The Chief Priests and Elders of Israel ask Jesus by what authority he does the things he is doing in Jerusalem, and their exchange reveals the true nature of their concern and the sincerity of Jesus and his mission.
We look at the parable of the laborers in the field and talk about our cultural obsession with fairness. Jesus challenges us to stop worrying so much about who deserves what and begin to trust, instead, in the overwhelming generosity of God.
In the context of a discussion on sin in the church community, Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive – seven times? Jesus’ reply and the following parable challenge us to forgive indefinitely. We talk about the challenges of forgiveness and the calling that Jesus places on his disciples to forgive.
Covering a lot of ground, we look at Jesus’ instruction on dealing with sin within the church community.
We watch Peter, just after being called the rock on which the church will be built, foolishly rebuke Jesus and receive a different designation – Satan, a stumbling block to Jesus. We look at Peter more broadly and find that maybe even his foolishness is something we should embrace as disciples of Jesus.
We read about Peter’s declaration that Jesus is the messiah, Son of the living God. When Peter names Jesus, Jesus names Peter as the rock on which Jesus will build the church.
Derek Taylor takes the pulpit this week and leads us through the story of Jesus healing the daughter of the Canaanite woman. Derek explains how Jesus challenges the mental models of those around him, and encourages us to open ourselves up to having our mental models challenged by Jesus and others.
Jesus sends the disciples out on a boat and into a storm. When the disciples look out to see Jesus walking on the stormy waters, Peter asks Jesus to command him to come out on the waters with him. Peter leaves behind the security of the boat to walk on the water with Jesus.
We compare an odd story (the feeding of the 5000) about Jesus with an odd story (beheading of John the Baptist) about Herod. We have two different rulers, two different kinds of strangeness. One desperately insecure, and one doesn’t need security at all.
We look at the parables of the mustard seed, the yeast, the buried treasure, the pearl of great worth, and the dragnet. We focus on the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast, noticing their scrappiness and their need for “death” or “emptying” in order for growth.