Community Group Leader’s Guide
For the week of February 24, 2019
- Complete study guide and pray for your group before they arrive
- Have refreshments available
GOALS FOR THE EVENING
- Pray as a group for your assigned VBS kids
Submit your group’s attendance online through your email you receive at the conclusion of your meeting.
1. If we polled two good friends from your early teen years, what adjective would they use to describe you?
2. Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there a particular point, verse or comment that caught your attention, challenged you or raised a question?
After reading the passage, discuss the following questions.
Mark 8:27-30 New International Version (NIV)
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
1. The disciples had several opinions of who the crowd believed Jesus to be. How does our world view Jesus today?
(At the time, there was much political and national unrest so people that thought Jesus was John the Baptist obviously didn’t know he had already been beheaded. Both John and Elijah were national reformers who stood up to the corrupt rulers of the day and were hoping that maybe Jesus would be the political messiah who would overthrow the corrupt powers in Israel.
Today, most religions have a “piece of Jesus” in their belief system. Muslims accept that Jesus was a servant, teacher, and lover of God’s Word, they do not believe that he was divine or the son of God. In Buddhism, Jesus is seen as an Enlightened Individual. Mormons believe he was a prophet. Hindus believe in all gods. Judaism rejects Jesus as anything but a liar.)
2. Why do you think Jesus asked the disciples specifically “who do you think I am?”
(Your confession concerning Jesus Christ is a matter of life or death. The only confession that saves us is “Jesus is Lord!” [1 Corinthians 12:1-3] when that confessions comes rom a heart that truly believes in Him [Romans 10:9-10])
Mark 8:31-9:1 New International Version (NIV)
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
9:1 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
3. Jesus called these men to follow Him, and they knew that whatever happened to Him could happen to them. What activities and attitudes are at the heart of Christian discipleship? How does a Christian forfeit his life?
(There is a cost to discipleship. We must surrender ourselves completely to Jesus; we must identify with Him in suffering and death; and we must follow Him obediently, wherever He leads.)
4. The motivation for true discipleship is “for my sake and the gospel’s” (Mark 8:35) To lose yourself is not an act of desperation; it is an act of devotion in both personal and practical duty. In what area does verse 34 strike home to you now that you recognize Jesus as your Messiah? (If you do not recognize Jesus as your Messiah, who do you recognize him to be?) How does verse 36 influence the way you make priorities?
(If we live for ourselves, we will lose ourselves, but if we lose ourselves for His sake and the gospel’s, we will find ourselves. From the divine perspective we find ourselves through becoming more like our Lord and this brings out our own unique individuality.)
5. Is there any reward for the person who is a true disciple? If so, what?
(Discipleship is a matter of profit and loss, a question of whether we will waste our lives or invest our lives. Note the severe warning Jesus gives us here; once we have spent our lives, we cannot buy them back! Jesus was not telling his disciples how to be saved, they already believed he was the Messiah. The reward is becoming more like Jesus and one day sharing in His glory! He will one day acknowledge us and share His glory with us.)
TAKING IT HOME
- What does it specifically mean to you to:
- deny yourself
- take up your cross daily
- follow Christ
- lose your life
2. Knowing what you do now, how can the group pray for your commitment to Christ?