Surprised by Love: An exploration of Mark’s Gospel
Discussion questions for week 7: Failure and Fresh Starts
1. What resonated with you from the message this past Sunday? Was there anything that seemed timely or relevant to you?
2. When you think of the disciple Peter, what first comes to mind? Do you think you would have enjoyed his company? Why or why not? If you could ask Peter any question, what would you ask?
3. Read Mark 1:16-19 and Mark 1:29-39. What do these verses tell us about the character of Peter (or Simon, as he was then called)? Put yourself in the sandals of the first disciples. What might it have been like to be around Jesus in this early stage of his ministry?
4. Read Mark 6:7-13 and Mark 8:14-21. The disciples seem to be effective and full of faith some days, and totally uncomprehending and overwhelmed with fear at other times. Can you think of such contrasting examples in your own life? What do you think explains this variance?
5. Read Mark 14:27-31 and Mark 14:66-72. What emotions do you think Peter would have experienced when he heard Jesus’ words? What thoughts do you think went through his head when the rooster crowed a second time?
6. Read Mark 16:1-8. (Note: some manuscripts have additional text beyond verse 8, but many scholars believe they were additions made by a later editor.)
- Why do you think the gospel ends in this way?
- Why do you think Peter is mentioned by name?
- How does this impact how you think about your own faith journey?
7. Break into groups of 2-3 and share how you feel about following Jesus right now. Then take some time to pray for one another. If you are reflecting on these questions alone, take some time to prayerfully consider this question. Open your heart to God, and let the love and grace demonstrated in Jesus flood your heart.
Practice for the week: Being with Jesus
He appointed twelve that they might be with him… (Mark 3:14a)
As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live in him. Keep your roots deep in him and have your lives built on him. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always be thankful. (Colossians 2:6-7)
Take time this week to be with Jesus. Take a walk or find a quiet place where you can open your heart to his presence. Talk to Jesus as if you could see him walking or sitting beside you. Tell him everything that is on your heart. Thank him for his unalterable love through all the ups and downs of life.