The story in Mark 8 of Jesus healing a blind man includes some key people who, though easy to overlook, are essential to the story. Verse 22 mentions “some people” who brought the man to Jesus and “begged him to touch him.” The Bible is full of stories of people who bring people to Jesus and beg him on their behalf to then watch Jesus heal, restore, deliver, and forgive like only he can do. These stories in the Bible and that we see at work around us should lead us to ask ourselves the critical question, “How can you, how can I, how can we bring people to Jesus?”
Aloud as a group, read Matthew 4:24, 8:16, 9:2, 9:32–33, 12:22, 14:34–36, and Mark 1:32–34, 2:1–5 and 8:22–26. Take some time to let group members share observations about the passages. Try not to move into interpretation of the passage or application of what you have read quite yet. Simply share what you all observe from the text.
In these passages, what do you observe about—
- The work of unnamed people in approaching Jesus and bringing others with them?
- The proximity of these unnamed people to Jesus?
- Jesus’ response to those who were brought by these unnamed people?
- The effect of Jesus’ work in the lives of those others (including the unnamed people)?
- How would you explain or summarize these passages in your own words?
- Read Hebrews 11:35–12:2. Why do we tend to overlook the great importance of unnamed witnesses in the Scriptures? What do the referenced passages convey about these witnesses’ instrumentality in the LORD’s kingdom-building work?
How can we apply this passage to our lives?
- Today, we heard testimonies about how Mark 8:22–26 is playing out in our lives. These testimonies included stories about making disciples through
- Afghan refugee resettlement
- Women’s discipleship locally and abroad
- Group Bible study and Christian community in a local high school
- Pastoral training and encouragement in northern Nigeria’s persecuted church
- Outreach to a women’s shelter in northern Virginia. Which of these testimonies most impacted you and why?
- How might it look for the LORD’s name to be lifted high in your neighborhood, workplace, school, and/or surrounding community? What opportunities do you have to come alongside people around you to bring them to Jesus, beg Jesus for them, and watch Jesus work in power in them? With what other brothers and sisters in Christ might you co-labor toward this end?
- Do you tend to approach Jesus alone or with others, and why? When you consider the possibility of further engaging in Jesus’ mission, what personal limitations, weaknesses, imperfections, and/or apprehensions come to mind?
- How do you respond to those thoughts? Read Exodus 4:10–12, 1 Samuel 16:6–12, Isaiah 6:4–7, and 1 Corinthians 1:17ff. What do these passages indicate about the pertinence of our personal weaknesses (and our ‘strengths’)?
- In what new or different ways might you approach Jesus with and on behalf of others? How would you like the LORD to use you for His glory in the lives of others? How might you prayerfully pursue Him this week toward that end?
The critical part you and I can play in Jesus’ healing others’ lives:
- Bring people to Jesus.
- Beg Jesus for people.
- Watch Jesus work in power.