“Knowing Good and Evil”

Sermon Series: The Truth About Lies

Date: February 11, 2024 / Speaker: Spencer Smith

Sermon Discussion

The Last Week | Part Three | Tuesday| Mark 12:1-12

Gathering Prayer. 
Father, by Your Spirit, would you guide us into all truth. Help us to hear and be attentive to Your voice as we work through this study. In the name of Jesus, Your Son, we pray, Amen. 

Opening Questions

  • What stood out to you in the sermon? 
  • What insights did you gain? 
  • What questions did it raise?

Read Mark 12:1-11: The Tenants and the Owner

  • The owner wants the vineyard to run under his authority (by his Word, for his glory). How do you typically respond to authority in your life? When do you find it easy or difficult to submit to God’s authority? 
  • The primary problem with the religious leaders of Israel is they are tenants acting like owners. What are some ways you see yourself and others struggling with this problem today? 

Christopher Watkin in Biblical Critical Theory writes, “It is hard to underestimate the extent to which many in our society today fail to consider what the Bible has to say about God on its own terms because that would require admitting that our own autonomous reason may not be the most reliable truth-discerning tools in the universe. One of the crucial pennies to drop in the minds of those who find their way to faith in their adult years is often the realization that, if there really is a God such as the Bible reveals him to be, then he is smarter than I am and his judgment is more reliable than mine; if he and I differ on a matter, and if he is really God and I am really a creature, then it is more than reasonable to assume that he is correct and I am mistaken. “

  • How do you personally wrestle with the tension between relying on your own reasoning and accepting the authority of the Bible over your life? 
  • Have you ever experienced a “penny drop” moment in your own life, where you realized the limitations of your own understanding compared to the wisdom of God revealed in the Bible? If so, can you share about that experience and how it impacted your perspective?
  • In what ways do you think society’s emphasis on individual autonomy and reason influences people’s willingness to reject the authority of the Bible and the existence of God? How can we as Christians engage with others in a way that helps them recognize the reliability of God’s judgment over their own?

The Tenants and the Messengers

  • What does the owner sending messenger after messenger tell us about the character of God? 
  • Thinking back over your life, can you think of any messengers that God has sent into your life? How have you tended to respond to the messengers God sends in your life?

The Tenants and the Son

  • The parable ultimately points to the rejection and killing of the Son. How does understanding Jesus’ sacrifice for us impact your understanding of God’s authority and ownership in your life?

Put into Practice

  • The prayer of a tenant is “thy will be done.” When do you struggle to pray this and surrender control to God?
  • What are some practices we can utilize to help us live under God’s authority (by his Word, for his glory)? 

Closing Prayer.