Day 9: Kingdom Authority over Nature and Demons (4:35-5:20)

Discussion Questions

(1) Pastor Cook says many Christians believe in the devil intellectually but not theologically (pg. 36). What are some ways Christians might live differently in spite of these opposing viewpoints?

(2) How are you submitting to Jesus’ authority in your own life through His Word and deed?

(3) What is the importance of Jesus being both fully God and fully man?

(4) When circumstances are less than desirable, does your faith reflect what you believe about Jesus?

(5) Why is God willing to put you into difficult circumstances?

(6) We read about the disciples referring to Christ as “Teacher” instead of Lord. What are some examples in our lives where we see Jesus as our Teacher but fail to surrender to Him as Lord? (pg. 36, c.f. Mark 5)

(7) When we ask ourselves or others, “What is the most important question I will ever ask or answer?”, do we think firstly about who we believe Jesus to be? If not, why? (pg 36-38)

(8) Pastor Cook charges us in the “Living Out” portion not to give up on family and friends in prayer so that they may receive Jesus. Why do we find it hard to pray for our lost family and friends? Doubt? Frustration? Anger?  (pg. 38)

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7 replies
  1. Nick Romero
    Nick Romero says:

    I feel like when my circumstances are less than desirable, for the most part, my faith reflects what I know Jesus is not. My first gut reaction is to be negative and critical. God seems to then like to use my wife to show me how little faith I have in Christ by bringing to light my sin, which usually results in repentance. A counselor once told me that it is because of the mercy of God that He shows me my sin, no matter the means. I am so thankful for the Lord to have mercy on me when I respond to situations in a way that shows how “little” my God is. I feel like one way that God helps to “increase” my view of him is for him to continually put me in unfavorable situations. I feel like life won’t ever be “favorable” until I am fully confident in how big Jesus really is. There is no storm bigger than Jesus.

  2. Beckham Eldridge
    Beckham Eldridge says:

    Question 3: It is so easy to only think about Jesus being fully God because without that we have no hope in salvation. Seeing Jesus as also fully human does take us by surprise. In these passages, we not only see Him exhausted and asleep in the boat but we also see him not knowing whom the demon(s) are that posses the man. In other passages, we see Him weep and stumble under the wait of the cross. All of these show us His humanity. I think that Hebrews 2:18 answer this question best. “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

  3. MyAn Doan
    MyAn Doan says:

    My family members are Buddhists and I have been praying over their salvation for a long time. Often I feel sad and hopeless because I don’t see them change and but they continue to worship idols and follow the world. Praise God that he has allowed this passage and the words of Pastor Cook to remind me of the awesome power of the Lord, that there is no one outside the reach of God’s transforming grace, and that I should never give up but to continue on praying and wait expectantly.

    • Pauline Eldridge
      Pauline Eldridge says:

      MyAn, I too have family members, one in particular, whom I have prayed for and witnessed to for several years. She will sometimes seem to come so close to listening but then the cares of the world seem to snatch her away again. I am reminded over and over again that no matter how much I do, I can never save her, but at the same time, she is not beyond the reach of our merciful Savior. This chapter is great encouragement to not give up. I pray that neither you nor I will give up.

  4. Andy Vincent
    Andy Vincent says:

    In response to question #4, when my “circumstances are less than desirable,” when things are hard, I nearly always have the internal response that I must try harder. But, the circumstances seen in this passage, the windstorm and demon possession, cannot be overcome by more effort. Only Jesus, the lord over all creation, can help. It was impossible for the disciples to defeat the waves or for the man to free himself from the demons and so the disciples cried out in fearful panic and the demon possessed man in fearful submission.

    When I know that circumstances are beyond my control, impossible for me to overcome, why do I still wait until panic presses in before I acknowledge to God my need for Him? I guess it’s either pride (too much faith in myself) or false humility (too little faith in God). Pride drives me to show others just how much I can do. A lack of faith in God leaves me thinking I am not worth God’s attention.

    • Brandon Pisacrita
      Brandon Pisacrita says:

      Thanks for sharing, Andy. God allows circumstances in which we put our trust in God to mature our faith. A reminder that God is control of ALL of His creation.

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