The Big Embrace

May 14, 2023 

Message Big Idea

There is more than one way to approach Jesus. Some approach arrogantly. Some do so casually. And some even approach him indifferently. So, when a desperate Father and a sickly woman come to him vulnerably, faithfully seeking help in their circumstances, we see Jesus respond with tenderness and care. Furthermore, he is powerful enough to overcome their crises, not only cleansing and healing but also giving new identity and new life!

Lean In

  • Take a moment to reflect (if you are going through this on your own) or share (if you are with others in a group setting): What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
  • Tell of a time you experienced crisis, big or small. Did your dog eat your homework? Did you run out of gas on the highway? Who did you call? How did you respond?

Look Down

  • Read Mark 5:21-43 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
  • Take a moment to briefly retell the passages in your own words.
  • What words or phrases “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?
  • Go around the group and share key highlights or takeaways from the previous Sunday’s message. What jumped out at you as impactful and/or made you want to know more?

Look Out

  • What are some of the different ways people can ‘approach’ Jesus? Are they demanding something? Are they skeptical? Are they disrespectful? Are they indifferent?
  • Now, how is Jesus ‘approached’ by those in the Church? Is it with familiarity? Is he taken for granted? Is he embraced? Is he clung to with vulnerability and dependency? How is this observed in everyday life?

Look In

  • Considering that according to Levitical Law, interacting with someone experiencing bodily discharge (i.e., bleeding) and touching a corpse would make someone ceremonially unclean. This was seen as inhibiting one’s relationship to the Holy One. So, what does it tell us about Jesus when he is not made unclean but surprisingly, he cleanses impurities in those who touch him? How does this influence your understanding of Christ’s abilities to take on your impurities, your sin, and your uncleanness?
  • Discuss the freedom the comes with recognizing Jesus’ ability to cleanse and purify those who fully embrace him in faith. When approached with complete vulnerability and dependency, how does Jesus respond (see v. 4:34; note his use of ‘daughter’)? In what ways can you strive for greater vulnerability with Jesus?
  • What current life circumstances or behaviors may be inhibiting your relationship with God? Spend some time in reflection and share as you feel comfortable. What spiritual practices can you try this week in the spirit of vulnerability and embrace (e.g., prayer, meditation, confession, etc.)?

Live It Out

  • What is one truth from this passage would you like to take to heart and act upon? How will this affect your life?
  • Who can you share this with during the week?

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