TALKING POINTS / WALKING POINTS
Dig deeper into the message during the sermon, in your personal Bible study, or with your family or Community Group in application-driven discussion.
COMMUNITY GROUP LEADER’S GUIDE
From Mark 1 we learn six important things about his identity.
1. Jesus is King of the Universe (v. 14-15) The very first thing Jesus says is, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” The kingdom is at hand because the king has come. Jesus constantly talked about the kingdom. In the Bible, the “kingdom of God” refers to the healing, renewing exercise of God’s ruling power. When God created and ruled the world, it was a paradise: no death, no war, no crime, no oppression, no suffering, no disease. Since Genesis 3, people decided to be in charge and everything started falling apart—spiritually, psychologically, socially and even physically. When we worship and serve ourselves, when God’s ruling power no longer holds sway over our lives, things fall apart, because we’re going against the grain of the universe. We’re going against the fabric of reality. When Jesus said “The kingdom of God is at hand”, he meant that God is about to demonstrate his sovereign rule over those with whom he comes into contact. Healing and wholeness will return! But the kingdom is “at hand”—it’s not fully here, and here’s the reason why. Jesus came the first time in weakness, as a suffering servant to bring us grace and mercy. One day in the future, he will return in power and judgment, and he will put down all evil, and the Kingdom of God will be displayed in it fullness.
2. Jesus is the source of our salvation. Jesus said, “Repent and believe the gospel.”—the “great news of a historic event”. Jesus is different from every other religious leader. Other religions have ”good advice”. The core message of every other religion is always advice on what you must do. In Christianity, the core message is what God has done for you! A lot of people mistakenly think that Christianity is just good advice. But the “good advice” paradigm brings damnation, not salvation!
3. Jesus is the foundation for your authority (v. 21-22). Biblical teachers said, “It is written…” or ““Thus says the Lord…” But Jesus said, “I say unto you.” Jesus has original authority, not derived authority. Back in Jesus’ day it was the elders’ job to make sure that whatever was said in the synagogue was true to the Scripture. The elders would ratify it by saying “amen”, which means, “It is true.” But Jesus began his teaching by saying “Truly, Truly I say to you…”, and thus he was saying, “I’m not going to let you judge my teaching. You don’t have that authority. All that I say is true because I speak from God.” We have to believe and obey what Jesus says, even if it contradicts what your culture or your reason says. If a person says, “I disagree with Jesus when it comes to same sex marriage or whatever, what they’re really saying is, “I don’t believe Jesus is who he said he is. He’s not God—he’s a fraud!”
4. Jesus is the fulfilment of our heart’s desires (v. 16-20, 23-26). Jesus insisted on having first place in peoples’ lives (neither job, family, nor a demon) may have supremacy among Jesus’ followers. Why? Because whatever has first place in your life—be it wealth, intelligence, beauty, popularity, sex, power—it will ultimately fail you and crush you. Only Jesus won’t leave you feeling empty. Jesus said: “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also” (Matthew 6:21). Whatever you treasure most, controls your life.
If you say, “I’d be very happy to obey Jesus as long as… (you fill in the blank) . Whatever is on the other side of “as long as” is your real god, and eventually it will crush you. If Jesus isn’t lord of all, he’s not lord at all.
5. Jesus is the director of your life’s path. When Jesus called his disciples, he said “Follow me”, not “Obey me”. Our lives are to center on Jesus. Faithfully following Jesus does not mean you’ll avoid difficulties (sometimes following Jesus creates difficulties), but in your life (Matthew 5:11–12). Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Suffering has long been the lot of Christ’s followers. It may increasingly become our lot. But no matter how bad it gets, he is with us and will bring you safely home.
6. Jesus is worthy of your trust. Our culture warns, “Don’t let anyone impose their beliefs on you. You decide what is right or wrong for you.” We can trust Jesus because he will never ask us to do something that he hasn’t already done. He also is selfless and tender (v. 31). So say to Jesus today, “I trust you. I give you my life, for you are my Lord, my Savior, my redeemer, and my King.”
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
Jesus is King of the Universe, so…
- Let him be your Savior and the foundation of your authority as well.
- Let him direct your life’s path and it will result in the fulfilment of our heart’s desires.
- Jesus is worthy of your trust. So let’s trust him! If you would like to trust Christ as Savior, contact us here. After providing your contact information, scroll down to the Ministry Information Request section and mark the first or second checkbox. You can also email us at: Counseling@TCC.org. We look forward to helping!
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)