(5-10 minutes): Help the members of the group grow in relationships with one another so all people in the group know they matter. Spend some time discovering what is happening in the lives of your group members. Share how God has been revealing himself in each other’s lives.
(15-20 minutes): Use this time to review the passage and the sermon outline (see below).
Note: this is a great opportunity to share leadership.
Use these simple questions to review the sermon/passage or for if you don’t have much time:
1. What does this passage teach you about God? About us?
2. How does this passage point us to the gospel? How does it challenge you? Change you?
Mark 12:28-34. 28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
I. The Significance of the Commandment.
- There is one God and he is revealed through his spoken word.
- The command to love God and others is one law- Love God supremely and love others deeply.
- We struggle to obey because we love other things (our functional idols) more than God.
II. The Purpose of the Commandment.
- Because we can’t trust our own judgment.
- The law was given to help us live loving lives.
III. The Impossibility of the Commandment.
- We cannot live up to God’s high standard.
- Moral rightness and rituals are not enough to make us right with God.
- The Good News is that Jesus obeyed this commandment perfectly and gives his righteousness to us freely by grace through faith.
(45-60 minutes): Use this time to go deeper with your group.
Use these questions to discuss the sermon/passage:
1. As a group what other passages or scriptures can you think of that teach us about the love of God or our love for each other?
2. What makes it hard for you to love God with everything you’ve got? What makes it hard to love others? What are the idols in your life that get in the way of loving God and others?
3. The scribe was “close” to the Kingdom of God because at least he could see that his good deeds could not save him. Why does our moral good deeds and religious rituals fall short of God’s command to love Him and to love others? Are there areas of your life where you are doing the right things but not actually loving God and others?
4. In order to love others our “love tank” must be filled by the love of God. Are you able to receive the love of God? What makes this hard for you? How does Jesus prove the love of God for you?
5. The command to love God and others can be really bad news because we are so bad at it. How does the gospel of Jesus make it so that the commandment to love God and others is no longer bad news but good news? How can you meditate on this good news this week?
6. What can you do as a group to show love to someone this week? Is there a need you can meet?