The Heart of God vs the Hardened Heart

There’s a scene from the first Incredibles movie that reminds me of the text we’ll be reading this Sunday. Mr. Incredible is a superhero forced into retirement who had taken on a job as an insurance salesman. He keeps looking after his customers best interests, which gets him called into his boss’s office. Rather than describe the scene to you – let me just put it here for you to watch:

This Sunday we’ll be reading Mark 3:1-6 in our study of this gospel.
Do you see the parallels between a puny and petty boss trying to exert authority over a superhero?

As you read this passage, think about the contrasts. Who is Jesus looking at? Who are the religious leaders looking at? Following that, contemplate this question: what is the main concern of the religious leaders and what is the main concern of Jesus?

Answering those questions will unlock the lessons of this text.

What is it about the religious leaders that made Jesus both angry and sad? How does Jesus’ reaction to this help us to identify the priorities God intends for us to live by?

In a fast changing world we, as followers of Christ, often struggle to know how we interface our Christian values with this morally fluid society. Sometimes we’ve fallen into the same snare that the Pharisees did. In what ways has the church been blinded by a commitment to what might be considered necessary rules that we miss God’s overarching value of compassion? How can we keep that from happening while still holding to a conviction?

Those are the topics we’ll consider – it should be a thought provoking text to explore!

Facing Our Betrayer

Have you ever been deeply let down by someone in your life?  Ever felt betrayed and experienced the pain of that?  It’s as near a physical pain as any I think we could endure.  There’s something to our connection with fellow human beings that sort of gives us a sense of completion…and when that gets severed, the fallout can sometimes be crippling.

Jesus was no stranger to betrayal.  Neither is God for that matter; one only has to think back to the Garden of Eden and a tree God’s precious image bearers were not to eat from.

We’re going to read Luke 22:47-53 this Sunday.

We know he anticipated it, but how do you think Jesus felt when he saw Judas’ face with all the people who had come to arrest him?  You can tell by their reaction how the disciples felt. Suddenly there is shouting and screaming and an ear spinning through the night air.

The disciples were ready for defense…but what was Jesus’ reaction to that?  How does that square with your normal reaction to being betrayed or mistreated?

In contrast to lashing out to do harm….what action did Jesus do, and to whom?  Do you think this becomes an example for us – why or why not?  How difficult is it for you to follow this lead?  Are there ways you’ve learned to be forgiving and do good to those who abuse you? If so, share them with us.

This should be a good topic to consider Sunday morning…and then discuss at a home group later on!

Home group leaders – here’s your guide for this week!  leaders guide 22-47-53