is the hired man etc. etc.
2. Sunday’s message focused on verse 10. What is this ‘rich and satisfying life’ that Jesus talks about? How might Christians be missing out on experiencing this life in the present?
3. The Gospel message is more than ‘God is Love’ – Discuss.
4. People need to hear the Gospel. A) how can we as individuals tell them? B) how as a church can we encourage and enable each other to share that Good News.
5. Spend some time in prayer thanking God for those who visited on Sunday and also praying for those individuals.
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?
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?
“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.
“But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness.”
Have you ever noticed, that the people of Israel often remembered what they should have forgotten and forgot what they should have remembered…
Here the psalmist is reminding Israel that they are chosen by God, that they were rescued by God in the most incredible way, that God set his own mark upon His flock, by the blood of the Lamb sprinkled on their door-posts; and He led them through their enemies streets, across enemy territory, through the sea which separated before them, and on into a new land, again protecting them though they grumbled. But, as we know through scripture, the people rebelled against God…. Time after time they wanted to be their own shepherd and time after time the enemy attacked until they cried out again to the one and only Good Shepherd.
We might read through the Old Testament and think why ever didn’t they learn to trust God; we might do that, but then we might also compare the ancient Israelites to ourselves…
Christian people are God’s chosen ones too, not replacing Israel, but grafted into that great vine of Israel, and as people living after Christ, with the whole revelation of God in His bible and the blessing of Him dwelling in us as His temples filled by His Spirit, we might do well to remember as the Psalmist reminds us that we too were rescued by God in the most incredible way. God set his own mark upon His flock, by the blood of the Lamb, and He leads us through enemy territory, and will lead us into that New Heaven and New Earth, again protecting us all the way.
So Christian, today, might you find yourself grumbling, wanting to know the way, but unwilling to follow the one who loves to lead you? Might we find the enemy territory we’re wandering through just a bit hard going? Might we seek for ourselves a cross to carry that is easier and more convenient, might we look for our own paths to follow father than take the narrow path with Him?
Today why not use this verse to remind you what an amazing shepherd we have, and seek His leading, His will for your life and the life of your church. Then be radical, be really radical! Obey Him, continue to listen and stay close to your Lord step by step.
Sometimes we can get things wrong, can’t we? Maybe we make bad choices instead of good choices?
If you have something to say sorry to Jesus for today, why not have a quiet time just like Snoopy and ask Jesus to help us say sorry and make better choices next time?