Sermon Discussion: True Greatness- Part 1
The following outline and discussion questions have been prepared to accompany the sermon from September 29, 2019; “True Greatness– Part 1.” (PDF Link)
Main Idea: Disciples demonstrate their true greatness when they humbly receive and serve “unimportant” people.
I. The Disciples’ Pride (Mark 9:30–32)
II. The Pattern of Christian Greatness (Mark 9:33–37)
1. What do the subtle differences between Mark 9:31 and Mark 8:31 reveal about Jesus’ imminent death and resurrection? How does this new disclosure undermine their Messianic expectants? How might this new disclosure support and fuel their faith after his death?
2. What are the two most common ways that our God-given desire for true greatness is corrupted?
3. In what way does Jesus’ act of receiving a child demonstrate true greatness?
4. Is Jesus encouraging his disciples to receive literal children, lowly members of society in general or fellow believers who have little standing? Read Mark 9:38–42 for further context and support of your answer.
5. Read Philippians 2:3–4. According to Paul, what is the greatest barrier to humble service and unity in the church? Unpack the following terms in your own words: selfish ambition, conceit, looking to our own interests.
6. What is the stunning revelation and encouragement did Jesus give as a reason to encourage the disciples and us to pursue true greatness by being the servant of all?
7. Read Philippians 2:5–11. How is the incarnation and Jesus’ Messianic mission the perfect example of true greatness? How does it expose and destroy our corrupted perceptions of true greatness?
8. Discuss the following quote, “If Jesus has declared through the cross that no one is beneath him, then how can we see anyone as beneath us?” How does this apply in the church to: clothing styles, music preferences, social class distinctions, or ethnic identity, etc.?
9. How might these truths help us navigate and defuse conflict in the church?
10. What has God revealed to you about your pursuit of true greatness? Who is God calling you to receive and serve at Olympic right now? What area of service has God been calling you into that you have been avoiding?