Sermon Discussion: The Olivet Discourse – Part 1
Main Idea: Christian discipleship is a call to persevering gospel-centered faithfulness NOT a fascination with end-times speculation.
Discussion Questions: (Read Mark 13:1–13)
1. How should the conversation between Jesus and his disciples in 13:1–4 guide our interpretation of the various events recorded in verses 5–37?
2. Identify the three imperative statements (commands) in verses 5–13.
3. How do the first two imperatives uniquely discourage prophetic sign watching? (i.e., what are the implied negative consequences of prophetic sign watching?)
4. How does the Jewish view of childbearing help us understand the metaphor “birth pains?” Does this metaphor denote a positive or negative outcome?
5. How does the third imperative uniquely prepare the disciples for their God-given disciple-making mission?
6. According to these verses, what is God’s purpose in persecution?
7. What is his specific promise in the midst of persecution? How is this an encouragement?
8. Why does Jesus exhort his disciples to endurance (perseverance) if they have the promise of the Holy Spirit?
9. How do these three imperatives (13:5; 9; and 9) help us see that Christian discipleship is a call to persevering gospel-centered faithfulness NOT a fascination with end-times speculation.
10. What impacted you the most in the sermon this week? What would it look like for you to take the next steps of obedience?
11. How can the truth that, “God’s purpose in persecution is not to inflict pain on his people but to provide a captive audience for their faithful gospel proclamation” encourage you to endure religious tension and discrimination within your extend family, the workplace, or the public sphere?
12. How can the promise of the Holy Spirit encourage you to speak up about your faith in Christ instead of remaining silent?
13. How can the truth that Jesus never asks his disciples to do anything that he has not already done (1 Peter 4:12–16) inspire faith, hope, and endurance in the face of religious suffering?
14. How should Peter’s warning in 1 Peter 4:15 guard believers from lashing out and repaying evil for evil during times of religious oppression and persecution?
15. Is there anything you feel like you need to share with someone else from this text? What is it? And who do you need to share it with?