Week 3: Being Renewed
Mark 3:20-35 and 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants share what they do to experience renewal.
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read: Mark 3:20-35 and 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1.
- Where is “home” for you?
- Why do you think Jesus’ family came to “restrain” him (v. 21)? [In that culture, if one person is shamed, the shame is carried by the whole family. If Jesus is not THE Messiah and is a failed messiah, the shame of that would have extended to the whole family.]
- Why are the scribes there to encounter Jesus? [They want to point out that from their religious perspective, Jesus is possessed by a demon and thus not a miracle-working messiah.]
- How does the story of the scribes and Jesus’ response to them gain clarity by the story Mark tells of Jesus’ family coming to “restrain” and Jesus’ response to them? (Particularly in regard to verses 28-29.) [This is a difficult passage that causes many people undue anxiety. Jesus’ family, like the scribes, are seeing God work in Jesus, but instead of attributing that work to God, they are attributing it to demonic possession. Thus, to “blaspheme against the Holy Spirit” (v. 29) is seeing the work of God and calling it evil.]
- Biological family was important in Jesus’ day. A person’s identity and even career came from family (for example, Jesus son of Joseph, a carpenter; James and John, sons of Zebedee, fisherman). Jesus seems to redefine family. How revolutionary must that have seemed? What might that say about how we should experience Christian community today?
- How is this church community a “home” for you? How might this church better be a “home” for others?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of grace, transform us and renew us closer into your likeness. Help us to experience renewal and abundant life through you and from our community. Guide us, as a community of believers, to help others experience a “home” through a way of life. Amen.