Why Should I Follow Jesus?

Some of world’s greatest discoveries were initially rejected.

“This is typical Berlin hot air. The product is worthless.” Rejection letter sent to Felix Hoffmann who invented aspirin. Heinrich Dreser was standing by his ‘star’ painkiller – a drug that made factory workers feel animated and ‘heroic’. Thus his company, Bayer Pharmacological Institute, named it ‘heroin’. Later on, due to its ‘funny’ side effects, it was decided to take heroin off the market. Bayer’s chairman eventually accepted aspirin as Bayer’s main painkiller. More than 10 billion tablets of aspirin are swallowed annually. (Wulfen)

It’s true that we can reject the very thing that would be the best help for us – make the biggest difference – but we convince ourselves we do not need it. That happens in our text for today. It’s not a great invention or a scientific discovery – but the very plan of God to save the world. The question of the day is Why Should I Follow Jesus? This reality-check question is answered in a parable that is a bit shocking – and is followed up with the truth that Jesus was sent, but rejected!

Mark 12:10-11 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came about from the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes?”

I Should Follow Jesus Because He is Cornerstone of Life

The cornerstone is the first set in a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in relation to this stone. Jesus is the beginning of my spiritual life and hope, and everything about my life is set in place in relation to Him.

The cornerstone was usually one of the largest, most solid, and most flawlessly constructed of any of the stones of a structure. The Risen Jesus is the most influential and important part of the journey of my life. He is flawless, perfect, powerful.

The cornerstone in a structure is crucial to its stability. The grace and forgiveness of Jesus give me stability. I could never be saved on the accuracy of my religious practice or personal goodness.

The cornerstone bears the weight of the structure. I lay all of my sins / troubles on Jesus’ strength. In His perfection and strength I can rest assured.

The cornerstone is part of the foundation of a structure. The foundation of my life is the teaching of Jesus. What is right, good, moral, certain – Jesus clarifies.

The cornerstone cannot be rejected and the structure be stable, strong, foundational. What is it good for then? When rejected, Jesus becomes a stumbling stone. He is either of immense support and strength, or an object that causes me to lose balance and hope.

I Should Follow Jesus Because He Demonstrates God’s Love and Patience. (Mark 12:1-7)

He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug out a pit for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went away. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the farmers to collect some of the fruit of the vineyard from them. 3 But they took him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent another servant to them, and they hit him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 Then he sent another, and they killed that one. He also sent many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6 He still had one to send, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenant farmers said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’

Mark 12:1-7, CSB

This parable recalls the history of God’s dealings w/Israel. (Barclay)

His Generosity – vineyard equipped with everything it needed to make it beautiful and profitable.

His Trust – he put the vineyard into the hands of His people, to cultivate a wonderful vineyard.

His patience. Many times he gave them a chance to pay the debt they owed. They rejected the prophets who came over and over to tell of God’s love and His desire to save them.

His justice – “God may bear long with disobedience and rebellion but in the end he acts.” (Barclay)

Jesus is aware that He is the son. (Mark 12:8-9)

So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill the farmers and give the vineyard to others.

Mark 12:8-9, CSB

Sent to save God’s people after generations rejection. He knew he was going to die. He knew of his ultimate triumph – that “after the rejection would come the glory.” (Barclay) The very One He sent to love and save them, became for them an opportunity to trip, to fall down, to miss the Cornerstone as foundation and to experience Him as stumbling stone.

Whenever anyone rejects Jesus in their lives, they miss the beautiful truth that Jesus is Wonderful!

I Should Follow Jesus Because He Is Wonderful (11)

He tells us God loves us and wants to save.
1 Peter 2:6 For it stands in Scripture: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.

He gives us a foundation for living life.
Isaiah 28:16 Therefore the Lord God said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable.

He expresses to us grace and forgiveness.
Ephesians 2:19-20 So then you are … fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.

He warns us about a coming day when we have no choice.
Romans 11:22 Therefore, consider God’s kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen but God’s kindness toward you—if you remain in his kindness….

Conclusion

The “I” Test – reality check question: Am I following Jesus?

Some reject Him totally as Savior, choosing to follow their own path.

Am I accepting his LEAD in my life?
-I follow His lead in faith (baptism, love for Father)
-I follow his lead in living (let God decide right/wrong)
-I follow his lead in loving (care, compassion, service)
-I follow his lead in learning (devoted to the Word)
-I follow his lead in every areas of my life.
-Am I accepting Him as LORD in my life?

Jesus can be accepted or rejected – a decision we make.
Initially – when we come to faith.

Daily – as we follow his lead and submit to his Lordship.

Acts 4:11-12 This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”


LifeGroup Questions

  1. Why do we sometimes reject something that will help us, make our lives better, change things for the better? What is it about human nature that turns away new innovations?
  2. What are the reasons the religious leaders of His day rejected Jesus? Do we see those same reasons playing out today as people reject Him?
  3. How would you say Jesus is the cornerstone of your life?
  4. Describe the patience of God. How is God patient? In what way do you appreciate the patience of God?
  5. How is God both kind and severe? Which one appeals to you more? Does the severity of God bother / worry you?
  6. Read the following verses and observe any further thoughts about Jesus as cornerstone: 1 Peter 2:6; Isaiah 28:16; 1 Peter 2:7-8
  7. What else did you see in this text that you wanted to talk about?

Resources

Hal Warren – Crushed, Not Broken

William Barclay. Daily Bible Study Series: Gospel of Mark

Gijs van Wulfen –10 Great Ideas that Were Originally Rejected

How to Pray With Passion

O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. (Nehemiah 1:11)

Man Praying

I’m always conscious of the need to focus on developing my prayer life. This is an area of our spiritual life that does not grow unless we are intentional about pursuing time with God. Learning from the great prayers of the Bible is one way to become more prayerful. Nehemiah is a great leader known for his great prayers. When I study his prayers, I learn some valuable insights.

ATTITUDE OF PRAYER (Nehemiah 1:4). During a time of distress Nehemiah prayed day and night. Because his heart was broken over the situation back home, he approached the Father with weeping and mourning and fasting. It is easy to just make requests and speak repetitious prayers. Passionate prayer erupts from a heart that is conscious of sin, burdens, and of our great need for God’s help. Our dependent spirit feeds our prayer life.

ADORATION IN PRAYER (Nehemiah 1:5). Three times in this prayer Nehemiah says that God is “Awesome”. We over-use that word these days. In the song of Moses we read, “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you — majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).If you have troubles expressing adoration and praise for God, use the words of Scripture that are there to help you (Psalm 47:2; Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Kings 8:23). 

ADMISSION IN PRAYER (Nehemiah 1:6-9). Admit to God that we are in submission to His will and that we desire to live for Him. Admit to God your sin. We all struggle with wickedness – even if it is only in our thoughts. Our prayer lives will take on new passion when we come to God admitting our need, our desire for His presence, and our struggle for daily holiness. 

You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you.” -Prayer of Ezra in Nehemiah 9:6

Prayer Resources

Harvest Prayer Ministries

Why God Waits for You To Pray

Our Daily Bread

The Navigators

Prayer Coach

What Do I Want Jesus to Do For Me?

How would you answer if Jesus asked, “What would you like me to do for you?” In our text two different people are asked that question. Jesus uses this as a teaching moment, and we must listen!

Mark’s gospel is a gospel ‘on the move’ – and our text has Jesus on the go – he is headed to Jerusalem. Mark tells us that Jesus is walking ahead of the disciples. He tells them what is going to happen (Mark 10:33-34 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”). This is the third time Jesus has told them about his death and resurrection. He includes new details: mock, spit, and scourge. Now if you were there in that moment, and Jesus asked, “What would you like me to do for you?” What would be your answer?

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”

Mark 10:35-37, CSB

Stedman says they asked for 3 things: Preeminence – to sit on the thrones of honor. Proximity – to sit near the Lord. Power – that is what a throne represents. We might think badly of them, except for two reasons: (1) Jesus does not seem to be offended by question – he does not rebuke them. (2) We have sometimes followed Jesus for what He can give to us. What do we want Jesus to do for us?

Why We Misunderstand What Jesus Offers

False Expectations
-He will make my life awesome and trouble free.
-He will take away all consequences fo our sin.
-He will fix all of my relationship problems
-He will take away my struggles.
Jesus does not promise to make every life worry-free!

Misunderstood Blessings. What we receive from Jesus…
– Love – but not always approval for our actions.
– Healing – but not always total.
– Forgiveness – but not permission to continue.
– Ministry opportunities – not comfortable membership
– Truth – not appeasement
He meets our greatest Needs – and loves us enough not to give us all that we want.

Comparisons to others
This conversation resulted in the other disciples being indignant with James and John. (10:41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. )
They wanted to sit on the thrones by Jesus too! When Jesus asked James and John what they wanted him to do for them, they responded with requests that were self-serving. He points out that the Gentile leaders seek to have authority over others and serve themselves. (Mark 10:42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. ) What Jesus teaches them next is the kingdom life he wants to give them. Instead of thrones, position, and power – hear the calling to the Jesus life.

GUIDELINES TO THE JESUS LIFE (10:43-45)

To be great, be a servant. To be first, be last To receive, give. (10:43-44)

But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:43-45

These teachings go against the grain. They remind us that seeking our own will, living in our own expectations, and focused on ourselves is not the way of the Kingdom. This is another moment for the “I” Test – a look in the mirror. Are we willing to follow Jesus’ teachings?

Pivotal THEME of Mark’s Gospel:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

THE DEMONSTRATION OF DISCIPLESHIP (Mark 10:46-52)

A beggar named Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus.

And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.

Mark 10:47-50

Notice how Jesus puts into practice what he has just taught his disciples about following him:

To be great, be a servant.
The crowds, disciples, all shush the beggar. Jesus is on a mission, he is important, he is Savior. He hears Bartimaeus and calls him.

To be first, be last.
What do you want me to do for you? (10:51) Bartimaeus doesn’t ask for a throne next to Jesus. Jesus heals Bartimaeus – placing his own agenda and importance on hold for a blind outcast beggar.

To receive, give.
Jesus gave Bartimaeus his sight. Bartimaeus gave himself to Jesus. “Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road.” Early church traditions say that he followed Jesus all the way to the cross and later became a major figure in the church at Jerusalem. Not hard to believe!

Conclusion

Who are we hearing that we can serve? Who are we serving without anything in return? Who are we putting before ourselves? To whom are we giving our time, love, and care?

To receive from Jesus the greatest of His gifts (Akin, Daniel – Christ-Centered Exposition series Mark):

-See the One who needs our help – loving and helping one person at a time.
-Never be too busy to stop and help if you are able. Jesus stopped on his death march to help a nobody.
-Hear the cries of the hurting and respond as you are able.
-Rejoice when the hurting are healed and the lost are saved!

When his disciple argued about who should be first, powerful, and by his side, he gave them a mission statement: I came to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many. How would that change things in your family? Workplace? Neighborhood? Marketplace? World?

What do you want Jesus to do for you? He will save you today. He will receive you back today. He will model Kingdom living every day.


LifeGroup Questions

  1. How does the request of James and John seem inappropriate in light of Mark 10:32-34?
  2. What does it mean to sit at Jesus’ right and left hand (Mark 10:37)
  3. How might someone express a similar attitude to Jesus today?
  4. How does Jesus challenge and clarify their request (Mark 10:38-40)?
  5. What does he mean by his “cup” and his “baptism” (see Matthew 26:39; Romans 6:3-4)?
  6. Why do you think the other disciples were so indignant (Mark 10:41)?
  7. How does Jesus stand the world’s concept of greatness on its head—both in his teaching and example (Mark 10:42-45)?
  8. What opportunities for greatness do you have at home, at work or in your church?
  9. Does it just happen that the story of the blind beggar follows next—or are the two stories related? Explain.
  10. Contrast the attitude “many” had toward Bartimaeus with Jesus’ attitude (Mark 10:46-52).
  11. What attracts you to a leader like Jesus?

Questions: Leighton Ford (2013). LifeGuide Topical Bible Studies. InterVarsity Press.

Grief Control

I had a ten minute opportunity to speak at a recent retreat and decided to talk about grief and the control it exerts in our lives. Hope it is a blessing to you.

GRIEF CONTROL
The experience of grief is common to humanity, but it is as individual as each person’s experience. In the early days of significant loss, it feels like grief is in control of your life. Losing Control Means:

*Unexpected Grief Attacks. They come at moments that surprise us. Perhaps it is someone’s perfume or cologne that reminds us of our loved one. It could be at a grocery store, reaching for an item we know our loved one enjoyed, forgetting for a moment that they are gone. Songs, television shows, or Facebook Memories show up to catch us by surprise and bring about these unexpected attacks of grief.

*Unending Grief Presence. Grief remains the subtext of our lives. It hovers just beneath the surface in our thoughts as we go through the days and weeks after loss. Finally you have a day when you can smile and function well, but then grief surfaces once again. Often said, grief is like an uninvited guest that moves into our hearts and refuses to leave.

*Unwinnable Grief Battle. Grief overwhelms the senses in ways that we cannot control. Everyone who has experienced grief knows that there is nothing that can be done or said to lessen the pain. It has control over your life and it feels like something else is directing your path. It is a battle you cannot win.

One common symbol of control we are all familiar with is a remote control. I thought how this was an interesting word picture to think about grief. As we serve and love people through grief, remember that they are not in control in many ways. The remote control can be a word picture to remind us of what they are going through. 


Grief can be like a remote control that manipulates our thoughts and feelings. 

NUMBERS

On every remote control is a keypad of numbers. Numbers take on new significance when we are in a period of loss. We take note of how long it has been since that day we said goodbye. At first it is how many days … then months… and years. Not only that, we keep up with birthdays and even holidays. These numbers take on a huge significance in how we talk about our grief.

VOLUME

One of our televisions at the church occasionally has the volume go up to level 100 and stay there. It’s hard to get it unstuck and with the volume all the way up it is easy to develop a bit of panic! Grief feels loud, it drowns out our other emotions, leaving us feeling numb and at its mercy. It feels like everything is turned up all the way, and we cannot turn it down.

MUTE 

While sometimes grief seems like it is too loud to be ignored, it also has the power to mute our thoughts and even words as we contemplate our loss. I had friends say to me, “I don’t know what to say.” That was so honest and I appreciated that – because I didn’t know what to say either. Grief mutes all the emotions and feelings we enjoy, and replaces them with silence.

PAUSE 

Life seems to stand still. Especially with a sudden loss – it doesn’t seem real. You can’t go on with your day like everything is normal, because it isn’t. You can’t comprehend the loss at first. It’s like life has been placed on pause – and this feeling can last various times for different people.

PLAY 

It is hard to stop thinking about your loved one. Memories keep playing and replaying in your mind. When you are awake and when you are asleep, it’s like a recording that can never be turned off. Last words, the last moments, the happiest times, the saddest times … it’s hard to rest because grief is in control of your memories.

When I thought about how grief controls our lives, it occurred to me that a remote control is a lot like grief in some ways. But there are some buttons on the remote that will not relate to our grief.

There are buttons on the remote that do not seem to work.

OFF 

If there were only a way to turn grief “off”, what a difference that would make. But it’s impossible. Grief never seems to go away, and we can’t just turn it off.

FAST FORWARD

We can’t imagine life in the future without our loved one. Grief seems to slow life down, and even if we try to get back in the game – grief won’t let us. There’s no fast forwarding through grief, it has to be experienced.

CHANNEL

We can’t change the channel – there’s just one story that replays over and over. Sometimes people experience being “stuck” in grief – which is a different issue than the grief most all of us go through. But it can feel like we are stuck and can’t change the channel.

Conceptualizing Grief as the functions of a remote control can remind us of the control grief has when someone has suffered a loss. If it is our loss, we can relate to those concepts.

There is good news about this word picture, though.

BATTERIES 

Remote Controls are powered by batteries – and eventually they wear down. At some point, grief doesn’t have the control over our life that it did for a period of time. In other words, the things we experience in grief initially are not our permanent companions. That might be hard to believe, but it’s true.

WHO IS HOLDING IT? 

In all families there seems to be someone who ends up with the remote control. In the same way, the control of grief is going to have to be placed in someone’s hands. Grief is an emotional expression of loss, but in the end, when we have experienced  the pain of grief, we can pass the remote over to God and ask Him to take control.

So for a time, grief is in control…at least it feels that way. In time, we are able to regain control by turning it over to God. Best grief encouragement I ever heard was at the first meeting of The Compassionate Friends that I attended. A kind bereaved mother said to me:

“It will always hurt, it just won’t always hurt the way it does right now.”

That thought gave me hope. Hopefully these ideas will help us as we minister to those who are in the control of grief. In addition, when we are in the control of grief, I hope it helps to know that at some point in the future, grief will no longer control our lives the way it does at first. Though it seems permanent, the remote will be in our own hands again sometime in the future. Then we can hand control over to God. 

John

What Must I Do To Inherit Eternal Life?

This month we are going to look at a series of questions that are asked in the texts as we make our way to the cross. In each of these questions is an element of faith – and a reality-check about our individual faith that should cause us to question, think, and decide. Today’s question relates to a young man who comes running up to Jesus with an eager question: What Must I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone.  You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother.” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth.” Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But he was dismayed by this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.

Mark 10:17-22, CSB

There were admirable things about this man. He was eager – ran up to Jesus. He was young (Matthew tells us) – had his whole life before him. He was rich (Luke tells us) and would have many opportunities. He was a religious man – having kept commandments. We would admire this man, and truly Jesus loved him.

Jesus called his attention to God. Jesus loved him. Jesus knew what was between him and God, and he encouraged him to remove that and follow him. Jesus gave him a rich promise: “and you will have treasure in heaven”. This was a reality check – he had many possessions. This passage reveals to us…

Five Realities of A Faith Relationship With Jesus

Jesus Sees and Knows Us.

John 2:25 …he himself knew what was in man.

You’ve never been known better than the way Jesus knows you today.

Hebrews 4:13  No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.

Jesus loves us

It seems like that wouldn’t be true- if he knows us so well. But he does love us.

Ephesians 3:17b-19  I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge…

Jesus was clear with him

There was something preventing him from following Christ – and it wasn’t his knowledge or religious practice – it was his riches. If we were in the young man’s shoes today, what would Jesus tell us to give away? Whatever it is that stands in our way of a relationship with Jesus is not worth losing that connection with Him.

Jesus wanted him to come with him.

Whatever his failings, he was still invited. So are we – no matter our past or present.

Jesus was Saddened.

The young man went away grieving because he was unwilling to follow Jesus on his terms. Since Jesus loved him, we can conclude he was saddened by this young man’s choice. But the young man was sad as well – did he ever reconsider and come back to Him? When we encounter the teachings of Jesus, do we walk away grieving or are we willing to submit to Him?

Some Decisions Are Hard

We should be honest and admit that choosing to follow Jesus is the greatest blessing – but it isn’t the easiest choice.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”

The disciples were astonished at his words. Again Jesus said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Mark 10:23-25, CSB

“When Jesus called this young man to give up his money, the man started to grieve, because money was for him what the Father was for Jesus. It was the center of his identity. To lose his money would have been to lose himself…” (Tim Keller)

What hard decisions for Christ have given you a struggle?

For some, it is wrestling with being baptized. A simple process, a beautiful event, a joyous occasion – but yet a struggle. 3000 were baptized upon first preaching of gospel. Why would we walk away from that?

For some it is commitment to Christ on a daily basis.

For some it is commitment to the church, which falls far down on the priority list.

For some it is a sin they cannot release.

The disciples asked – “Then who can be saved?” Jesus affirmed that “with man it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.”(Mark 10:26-27) Even with our greatest efforts, our salvation is still an act of God’s grace and to His glory. One reason why God’s Grace is so Amazing – He keeps wanting us to follow Him when we have chosen other things over Him over and over.

Conclusion

Jesus was willing, but the young man walked away grieving.

If Jesus Gave Me a Reality Check – What Would it Be? Jesus sees and knows us, Jesus loves us. Jesus is clear with us, Jesus wants us to follow Him. Jesus is sad when we walk away. What is the “one thing you lack” when it comes to your commitment to God? What hard decision do you need to make?

What can I do to inherit eternal life? That is a good question. We should ask the same question and accept the invitation of Jesus to follow Him. Near the end of his gospel Mark has a resurrected Jesus giving the disciples the message to share with the world:

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:15-16, CSB

LifeGroup Questions

  1. In television, movies, or literature… name a person of great wealth who mistreated those under him. Also in television, movies, or literature, name a person of great wealth who blessed those under him.
  2. Shelly Matthews, in her commentary on this passage, says “This text is an anxious one. It is hard to imagine anyone hearing it who would not feel that anxiety.” What about this text causes you some anxious feelings?
  3. What do you think Jesus meant when he said “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Mark 10:18)
  4. Jesus told the young man “You lack one thing.” If Jesus said that to you, would it be hard to imagine what the one thing might be? How would one go about identifying the “one thing” that stood in the way between them and Jesus?
  5. What does Jesus’ request of the young man teach us about discipleship today?
  6. Twice in this text Jesus said, “how hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23,24), how many of us thought of someone else? In what way does this declaration affect every one of us?
  7. What else in this text did you want to talk about?