We have all heard the statement: "Hindsight is 20/20." The insight gained through hindsight frequently resources us to live with foresight. That is why we are going to spend the Fall looking at the Gospel of Mark in reverse. Why is the message about Him called "the Gospel" (from Old English meaning 'good news') and what is the message that is proclaimed?
This weekend we look at 4 questions that challenge and provoke our understanding of living faithfully amidst oppressive and tumultuous times. Here we witness established leaders challenging Jesus and Jesus challenging established leaders. At stake is the essential question how do "the people of the Good News" (Gospel) arrange and live their lives?
TODAY'S SCRIPTURE | Mark 12.1-34
And He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and put a wall around it, and dug a vat under the wine press and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 2 At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. 3 They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others. 6 He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those vine-growers said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ 8 They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture:
‘The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone;
11 This came about from the Lord,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12 And they were seeking to seize Him, and yet they feared the people, for they understood that He spoke the parable against them. And so they left Him and went away.
13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14 They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.
And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Here are some books and resources we recommend for your own reflection and study:
The Weekend Resource Guide can be used for further reflection and is the resource tool that most of our LifeGroups use.
Beloit College created The Mindset List to cause faculty and staff to consider the mindset of each incoming class of students. It seeks to paint a picture that illustrates the worldview and culture gap that exists among the generations that comprise a multigenerational community.
Basic Christianity by John Stott will provide you with insight and understanding whether you are seeking Jesus or have been following Him for years. Thin and profound.
Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters is a great introduction into the life of Jesus and how we can relate to Him today.
Reunion: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners is a dynamic investigation of the most earth-shattering, piety-smashing, life-changing news ever. Discover your true citizenship in the Jesus nation, where you might be ready to die for a cause but never willing to kill for it.
The Hole in Our Gospel Special Edition: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World demonstrates that the whole gospel was always meant to be a world-changing, social revolution, a revolution that begins with each one of us.
Who is Jesus is a video produced by Alpha... a GREAT introduction:
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