Posted by: richard | 16 May, 2009

The Mystery Forsaken

This Monday it’s Mark  14:53-72.   Here are three questions we will (probably) discuss; please think about your answers to them and even consider blogging some initial ideas!

  • the events of Jesus’s trial are shown to be a mockery…  But there is a sense in which Jesus is always on trial.  What are some of the questions, charges and doubts by which Jesus stands on trial today?
  • the unit states “Jesus no need to defend the truth with words, for he has already defended the truth with His whole person. Do you agree or disagree? Are there times when words are needed – and if, so, when?
  • Peter betrayed Jesus; can we hope to do any better ourselves? What does this say to us about discipleship?


  1. A good session on Monday night – thank you. I enjoyed the whole ‘what about the pigeons?’ thing especially. Gill has hidden talents!

    We talked about how Jesus must have felt: alone, betrayed and knowing Peter was probably denying him even then; solitary in front of a religious crowd determined to see his blood; knowing his death was near. And yet he resisted the temptation to respond to their agenda; he kept silent and focused with all his might on keeping God’s agenda.

    And then he makes the proclamation we’ve been waiting the whole of Mark’s Gospel for: “I am! Yahweh!” The words are spoken and now death will come fast.

    Our discussion also took in Peter; anxious to prove his worth but in the end failing to live up to his ambitious claims. So like us! So our discipleship rests on grace alone. We wondered whether Peter had to be broken like this to grow into the ministry God had prepared for him. And that we too need things to be stripped bare – our limitations exposed, the things we rely on taken away – that we may lean more fully on Jesus. Not easy to go through.

    Reminds me of a friend’s recollection of a sermon: “God builds – breaks – then blesses”.

    So how do we let this impact us this coming week or month? Perhaps (1) reflect on how we too accuse Jesus – and deny him – and need his grace (2) think about our Christian life and see what needs stripping away: are we leaning on God?

    Have I missed anything? Or any other take-aways or applications people can contribute?

  2. Spot on! Rachel and I made a start on working our way through the Medcalf DVD collection, and started with Apollo 13. I think the film echoes what you’ve just said Richard about being ‘stripped bare’… at some point in life, our hi-tech space ship that we were trusting in has a glitch, breaks down, and the mission looks in deadly peril… we are helpless, lost in space, and only a miracle can get us home. And God shows up, and that’s exactly what happens…!

  3. For those who were not there, what the aggrieved pigeon-seller was objecting to was Jesus interfering in his everyday life. Religion, he said, is all very well for the Sabbath but here was this crazy guy turning everything upside down…
    Sometimes, saying “I am” is very difficult in the contemporary society which regards God and Jesus as “sky fairies” and it’s too easy to go with flow- well, for me anyway when someone says “how can a scientist believe that ?”

  4. Courage / Cowardice : this passage and discussion reminded me again that I have not started anything to try to put a bit more God into Little fishes, the mums’ and tots group of Holy trinity church that attracts a lot of non christian people in the church. I would really like to pray and talk about it with Jenni, Rachel of course and Lauren, a French christian mum who comes too and is also involved in a homegroup in the protestant church in Sartrouville. Bref, need your prayers on that.

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