From Pastor Brady

Greetings Church,

Our view into the life of Jesus continues this week in Mark 2:18-3:6. Jesus is deepening his conflict with the religious leaders and slowly revealing that his work is a new work of God.

1. Read Mark 2:18-22. Jesus is questioned by the religious leaders about why his disciples do not fast twice a week like the religious Jews. Jesus reveals that his presence is a celebration and his work is a new work.

Pastor Mark pointed out that Jesus is not an “add-on” to Judaism, and he cannot be an “add-on” to your life. If Jesus’ claims are true then he demands to be at the center of all of life. What are some ways you have made Jesus an “add-on” to your life, while trying to keep something else at the center?

For families: Read Mark 2:18-20. Show your kids pictures from your wedding day or the wedding of someone they know (grandparents or friends). Ask them why people celebrate at weddings? Why should we celebrate that Jesus has come? How is knowing Jesus like going to a wedding?

2. Read Mark 2:23-28. Jesus plucks and eats heads of grain which was against the Pharisees’ Sabbath laws. But Jesus declares that the Sabbath is for man, not man for the Sabbath and even more shockingly, that he is the Lord of the Sabbath.

The Sabbath was given to us from God as a gift to teach us to trust Him and rest. The Sabbath also made everyone equal for one day a week- both slaves and masters got the day off. How does the death of Jesus bring spiritual rest and spiritual equality?

Read Hebrews 3:7-4:16. How does the author compare the need for the Israelites to enter rest with our need for rest? How does the author connect our rest to Jesus?

In what ways are you still working to earn salvation or the “blessings of God?” How are you self -justifying? How can the gospel free you from striving and allow you to enter rest today?

3. Read Mark 3:1-6. The Pharisees are watching Jesus, waiting for him to mess up. But Jesus brings the conflict to them when he calls the man with the withered hand front and center. Jesus challenges their view of Sabbath and their view of compassion.

Pastor Mark mentioned that often when we are legalistic (feeling self justified by our behavior), we become very critical of others. We put rules on people that we do not even follow ourselves. When have you experienced this kind of hypocrisy?

Are you overly critical of anyone in your life? In what way might this criticism be connected to feeling better about yourself?

We are all like the man with the withered hand. In what ways might God be asking you to trust Him even though it is a fearful thing?

Jesus got angry at the religious leaders because they placed rules above love. Are there any circumstances in your life right now that should make you have “righteous anger” because love is being pushed aside?

For families: Often with children we stress rules, rules, rules. What are some ways you can help your children learn to love those who are unlovely.

*Remember, God never makes us make a choice between obedience and love. His rules are always the loving way. Jesus broke the rules of the unloving Pharisees, not the rules of the loving God. Help your kids to see that God’s rules are always about loving others and loving Him.

Fighter Verse Questions for Groups and Families.

Fighter Verse: Mark 2:27-28. And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

1. How is Jesus’ declaration another declaration of his deity?

2. What do you think Jesus means when he says “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath?”

3. How is our physical rest a picture of our spiritual rest? Do you rest physically? Do you take a day off? How can you use times of physical rest and leisure as an opportunity to focus on your spiritual rest in Christ?

For families: Plan a family work and rest day. Plan a project that you can work on together and then plan a time of rest to follow. How are both work and rest a way to worship God together as a family? How do both work and rest picture Jesus?