Session 9 – Small Group Study Guide
Word: How this truth should be understood
- Jesus’ words in Mark 8:34-38 do not happen in a vacuum. Verses 27-33 provides the context for his explanation. With that being said, why do you think Peter struggles with Christ saying He will need to die in verses 31-32 and how does Jesus’ words in verses 34-38 correct and inform Peter’s mistaken understanding of Jesus?
- In verse 34, Jesus gives requirements to follow Him. What are they and what do they mean?
- In verse 38, Jesus touches upon how we might be “ashamed” of Jesus before others. Why is this significant not just with regards to how we respond to Him, but how He will respond to us?
Worship: How this truth affects your heart
- In verses 32-33, we are reminded that just like Peter, we can often be ignorant, have partially right views of, or have ill-informed views of Jesus (whether it’s something we grew up with, what we’ve learned via social media, etc.). What have been some of the functionally wrong views that you’ve had of Jesus and how has this passage confronted that (e.g., Jesus is only fire-insurance from hell; Jesus exists only to make me happy; I can accept Jesus as my Savior without fully devoting my life to Him, etc.)?
- What areas of your life are you pursuing the world more than Christ? How might things look different if you were to take up your cross?
- Usually we think of denying yourself as a bad thing. But since the “self” is often the first idol, how is it a very good thing to stop living for self and live for Christ?
- When are you ashamed of Christ? What does it look like? What might it look like to be unashamed? How would that be a greater blessing?
Work: How this truth works out in your life
- How can considering eternity (what matters to our soul), make a difference in our relationships (e.g., your parenting, your relationships with unsaved friends or family)? Write down what that looks like in specific areas of your life.
- Think of someone who is unsaved in your life. Take time to pray that God would give you boldness and an opportunity to share the gospel with him or her (and tell them what truly is eternal).
- In our study, Pastor Allen reminded us that following Jesus isn’t just seen in the radical one time moments such as giving up our life savings to contribute to a missions trip, or being martyred for the faith. The majority of us will have to live ordinary lives with extraordinary faith in seemingly mundane ways. In that sense, we don’t just die once, but as Pastor Allen said, “you die everyday.” Think of a specific area of your life – whether it’s marriage, parenting, work, friendships with specific people, etc. Can you write down specific ways that you can “die everyday” in those mundane ways?
Sharing and Prayer
- The theme of our study in John is “to awaken and advance faith.” As you think about this season, what is one area in which you’d like to grow in living out your faith? Write this down and prepare to follow-up and track God’s work in our future sessions!
- What are some ways that you’d like to apply what you just learned to that one area you’d like to grow in living out your faith?
- Share other prayer requests.