Series: BIOS of a Savior
Bible Passage: Mark 10:32-45
Other Pertinent Scripture: Parallel passages: for Mark 10:32-34 see Matt. 20:17-19, Luke 18:31-33; for Mark 10:35-45 see Matt. 20:20-28
2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Philippians 2:4-11; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 Peter 1:17-21
The gospel of Mark is a documentary account of the life of Christ. Like other ancient biographies, which were called a BIOS or “life,” Mark’s account speaks to us about the actions and events of a man’s life. But this is no mere man Mark is presenting. This is the holy man who is wholly God, the one who has unique authority to call us to follow him.
As a church, everything about Stonehouse centers on this BIOS - his life, his teaching, his authority, his suffering and his victory.
a note on this week’s text:
Mark 10:45 is the mission statement of Jesus. In it we find his purpose, the very reason that he came. Sure, he came to teach; yes, he came to be an example of a Godly life; certainly he came to heal and restore the people around him; he absolutely came to tell us the truth about God. But above all of these purposes, the central and most important reason that Jesus came was to serve mankind by giving his life as a ransom for many.
This is the Son of God we are talking about here… the very one who was God and was with God in the beginning, through whom all things that were made had their being (John 1:1-5); the eternal, wise, and holy God. This Jesus, God the Son, came to earth not to be served by his creation but rather to serve. This is tremendous and profound! This is what the ultimate power in the universe has chosen to do so that we, the lesser and the rebellious, might know his love. This reality sets all of our ideas about power and authority on their heads. What Christ did to ransom us from the fall is an astonishing display of love through self-sacrifice and it is the root of our understanding of how authority is handled in the Kingdom of God.
a few items to help take a deeper look this week or share with others:
“Christ Pays the Ransom, But to Whom?” by Jared Wilson
“Christ Our Ransom” by R.C. Sproul
Suggested discovery/discussion questions:
1. Mark 10:32-34 contains the 3rd and final passion prediction of Jesus in the book of Mark. Jesus has already told the disciples that he is going to suffer and die yet he is repeating it again. In this 3rd prediction of what is about to happen Jesus adds more detail to what he has said previously. Jesus is making it clear that everything that is about to happen to him is according to plan. Does this seem contradictory to who Jesus is? Does the suffering, pain, & death of Jesus mean that he failed or succeeded in his mission? Why? Why is it that the disciples are slow to pick up on what Jesus is saying in these 3 predictions of his suffering & death? Do you see yourself in their struggle?
2. Mark 10:45 is essentially the mission statement of Jesus. It tells us not only that Jesus is going to die but that he has to die and why. Why did Jesus come and die? What is it about the death of Jesus that makes it definitive of who he is? What is different about Jesus and his death compared to every other religious leader? Why is the cross of Christ the central event in the Christian faith?
The ransom that Jesus paid sets us free from the just wrath of God and liberates us from captivity to sin and death. Here is the first verse from a song we sang on Sunday that wonderfully summarizes the wonder of God’s love shown to us at the cross: How deep the Father’s love for us, How vast beyond all measure, That He should give His only Son, To make a wretch His treasure… How great the pain of searing loss - The Father turns His face away, As wounds which mar the Chosen One, Bring many sons to glory.
3. What follows the 3rd passion prediction of Christ here in Mark chapter 10 is followed by the interesting request of James and John who want seats next to Jesus “in his glory.” Jesus acknowledges their request and tells them that they do not know what they are asking for. What are the disciples missing about Jesus and his mission when they ask this? Why do they request to sit on the right and left of Jesus? What will it really mean for these disciples to follow Jesus and “rule” with him in his Kingdom? What will it mean for us to seek greatness in God’s Kingdom?
4. When the disciples think of power & authority they have in mind political power and their landscape for understanding authority is the 1st century Roman world. Jesus brings this to mind as he says, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them” but then he tells them that it must not be so among them. True power, in God’s Kingdom, is on display through the self-sacrifice of Jesus. This is dramatically different than the way our world tells us power & authority work. How did Jesus exercise his authority? How is this different than the way our world sees power & authority? What does it look like for us to follow Jesus in this?
5. Jesus’ willingness to lay down his life as a ransom for many is key to the heart change that comes to us as we follow him. No leader, by demanding they be followed, and then strong-arming followers into submission, has ever won the hearts of their subjects. This is why embracing the sacrifice of Jesus is essential to Christian discipleship. We are called to follow Christ. We are being welcomed into a life of laying everything down for our King. We have been told that true life is found in taking up our cross, at a cost to ourselves, and finding life in Jesus alone. These are costly things and we will never find them beautiful if first our hearts have not been melted by seeing the self-sacrificing God die on the cross in our place to give us peace with God. Can you see how you are prone to forget the sacrifice of Jesus? What does it look like when our hearts turn cold and we begin to pursuing dead religion instead of the gospel? Do you do things because you “have to” or are you following Jesus in joy because he alone laid down his life to serve you before ever calling you to serve him? May our hearts be ever changed by the gospel!
- - -