Mark 15:1–15 (NIV) 1Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. 2“Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. 3The chief priests accused him of many things.4So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” 5But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. 6Now it was the custom at the feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising.8The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. 9“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.12“What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13“Crucify him!” they shouted. 14“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 15Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Romans 12:2 (NJB) Do not model your behavior on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and mature.
Mark 12:13-17 (NIV) 13Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. 17Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.
John 19:10-11 (BBE) Then Pilate said to him…Is it not clear to you that I have power to let you go free and power to put you to death on the cross? Jesus gave this answer: You would have no power at all over me if it was not given to you by God; so that he who gave me up to you has the greater sin.
Matthew 5:2-12 (NIV) 2and he began to teach them, saying: 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
John 17:11-14 (BBE) 11And now I will be no longer in the world, but they are in the world… 14I have given your word to them; and they are hated by the world, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
1 Peter 2:11 (TEV) I appeal to you, my friends, as strangers and refugees in this world! Do not give in to bodily passions, which are always at war against the soul.
Psalm 22:28 (BBE) For the kingdom is the Lord’s; he is the ruler among the nations.
Read the story in Mark 15 on your outline. Explain which of the characters in this story you can relate to and why: a) Pilate—selling short my convictions in exchange for peace; b) Jesus—acting on my convictions and suffering the consequences; c) the crowd—swayed by others; or d) Barabbas—guilty, yet released.
What can you do to stand by Jesus even when it’s unpopular? How have these opportunities presented themselves in your daily life?
What scripture or truth from this message will be your biggest take away as you live out your faith this week? How can you use your group’s prayer in this?
Read Isaiah 45:23 with your small group. Now, read Point 2 on the outline. Where does your allegiance lie? Do you get wrapped in political debates on the news? Are you easily swayed by others’ political opinions?
Which of the following reflects the relationship between faith and civic responsibility you were taught growing up? 1) Our loyalties are to God, country, family, and self—in that order; 2) God is on the side of our country; 3) Duty to country and duty to God are synonymous; 4) “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29); 5) The govern-
ment is corrupt and is the enemy of faith; or, 6) Look out for #1—don’t do anything for the government you don’t have to do.
Reflect on the question above. After hearing today’s message, what are your thoughts on the relationship between faith and civic responsibility? Discuss with your small group.
Take a look at Point 3. How can you make a political impact by living out a life of love and forgiveness in your community, your city, and/or your state?
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.