by Kent Stenzel

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Pentecost 17B Gospel.

Text: Mark 9:30-37 for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Series B


Participants will:

  1. Compare the views of success/achievement as they and the world see It.
  2. Look at Christ’s view of success.


  1. Divide into small groups of 6-8 people.
  2. Pick a leader for each group (person whose birthday is closest to July 1st).
  3. If the members of the group do not know each other. the leader should have each person introduce himself and tell what grade he/she currently is in school.
  4. Each person has the right to pass when it comes to sharing experiences in the group.


In the small groups, have each participant discuss these questions:

  1. What one thing do your parents constantly remind you of at home? (Example: Pick up your room, etc.)
  2. How do you react to that reminder?


Read Mark 9:30-37. Have each participant in your small group read a verse.

  1. Jesus is teaching about greatness In His Kingdom. He does this by repetition. Jesus had already mentioned to the disciples that He would suffer/die and would rise from the dead. How do you think the disciples felt about this repetition?
    1. What is greatness?
    2. Can we achieve greatness or success (going to heaven) without Jesus?
    3. Comment on your own views of success by filling in the rest of these sentences:
      One thing I would like to achieve in life is…
      A sign of success to me is…
    4. What do the answers above say about your view of greatness and success?.
  2. Learning to be a success through Jesus
    Sometimes one can feel “trapped at home” – do this, do that, be home at a certain time, etc. But as we listen to our parents. we begin to reflect in our own lives some positive things about our parents.

    1. What one thing (positive) do you think you have learned or inherited from your parents?
    2. How will this help you to be successful?
  3. Look at John 10:17-18.
    1. What two things did Jesus do according to His Father’s command?
    2. Did those acts achieve greatness for Jesus or for us?
    3. Who did Jesus love first – Himself or us? Did God the Father feel the same way? (Look at John 15:9)
    4. What one positive thing can we learn from Jesus as we listen to Him and follow His Instructions? (John 15:12-16, Galatians 5:22-26)


Name someone who you think is successful. What has made this person successful?

What made Jesus successful? Were His actions for the benefit of His own reputation or for us?

So, if we follow Jesus. we are to be a servant. A servant is a believer in Christ who is willing to help others.

In what ways can we give of ourselves to others and truly be successful?


Now close together as a group with this prayer:

O Lord. grant to me the desire to study, to understand. and to do Your will. Help me to do it in a pleasing way which will give glory to the name of Jesus. Amen.

Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 19, 1996.

Updated for youthESource in September  2015