Game Changer Week 3: Intro/LifeGroup Questions
This guide and devotional pairs with Mark 6:45-52 and the sermon preached on June 8 and 9.
Written by Anita Baldwin
Anita is a long-time member of Chapel Hill. Craig, Anita and their four sons started attending Chapel Hill and became members in 1989. Over the years, she has served in many areas of the church. She loves her family (which has grown from six to 17) and loves being a grandma. She also loves to sew, garden, read, plink on the piano and harp, and all kinds of handwork. Anita is found on a daily basis at her husband’s engineering firm working as the office manager. She especially loves the Word and knows from experience, that the Holy Spirit uses it to comfort, encourage, and transform us. She has served in many areas of the Chapel Hill and recently returned from a medical outreach mission trip with the Cambodia Go Team. She has experience firsthand the importance of THIS community of believers who minister to each other in time of need. She is so grateful for life and all the friends and family here at Chapel Hill; her motto is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
What is special about Jesus’ words “Take heart. It is I. Do not be afraid”? Look up these words in the original Greek and discuss what this short phrase says about who Jesus is. Why would this have been astounding to the disciples and to the original readers of Mark’s gospel?
Note Mark’s repetition of the word “immediately” in this passage. How does this word give us a picture of the context of this story, and the pace of events in this story? Consider how the placement of this passage after the account of the loaves and fishes helps build a clearer picture of Jesus’ power and identity.
These fishermen are used to storms, and yet they are struggling in this story. They are making headway “painfully”, the wind is “against them”, they are afraid of what they think is a ghost. When have you struggled with something you were always confident at before? How was this an opportunity for Christ to reveal his presence, his comfort, his assurance?
Jesus’ presence brings peace to the storm and to the hearts of the disciples. He calms their fears and changes the atmosphere. Where do you need to experience Jesus’ peace right now?
This account ends with the phrase “They did not understand about the loaves, for their hearts were hardened”. Consider how the disciples experienced firsthand the power and authority of Christ and yet didn’t yet understand the fullness of who he truly was. They are even “terrified” when they see him and mistake him for a ghost! How can you relate to this gradual process of learning who Jesus is?
Jesus’ practice after a busy day of ministry was to go up on the mountain alone to pray. What is your practice when things have been really hectic and other people’s needs have been overwhelming? How can you practice prayer as a response this week?
Bring to Jesus the areas you feel afraid, or need to experience his peace. Thank him for his presence and ask for him to speak his words of comfort to you personally.