Our Hopes Are Too Small

April 16, 2017 | Tom Swanson | Mark 16:1-8


Getting Acquainted

1) The actress that portrayed the Biblical character Salome in Sunday’s video talked about being terrified and excited at the same time. Have you ever had an experience like that? What was it?

Getting into the Bible

2) The word hope is used 78 times in the New Testament. It means an expectation of good, a joyful and confident expectation of salvation. In the Easter message we looked at Salome and talked about hope. Like the two people who were walking to Emmaus, her hopes had been crushed (see Luke 24:21). Scripture reminds us that hope is only as good as its object. Where are we called to place our hope as believers? Read 1 Timothy 4:9-10, 1 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 and Titus 2:11-14. 

3) Peter reminds us that we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). Paul also reminds us that without the resurrection we are without hope as followers of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:19). Although God has provided all we need to have a real hope, it is still vital for us to keep our hope in Christ alive and strong. What kinds of things will help us do that? Read Romans 15:4, Romans 8:22-25, Hebrews 10:19-25 and Hebrews 11:1-3.

Working it out in Life

4) Was there one point or comment from last week’s message that most resonated with you or caused you the most uncertainty or disagreement? What was it? 

5) Sunday’s message addressed the issue of hope. It’s good to have hope, but hope can sometimes be misplaced. Do you see a place, person or area of life where it seems that people often place their hopes (see I Timothy 6:17 for one suggestion)? Is there a potential danger in placing our hopes for life in some of those areas? What is that danger?

6) We saw on Sunday that Salome’s hopes were dashed on Friday afternoon at the crucifixion, but then that her hopes were restored by God on Sunday morning at the resurrection. What real life difference did the resurrection of Jesus make to her? In what practical, daily ways does the resurrection of Jesus make a difference in your life?

Digging Deeper

7) Have there been times in your Christian life when you have lost sight of the hope that God wants us to have? What brought that about? If you feel stronger now, what worked to restore your hope?

8) Do you know someone who you think may be struggling in life at this time and is feeling rather hopeless? Is there something you could do to help to restore their hope? What do you think that would be?

Message: April 16, 2017

Message title: Our Hopes are too Small

Message Scripture: Mark 15:37-41, 16:1-8

Message summary: We all go through life with certain aspirations or hopes. These hopes might relate to our careers, our finances, our studies, our relationships or any number of things. Simply put, we want life to work out in ways that are good for us. But there are times when those hopes get dashed and things don’t work out. This can be devastating, but it can also be freeing. We start to see that maybe our hopes are too small and that God gives something to us that is bigger and better! This is Easter, when small hopes are replaced by big hopes because Christ is Risen!


1) Hopes for prosperity   Mark 15:40-41

2) Hopes for belonging   Mark 15:40-41

3) Hopes for family   Matthew 20:20-23

4) Small hopes are easily taken   Mark 15:37-39

5) The resurrection gives new hope   Mark 16:1-8