Get Set... Mark 2
Here are some brief answers to our questions from our Sunday evening service. If you would like to discuss more, please call me or email: email@example.com.
1. Is there space for feeling good about something you've done without it becoming self-righteous?
Absolutely. When it's come from a place of working in a relationship with God and working for God it is great to feel good about the work God gives us to do. Self-righteous means we think because of MY actions or MY works that we are "good with God". In other words, WE do it.
2. What are the distinctions between rebuking and counselling a fellow Christian in sin, and being self-righteous?
Self -righteousness is when it comes from within ourselves. When we rebuke, or encourage, or counsel a brother or sister in Christ, it should come from God - from his word, by the work of his Spirit - prayerfully and humbly. If it comes from just "us", that is SELF-righteous.
3. Our community is not interested in Jesus, particularly their need for forgiveness. How do we help them see the reality of judgment and Jesus’ truth?
They may not be interested in Jesus, but everyone is interested in spirituality - what gives you meaning and purpose in life - a great starting point for people. Build this into normal conversation with questions like "What gives you meaning in your life?"
Better not usually to start with judgement. It will come down the path.
(However, statistically speaking, lots of people are actually interested in the person of Jesus!)
4. How can I build a relationship with a non Christian and then help them begin to seek God.
The same way we build relationships with anyone else. Get to know people. Ask questions. Get to know people by forming a real relationship - one of respect and genuine care and love.
They will see when you genuinely love and care for them and they will care what you think and why you believe what you believe.
5. What qualifications are required to teach in a synagogue? How could Jesus be allowed to teach in a synagogue?
This is not an area I am very familiar with so would have to look into it more. However, I believe each synagogue had a delegate who ran services, appointed by the high priest, and they would often ask significant/recognised Rabbis or preachers who were passing through town to give the "sermon" for the Sabbath meeting. At the time, Jesus was a respected teacher of the Jewish faith and was not (yet) seen as a threat. It is not unusual that he would be invited to speak as a practising Jew and as a known teacher of the Jewish faith.
6. Any tips for how we can we rebuke and teach each other without being self righteous?
See question 2 above. Rebuke and teach from Scripture and the Spirit, not from your own mind or thoughts. Read the Bible and pray! Let the rebuke come from God.
7. Jesus’ teaching was with real authority, Mark 1:22. What is real authority meant?
It seems to be explained in Mark 1:27 - Jesus teaches a "new" teaching. But he also casts out evil spirits and they obey him! Hence the authority. He doesn't just teach the Scriptures - he has authority over evil, sickness, and much more.
27The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.”
8. Is there significance in Jesus calling the paralyzed man "son"?
It is interesting. This word can also be translated as "child". It is a term of endearment and I think also one of vulnerability. Perhaps today a comparison would be calling someone "kiddo". But for Jesus, of course, it is more than this. We are all children of God. I think most of all Jesus is reflecting on his relationship with the man whom he has only just met on earth for the first time. It's almost like he already knew him! ;)
9. Would you ever discourage someone from using the book of common prayer in their personal devotional life?
No! It's an awesome resource for personal devotion. It's not my first choice, but I know many people who find it helpful.
The modern version is particularly helpful for the next generation as it has updated the language. In fact, this is what we use in our Sunday services each week across our services. http://www.commonprayer.org.au/
10. What place is there for Levite-level legalism in a contemporary Christian life?
None. There is room for holiness. Legalism/Phariseeism can be seen as a denial of the gospel of grace. Love, not law.
11. I am proud of myself.’ Is it kind of self-righteous?
See question 1 - it really is about whether you give yourself the credit for how awesome you are, or if you give God the credit for the way he made you - and honour him above all else! Instead of being "proud", perhaps it's more godly to be "thankful" to God.
12. If Jesus meant for fasting to be personal, why did the early church adopt corporate fasting?
Good question. Another area I am not an expert in! But corporate fasting can be a helpful way for a church to encourage each other in their focus. It is necessary? No/. Is it helpful? Perhaps. Personal fasting certainly can be helpful but really, the whole purpose is that we might focus more on God. Perhaps the early church was trying to be encouraging for each other. Or perhaps they were holding tradition too highly. This article may be of help. Not sure if I agree with its call to practice fasting, but it has some geta history and background, especially with regard to the early church:
13. Why does Jesus always seem to heal people in different ways by doing and saying different things?
It is interesting. But I think largely Jesus used healing as a teaching tool and opportunity. Like any good teacher, he uses different methods to heal depending on the circumstances. Sometimes a touch. Sometimes a word at a distance. He didn't even need to be there! In one instance, someone else touches him and is healed. Each healing teaches us a different aspect of Jesus' humanity and deity.
Click here to watch the questions answered during our live Q&A after the sermon at night church last Sunday.
Q & A is from 1:28:09