Prayer: Fruit Bearing Takes Time (Mark 4-8)


Preacher: Pastor Ray

Bearing fruit and becoming like Jesus takes time. May the Lord teach us to be patient.

Discussion Questions

Read Mark 7:1-23.
– Why is Jesus critical of the Pharisees?
– Examine the condition of your heart. Is it close to the Lord or far off? How can you tell?
– How did the Pharisees introduce their own “tradition of the elders” in order to avoid a clear command such as honor your father and mother?
– Are their clear commandments that you are avoiding by inventing some interpretation that gets you off the hook?
– Where does evil come from? Do you really believe this?

Read Mark 4:1-34. Jesus demonstrates over the 3 years in His ministry to the 12 disciples what ministering to people’s hearts looks like.
– Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
– Who is doing the bulk of the ministry in the gospels?
– Do you believe that Jesus is modeling for us what doing God’s will looks like in order that you and I may follow Him and do likewise?
– Why might the Parable of the Sower be prophetic in the sense that Jesus was telling the disciples in advance what they would undergo? Who or what is the seed that is being planted in their hearts?
– Discipleship is a time of sowing and watering seeds. What is the guarantee when a seed lands on good soil? Who brings the growth? Have you thought of discipleship in this way?
– In Mark 4:33-34, what lesson can we glean about the pace and timing with which the Lord speaks to us? Does the Lord alter what He says depending on who the audience is?
– Do you see much fruit in the lives of the 12 disciples during Jesus’ 3 year ministry? When do we see fruit born? What should we learn from this?

Read Mark 4:35-41; Mark 5:21-43; Mark 6:30-44.
– How are these accounts examples of fruitlessness (or fear, faithlessness, lack of heart)?
– Who had it easier? The disciples who had Jesus right in front of them, or us? Explain your reasons.
– In Mark 5:37, why did Jesus allow only Peter, James and John to witness the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead? What is the spiritual principle?
– What were the 2 reactions to the crowd of 5,000 who were hungry? How is Jesus focusing on the hearts of the disciples through this incident?

Read Mark 6:45-52. Jesus addresses the hardness of their hearts regarding the “loaves” (which is a reference to the feeding of the 5,000). Read Mark 7:24-30. The theme of “loaves” continues with “bread” and “crumbs” falling from the master’s table in the account of the faith of the Syrophoenician (a Gentile) woman.
– Mark 8 begins with the feeding of the 4,000. Read Mark 8:14-21. Why doesn’t Jesus explain explain the significance of the 12 baskets and 7 baskets?
– Is it significant that the word for 12 “baskets” is different from the word used for 7 “baskets”?
– What was Jesus trying to communicate through the 12 baskets and the 7 baskets?
– Do you see that softening a hardened heart takes time?

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