John 7; John 14:6-7; Mark 8:27-29; Mark 8:31-33; Mark 8:34-35
1. What was the Lower Story this week? What was the Upper Story this week? What was Our Story this week?
2. What of your personal thoughts on the Lower, Upper and Our Stories this week? Particularly, what did you think of the three Lower Story understandings of Jesus compared to the Upper Story truth?
3. Read John 7 (entire chapter), John 14:6-7 and Mark 8:27-29. Why do you think it was so hard for the religious leaders to accept the reality that Jesus was the Son of God (the Messiah)? Similarly, what do you think holds people back from accepting it today? Why is Jesus different from a typical prophet or religious leader?
4. Read Mark 8:31-33. In this encounter with Peter, Jesus gives his job description as they head to Jerusalem. Why do you think Peter responds the way he responds? Likewise, why do you think Jesus responds to Peter so strongly?
5. Jesus claims to be the Son of God (the Messiah, Savior, etc.). Followers of Christ believe he lived a sinless life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again in glory to break the power of sin and death. How does accepting this truth give clarity and direction for your life? Does it give you a sense of purpose? A sense of peace?
Read Mark 8:34-35. Jesus tells his followers they have to do four things as they walk with him on a daily basis: (1) deny self, (2) take up their own cross, (3) follow him wherever he leads, and (4) be willing to lose their lives the sake of the Gospel. How is this challenging today in your current context? What does it look like, in an ordinary day of your life, for you seek to do these things?