Death and Taxes
Death and taxes are two of life’s certainties, and Jesus responded to questions about those topics to redirect our attention to timeless truth. Remembering the source and owner of all the parts of our life, as well as life itself, radically changes our perspectives. How can we be just as challenged as Jesus’ original audience when we remember where and how God has placed his stamp of authority?
What did you hear from the weekend message that created agreement or disagreement, spawned questions or challenges, or inspired further reflection or action?
Read through the escalating conflict between Jesus and both political and religious leaders in Jerusalem from Mark 12:13-44 before returning to read each section of the passage a second time in response to questions below. Ask the Lord to give you insights for your faith and life today.
From Mark 12:13-17, how is God’s image stamped on all of life, including your life, and what are some of the implications of this truth?
From Mark 12:18-27, what is the “serious error” that Jesus charges the Sadducees with and how would you describe the difference between God’s promises that last forever (see Mark 12:26-27) and our contracts, covenants, or promises that are temporary (see Mark 12:18-24)?
From Mark 12:28-34, how does a correct relationship with God inspire correction in all of our relationships with people?
From Mark 12:35-40, how do you imagine Jesus’ audience responding to the idea that Messiah is the “Lord,” who shares in kingdom authority and reign with God (see Mark 12:36)? How might your perspective on life adjust when you remember that Jesus really is the Lord over all?
How does the example of the widow giving her “life” sacrificially and generously inspire, teach, and motivate you (see Mark 12:41-44)?
A Beautiful Thing
As Jesus prepared for the cross, an unnamed woman responded to Jesus with faith in a unique way. She understood truth about Jesus that eluded other disciples and gave Jesus an extravagant gift. Let’s remember how her example teaches us to follow the Lord with faith...
Throughout His time on earth, Jesus' disciples asked Him many of the same questions that we find ourselves wrestling with today. Instead of giving a direct and clear response to their questions, Jesus focused more on the heart and attitude of His followers. We have...
While Jesus entered conflict with religious leaders over his authority, he also revealed significant truth about his mission, God’s good gifts, and our responsibilities. What can Jesus’ teaching, storytelling, and confrontation with religious authorities teach us...
Jesus approaches Jerusalem with a loud celebration, but when he enters the Temple courts no one seems to notice. His strong actions both privately and publicly demand attention and response. Jesus’ triumphal parade into Jerusalem, a withered fig tree, and Jesus’...
Darkness and Light
Even in the darker passages of our life, God is always present, he is always good, his love is always faithful. Ruth's story ends on a different note than the beginning of her story and foreshadows great things to come. As Ruth's story concludes, how could you reflect...