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INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
In this week’s sermon, Insoo Kim reminded us about the “good news” of the gospel. He challenged four main fears we often have that dissuade us from evangelizing more. The four are: the fear of rejection, failure, messing up the friendship, and not having all the answers. He then laid out important elements that will help direct our relationships – he said love matters, prayer matters, proximity matters, our stories matter, service matters, invitation and availability matter, children matter, risk matters, and the Holy Spirit matters.
In 5 minutes or less, briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
GETTING THE CONVERSATION STARTED
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
•Which fears that were mentioned in this week’s sermon apply to you? How have you dealt with them in the past? Are you encouraged to overcome them after this week’s sermon? Please share briefly.
•Psychologists say that knowing yourself well involves being aware of your motivations. Share briefly what motivates and drives who you are? How might the Holy Spirit want to harness that motivation for the expansion of His Kingdom?
•Can you recall an embarrassing, or funny, conversation you had with someone who you were attempting to share Jesus or just have a deep, spiritual conversation?
Study Summary: Jesus’ Kingdom and Gospel are radical. While amazing and unsurpassable in many ways, at times it involves “unpleasant” and difficult things. What does Jesus say about the call to discipleship and the invitation to join with Him in God’s mission to the world? At Vineyard Columbus, our mission statement says:
To develop a community of passionate, mature, reproducing Christ-centered disciples; to plant passionate, mature, reproducing Christ-centered churches; and to transform the world by love and good deeds, for the glory of God.
At Vineyard we want to be reproducing – imparting God’s life and love to those around us so they in turn can become passionate, mature, and reproducing disciples. This journey begins by our own radical follower-ship of Christ.
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for you to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul? 37 Or what can you give in exchange for your soul? 38 If any of you are ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
•Context: Read 8:27-30 What truth was finally comprehended through Peter’s confession? Who was present? What was Jesus’ response? This experience represents a pivotal shift in the Gospel of Mark – the disciples get it and now Jesus’ zeroes in on his mission. He begins to “speak plainly” (v. 32) rather than in parables.
•Vv 31-32 First of three Passion predictions by Jesus (9:9,12,31; 10:33-34,45). Why did Jesus have to suffer and die – obviously Peter didn’t like it? (Hint – God’s divine plan, Ransom/atonement for all). Have you ever felt like Peter – trying to “convince” God you know better – how did that work for you?
•v. 33 Jesus gives Peter, along with all the disciples, a harsh rebuke. Why, what is Jesus saying? (hint: Peter was suggesting that Jesus reject God’s divine plan, and unwittingly was used by Satan to tempt Jesus). Have you ever experienced the high of a deep or significant encounter with God (Peter v.29) and shortly thereafter the low of a “rebuke” or a rude awakening by God (Peter v.33)? What can we take away from Peter’s experience, or our own?
•vv. 33-34 The phrase “get behind me” and “come after me” is the same Greek phrase. Contrast the two meanings implied by Jesus? (Hint: we can either be a hindrance to God’s plans – serving Satan – we should literally “get out of the way”, or we can follow Jesus, His way, not with the mind of men).
•v.34 Who is the call of discipleship and cross-bearing directed toward? What does it mean “deny yourself”? What does it not mean”? (hint: not asceticism, but our rights and desires – we’re not the boss). What action is Jesus emphasizing in this text? (hint: following him – he says it twice). Describe in your own words?
•Plutarch said “every criminal who is executed carries his own cross” – what is Jesus implying? Would this message have been appealing to 1st century hearers? Why do we often minimize what this passage says? How have you experience this aspect of following Jesus, please share?
•v. 35 This is an important saying to 1st century believer – 4 variations appear in the Gospels (Matt 10:39, Luke 17:33, John 12:55). By “life” what does Jesus mean? For what does Jesus say we should give our life? Have you seen or read about someone, a man or a woman, who lived this paradox? How does your life match up to vs. 35? What might Jesus ask (already asking) you to give up for Him and for his Gospel?
•Vv. 36-37 How does your understanding of Ecclesiastes shed light on this verse? Why is futility embraced as reality by so many? Even by Christians? What does this say to our materialistic era? In what ways has God gifted you to break into to people’s lives with His Truth, His Gospel? Share a recent story of God using you to share the Gospel?
•V. 38. Read Matt. 10:32 and Luke 12:8. Both are positive statements, while v. 38 is a negative statement. Put these verses in your own words? What’s the significance of us being “public” with our faith and relationship with Jesus? Has your relationship with Jesus changed since actively demonstrating God’s love to others and sharing your faith?
Below you’ll see some options for ministry time with your group. We always encourage you to reserve time in your group to pray for one another and wait on the Holy Spirit.
•Pray together as a group regarding how you can be more welcoming of those outside the church.
•I what ways God has gifted your group to meet the needs of your community in order to share God’s love to those outside the Kingdom?
•Are there any fears you feel you need to receive prayer for in order to overcome?
•What relationships do you feel most pressed to go deeper in? Ask the Holy Spirit for insight and wisdom to move forward.
•What does it mean for you to deny yourself and follow Jesus? Is there anything hindering you? Pray together with someone you trust to break through.