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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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Who do you say Jesus is? How do you see Him?
Continuing our in-depth study through the Gospel of Mark, this weekend Pastor Doug shared a powerful word from Mark 8:22–38. In this message, we saw Jesus getting personal and walking a blind man through a process of healing, we explored the cost of following Jesus, and came face to face with the question of who Jesus truly is.
In this week’s group study, Pastor Reuben Ramsaran invites us into a deeper conversation about Mark 8:22–38, specifically honing in on verses 22–25!
Below, you’ll find some key questions to reflect on and consider in your group, with your family, or in your circle of friends, some action points fo the week, and a look ahead.
Memory Verse of the Week: Mark 8:25 (NIV)
“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.”
Icebreaker: Describe an experience you had that was personally catered to you—examples: a special themed birthday party, a really great, personalized experience at a hotel or retreat, or a really well thought out personal gift.
Key Takeaway: Jesus gets personal with you!
Getting the Conversation Going: Anytime it comes to one of Jesus’ miracles, it’s important to remember that as wonderful as the miracles are, the greater wonder is to be found in the truths which lie beneath each miracle. Miraculous healings, feedings, and deliverances all have a temporary impact, but the spiritual principles that guide them are everlasting and applicable for all times, including our own. That’s what we’ll see as we now come to Christ’s healing of a blind man that was brought to Him by those in the community of Bethsaida.
Here, we see Jesus take a very different approach to healing a blind man than He had in other instances. When the blind man was brought to Jesus, He could have certainly healed him right on the spot. However, Jesus takes him by the hand and leads him out of the town. That’s uncommon for Jesus, which indicates there’s something important happening here. And then, it gets even more unique . . . Rather than completely healing this man instantaneously (which we know He was capable of), Jesus deliberately puts this man through a process. Why? Was it to teach him patience or obedience? Was it to demonstrate how spiritual understanding is progressive and takes time? We really don’t know for sure! But what we do know is this was exactly how Jesus wanted to heal this man. The Lord had a personal plan and process for this man to experience, which goes hand in hand with Jesus getting this man one on one to begin with.
Here’s the transcendent truth that applies to us, the truth we want you to reflect on and discuss with your family, friends, or group: Jesus is personal, and there’s no substitute for experiencing Him on a personal level. We need to know Jesus one on one for ourselves. For then and only then will we experience His personal touch and healing upon our lives.
Discussion Question 1: Why does Jesus do things differently here? What is the guiding principle this teaches us?
Discussion Question 2: How have you seen Him work uniquely and personally in your life? Blindness and Blind Spots: As we explored above, when Jesus opens our eyes, we see the truth of who He is, but we also see ourselves for who we are much more clearly. However, over time we often develop blind spots, areas we can’t see that are either growing stagnant spiritually or where we’re struggling. Consider Jesus’ rebuke of Peter in verse 33. He was blind to the truth of his perspective and needed Jesus to open His eyes in that area. In the same way, we need both the Spirit’s help to see blind spots in our life, relationship with Jesus, and others, as well as the accountability of strong, trusted Christian friends to speak truth and walk with us through the process.
Discussion Question 3: Why is it important to have regular accountability in your life?
Eyes Wide Open: In the miracle we saw in verses 22–25, Jesus healed a blind man. When He calls us, comes into our lives, and begins His work of redemption and renewal in us (Titus 3:4–7), He opens our eyes to the truth of who He is. We see this clearly in the next passage, as Jesus asks the disciples who people say He is.
The truth is whether you’re a Christian or not, this is a question every single person will have to answer. It’s the most important question we will ever have to answer. It is the difference between life and death.
Here was Peter’s response: “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29 NIV), “the Christ of God” (Luke 9:20 NKJV), “the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16 NIV). After almost three years together, seeing all they’d seen and hearing all they’d heard, but more than that simply being so intimately in His presence, how could they not be so convinced that Jesus indeed was the Savior of the world, God in the flesh, the Lord? And it’s the same for us! When we encounter Jesus through His Word, through the preaching of His Word, through prayer, through the testimony of His people, and through His power and Spirit, how can we do anything but worship Him for who He truly is?
Discussion Question 4: How did the Lord open your eyes to the truth of Jesus? Share a little about your testimony!
Discussion Question 5: How can you engage with people in eye-opening conversations about who Jesus is? What are some best practices you’ve adopted in relationships when you set out to share the gospel with people?
“‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah.’”—Mark 8:29 (NIV)
This Week: As hard as this may be for some of us, particularly as the Western world grows more and more hostile towards Christianity, it’s important we have conversations with those in our sphere of influence regarding who they believe Jesus to be. Why? Because their lives depend on it! So, this week, have a conversation with someone—a friend, neighbor, coworker, or family member. Ask them what they truly believe about Jesus and share with them who you know Him to be and why.
Pray It Out: Share prayer requests in your group. Write down the requests of your group members, spend time praying over these requests, and keep praying individually over them throughout the week.
Read the Article
We’re so excited to worship with you this weekend as we transition into the next part of our study through the Gospel of Mark. After spending the last few months really exploring who Jesus is, the second act of Mark focuses on how Jesus changes everything. Kicking off part two, Pastor Doug Sauder will share from Mark 9:1–29. In this message, we’ll discover how we can faithfully walk through seasons of doubt and experience the hope of Jesus in both the highs and lows of life.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.