Welcome to week four of our fall sermon series called A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus. This week’s conversation revolves around the tough question Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Join us as we look at what it means that Jesus is the Christ and the four challenges that follow.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
Who was one of your favorite childhood heroes?
How can your group be praying for you? Has there been anything in this series that has been particularly stirring in your heart where others can support you?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Work together to take turns reading through Mark 8:27-36 aloud. Jesus and his disciples find themselves on the way to one of the largest Roman cities in Israel. What was the big conversation going on?
Jesus Challenges Our Faith
Look back at Mark 8:28. Who did people think or hope Jesus was? What was significant about those people?
The Messiah, or Christ, was a loaded term. What did people think he would do?
Jesus changes from a general, cultural question, “Who do people say that I am?” to one that takes on a personal twist. He turns to ask Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Why was this significant?
Jesus is interested in what every one of us thinks about who he is. How is the question, “Who do you say that I am?” still major for us today? Why is it important that we make a decision as to who Jesus is?
The Bible should set our expectations of Jesus. Why is it important that we have biblical expectations for Jesus rather than our own personal expectations or agendas?
Jesus Challenges Our Expectations
Peter had some wrong expectations of Jesus that needed correcting. Why did Jesus pull Peter aside? Was this correction necessary for Peter to follow Him?
How might Jesus challenge people’s direction today? When have you felt like he challenged yours?
Jesus Challenges Our Priorities
The Jewish community thought the Messiah would come to get rid of Rome. What does Jesus end up doing for Romans (and all people) instead?
Peter and the disciples were focused on themselves. How did Jesus, inviting all people to him, challenge their priorities?
Jesus invites us to something bigger, better and more meaningful. What would it look like to invite God into your life to pursue his priorities?
Jesus essentially tells people that they are to put down their swords and pick up their cross. What did this mean to their culture? How would this shock them?
We don’t use crosses today the same way they did. What does it mean for us to pick up our cross and let Jesus be in the drivers’ seat?
Serving and suffering can challenge our priorities. How does serving others remind us “it’s not about me, it’s not about me?”
Jesus Challenges Everything
What does Jesus say about gaining the whole world? What do you think Jesus means by “forfeit their soul” in Mark 8:36? Do you think people are more concerned about their soul or gaining the whole world?
When have you been in a situation when you had to give up control? What was that like? How can you make a conscious choice to surrender control to God in your life where you may be holding back?
Jesus asked his followers a pointed question that he asks us today. Do you need to make a decision to give up control and declare Jesus as your Savior and Lord?
This week’s conversation was about ways Jesus challenges us. Where do you think he is challenging you today? What’s one tangible thing you can do this week to grow in that area?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
This September, you have been encouraged to ask the question “Who needs what we have?” Think of who you know that could benefit from being in your group. Come up with a plan to invite them to your group or a social gathering.
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