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Leader's Guide March 3-9, 2013

,Leader’s Guide-March 3-9, 2013

LOOKING BACK: Mark 14:66-72 Failure

Open the Bible part of your group by asking, "Without looking, what questions were on the message outline in the bulletin on Sunday? They were printed next to each major point." See if you can come up with them as a group. If struggling, ask if we can recall the major points first.

If needed, you can eventually supply the answer. The questions are "why, why and why not?"

Why does failure happen? Why is failure hard to admit and accept? Why is failure not final?

I suggest that answering these three questions be the center of discussion. Folks will rely not only on what they have studied and heard, but upon life experience, hopefully their own, as well as life in general. As you talk about the questions, insert follow ups such as, "Can anyone relate to that out of your personal experience, either with yourself or someone else?" Or, "Would anyone like to add a personal example of this from your own life?" It would be extra good if you could set the pace.

Once the group has chewed on it for a while, it would be great to follow up with discussion and prayer in gender-specific groups.

LOOKING AHEAD: Mark 15:16-32 Mocked

Read the passage together and then discuss the following questions:

1. This passage describes some terrible things that were done and said to Jesus leading up to and during His resurrection. Which ones stand out to you the most? Why?

2. One of Mark's primary emphases in this passage seems to be the mocking of Jesus by those who witnessed His crucifixion or took part in it. Work back through the passage and call out all the places where Jesus was insulted, ridiculed, mocked, or berated.

3. When you remember the fact that Jesus is God, what goes through your mind when you think about how He was treated in these ways?

4. Are there ways (intentionally or unintentionally) that we also tend to insult or mock God with our lives?

4. Reflect for a minute on how amazing it is that Jesus died for the very ones who were mocking Him - and also for us today who are no less guilty. As you close in prayer, take some time to specifically thank Jesus for enduring the cross on our behalf so that we can be redeemed.

BULLETIN OUTLINE

Failure

Mark 14:66-72

3.3.13 Tom Oyler, Lead Pastor

Failure __________________________. Why?

Failure is _________________ to ___________________ and _____________________. Why?

Failure is not ______________________. Why not?

LOOKING BACK

Failure

Mark 14:66-72

It is something we don’t want to talk about, but nothing is more human and real than failure. It happens! To all of us. Why the self-torture then? Peter’s life was not defined by his failure, neither should ours. This is why we have Jesus.

THINKING IT THROUGH

(Contemplate/consider/discuss/agree/disagree)

The one spiritual disease is thinking that one is well.

~Alan Nelson

All men are ordinary men - the extraordinary are those who know it.

~G.K. Chesterton

A man may fall many times, but won’t be a failure until he says that someone pushed him.

~E.G. Letterman

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing.

~Martin Luther

WORKING IT OUT

1. What are some of your thoughts and feelings regarding your own personal history as you have heard the story of Peter?

2. Can you identify a specific way you have dealt with your own failures that you need to bring to God for forgiveness and freedom? Consider writing a "letter to God" in this regard.

3. Consider someone you might share this letter with. Doing so will bring more healing to you and will deeply affect your friend.

LOOKING AHEAD

Mocked

Mark 15:16-32

Mark’s Gospel has been building to this point since chapter 1 - the rejection of Jesus by the very people He came to save, and now His crucifixion carried out by their demand. This is not an easy passage to read - nor should it be. The best way to prepare for next week’s service is to meditate on the suffering and rejection Jesus experienced leading up to His crucifixion. We sometimes want to skip over this part and get to Easter, but there is much depth and richness and even beauty to be found on Good Friday.

LOOKING IT UP

1. Read Mark 15:16-32. As you read, try to imagine that you are an eyewitness to these events. What stands out to you? What is most shocking? What emotions might you have had as a witness to these things?

2. On Good Friday, Jesus experienced several different kinds of suffering - physical, emotional, spiritual. Which of these aspects of Jesus’ suffering does Mark seem to be most focused on in this particular passage?

3. Verses 16-20 describe the mocking of Jesus by Roman soldiers. In what ways is this scene ironic?

4. Verses 29-32 describe more insults by passers-by, the chief priests and scribes, and the robbers next to Him. They seem to all be mocking the idea that a true King or Messiah would ever be in the situation Jesus was in. Why did they believe this? What were they missing?

5. Read Isaiah 53:1-12. Consider these verses in light of Mark 15:16-32. In what ways did Jesus vividly live out this prophecy?

6. As you go throughout the week, take time to think about what Jesus went through on Good Friday. None of us has ever suffered as He did, but is there anything you have gone through personally that helps you to relate to His suffering?