13/06/2021 | GROWING INTO THE NEW CREATION

Mark 4:26-34 and
2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-10, 14-17

BIBLE READINGS

Mark 4: 26 – 34

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

2 Corinthians 5: 1

Awaiting the New Body

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

2 Corinthians 5: 6-10

Awaiting the New Body

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

2 Corinthians 5: 14-17

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:a]”>[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

QUESTIONS

  • Why do you think Jesus used agricultural metaphors with his audience?
  • What might Jesus be stating about the kingdom of God through these parables (Mark 4:26-34)?
  • Why did Jesus use parables to teach the mysteries of the gospel to the crowds?
  • How might we be a living parable for the kingdom of God?
  • What might Paul mean by saying that “from now on . . . we regard no one from a human point of view” (v. 16)?
  • How does Paul’s affirmation that we are “new creations” make you feel? What does it mean to be a “new creation”?
  • Take time to have each person reflect on (5-10 minutes) and then share their testimony of how God’s grace has affected their lives (should be less than five minutes). To help you, remember a testimony is your story about your experiences of God’s love (grace) at work in your life. The points below will help you think it through:
  1. Life before encountering God’s grace.
  2. Encountering God’s grace (Who was there? Where did it happen?) and …
  3. How has life changed because of experiencing God’s grace?

 

Close with a Prayer

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