Digging Deeper

Journal your answers to these questions as you read through the chapter this week. You may wish to read one day and journal the next, or spread the questions over the whole week. Bible readings that correspond with this week’s reading can be found at log.org/resources/ the-story
1. Jesus’ audience thought he was going to establish his kingdom by force (how else would a Messiah overcome the Romans?), but he strongly rebuked Peter for such thinking and showed that his kingdom wields a much different power – the power of love to the unlovable and sacrifice.

2. What stories do you have of God transforming how you think about Kingdom power? During the Festival of Tabernacles, a celebration of God’s provision while Israel wandered in the desert, Jesus claimed to be the way of salvation. Why would he choose this festival to make this claim? How has Jesus shown you that he is your provision for everything, even eternal life?

3. Look up 1 John 1:5-7, 2:8-11. What did Jesus mean when he said, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (p. 357)? What does this look like for a Christian living a typical daily life? Does it mean that we will never experience pain or hardship?

4. Why did Jesus delay in going to Mary and Martha when Lazarus was sick? What does this tell you about God’s timing and our ability to understand it? Does this relieve or intensify your own anxieties and concerns?

5. Three times Jesus predicted his death and resurrection
(p. 354, 355 & 362; Mark 8:31, 9:30-31, 10:32-34) and followed each with a lesson on discipleship (p. 354; Mark 8:34-38, 9:33-37, 10:35-45). What principles of discipleship did Jesus teach, and why would he relate them to his suffering and death? What is the relationship between belief and following?

6. After Jesus entered Jerusalem as the rightful King of Israel, he cleansed the temple because some had turned it from a house of prayer into a place to extort the poor and a place so “holy” the lame and sinners were kept out, excluded altogether (p. 364). Suppose Jesus walked into our church. With what would he be most pleased? What corrections might he make?

Dear Jesus,
You spoke so many times about who you are: the Bread of Life, the great I AM, the light of the world, etc. Help me to see who you are more and more as I read more of your story. Help me to understand who you are in the Father, so that I can continue to see who I am in you more clearly. God, thank you for claiming me as your child through Jesus. Amen.