Reflection & Discussion Questions

Bible reading: Mark 4:1-8, 13-20, 26-32

  • Read the three parables from Mark chapter 4 that Jesus tells to do with God seeds.
  • What ‘pops up and surprises you’ as you read these parables afresh?
  • From verses 1-8 and 13-20, out of the parable of the sower, reflect on the four different responses in the ‘soil’ of our hearts to the God seeds that He sows in us. When might any or all of these four responses been true in your life?
  • However, it’s important to not miss another really important element in this parable, to also focus on God and how He sows His God seeds. What picture does that give you of what God is like and the nature of His Kingdom?
    • From verses 26-29, and the second parable,  what do we know and what do we not know when it comes to the growth of the God seeds that He plants in His kingdom work?
    • From verses 30-32, and the third parable, why do you think God chooses to do His greatest work out of what may seem small and insignificant?
    • Take some time as you close to pray, inviting God to cultivate afresh the seeds of God’s love and life in you, and to carry the seeds of His love and life beyond you into the lives of others.
      Reflection & Discussion Questions

      Bible reading: Mark 3:20-35

      • Which person do you most identify with in the passage? Why?
      • What parts of Jesus’ person or ministry do you most struggle to understand?
      • How do you deal with being shown an alternative perspective or being corrected?
      • Could you deal with this better?
          Reflection & Discussion Questions

          Bible reading: Mark 2:23-28, 3:1-6

          • Read from Mark chapter 2 verse 23 through to Mark chapter 3 verse 6.
          • What image have you had of the Pharisees? What do you think has led to that?
          • ‘The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.’ Why do you think the Pharisees lost sight of what was most important to God? How can we avoid doing the same in our lives, and so becoming ‘accidental Pharisees’?
          • When it comes not just to the Sabbath, but to life and faith as a whole as followers of Jesus, what are some ways that any of us can ‘live out’ what’s most important to God, such as that 
            • mercy matters more than sacrifice?
            • rest (not just physical but rest for our souls and peace of mind) matters more than being weighed down or burdened?
            • what’s on the inside in the heart matters more than just what’s evident on the outside in people’s lives?
          • Take some time as you close to pray, inviting God to be at work restoring your perspectives in whatever ways they may need restoring.
          Reflection & Discussion Questions

          Bible reading: Mark 2:18-22

          • Read Mark chapter 2 verses 18 to 22. 
          • In verses 19 to 20, Jesus uses the image of a wedding reception to speak about the new sense of joy that can be found in His presence. 
            • In what ways does the presence of Jesus make a very real difference to your life?
            • What helps you to find ‘joy in the Lord’ even when your circumstances are far from ideal?
          • In verse 21, Jesus uses the image of old and new clothing to speak about the new righteousness that is possible because of His grace. 
            • What ‘tears’ in the fabric of your life have you ever tried to simply ‘patch over’?
            • What has it been like to receive the grace of God in your life instead of simply striving to prove or improve yourself before God?
          • In verse 22, Jesus uses the image of new and old wine in wineskins to speak about the new growth that is possible in us as we are open to being changed and stretched by the Spirit.
            • In what ways have you felt ‘stretched’ in life and faith, and how has God used those experiences to grow you?
            • What ‘new thing’ has God been doing in or around you, even through this challenging season?
          • Take some time as you close to pray, inviting our creative God, the God of ‘new things’ to be the ‘God of the new’ afresh in your lives, even in the midst of our chaos, confusion, or circumstances that are far from ideal.
          Reflection & Discussion Questions
          Read Mark 2:1-12
          • What stands out to you from the passage?
          • How would you summarise Jesus’ teaching in this passage?
          • What reason does Jesus give for healing the paralysed man? Does this differ from the way you usually read this passage?
          • How has Jesus used the paralysed man’s limitation or vulnerability or weakness?
          Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
          • What experience have you had of God using your own limitation or vulnerability or weakness for his purposes?
          Reflection & Discussion Questions
          Bible readings: Mark 1:21-34  
          • Read Mark chapter 1 verses 21 to 34. 
          • In these verses, we read a number of times of how people were ‘amazed by Jesus’. What amazes you about Jesus?
          • What comes to mind when you think of the word authority? In what ways is the authority of Jesus, the author of life and faith, different to any other type of authority?
          • These verses highlight how Jesus was active in restoring what was not right in people’s lives and bringing about His kingdom purposes. In what ways do you see Jesus still being active in these times we live in, restoring, repairing, and redeeming all aspects of life and creation? Where is this needed most? 
          • When you think about what is described in Revelation 21:3-5 about the future day when Jesus will reign on the throne as King forever, and when God’s kingdom will be established in full, what are you looking forward to most about that?    
          • In the meantime, in the here and now of life in this broken world, in what ways  
            • can you be an active participant in God’s kingdom work?
            • do you need to come under the authority of Jesus as King?
          • Take some as you close to pray through the Lords Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), praying specifically for the restoring of what needs restoring in the midst of the brokenness of life in our world , and the coming of God’s kingdom and will on earth as it is in heaven.
          Reflection & Discussion Questions
          Bible readings: Mark 1:14-20, 2:13-17
          • Was there a time you can recall when Jesus called you to follow Him? Reflect on and share about the significance of that in your life.
          • Reflect on and discuss the significance of Jesus
            • seeing us
            • coming to us where we are at
            • calling us to follow Him
          • “What matters most about following Jesus is not so much what we’re doing or not doing, but staying in the presence of the one we’re following.’ How can you follow and ‘stay in the presence’ of Jesus through life in lockdown? What might you need to be intentional about?
          • ‘At the heart of the good news of Jesus is that even though none of us measure up to God’s standard, Jesus has done for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.’ What does this reality mean to you?
          • The nets the fishermen left behind when following Jesus symbolise finding our identity or security in Jesus when so much else is uncertain. What does it mean to you to find your identity or security in Jesus through these uncertain times?
          Reflection & Discussion Questions
          Bible reading: Mark 1:1-8
          • Read the first 8 verses of Mark chapter 1 and reflect on John’s role in ‘preparing the way’ for Jesus
          • Reflecting on verse 1, how has the gospel, or good news, about Jesus, become a reality in your life?
          • Reflecting back on that, as well as verses 1-3, what took place before that in your life as part of God’s ‘preparation phase’ that pointed you to Jesus? 
          • Reflecting from verses 3-4 on how God’s ‘preparation phase’ often takes place in desert places, 
            • How has God been at work in ‘desert place’ experiences in your life?
            • What kind of ‘preparing’ work do you think God might be doing in your life through these current times?
          • Reflecting on the importance of our ‘spiritual posture’ before God,
            • verses 4-5 speak of repentance or the need to have a change of direction spiritually in our lives. What might that look like for you?
            • verse 7 speaks of humility, or the need to lean on and learn from Jesus, to shift the focus from being on us to being on Jesus. What might that look like for you?