Questions for Reflection and Discussion
Read Mark 13:1-13 (ESV):
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
- Many people who grew up in the Christian faith don’t believe in God any more as an adult. What might be some reasons for this?
- Why doesn’t God just do some big, irrefutable miraculous signs to get people in our culture today to believe in him?
- Talk about the reasons why the temple was such a source of pride for Israel and why it was so important to them.
- Why did Jesus have such harsh words about the temple and about its future? Why didn’t God keep the temple from being destroyed?
- If there is an area in your life or in the world where you wish God would use his power to force someone to believe or force something to change, share about that. Why doesn’t God generally choose to intervene in that way?
- Talk about what Robert Capon meant by “straight line” or “right handed” power vs. “left handed” power. Why is “right handed” power useless in Jesus’s kingdom value system? If you believe “left handed” power is still God’s plan today, what are some ways we can live this out?
- Is there a relationship or a situation in your life where you sense God wants you to change your approach?
- What is the point of Jesus’s parable later in Mark 13, in vs.34?
- Christ-followers are called to look both toward the future and toward the past. What is meant by that, and how do we do it?
- How does Jesus indicate both his humanity and his divinity in v.32? What is the significance of this in this context?
- What did you sense God saying to you through this passage and this message?