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25/02/2018: Blunt…to the point

CALL TO WORSHIP

PSALM 22:22-31

22 I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honour him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;

he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great

assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfil my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!

 

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

BIBLE READING

Mark 8:27-38

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus

27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ 28 And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ 29 He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

 

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

STUDY QUESTIONS

  1. When you think of God at work in today’s world, what evidence do you look for to “prove” that God is involved? The disciples looked for the dramatic and obvious examples of heavenly power at work such as miracles of healing, as proof that God was with them. What do you look for? How do you recognise God at work?
  1. 31-32: this is a confrontation between the expectations of the people with regards to the Messiah vs Jesus’ own understanding of his mission and calling. Why did Peter “rebuke” Jesus? Did Peter have the right to behave in this way?
  1. What do you think about Jesus’ response to Peter with the words “Get behind me Satan?”
  1. In vs.34 Jesus outlines what “Discipleship” entails, can you list some of the qualities that are important?
  1. S. Lewis in his book “Beyond Personality” writes this:

“Christ says, ‘Give me all. I don’t want so much of your money and so much of your work – I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and there; I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, [fill] it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self instead. In fact, I will give you myself, my own will shall become yours.”   

  1. The “Cross” that we must carry reminds us:

6.1: ________________________________________________________________

6.2: ________________________________________________________________

6.3: ________________________________________________________________

6.4: ________________________________________________________________

  1. What do you think is takes to grow spiritually?
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