It is the Jewish festival of Passover and Jesus has come to Jerusalem knowing that by the end of the week he will suffer and die for our sins. It is Holy Week and Jesus is confronting the religious leaders of his day along with their authority. Jesus will declare his own ultimate authority.
3 Simple Questions for individuals and Small Groups:
1. How did the Holy Spirit use this week’s sermon to convict you?
2. How did the Holy Spirit use this week’s sermon to encourage you?
3. What is one thing you will do this week in response to the sermon?
Going Deeper with your group:
Read Mark 11:27- 12:12.
1. In what ways in this passage is Jesus is claiming to have absolute authority? What do you think about authority? Do you have problems with authority?
2. We all want to be the authority in our own lives. Read and discuss this thought from Paul David Tripp:
Every application of that it means to live in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ must be lived out in the context of a great spiritual battle. What is this battle about? It is the great war for the rulership of our hearts. With sin still living inside of us, we are still torn between our love for the claustrophobic little kingdom of self and the grand and glorious purpose of the kingdom of God. We still are tempted to want our own way and to write our own rules. We still tend to value comfort and pleasure more than we love redemption. We are tempted to have more excitement in the things of this world than we do with the reality that we have become the children of God. We still complain when sanctifying trials come our way and we still tend to credit God with faithfulness only when things in our lives seem to be working.
Can you relate to this? In what areas of your life are you still holding on to your own little kingdom authority? What makes it scary to give up authority or control of your own life?
3. Every life has something as its “cornerstone” or foundation. What is at the foundation of your life? What is the thing that if it went away your life would not be worth living?
4. Read 1 Peter 2:4-10. Why does Jesus demand to be our cornerstone? Why CAN he demand to be our cornerstone? If Jesus is the cornerstone, what does that make us?
5. Re-read Mark 11:29-33. The Pharisees would not answer Jesus’ question even though they knew that John was from God. They were controlled by fear of the people rather than by a desire to know the truth.
How is it that demanding our own way, or demanding control, actually steals our freedom? OR to ask it another way- Why is it that anything other than Jesus controlling your life will actually turn you into a slave?
What would you say to someone who says that following Jesus takes away your freedom?
6. The parable Jesus told warned of judgment from God against those who reject Christ’s authority. Does the judgment of God bother you? Why or why not?
Why must we accept a God that judges evil? In what way do God’s justice and love go hand in hand (see Romans 11:22)?
7. Pastor Mark said, “It is good news that God has authority over our lives.” Have you found this to be true in your own life? Why or why not? What area of your life might you submit to Jesus Christ today?
Is there someone you need to forgive?
Is there a possession you can’t let go of?
Is there a relationship you are trying to control?
Is there a call to serve that you are ignoring?
Is there an addiction you refuse to fight?
Is there a success that is making you proud?
Is there a tradition that you fear losing?