Manage episode 346276462 series 3023894
SCRIPTURE:Mark 14 & 15
“Our whole calling flows from surrendering to Jesus’s incredible love for us, from first allowing him to reach us. When we do that, we experience a kind of death–of our rebellion, of our willfulness–but on the other side of it, at ‘12:01’, we believe that new life begins. Our challenge when we read this gospel is the same as the challenge facing those first listeners: can we find courage not to fight this kind of total surrender, but to face it? Are we willing to lose?”
Take some time to reflect on the series so far: what stands out to you in our study of Mark’s gospel? What kind of a king is Mark revealing Jesus to be? Where might you find hope or wonder in this?
The starting point for this week’s sermon was a question: why does Mark spend so much time on Jesus’s death and so little time (if any!) on his resurrection? What is your initial response to this?
Kenny framed the sermon as an “investigation” following three clues or leads about Mark’s initial audience: Christians facing persecution in Rome. The first was that they were a community facing persecution. How does the “passion narrative” in Mark 14 speak to people in this predicament? Where might they find hope or comfort?
The second “lead” was a reminder that Mark’s audience was a community that had lost its leaders. How does the possibility of Peter’s recent execution in Rome reshape what we see in Mark’s gospel? What is Mark trying to show Roman Christians about their leader/hero?
The third “lead” was a connection between Jesus’s death and the (un)likelihood of rescue for Mark’s readers. How does Mark’s framing of Jesus’s death offer any reassurance or hope at all?
Kenny said the “ extremity of Jesus’s suffering demonstrates the scope of God’s power… it [also] demonstrates the scope of God’s empathy, of His compassion, of His love.” Talk through this idea: what does it mean? What challenges you here?
The final challenge for us, as we read Mark’s gospel, is to choose total surrender. What do you think this means? Why is it important? How in the world can this be “hopeful”?!