These questions are meant to be a choose-your-own-adventure. That is, use what you like. Skip what you don’t. And add to it in any way you see fit.
- Think about something that has always fascinated you, but you’ve never been able to conquer or learn to do or understand. Maybe it’s a sport or an instrument or some scientific concept like quantum mechanics. If you could instantly understand or do something new, what would it be?
- Other than slow traffic or construction zones, what’s a situation where you have absolutely no patience?
- What would you do or where would you go if you wanted to really slow down, to rest, to take a break? What about that is relaxing?
What Do You See?
Read Mark 8.22-26 together.
22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”
- In some ways, this is a strange little story. At first, Jesus only half-heals the guy. It seems as if that would have been deliberate, not accidental. So what do you think Jesus is up to? What might be going on here?
- When have you experienced something like this, when you needed something to change, or healing of some sort, and it didn’t happen the way you were hoping? Like this guy, it might not be something spiritual.
Who Do You Say I Am?
Read Mark 8.27-30.
**Except for the first sentence in the book, this is the first time the word ‘Messiah’ is used in Mark.**
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
- This is the very next story Mark tells. In some ways, they are different versions of the same story. What similarities do you see?
- We’re watching Peter have quite the epiphany. This is no small thing that he is calling Jesus the Messiah. When have you experienced something similar? As in, what is something you know now about Jesus that you didn’t know when you were younger?
- And how did you learn that about Jesus? What was happening? What was the situation?
Do You Still Not Understand?
Read Mark 8.21.
21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
- These are the words of Jesus that Mark records right before these two episodes. It’s almost as if Jesus knows, or even expects, that often, it’s going to take us a while to understand something new. What’s your response to this idea?
- And beyond any new understanding, what about actual change in our lives? If the understanding takes time, then surely, Jesus is offering grace as we grow and change. In what ways, big or small, might you be in need of grace and patience as you seek to out change in your own life?