“You keep saying that word…”
I. The BIGGEST of all QUESTIONS. (8:27-30)
A. With Jesus it ALWAYS gets PERSONAL. (8:27-29)
B. The RIGHT answer, but the wrong UNDERSTANDING. (8:29-33)
Today we look at the very heart of the Gospel of Mark. He has been presenting all the stories of Jesus that have confronted the people with the burning question that lies at the centre of his book, “But what about you? Who do you say that I am?”
1. Kid’s Question: If you could ask Jesus any one question, what would it be?
2. When have you had a wrong understanding of God and what His plans were? What happened in that situation?
II. What EXACTLY does Messiah MEAN? (8:31-10:45)
A. Messiah means SELF-DENIAL and SUFFERING. (8:31-38)
B. Messiah means REDEFINING GREATNESS. (9:30-41)
C. Messiah means LEADERSHIP through SERVICE. (10:32-45)
Just like that line from the movie The Princess Bride, Jesus knows that Peter (and maybe the others) think that He is the Messiah, but even though they keep using that word, they don’t know what it means. Repeatedly on the road to Jerusalem, Jesus circles back to helping them understand what it means to be the Messiah.
3. What does self-denial mean? How might it look in our lives today? How can we “practice” it on a regular basis?
4. What does “greatness” look like in the world today? How has the church bought into the world’s conception of that instead of the one taught by Jesus?
5. What would it mean for us to give our lives “as a ransom for many”? Think of specifics.
III. FOLLOWING the MISUNDERSTOOD Messiah. (8:34)
A. A daily SURRENDER of our AGENDA. (8:34-35; Rom. 12:1)
B. An OPENNESS to rethinking our METHODS. (9:32; 10:43-44; Acts 9:3-6)
C. A life ORIENTED around SACRIFICIAL service. (10:42-45; Phil. 2:5-8)
D. Living with the HOPE of the RESURRECTION. (8:31; 9:31; 10:34; Rev.21:3-5)
I started by saying that with Jesus it always gets personal. And it does. What does it mean for you and me to fully understand what “Messiah” means and then to follow as the Messiah leads? It’s an enormous calling, and one which we often misunderstand, but it’s empowered by the presence of God’s Spirit within us and inspired by the final hope of the resurrection.
6. How can you best identify your own “agenda” as you seek to surrender it to Jesus? What role do other believers play in that process?
7. List five contrasts between the methods the world utilizes and the methods of Jesus when it comes to bringing about change. Which of these are the most tempting for you to use?
8. In your own words, what does the “Hope of the Resurrection” mean?