Lesson 2 of a 4 part series Bible study
Note: This Bible study is formatted for small group discussion. If using study individually, we suggest you journal your answers.
As we continue to seek the truth of who the Real Jesus is, we begin to recognize some unique characteristics of this Real Jesus. The Word of God reveals the TRUTH as we begin to discover who Jesus is.
The Pharisees have been on a mission to trap Jesus. Jesus was teaching to the ever present crowds as he leaves Capernaum and crosses over Judea. All along, the Pharisees are testing Him by asking questions and pointing out when Jesus was teaching and performing acts, with no official authority in their eyes. Jesus continues however to speak truth and teach His disciples as He makes His way up to Jerusalem. Jesus wants His disciples to understand the hope and assurance that “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). Jesus wants them to trust in who He is and His Kingdom. As he journeys to Jerusalem Jesus has much to teach as His followers have much to learn. We begin with Jesus telling His disciples the “first will be last and the last first” (Mark 10:31).
What do you want Jesus to do for you?
Read Mark 10:32-34 aloud as a group.
Here we witness Jesus making his way to Jerusalem. The scriptures are clear that Jesus is leading the way. The disciples are astonished while followers are afraid. There would have been many along the way who joined the disciples making their way to Jerusalem for Passover week. The crowd mixed in emotions and purpose as they journey to celebrate the sacrificial Passover lamb for the sins of the people of God.
All going are going to Jerusalem but only one will be betrayed and condemned to death. Jesus for the third time shares with His disciples what they will encounter. Two times before Jesus had shared what was going to happen to Him. (See Mark 8:31, 9:30-31)
What do you notice about this third time He shares? (For further study see Psalm 22:6-8, Isaiah 50:6, 52:13 and 53:12)
Do you allow Jesus to be your leader when afraid to follow or astonished at what you hear?
How are you “going” with Jesus? As His disciple or follower? What’s the difference?
Read Mark 10:35-40
If this Jesus is the Real Jesus then He can do whatever we ask? Right?
The astonishment of two of the disciples create a perspective of Jesus’ Kingdom in which they will receive glory due to being with the “Messiah”. However their definition of the Messiah is a kingdom much different than what Jesus has been teaching.
Was Jesus just a Blessing Giver to them? James and John had just heard what would happen and yet they have no idea of the reality of this new value system Jesus has given them. Instead they turn to worldly thrones and desires for prestige and power.
In ancient royal courts, the seat at someone’s right was reserved as the position of honor and the left hand seat was for an intimate friend.
These two disciples have the wrong idea of Jesus’ kingdom as they ask for positions in Jesus’ court.
Here are James and John who witnessed the transfiguration (Mark 9: 2-9) and were in Jesus’ inner circle. They understood that Jesus would have a kingdom and be glorified, however they did not understand that Jesus’ kingdom was not of this world. (Luke 17: 20-21)
How has the world’s lies or imposters of the truth affected your perspective of who the Real Jesus is?
How has your perspective affected your prayer life?
What would it take for you to be more like Jesus and ask the question Jesus asks?
“What do you want “me” to do for you Jesus?”
In verse 38, Jesus tells James and John they have no idea what they are asking. How disheartening this must be for Jesus. He knows His time is limited with them and yet they still don’t understand that in this new kingdom they must be willing to suffer a great cost.
The verb tense in the Greek of verse 39 indicates an event that has not yet happened. The “cup” to which Jesus referred to was the same “cup” mentioned in His prayer in Gethsemane (see Mark 14:36). Jesus knows the depth of suffering He must face and asks His disciples if they are ready to suffer for the sake of the Kingdom.
James and John can’t know the full picture of what is to come as Jesus knows. However we have the promise that we can ask the Lord for anything knowing God will do what is best for us even if the answer to our prayer is “no”.
How are your present sufferings bringing glory to God?
How are you trusting the Lord and remaining faithful when you don’t fully understand?
Share an experience where you allowed God’s authority to be your authority?
Read Mark 10:41-45
The other 10 disciples become upset when they hear what James and John request of Jesus.
What emotions and attitudes do you witness within the group?
Jesus seeks to pull His disciples together when the unity is attacked. Here we see demonstrated another characteristic they are to follow in this new value system of the Real Jesus. Jesus understands how quickly the destructive attitudes and emotions of jealousy, prestige, pride and power could damage the trust and peace of the team of disciples. He doesn’t wait but immediately calls them together and simply seeks to unite them.
Jesus give them a command to obey that the attitude of lording authority and demanding submission would not be so with them! God’s Kingdom was within them and His Kingdom consisted of those who were servants of all. Once again Jesus overturns the value structure they know. Jesus lets them know humility is the highest virtue and that a real leader has a servant’s heart. It wasn’t about position or power but how they could glorify God.
It is the Real Jesus who stands up!
How have you allowed your differences with others to destroy the team or family?
Recall a situation or experience where you allowed the Lord to call you together with someone who you had differences with.
Share where you witnessed servant leadership.
How are you different because of Christ in you?
How is it “not so with you”?
Jesus is our perfect example of a servant leader. He gently but firmly guided His disciples and He commanded them to be obedient. In John 17:21 Jesus prays for us to be complete in unity that His followers would be “one’ brought together to serve Him. To stand for the TRUTH.
Forever Jesus came to serve. Jesus took the form of a servant and paid the ultimate price by dying on a cross for our sins to give us eternal life.
Are we claiming this promise and are we willing to be a servant for all?
How do you recognize the “Real Jesus”?
Are you willing to ask Jesus what you can do for Him? Will you humble yourself no matter the cost to stand for the TRUTH?
What has God’s Word revealed about your kingdom perspective?
What changes need to happen in your life to stand up for Jesus?
Journal your responses and date it to hold yourself accountable.
Close your time in prayer. Ask the Lord to direct your steps by the power of the Holy Spirit to stand up for Him.