The Story & Way of Jesus: Perspective Within Conflict (10.31.21)
Processing and responding to the Sunday sermon
After the group welcomes one another, have one person open in prayer and then take 2-3 minutes of silence. As you sit in silence, ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart in love toward God and your group mates.
Jesus Accused by His Family and by Teachers of the Law
On Sunday, Dale Gustafson preached from Mark 3:20-34.
We begin this section of scripture with a chaotic scene of people crowding in on Jesus to the point he couldn’t even eat with His own disciples. At the same time there were a host of Pharisees accusing him of being possessed with Beelzebub. Jesus’s own family tried to intervene and rescue him thinking that He was out of His mind for putting Himself in that position.
There was a lot of misunderstanding going on in this passage.
Though His family knew that Jesus’s birth itself was a miracle, and was performing healings that could only be attributed to God, here they came to the conclusion that Jesus wasn’t able to take care of Himself.
The Pharisees at the same time were trying to explain how Jesus did these miracles by ascribing the power He was operating in to demons.
They thought He was connected to Satan instead of God. This type of slander and accusation against the Holy Spirit Jesus refers to as the “unpardonable sin”
You are deceived when you ascribe the love of God to Satan basically saying that Jesus and His Holy Spirt are Satan. The Holy Spirit reveals truth. If you say that is demonic, that is really dark, yet even here, in the darkest place, Jesus loved them.
Jesus, however remains cool under conflict and responds to these accusations with some penetrating questions. He knows who He is and where the power and authority comes from. “How can Satan drive out Satan? (vs 23) “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (vs 25) “You cannot plunder a strong mans house unless you first tie him up” (vs 27)
Jesus’s own family and the Pharisees had some major flaws in their thinking. They thought that Jesus would do things differently. Their expectations of Jesus and what He did didn’t match. This was disturbing to them.
Their perception was warped. In the midst of all In the middle of all this misunderstanding, deception and accusation, Jesus stood. Unmoved, undisturbed and unshaken. He is the Truth. The darkness of their thinking was revealed in the light of His face. He loved them.
This week’s guide will provide space to dig in further, prayerfully process, and then discuss the sermon.
Reflection and Discussion
Read aloud Mark 3:20-34, and then prayerfully and silently reflect on the passage and these questions.
- As you read this passage, note what verses stand out to you. Hold the section of scripture in your heart before the Lord. What do you want me to know about this section Lord?
- Are there places in your life now where it feels chaotic, misunderstood, or you just don’t know what to do or what to think? Take a moment to offer these places and concerns to the Lord. Ask Him to share His perspective with you, then listen to what comes to mind.
- As you think back on your life, can you remember a time where you experienced the Holy Spirit making a major perspective shift in your thinking and how it impacted you? As you think of this time take a moment to express appreciation to the Lord for who He is to you.
- As you look expectantly toward the future (hope) where would you love to see your perspective align with Jesus’s perspective? Would you offer this area up to the Lord? I need you to show me your heart and perspective here Lord.
After silently reflecting, take these thoughts into a time of group discussion.
- What came up for you during the prayer reflection time? What would you like to share with the group?
- Dreaming out loud together, what would it look like to experience the joy of being able to see, hear and receive together, personally and in community Jesus’s perspective on the things concern you. What would be the biggest Holy Spirit perspective shift you could dream of.
Pray for your group, our church, our city, and our world.