Mark 8-14

Jesus’ followers now believe Jesus is the chosen one of God who has come to take away the sins of the world. You
might expect there to be a big celebration following Peter’s confession. Instead there is great distress.

God’s Way or Our Way? (Read Mark 8:31-33)

What does Jesus predict in these verses?
Why do you think Peter was so upset over Jesus’ statement?
Jesus calls Peter Satan…satan is the Greek word for someone who stands in your way (as well as a word for the
devil). Jesus was not saying Peter was actually the devil. Jesus was saying that as long as Peter wanted to stop (Mark
says “rebuke”) Jesus from what he had to do that Peter stood opposed to God’s mission.
What does Jesus say about Peter’s priorities?
The world sees things a certain way but Jesus calls us to see things differently. The world would say if Jesus has all this
power and authority he should just take over the world, call 10,000 angels and use his power to destroy everything
evil. That is not the way Jesus does things. Instead, he gives us an insight into how we can see things the way God sees
God’s way may not always make sense to us. We may even resist it. Since God knows all things and wants the best for
us, the Bible teaches us that we are to trust his way is right even when we don’t understand it (Isa 55:9, 1 Cor 1:25).
What makes that kind of trust difficult?

The Cost of Following Jesus (Read Mark 8:34-38)

What does Jesus say is necessary if we are going to follow him?
It is impossible to put yourself first and follow Jesus with all your heart. Either “self” is Lord and master of your life or
Jesus is Lord and master of your life. It cannot be both. The next thing Jesus says is a little mysterious. He says if you
go out of your way to save your own life and ways of doing things you will lose it all but…if you lose your life to Jesus
the result will be the saving of your life.
How does that work? Here is the secret. As long as we hold on tight to the control of our own life and choices, we will
always make poor decisions because God (our creator) is not involved in our choices and direction. However, if we give
up control of our life and give it over to Jesus he will save us and make our lives into who God wants us to be.
What does the world say makes life fulfilling?
How is that backwards from what Jesus is saying here?
Does the world’s idea of a good life actually lead to lasting fulfillment?

Who is the Greatest? (Read Mark 9:33-35)

The disciples weren’t perfect. They were human just like the rest of us. It is hard to imagine how awkward they felt
when Jesus asked them what they had been arguing about. Wasn’t it obvious at this point who was greatest? Maybe
Peter bragged that he had cast out more demons or John thought he was a shoe-in because he had healed more
people. We just don’t know. What we do know is Jesus used this as a teachable moment to teach them something
about greatness.
How does Jesus say someone becomes first?
How do you put yourself last and others ahead of yourself?
Why is that great in God’s eyes when people put themselves last?
Why is it hard to put yourself last?
The world tells us that every single one of us deserves to be first. Jesus says that we shouldn’t see ourselves through
the lens of pride and arrogance. That doesn’t mean we lack value in God’s sight. It means we recognize that everyone
around us has just as much value to God as we do.

Obstacles to Following Jesus (Read Mark 10:17-23)

This man wanted to follow Jesus but not badly enough. What did Jesus ask him to do?
Jesus is not asking that every single person sell everything in order to follow him. Jesus was testing his heart. Jesus
knew what was most valuable to him and was asking to see if he would give that up as well. That doesn’t mean
having money is wrong or being wealthy is evil. It does raise the question of who or what comes first in your life?
The question for us is this, are there things in your heart that won’t allow Jesus to fit too? Some things are just not
compatible with a life that is set on following Jesus. If so, are you willing to let those things go in order to follow Christ?
If not, what is so important about those things that they are worth dying for?

On to Jerusalem (Read Mark 11:10-18)

In these last chapters of Mark, Jesus and his disciples are on their way to Jerusalem. Jesus has predicted that is where
he would suffer, die, and rise again (Mark 8:31 & 10:33-34). In Mark 11 Jesus enters Jerusalem in a triumphant
procession of celebration but the party doesn’t last. There is immediate opposition to Jesus mission that will end in his
trial and crucifixion.
Jesus enters the temple of God and is disturbed by what he sees. Instead of pure worship he finds people who have
turned it into a way to make money. Jesus gets angry and runs the money changers out.
What was the reaction of the chief priestsand teachers of the Law?
You would think the religious authorities would be happy that Jesus had come to bring true worship back to God but
they weren’t. Jesus was upsetting their system and turning the attention and glory away from them and giving all the
glory to God. It didn’t make them happy.
So they begin to question Jesus. Read Mark 11:27-33
Jesus wasn’t well liked by the religious leaders and they challenged him because they felt threatened by him and his
ability to do things they could not. Sometimes religion can get in the way of authentic and genuine relationship with
How have you seen religion become an obstacle to a real relationship with God?
What question do they ask Jesus about his authority?
What do you think is the answer to their question?
Why don’t you think Jesus gave them the answer?
Jesus’ point wasn’t about the question. Jesus answered their question with a question of his own because Jesus
wanted to point out their own unwillingness to believe. Jesus had a way of getting right to the heart of the matter. He
had a way of bringing out the truth.
If Jesus were here today, how would he bring out the truth in your life? Has anything stood out in your life that needs to be
examined in a careful, respectful and loving way?

The Last Supper (Read Mark 14:12-25)

When it was time for Passoverpeople would make their journey to Jerusalem to celebrate. Jesus celebrates the
Passover with his disciples but this won’t be an ordinary Passover. Jesus is going to let them in on some important
information to prepare them for what is about to happen.
What is the first surprising thing Jesus tells them (14:18)?
Jesus was talking about Judas who would betray him.
Next, Jesus takes the traditional Passover meal and uses it to teach about himself and the new covenantGod was
making with mankind.
What two things does Jesus give to his disciples and what does he say they represent?
Jesus broke the bread, representing how his body would be broken on the cross. They drank the wine, representing
Jesus’ blood that would be shed on the cross. This meal was symbolic of the death Jesus was about to die.
What promise does Jesus give them about the future?
What does that mean?
Jesus is telling them he is going to die but he is also telling them that doesn’t mean they have no hope. There is still
great hope that lies ahead because Jesus is going to die for them.
What would the world be like without the sacrifice and forgiveness of Jesus?
Jesus’ life has offered hope to countless generations.How does Jesus’ life and sacrifice give you hope?

Questions to Consider:

Jesus faced a lot of oppostion, even from those closest to him. He pushed on with the mission anyway, knowing it
would cost him his life. Great leaders know how to get people to follow them even into difficult circumstances
Does Jesus possess any leadership qualities that inspire people to follow him?
Do you personally find those qualities appealing?
How do you think Jesus feels about you to endure so much opposition for you?
used by permission/Matthew Dabbs

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