The Ministry to Seafarers (M2S)

Mark 3 Conversation

Thank you for joining us in listening to Mark 3! If you haven't listened to it yet, you can do so here. Access a written copy of Mark 3 in the NLT here.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this passage of scripture. Below are some questions that made us think. Feel free to answer one or all of them! You can also comment with any other questions or thoughts about the chapter.

Discussion Questions

In Mark 3, Jesus is criticized three times for doing what is right.
1) The Pharisees criticize Jesus for healing on the Sabbath (verses 1-6).
2) Jesus' family criticizes Him, saying that He is out of his mind (verses 20-21).
3) The teachers of religious law criticize Jesus for casting out demons (verses 22-30).
1. We see the Pharisees and the teachers of religious law try to justify their criticism with the misuse of the Bible and twisted logic.
-In what kinds of situations are you tempted to criticize others in ways you know are not right or fair?

-Is there someone you tend to consistently have a critical attitude toward? Why might that be? 
2. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were are least partially driven by envy (Matthew 27:18). They were jealous of Jesus and seemed to hate the fact that He was "taking away" their power.
-Think of a time when you were jealous or your power was threatened. Were you tempted to misuse the Bible or use twisted logic to justify your criticism? How do you tend to respond when your power is threatened or you are jealous? 

-How has God helped you respond well to criticism?
3. Each time Jesus is criticized in this passage, He continues to do what is right. However, that doesn't mean it didn't affect Him emotionally. We see in this passage that He becomes angry at the Pharisees— but He does not allow their criticism to distract or deter Him from doing what is right.
- How has the criticism of others hurt you? What kinds of emotions does being criticized stir up in you?

-Tell about a time God helped you continue to do what was right, even in the face of criticism.
4.  Jesus is not only criticized by His enemies....but His family. They may have been well-meaning, but they were wrong. 
-Have you every been criticized by a family member? If so, what was that like for you? How did you respond?

-What role (if any) did God play in your response? What might He want to show you as you reflect on that situation or relationship?
5. Criticism tends to either shut us down or fire us up. 
-What has bad criticism killed in your life or your heart? What would it take for those things to come alive again?

-It can be tempting to respond to criticism with criticism. This starts a vicious cycle of hurt, pride, and contempt. How can the power of God break that cycle?

-How might God be asking you to respond differently to criticism?
6. Good criticism shuts down bad things and fires up good things. Bad criticism shuts down good things and fires up bad things. Sometimes it's hard to know which is which, because both generally hurt our ego initially. Unlike Jesus, we are not God! We are not perfect or all-knowing.

We need to the help of God's Word and the Holy Spirit to discern what is good, helpful criticism and what is bad criticism. Often this means taking a deep breath and waiting to respond. 

Jesus says that those who do God's will are His family. The Holy Spirit often uses loving Christian community to help us see situations clearly. Our trusted brothers and sisters can encourage us and comfort us when we are hurt by bad criticism...and can encourage us to be brave enough to respond to good criticism well. 
-How has God used both bad and good criticism to grow you? How has God used other people to help you in the face of criticism?
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