READ-ALOUD SMALL GROUP TIP
A Small Group is only as good as its members. To help you and everyone in the group be great Small Group Members there will be a tip to read aloud & discuss briefly as a group.
TIP: EAT TOGETHER
There is no better way to encourage personal conversations to take place than to have food in the room. There is something about the act of eating that brings down barriers and puts people at ease. Nothing – not a conversation, not a handshake or even a hug – establishes friendship so forcefully as eating together. Whether your group decides to have a snack each week, share a potluck style meal, or meet at a local restaurant, take time as a group to talk about whether (and how) your group could incorporate eating together.
DISCUSS: What relationships have you seen strengthened as a result of sharing a meal? Do you agree that nothing establishes friendship so forcefully as eating together? Why/Why not? What plans might your group make to share a meal together that doesn’t put extra burden on the leader(s)/host(s)/member(s)?
Eric started out by sharing how much he loves Halloween, even showing a picture of a costume he wore. What memories do you have of Halloweens past? Any favorite costumes? Any costumes you regret? 😊
SPECIAL NOTE: Read Mark 5 together as a group. This can be all at once or the group can read the relevant sections of the chapter based on the story or section being discussed.
1. Fear has been a theme in many of the stories in Mark so far. It is also a theme in Mark 5.
-What makes you afraid?
-Why do these things make you afraid?
2. Look back over Mark 4:35–5:43 and jot down notes where you see faith and fear mentioned in the same story.
-What did you notice?
-What similarities & differences do you see in the stories?
-When have you experienced both faith & fear together? What was the result?
-How does Jesus’ response to fear in these stories offer insight into how he might respond when we are afraid?
3. Eric talked about the concept of a third realm, where the physical and spiritual realms intersect. He also talked about two types of response people have to this third realm: fear or exploitation.
-Do you believe in the existence of a spiritual realm that interacts with our physical reality? Why/Why not?
-How does the idea of a “third realm” challenge or influence your understanding of spiritual forces in the world?
-How can we guard ourselves against fear and exploitation while staying rooted in our faith and trust in Jesus’ power and compassion?
-How can a deeper understanding of the spiritual realm help us navigate our faith journey with confidence and discernment?
4. Discuss/Comment on the quote from C.S. Lewis, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist and a magician with the same delight.”
5. Consider the role of compassion in Jesus’ interactions with those suffering in Mark 5.
-How can we embody this same compassion in our relationships and communities today?
-How do the healings in Mark 5 demonstrate Jesus’ concern for both physical and spiritual well-being as well as his authority over sin, sickness, and death?
-How does this narrative speak to the power of Jesus in our lives today?
-How can we prioritize holistic healing in our own lives and in the lives of those around us?
6. For some, it can be hard to understand why Jesus allowed the demons to destroy the pigs.
-What do you think might be the reason Jesus allowed the demons to go into the pigs?
-What does the fate of the pigs show about what the demons were trying to do to the man?
-What does this show about the value Jesus places on the man?
-Why do you think the people from the surrounding area were afraid of Jesus?
-Why do you think Jesus presented a threat to them?
-Imagine you were there to see this incident; how might you have reacted?
7. For the first time in the Gospel of Mark Jesus tells someone to go and tell others about his healing. Then after Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter, he commands the girl’s parents and his companions not to tell anyone about this miracle.
-How is this demon possessed man different from the others he has healed?
-Why might Jesus have reverted to the previous strategy of instructing people to not talk about him?
Are there times Jesus might tell us today to not tell people about him?
8. Jesus’ command to this man to go & tell is like an early version of the Great Commission where Jesus tells his disciples to go & tell the world & share the Good News. We each have a story of God’s work in our lives. Jesus commissioned this healed man to tell the story of his encounter with Him.
-How can Jesus’ command & the man’s response serve as an example for us?
9. Jesus says to you, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
-What do you share? What would your message be from your own life?
10. Eric talked about how we can sometimes face situations for which we bear some responsibility. We start down a path but then things snowball out of control. We are now in a place where we can no longer help ourselves. This can manifest in us living out of our brokenness.
-Where have experienced this in your life?
-How have you experienced rescue?
11. Eric mentioned the significance of rest, rooting in the family of God, and replicating the message of Jesus.
-How can we practically apply these principles in our daily lives and within our church communities?
-How can we create a culture of compassion and power that reflects Jesus’ mission and values?
12. Mark 4:41 records the disciples asking, “Who is this?”
-How would the various people Jesus interacts with in Mark 5 answer that question?
-Which person’s hypothetical answer to that question resonate with you?
Jairus approached Jesus on behalf of his daughter, seeking healing for her, not himself. James 5:16 commands us to pray for one another’s healing (both spiritual & physical). Take time as a group to share ways you personally would like to experience healing (whether spiritual or physical or both). Then take time as a group to pray for one another.