Who Is this Man?

Week 7 - The Cross



This week we continued in the “Who Is This Man” series, looking to answer the question, who is Jesus? We reflected on what was central to the mission of Jesus, the cross. On the cross Jesus paid the price for our sins. He took the judgement for our sins on Himself.

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Sin separates us from God, it brings death and destruction.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 3:24-25
...and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith...

Through his death on the cross Jesus paid the price for our sins and made a way for us to come back into right relationship with God. When we put our trust in Jesus, have faith in him, we receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Where there was once separation there is now connection through Jesus.


What do you think it means to have faith in Jesus?

Think about someone you know who is living their life with faith in Jesus. What stands out to you that is different because of their faith?

How does your life look different because of faith in Jesus?

Through Jesus death on the cross we are given forgiveness of sins when we have faith in Him. Have you fully accepted the forgiveness that Jesus offers?

Is there an area in your life or in your past that Jesus has forgiven but you have not forgiven yourself?

As Jesus forgave us we are called to forgive others. Is there someone in your life that you need to extend forgiveness to?

What is one step that you can take this week to move towards forgiveness of yourself and others?

We have spent the last seven weeks looking at the life of Jesus to answer the question, who is Jesus? What is your answer to this question? Has this changed during the course of this series?


Pray that we would reflect on the price Jesus paid to free us from the power of sin and death. That we would seek and accept the forgiveness that Jesus freely gives. Pray that the Holy Spirit would bring to mind any areas of unforgiveness in our hearts and that with His help we would move towards forgiveness.


Pray that we would be encouraged by the love of Christ to show his love to others. That we would be known by the way we love and forgive as Christ loves and forgives us. Pray that what breaks the heart of Jesus would break our hearts and would move us to action.


Pray for all FCC global partners worldwide as they work to identify children and adults at risk for human trafficking. Ask God to strengthen, encourage and embolden our global partners in the work they do loving, educating and restoring both mental and physical aspects of dignity to each child. May peace, hope and forgiveness be planted in the hearts of those victimized and pray that they would be led to someday share in that same message of the hope of Jesus to others. *Worldwide, there are 40 million slaves today with women and girls comprising 75%. Pray that we as consumers are nudged to think about what we are purchasing and not inadvertently adding to labor trafficking worldwide.

Week 6 - Dinner



This week we continued in the “Who Is This Man” series seeking to answer the question, who is Jesus? We looked at the last supper, which was the last meal Jesus would share with his disciples. There, Jesus would redefine the elements of the Passover meal and point to a new covenant based on love.

The Passover meal was a time when the people of Israel would reflect back to and reenact parts of the Exodus, which was God’s deliverance of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Each part of the meal was eaten in a specific order and had a symbolic meaning.

Unleavened bread was served as it pointed back to when the newly freed slaves fled Egypt. They did not have time to wait for bread to rise. This bread, known as the bread of affliction, was a reminder of the suffering their ancestors endured in Egypt.

We are told in Mark 14:22 that while they were eating Jesus took the bread and after giving thanks broke it and giving it to his disciples said, “Take it; this is my body.” In breaking the bread, Jesus points forward to when his body will be broken for many. The new Exodus, Jesus death and resurrection would bring freedom from sin and death.

Mark 14:23-25
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they alldrank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he saidto them. Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

This cup, taken as part of the Passover meal was the cup of redemption. It signified the price paid to move from slavery to freedom, the blood of the goat. Here Jesus points to a new covenant, where his blood will be shed as the ransom, the price paid, for freedom from sin and death. When we take the elements of unleavened bread and juice with communion today, we remember how Jesus paid for our sins with his death on the cross.

This new covenant Jesus pointed to at the Passover meal will be based on love, on loving him, knowing him and abiding in him. As we abide in him, this enables us to love one another.

John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must loveone another”


Gathering for the Passover meal held great significance in Jewish life and culture. Share with your group about a meal that is an important part of your family tradition.

Has someone ever given you something that they treasured, that was a sacrifice for them to give up? How did that make you feel?

Tell about a time when you sacrificed something, time, money, or preference for someone. Was this difficult for you?

We may sacrifice time, money or personal preference for others, but Christ gave his life, the ultimate sacrifice, for us. How does knowing the magnitude of his sacrifice help you understand his love for you?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must loveone another” (John 13:34). What does it look like to live this out in your life? In what ways does this challenge you?

Tell about a time someone showed you the love of Christ through their actions.

Brainstorm with your group ways that you can show the love of Christ to someone this week.


Pray that we would reflect on Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us. That this would move usto action, to love others as Christ loves us.


Pray that we would live grounded in the love of Christ. That people in our community and the world would come to know Christ’s love by the way we love them.


Pray and thank Jesus for the faithfulness of our global partners, Mid India Christian. They will begin breaking ground soon for the first BOYS Mercy Home in Damoh, India, which is a program and full-time facility for vulnerable children in need of support, care and education. Please pray that Jesus will supply more partners and donors to come alongside them to complete the building process so more boys can come to be educated in a safe, loving environment. Pray for Mid India as they continue to reach out to those who have yet to hear about the good news and love of Jesus.

Week 5 - Temple







This week we continued the, “Who Is This Man” series looking to answer the question, who is Jesus?  We looked at the interweaving of two stories, which taken together give clarity to both. Those stories are Jesus’ cursing of a fruitless fig tree and his action in clearing the temple courts.


We are told in Mark 11:11 that Jesus went to the temple courts, but because it was late he left with the Twelve. He had something to do there, but would wait until the next day when it would be seen.


The next day, on the way back to the temple, Jesus sees a fig tree that does not bear fruit and curses it. Jesus said, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again” (Mark. 11:14.)


Mark 11:15-17

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there.  He overturned the tables of money changers and the benches of those selling doves and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.  Aas he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?’ But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”


The outer court of the temple was the only place the Gentiles could go to seek God. While this should have been a place of worship and prayer it had turned into a place of commerce and profit for religious leaders.  


Mark 11:18

The Chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.


In this act of clearing the temple courts Jesus crossed both the Roman and Jewish leaders. A week after clearing the temple courts he will die on the cross.


When Jesus and the Twelve leave Jerusalem they come across the fig tree once again and see that it was “withered from the roots” (Mark 11:21).


The fig tree serves as an illustration, which points to the fruitlessness of the nation of Israel and the temple.  The fact that it withered after Jesus cursed it, foreshadows the judgement on Israel and the temple that would later be destroyed, just as Jesus predicted.  


Jesus did not come restore the temple, what was once the center of faith, worship and the sacrificial system.  He came to replace it.  Connection with God would no longer happen through a place, the temple, but through a person, Jesus. When you place your life into Jesus and are baptized his spirit comes to live in you.  Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is the power and presence of God.




What do you think the people’s reactions would have been to Jesus overturning the tables in the temple?

What injustice do you see in the world that you think should move us to action? What would that look like?


Have you ever experienced this type of “holy dissatisfaction”?  What was the source and did it move you to act?


As believers in Jesus we have the Holy Spirit, the power and presence of God inside us. How does living in this reality make you feel?


Tell about a time when you sensed the guidance of the Holy Spirit or the Spirit empowering you to do what you could not do alone.


Does knowing that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit make you want to cleanse any area of the temple?  What would this look like?




Pray that what breaks the heart of Jesus, would break our hearts and move us to act in love. Pray that we would be mindful that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.




Pray for decisions to be made to follow Jesus. Pray for people to surrender to Jesus as their Lord and savior and be obedient in baptism.  




Pray for FCC global partners, IberoAmerican Ministries, and the work they do in Chile. Pray for about 100 young people in their Chilean churches who've committed to following Jesus' call to share His message of hope and love with people groups who've never been introduced to Jesus. Pray for their training process, the boldness and courage to follow through, and for God's love and peace to clearly be seen through these Chilean believers.

Week 4 - Servant







This week we continued our “Who Is This Man” series looking at the Gospel of Mark, Mark’s account of the life of Jesus, to answer the question, who is Jesus?  We covered Mark chapters 8-10 where the focus is on Jesus reeducating the apostles about the mission of the Messiah and the nature of true discipleship.  In Mark 8:29 Jesus asks the apostles, “Who do you think I am?” Peter rightly responds confessing that Jesus is the Messiah.  It becomes clear however in Peter’s response to Jesus when he predicts his suffering, death and resurrection that he still fails to understand what it means to be the Messiah.  He rebukes Jesus. Suffering and dying does not at all fit with his picture of the Messiah.  


Peter, like others, envisioned a political, geographical kingdom where Jesus, as king, would overthrow Rome.  A kingdom based on power and wealth.  Even those closest to him still did not comprehend the nature and mission of Jesus and the values of living in the kingdom of God, with God in charge of their lives. This is highlighted multiple times in this portion of Mark.  


Mark 9:33 

They came to Capernaum.  When he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the road they had argued about who was the greatest.


Jesus, for the second time, has just told them he will suffer, die and resurrect and they are arguing about who will be the greatest in the kingdom.  


In Mark 10:33-34 Jesus tells them for a third time that he will suffer, die and resurrect. Immediately after hearing this James and John ask for an elevated position in the kingdom. “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”  


Mark 10:42-45

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.”


Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.


“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


Jesus explains that the way of the world, the way of power and status, will not be so with us.  He defines greatness in a whole new way.  In the kingdom of God, joy and greatness is found in serving, humility, giving and sacrifice.




Have you ever had to submit to someone in a position of authority that lorded it over you? Talk about that experience.


In contrast, have you worked for someone who influenced by kindness and love rather than power and authority? How did this make you feel?


Tell about a time you found joy in serving.


This week Scott asked us to have a conversation about two questions.  Please take some time to discuss these in your group.


How do you define greatness?


What has that pursuit of greatness gotten you?


Tell about a time in your life when your definition of greatness shifted.  How did this change your life?




Pray that we would not strive for greatness by seeking power, wealth and authority. That instead we would seek to live in humility with a focus on serving others.




Pray that as a church we would reflect the love of Christ in the way we serve others.  That we would not live by the standards and values of the world but instead would live surrendered to God, reflecting the character and conduct of Christ.




Take a moment to thank God for the successful launch of 23 new churches in people groups throughout India that are completely new to hearing about Jesus. Pray for our FCC global partners, MidIndia Christian Mission, as they seek to plant a total of 50 churches by 2020. Pray for these new followers of Jesus to remain bold and encouraged in their faith, sharing the hope of Jesus with their friends and families.

Week 3 - Signs



This week we continued in the “Who Is This Man” series reflecting on the gospel of Mark as we pursued the answer to the question, who is Jesus? We were reminded that living in the kingdom of God, with God in charge of our lives, has forgiveness at its foundation.

Jesus went out of his way to call those who were considered the least of these in society to follow him. This was a movement for all, not just for some.

Mark 2:16
...”Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

He was criticized by the religious leaders for hanging out with and inviting tax collectors and sinners to follow him.

Mark 2:17
On hearing this, Jesus said to them. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus was inviting those who knew they were sick into his movement. They were in need of forgiveness and grace and were seeking it. This also points to those, such as the religious leaders, who thought they were fine and did not need forgiveness. They looked righteous in their own eyes and others on the outside but only God knew their hearts and their true need for forgiveness.

At the core of the Jesus movement is acknowledgment that we are broken and in need of a savior. This is something the religious leaders failed to recognize.


When we look at Facebook or Instagram we see what appear to be perfect people with perfect marriages and kids that always obey their parents. We know this is not the case. Why do you think there is a tendency in our society to put on a front when we are all clearly broken people?

Have you ever known someone who appeared to “have it all together” with the “perfect life”, and then later opened up to share their brokenness with you? How did this make you feel?

In this week's message, Scott pointed out that being part of the Jesus movement begins with acknowledging that we are broken. Why do you think this is a necessary?

Do you sometimes feel like you are trying to look like you have it all together on the outside but are feeling broken on the inside?

When we share our brokenness with others it helps us to connect with them in an authentic way and bring healing. What do you think we can do as a faith community to help others feel safe to share their brokenness?

Share about a time you took your brokenness to Jesus and received healing.

Is there an area of your life that feels broken that you have not yet taken to Jesus? Pray about how you can surrender this to him this week.


Pray that we would acknowledge our brokenness and need for a savior, that we would surrender all areas of our lives to the healing work of Jesus.


Pray that we would have opportunities to share stories of how Jesus has healed us in our brokenness. Pray that as we fully surrender to Jesus and live in the kingdom of God, with God in charge, that our lives would reflect the love of Christ.


Pray for Shemah Tours, an FCC affiliated partner, in Southeast Asia who are working with Muslim people groups who have less than 1% population committed to following Jesus. Praise God for a few men and women who've started studying Jesus through the New Testament. Pray for their faith to grow and for the courage to share their newfound hope and joy with their families and friends.

Week 2 - Easier





This week we continued our "Who Is This Man?" series by looking at an account that Mark shares about Jesus healing a paralyzed man.


Mark 2:3-12

Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

The paralyzed man's friends brought him to Jesus expecting a miracle. Jesus didn’t give them what they were expecting. They went with the very rational mindset that his biggest problem was immobility. They didn’t take him to see Jesus for spiritual restoration, instead they took him for physical healing. Jesus addressed something that this man had in common with all people, the man's sin. Jesus revealed to everyone that what we perceive as our biggest problem is not necessarily our biggest problem. The biggest problem of humanity is one that we all share. We all sin. And sin is a destructive force that brings death.



Just for fun. What is the worst gift you've ever received? Why didn't you want it?


On a more serious note - Have you ever gone to someone looking for a specific kind of help, only to be offered something that you weren't looking for? Was this experience positive, or frustrating?


We tend to believe that we have a pretty good grip on our own problems. If somebody tries to reframe the reality of our problems for us, we usually don't appreciate it. These men took their friend to Jesus, who essentially told them, "I'm not going to deal with his paralysis. I'm going to deal with his sin.” How would you have reacted to Jesus in this situation?


Have you ever had a moment when you realized that your biggest perceived problem was not really your biggest problem?


Presently, what do you perceive to be your biggest problem?


Do you think God would agree with you? Do you think He sees this as your biggest problem?


Sin leads only to death and destruction. But through His death, Jesus has saved us from the power of sin. How does understanding this reframe the way you think about life's biggest problems?



Pray that we will have eyes that are open to God's reality. Pray that what is important to God will be important to us; that we will see sin as a bigger issue than our earthly wants and needs. And pray that we will know and appreciate the incredible blessing of God's grace and salvation.



Pray that we will be a church that reflects Jesus' grace and forgiveness, while recognizing the truth of what sin is, and what it does.



Pray for Middle Eastern and North African Refugee individuals and families who live here in Orange County that are receiving assistance through FCC local partner, Voice of Refugees. Pray for the removal of obstacles refugees face as they rebuild their lives. Praise God for many who've come to follow Jesus. Pray for those who've come to follow Jesus that they would have boldness and courage to share the hope Jesus brings with their friends and family.

Week 1 - King



This week we started a new series called, "Who Is This Man?" We are focusing on who Jesus really is and what he is all about. This week's focus was about the fact that Jesus came to us as a servant and as a King. Jesus loves us and serves us. He even laid down His life for us. He also requires us to give him authority over our lives. In the first century, his followers were comfortable with the idea of Jesus as King. They wanted a Savior and Liberator. However, they were not as comfortable with the idea of Jesus as a servant either. Jesus' disciples reprimanded Him for attempting to wash their feet as a slave would. They tried to chase children away from Jesus, and they sought positions of glory and authority instead of positions of servanthood.

Today, however, people most commonly have the opposite perspective. We like to think of Jesus as a servant. We can try to emulate the way He loves and serves others. We like the gentle image of a Savior who gives us his everything. The image of Jesus that we tend to struggle with is Jesus as King. If Jesus is our King then we have to submit to Him and His authority. To follow Jesus as a servant, we simply need to love and serve others. To follow Jesus as King, we must surrender control of our own lives and our own choices. We give His teachings authority over our lives. In a culture that values independence, freedom and autonomy, the idea of submitting to Jesus' as King can be difficult.


Share a story about when you were younger and had a hard time with authority.

Have you ever had a person under your authority who struggled with the idea of being accountable to you?

Does your present job, education, or life phase require you to surrender to another person's authority? Is this difficult for you? If so, why?

Is there a person in your life to whom you gladly surrender authority?

What does it take to submit to someone else's authority? What does it require of you? What does it require of the other person?

Do you gravitate more toward the image of Jesus as Servant or Jesus as King?

Do you struggle with the idea of Jesus having authority over your life? If so, what would it take to get you to a point where you are willing to submit to their authority of Jesus as King?


Pray that we will grow to be people who allow Jesus to have authority over our lives. Pray that he will truly be our King.


Pray that as a church we will honor Jesus as our King. Pray for the leadership of FCC and their wisdom in leading us to follow Jesus as a church.


Pray for FCC's global partners, the "B" Family, in India. Praise God for the work that they are doing among an unreached Muslim people group, who do not know Jesus. Pray that our global partners' school and business will continue to be successful tools in helping to build relationships with the community and open more hearts to the hope and love Jesus offers.