Small Group Questions: 02-25-2024

REMINDER: SCHEDULE A SMALL GROUP BREAK

Remember that while groups are not expected to take a break, they can sometime during the Winter/Spring semester. The week of March 24-30 is Spring Break for both CPS & OHLSD. If you didn’t last week, take a bit of time this week to talk together & decide whether your group will be taking that week or another week off.

ICE BREAKER

Mike’s opening question was about the “roles” we play. If you could play a role in a movie, what role would you like to play?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Read Mark 11 together as a group. Feel free to pause and discuss things you notice, were reminded of, have questions about, etc. Once you’ve done this, feel free to re-read sections that are related to the questions below.

1. Mike began with the following quote: “We are all actors playing different roles in different phases of life. But we must try to play each role to perfection.”

-What role have you played in life that you found the most challenging? Least challenging? Most rewarding? Least rewarding?

-What role are you playing now you wish you weren’t?

-Is there a role you aren’t playing that you wish you were?

2. Mike pointed out that in Mark 11 we see three different roles of Jesus: the king, the man, and the teacher.

-Which aspect of Jesus’ character resonates with you the most, and why?

-How does seeing these different sides of Jesus help you understand him better?

-What lessons can we learn from each of these roles of Jesus in terms of leadership, humanity, and teaching?

3. Reflecting on the story of the fig tree…

-Is it right or fair for Jesus to curse a fig tree for not bearing fruit when it is not the season for figs? Why? Why not?

-What do you think this action symbolizes, and how does it relate to Jesus’ later actions in the temple?

-What do you think Jesus was trying to convey by cursing the tree?

-How does this story connect to Jesus’ teaching about faith and action?

4. Reflecting on Jesus entry into Jerusalem on a donkey…

-How does this reflect humility and service?

-How does this action contrast with the expectations of a typical earthly king or ruler?

-How does this action challenge ways Christians should look at power & strength?

-How can we incorporate these exemplified in Jesus into our own lives and leadership styles?

5. Mike talked about how anger can be communicated in both hurtful & inappropriate ways as well as helpful & appropriate ways.

-Where have you seen the effects of appropriate, helpful anger?

-Where have you seen the effects of inappropriate, hurtful anger?

-How do you personally handle feelings of anger or frustration?

-Do you find it challenging to express anger in healthy ways, as Jesus did?

6. Mike said that Jesus invites us into a kingdom of humility, service, and sacrificial love.

-Where do you lack these traits at the current phase/stage of your life?

-Where are you seeing these fruits growing in the current phase/stage of your life?

-What are some tangible ways to live out these values as we live our lives in community with others?

7. Jesus emphasizes the importance of forgiveness in prayer, stating that a lack of forgiveness can hinder our prayers.
-How do you see forgiveness playing a role in your prayer life and your relationship with God?

-Why do you think Jesus stresses the importance of forgiveness in the context of prayer?

-How do you think unforgiveness hinders our relationship with God and others?

-Share a personal experience of how choosing to forgive someone has impacted your prayer life or your own sense of peace?

-What steps do you take to overcome unforgiveness and cultivate a forgiving spirit?

8. Jesus statements about prayer in Mark 11 are somewhat unbelievable. There are millions, BILLIONS of Christians in the world. Surely there has to have been someone at some point who had/has enough faith to pray for a mountain to be thrown into the sea without doubt. And yet we have no news stories, videos, recorded testimony, etc. of this happening.

-How do you explain the promise Jesus made while we do not see any fulfillment?

-How do you explain your prayers going unanswered even when you pray in faith?

-What hope do we have of our prayers being answered when we doubt?

-What do you think it means to pray in faith and how can we cultivate that kind of faith in our own prayer lives?

-How are Jesus words “Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” different than the current trend of “manifesting” to get what you want?

9. Mike concluded with a series of questions & a challenge. He said, “If you follow Jesus, today is a good day to examine your life…I am going to challenge you to really ask God this week, ‘What am I holding on to and not giving you authority over in my life.’ Maybe it’s a job, a relationship or a lack of a relationship with someone who hurt you, maybe it’s an addiction, maybe it’s an uncontrolled emotion. Really dig down deep and figure this out. Give Jesus the authority in this area of your life.

-What are you holding on to and not giving Jesus authority over in your life?

-What might change (for better or worse) if you gave him authority?

-What change or sacrifice are you willing to make to give him this authority?

PRAYER PROMPT: Use the three roles of Jesus identified by Mike as a starting point for your group’s prayer time. Take time to reflect on, contemplate, and pray to Jesus as your king. Then do the same for Jesus as a human and as a teacher.

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