Youth Bible Study: The Greatest Commandment (Mark 12: 28-44)
Toy Story 3 Final Scene
Watch the end scene where Andy gives his toys away to Bonnie. He asks Bonnie to take good care of his old toys but struggles to let go of Woody.
What has been the best gift someone has given you?
What is the best gift you have given someone?
Why do you think Andy struggled to let go of Woody?
Is there anything you would find it difficult to let go of?
Bible Reading and Discussion
Read Mark 12:28-34 and 38-44.
So often when Jesus was quizzed, the questioner was trying to trap Jesus. In many of these encounters Jesus responds to a question with another question. But in this case Jesus answers the religious scholar’s genuine question directly. “Love God with your whole self and love others as yourself,” he answers.
Jesus then draws attention to the dedication of the poor widow and contrasts her dedication with the shallow actions of the religious scholars. While her monetary offering might be small she gives with her whole self. In contrast the religious leaders are all show, pious on the surface but ultimately they are part of a system that abuses and mistreats the poor.
Ask for a volunteer to read the passage aloud.
Everyone then takes a sheet of paper and writes the six symbols down the left hand side. After quietly reading through the Bible passage again, each person writes (next to the appropriate symbol) what they think the passage is saying.
UP ARROW Write something theses verses tell us about Jesus/God
DOWN ARROW Write something these verses tell us about human nature
A LIGHT BULB Write down any new discovery you’ve made reading these verses
EXCLAMATION MARK Write down the most exciting verse in your opinion and why
QUESTION MARK Write anything you don’t understand or want to ask about
RIGHT ARROW Write down something these verses say we should do
After ten minutes encourage the group to share their findings together. Where there are questions, encourage group discussion to try to find out the answers together. Take a few minutes to summarise what you have discovered.
Encourage the group to think about ways other than giving money that people can give. Consider examples that take time, effort and motivation.
Pass out markers and wooden Jenga-style blocks to each person. As you play some worship music in the background invite members of the group to write words or symbols on their block describing the gifts and talents that they offer to the youth group/church/ministry.
Invite each participant to share what is written on their block and then place it in the centre of the group. Each block should be laid in such a way that as people share they are also building a tower with the blocks; creating a visual representation of the way all of our gifts work together as one.
As the session ends invite each person to take one block from the tower, Jenga game style, and keep as a reminder of today’s session and the gifts we have to give.
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