Teaching Series
Short Stories with Jesus
Friday—Failing Faces

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: As we come to the end of this week we find that our ideas about morality, our religious expressions of faith and salvation have all been challenged by this brief encounter with Jesus. Whenever we are confronted by a passage like this it is helpful for us to put ourselves in the shoes of a character like the Rich Young Man. Putting ourselves in his shoes helps us to understand the implications of the story for our lives.     

As we reflect on the end of this story, we see that Jesus uses this encounter to teach a lesson about humankind's inability to earn salvation through their own effort. In response to this teaching the disciples ask the poignant question “Who then can be saved?” (v. 26). Jesus responds with the words we have memorized since we were children, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” This passage ends with Jesus reiterating what He had been saying to the rich young man the entire time. Our moral acts of goodness and obedience to the law will never be enough to earn salvation. Good works and obedience to God must be central to how we express our faith, as long we understand them as acts of worship, to honor and glorify God but never to manipulate. Salvation has been won for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is in this message that we find true safety and security. Yet we, like the rich young man, search for other things to give us the security that can only truly come from Jesus.     

The invitation to follow Jesus does not come with a guarantee that we will not suffer in this life or that everything will go smoothly. Following Jesus does, however, come with the assurance that in Him we have everything we need to live in this life, and in eternity His grace is sufficient for you and for me. 

Recalibrate: What is keeping you from following Jesus wholeheartedly?

Respond: When you pray, ask God to help you daily surrender your life to Him.

Research: Read John 17:1-5 and reflect on what it means that eternal life is Knowing God and Jesus whom He sent.

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.

Following Jesus does not mean everything falls into place all the time. What ways do you praise Jesus and find peace as a family when everything seems to be going wrong? How can your family learn to turn to Jesus even during the hard times of life?

What do you do when something bad happens? What do your parents do when something bad happens? How can you turn to Jesus when things go wrong?


Have you ever felt like Christianity is a cosmic game of Jesus Says? In our story, it’s like this is what the successful dude thinks a relationship with God is like. But at the end, Jesus says something profound, “Come follow me.” This is the same phrase He used when inviting His disciples to join Him. This phrase literally means “to come walk right beside someone.” This story is about living every moment of life with Jesus and letting Him take the lead. What would it look like for you to choose to walk life—every moment, every decision—with God? What if Christianity isn’t just a part of life, like a game, but an entire way of life? How would your life look different?

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