If you were unable to pick up a devotional guide this Sunday, we have published below the text, questions, prayer, and exercise for the week. There are still more copies on the table in the foyer if you need one.
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Parts One and Two are to be done at different times.
PERSONAL DAY (Part 1)
Meditative Reading: Practice slow, careful, meditative reading with Mark 8:27-9:1.
PERSONAL DAY (Part 2)
Personal Reflection: When passages are listed, reread that section, and then write out your honest, personal reactions to the questions.
1. 8:27-30. Believing that Jesus existed is common. Knowing who He really is, however, is uncommon – even among those who are most familiar with Him. This phenomenon is as true now as it was in this passage. What do you feel are some popular misconceptions in our culture about Jesus?
What do you feel like are some of our misconceptions about Jesus?
What are some of your own?
2. 8:31-33. Even though we live on the other side of the cross and we, unlike the disciples, accept and celebrate that Jesus died on a cross, how do you see us still taking offense at a rejected, ridiculed God? How do you see us still refusing the way of suffering and rejection for ourselves?
3. 8:34-9:1. The cross can be looked on in worship as my path to forgiveness. The cross can be worn or displayed as a statement of the religion I accept (over against another one). In this passage the cross is not a gift or a statement; it is the way of life for those that want to follow Jesus. What does this practically mean?
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On another day, set aside time with family or friends for conversation about the text.
COMMUNAL DAY: Conversation Starters
- From your reading and reflections this week, what did God teach you?
- Peter had the right world – “Messiah” – for Jesus, but he obviously had the wrong definition! It is common to say that “Peter wanted an earthly king/kingdom and Jesus offered a spiritual king/kingdom.” How is even this an incomplete or misleading way of defining the Messianic identity of Jesus?
- The early disciples wanted the benefits of knowing the Messiah but rejected His call to suffer and die. It has been noted that present day disciples accepting the atoning benefits of the cross but reject living life in the way of the cross. What does this mean? Do you agree? Why?
- What does it mean to lose one’s life for the sake of Jesus and His gospel (v35)?