Text: Mark 2:1-12
Sermon: Ife Ojetayo
1. (Lead-In) Setting aside how people sometimes actually act, what are the normal "rules" for interacting with a celebrity? What are some of the many possible reasons for these rules?
2. (Lead-In) Think of an instance when you were brought to the realization that, though your physical/emotional needs are important, they're nothing compared to your need for a right relationship with God. In what ways did that realization change that relationship?
3. (v.2) Look at the entire passage. What "types" of people (what do they do, how are they described, or how are they not described?) are there listening to Jesus that day? In what ways does Jesus treat everyone there similarly, and for what reasons do some of them get addressed specifically?
4. (v.5) Mark points out a cause-and-effect at work: Jesus sees the faith of the men who've brought the paralytic (and possibly the faith of the paralytic himself, depending on whether he's included in the word "their"), and in response he tells the paralytic man that his sins are forgiven. What connects those two things together? Why would one lead to the other?
5. (v.5) What are the differences between what we might think of as the "right" things to say or do in a situation like verse 4 and Jesus' actual response? Why does Jesus do what he does?
6. (v.10) Jesus gives the paralytic man physical healing so that it may be known that "the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." What's the connection between those two things? Why would the ability to heal a paralytic prove Jesus' authority to forgive sins?
7. (vv.1-12) What's the most central truth about Jesus in this passage? What should our response be?
8. (App) In our interactions with our neighborhood as a mission group, how can we meet others' needs without making either of the following mistakes: (1) focusing on physical/emotional needs so much that it comes at the expense of tending to much greater spiritual needs; (2) seeing our service to others primarily as bait - as something we mostly do as an excuse to get people in one place so that we can tell them about Jesus? (Hint: wanting to tell our neighborhoods about Jesus isn't the thing about Option #2 that's wrong!)