Choose Greatness Study #1
JESUS: God’s Great Servant
We launch this week into Mark’s Gospel, his (and Peter’s) Spirit-breathed account of the life and impact of God’s great servant, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Is this the word that comes to most people’s minds when they think about Jesus? Servant? Probably not, and perhaps not even in our minds as well? In this Connect Group study, let’s explore. Mark introduces the serving life and ministry of Jesus to us … to prepare us for how the Spirit might want to re-shape our thinking, and our own personal approach to serving God.
GETTING STARTED – engage in this 3 step exercise
- How many synonyms (or descriptive phrases) can you together cite for the word SERVANT? Go for it! (Jot ‘em down)
- Share what comes to your mind when you think of a “servant”? Are your thoughts positive, or otherwise? What mental picture or circumstance comes to mind? Any particular persons you’ve known? How would you describe the essence of how a servant thinks and what a servant does?
- What attitude do you think is essential to being a servant? Explain
SOME TIME IN SCRIPTURE
Interestingly enough, Mark’s gospel begins with John (the baptizer’s) fore-running ministry. Answer the following questions from Mark 1:2-8
- WHAT WAS GOD’S PURPOSE IN SENDING JOHN? (can you put this in your own words?)
- WHAT DID IT COST JOHN TO BE THE LORD’S SERVANT IN THIS WAY? (i.e., think about how he lived, what he did, what he said, etc.)
- ACCORDING TO OTHER GOSPELS, JOHN HAD MANY OTHER THINGS TO SAY. WHY DO YOU THINK MARK INCLUDED JUST THIS BRIEF PORTION OF HIS PREACHING? What was his point?
Mark’s introductory description of Jesus’s early life and preparation is also very brief (1:10-15). Explore these verse sets to understand Jesus’ readiness and purpose in being God’s servant.
- JESUS’ BAPTISM (1:9-11) Why was this important to Jesus’ ministry as a servant?
- JESUS’ TEMPTATION (1:12-13) Again, how did these experiences prepare Jesus to be a servant?
- JESUS’ MINISTRY LAUNCH (1:14-15) Mark’s first description of Jesus’ serving has Jesus doing what?
What would you have understood if you heard this declaration from Joseph’s son from Nazareth? What was he calling you to do? What does this tell you what Jesus’ purpose in serving?
PERSONAL TO US – we perhaps forget that the Jesus we meet in Mark 1 is now about 30 years of age. For three decades, he’s been (as a human) growing and being prepared for a designated time of giving his time and energies to fulfill his Father’s will. Do you think we today call people to serving without adequate preparation (of both one’s heart and one’s body?) As we see in John and Jesus, serving God meant both an internal mindset and external physical effort.
How do you see this in your own commitment to serving the Lord? Do you prepare internally to serve each day? How? And how important is your commitment to follow through with physical, external effort? How do these two go hand-in-hand?
Thank you for praying for the impact of this CHOOSE GREATNESS series at Christ Community Church!