June 02, 2024

Assigned Scripture

Mark 8:22-26

22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him.23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”

24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”

25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”

Acts 8:26-31

26 As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south[a] down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

29 The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”

30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

31 The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Group Response

Following the weekly gathering, you’re invited to respond to the service by engaging in group discussion.

SUMMARY:

In Mark 8:22-26, the central theme is Jesus healing a blind man in two stages. Initially, the man gains partial sight, seeing people as blurry figures. After a second touch from Jesus, his vision becomes completely clear. Similarly, in Acts 8:26-31, Philip is first called to proximity to others, but then receives a second calling to deeply connect with him (kollaō in Greek). The sermon emphasizes that we often settle for the first touch or call, feeling content with imperfect vision or mere proximity. However, God desires us to pursue something more and something deeper – full clarity in our sight and to move from simple proximity to genuine connection with others.

Discussion Questions

1. Are there areas in your life where you are settling for partial vision or only the initial call of being proximate to others? Reflect on how God might be calling you to deeper clarity and connection.

2. Often, we learn to get by with “less than” – we adapt to blurry vision, blind spots, or just being “close enough” to others. Many times, we do this because we’ve grown content in our comfort zones and are unwilling to invest the time and effort to heed the second call. How has this looked in your life? Can you share specific examples where you’ve settled for less?

3. What are some things you may need to start saying “no” to in order to free up the necessary margin in your life to move beyond mere proximity to genuine connection, especially with those who are different from you or marginalized? How can you be intentional in seeking and building these deeper connections?