Series: Short Stories with Jesus
Message: Failing Faces
Preacher: Dena King
Reflection: David Oceguera
Live Wonder: Jessyka Albert
Live Adventure: Jessyka Albert
Live Purpose: Jason Calvert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Mark 10:17-27 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Mark 10:17 opens with Jesus setting out on a journey. Mark’s gospel is short and to the point. He often excludes many of the details found in parallel stories in the other gospels. It is interesting that in this fast-moving narrative, Mark makes it a point to include the seemingly inconsequential detail that Jesus was setting off on a journey.
If you have ever made plans to take a trip, you know the excitement you feel when the day arrives for your departure. Now imagine that on the day you are set to go on your trip something unexpected happens. Are you happy for the disturbance? Are you glad this happened just as you were leaving for your trip? No. The reality is that even if this unexpected situation only delays you by a few minutes it is still a great annoyance.
As Jesus is setting off on His journey, before he can get very far, He is stopped by a man with a question of eternal consequence. It is important to note that Jesus does not shoo him away or pawn him off to His disciples so as not to delay this very important journey. He simply stops and makes time for this man. Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem for His triumphal entry that would set in motion the final week of His life. Can you imagine what Jesus was thinking as He set off on this journey? The feelings He must have experienced knowing that His life would not only end shortly but also knowing how and why it would end must have been very difficult to bear. He was literally carrying the burdens of the world on His shoulders. In the gospels, we read many times of Jesus being stopped by people, but this time was different. This time He was on His way to fulfill His ultimate purpose and He still made time to stop for this man. This demonstrates the loving character of Jesus.
As important as His mission was, Jesus still made time for someone who needed Him. This is good news for you and me because if Jesus made time for someone at a pivotal moment in His life, then He has time for us today.
Recalibrate: Has there been a time when you felt like God was not present? How might you reframe that moment in light of God’s graciousness in making time for this rich but needy man?
Respond: Pray that God will make you aware of His presence in the moments when you need Him most.
Research: Read Matthew 27:45-54 and reflect on the love Jesus has for us—that even on the cross He did not abandon us.
Remember: “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” —Mark 10:27 (NIV)
David Oceguera is senior pastor of the Orange Seventh-day Adventist church in Orange, California. He and his wife Kara write a weekly blog called “In Pursuit of Love” which gives practical real life tools for healthier, happier marriages.
When you care for a small child, everything takes more time: eating a meal, getting ready in the morning, leaving the house, etc. This story shows Jesus taking time for someone. Find a few ways today that you can take intentional time for your child.
Do you think Jesus could ever be too busy for you? Why? In this story, we see Jesus taking time out of his day and plans to answer someone’s question. What are some other things you think Jesus takes time for?
Have you ever been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Have you asked yourself this question? What’s the answer? Do you have an answer? Does this question excite you or totally freak you out? What do you consider priorities when thinking about your future self and future lifestyle? What do you want your life to look like? What does success look like? Whom do you consider successful? Why? How do you define the “American dream?” This week we’re unpacking a story about a dude who through society’s eyes had arrived. He’d made it! He was educated, wealthy, loved, and respected. He was successful. Yet, as we’ll discover, there was still something missing. He knew about God, but that wasn’t enough. Can you relate? What does success look like for you in your world? Through your parents’ eyes? Through your school’s eyes? Through your church’s eyes? Your eyes? Have you ever felt like you’re doing all the right things, but you still feel like something’s missing? Me too! Apparently, we're not the only ones.