Introduction: “Man bites dog.” “Revenge of the nerds.” “Ugly guy
marries beautiful girl.” These phrases give us unexpected news.
Normally dogs bite humans, the smart, good-looking, popular teens
seem to prevail, and the handsome guy marries the beautiful girl.
What if the Kingdom of God has everything in reverse? Is God
leading a kingdom of nerds? Or, is that just what the world thinks?
If God has things reversed, why? Is there a blessing in this for the
average person? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and find out!

  1. Triumph of the Unclean

    1. Read Mark 5:21-24. Why do you think Jesus went with
      Jairus? (Jairus had an emergency situation. He had faith.
      He was a ruler of the synagogue.)

    2. Read Mark 5:25-26. Put yourself in this woman’s place.
      How would you feel? (Frustrated. She spent all of her
      money looking for a cure, and she was getting worse.)

    3. Read Mark 5:27-28. What kind of a plan is this? (Read
      Leviticus 15:25-27. She is not supposed to be touching
      Jesus because she will make Him unclean. That will
      require Jesus to go through the purification process.)

    4. Read Mark 5:29-34. Is it an accident that this woman was
      healed? Does Jesus have no control over His own power?
      (The story sounds like that at first, but we see that her
      healing is the reward of faith.)

    5. Read Mark 5:35. If Jesus had not been fooling around with
      the woman, would Jarius’ daughter have died?

      1. Put yourself in Jesus’ place. You have two people in
        need: the young daughter of a synagogue ruler who is
        in an emergency situation, and an unclean woman who
        has a chronic, non-emergency illness. Which would
        you see first? (From the point of view of the on-lookers, Jesus decision makes absolutely no sense.)

      2. Can you make any sense of Jesus’ decision? (Jesus
        pays no attention to a person’s status. Jesus pays
        no attention to time. If you continue to read this
        story, Jesus raises the young girl to life. He makes
        everything right, just on His own schedule.)

  2. Triumph of the Footwasher

    1. Read John 13:1-8. Why does Peter protest Jesus washing
      his feet?

    2. Read Mark 14:10-11. Why does Judas betray Jesus?

    3. Read Matthew 20:20-21. Why does the mother of James and
      John (see Mark 10:35) ask that her sons will have the top
      spots in Jesus’ Kingdom? (All three questions have the
      same answer. Peter believes that Jesus is about to become
      King. Judas believes that if he gives Jesus a little
      nudge, Jesus will show His power and become King. The
      mother believes Jesus will become King.)

    4. Let’s go back to John 13:3-4 and the Passover dinner.
      What is going through the minds of the disciples? (They
      want to show that they are the most important. They
      deserve high places in Jesus’ coming kingdom. Therefore,
      they dare not admit they are inferior by washing the feet
      of one of their rivals.)

      1. What is going through the mind of Jesus? (Jesus
        knows that everything has been put under His power!)

      2. How is this related to the Jairus story? (Jesus is
        modeling a ministry that no one expected. He serves
        everyone regardless of their station in life or

      3. Does this only work for those who (like Jesus) know
        they are God? (Two things. First, Jesus had some
        terrible, humiliating things ahead of Him. Second,
        our relationship with God should be the source of
        our confidence – a confidence that allows us to

  3. Triumph of the Accused

    1. Read Matthew 26:59-61. Assume that you are prosecuting
      the case against Jesus? What is the problem? (The
      prosecutors are looking for “false evidence” and they
      have plenty of willing false witnesses. The problem must
      be that none of these false witnesses have any

      1. Why are the two who finally testified credible? (It
        sounds like what Jesus actually said in John 2:19.)

      2. Would you put this testimony in the record? (The
        question is, “So what?” The way the testimony comes
        out, it sounds like Jesus is crazy, not a criminal.)

    2. Read Matthew 26:62-63. Why do you think Jesus remained
      silent? (Read Deuteronomy 17:6. Part of God’s law is the
      right to remain silent in a death penalty case. Self-incrimination was prohibited. Jesus could be claiming his
      right against self incrimination. It could also be that
      the charge is so ridiculous that Jesus thought it
      unworthy of an answer.)

    3. Read Matthew 26:63-66 and Leviticus 21:10. Who should be
      on trial here? (The High Priest. He violates the “two
      witness” rule in death penalty cases, and he violates the
      rule against tearing his robe.) In Leviticus 10:6 Aaron
      is warned that if he violates this rule he will die.)

      1. Why did the High Priest do what he did? (He could.
        He had the power and authority to do it.)

    4. As Jesus was going through this process, what was coming
      to an end? (The whole sanctuary system. Not only did the
      High Priest rip his robe, but the curtain in the
      sanctuary was ripped from top to bottom ( Mark 15:38-39).
      The authorities corrupted God’s message of the Lamb of
      God. Power had been substituted for piety.)

  4. Triumph of Humility

    1. Read Matthew 27:27-31. Notice that the symbols of a king
      were the method of humiliating Jesus. Why would Satan
      inspire this specific humiliation? What was going
      through Satan’s mind? (Recall that Satan’s original sin
      was wanting to be like God. Isaiah 14:14-15. The original
      sin of humanity was wanting to be like God. Genesis 3:1-4. Satan believed that if he questioned and mocked Jesus’
      status as God, Jesus would break.)

    2. How do you like it when people make fun of you? What if
      they are serious about the fact that they think you have
      little value?

      1. How do you react when people treat you
        disrespectfully? What about when the people who are
        disrespectful come from a “lower station” in life?

    3. Why didn’t Jesus break? (Because He was not like Satan
      and He was not like Eve and He was not like you and me.
      He was humble. And, His humility was what brought Him
      through this terrible temptation. “[Jesus], being in the
      very nature of God, did not consider equality with God
      something to be grasped.” Philippians 2:6.)

    4. What do these last two stories teach us about the nature
      of authority? (Satan and his agents used authority, and
      the lust for power, to promote their kingdom of
      injustice. Authority will not increase your status with
      God, but it might increase your vulnerability to Satan.)

  5. Triumph of the Lost Garments

    1. Read John 19:23-24. What is the final humiliation of
      Jesus? (That He is stripped naked and His clothing given
      to his killers.)

    2. Read Romans 8:1-4. What did the humiliation of Jesus do
      for us? (It gave us the opportunity for a glorious
      eternal life.)

    3. Let’s contemplate this series of stories about garments.
      Jesus (at least for a time) prefers the unclean woman
      over Jairus, Jesus models the humility of footwashing,
      Jesus (the ultimate High Priest) is victimized by the
      corrupt power of the High Priest, Jesus (the King of
      Kings)is disrespected as a king, Jesus is humiliated at
      the cross to give us life. What lesson(s) should we draw
      from this? (If we truly want to be like God (see Eve),
      then we would put aside our pride. God has reversed the
      worldly order of things. He elevates humility. He does
      not consider status. He is motivated by a love that
      treats all equally.)

    4. Consider our last two lessons. In the prodigal story,
      the older (“good”) brother is in jeopardy of losing
      heaven, while the younger (bad) son enters eternal life.
      In the story of the wedding of the king’s son, the
      friends and worthies of the kingdom are rejected, while
      the Walmart shoppers enter heaven. In this week’s lesson
      we learn that humility is something to be grasped, and
      authority is a trap. Has Jesus reversed the order of

      1. If so, why? Why is the world turned upside down and
        nothing is as we expected it should be? (Read Micah
        6:8. This is the heart of the gospel – to seek
        justice and mercy and walk humbly with our God who
        walked humbly.)

      2. Is this good news? (Yes! This path is open to
        everyone. Even “average” people are qualified.
        Indeed, they may have an advantage.)

    5. Friend, do you model humility? Do you care about the
      underdog and the powerless? Or, is your goal in life to
      seek power and authority? Why not ask the Holy Spirit,
      right now, to change your heart?

  6. Next week: Clothed in Christ.