Can’t you see the signs (Mark 8:1-21) Confusing signs from website below, Bibles Go to www.alzmedia.com/texzt/funny/funnysigns.php and print out some of the signs that are there. See if people can guess what the various signs were trying to communicate. Have you ever completely misunderstood something someone was trying to communicate to you? Were the results hilarious, tragic, or both? Spend some time in listening prayer with one another. What is the LORD wanting to say to you as individuals, as a cell? Is there Scripture, or words of encouragement that the LORD is wanting to speak over your cell? Take the time to honour the LORD by listening to him. Read Mark 8:1–21 What do we learn about Jesus and his mission from this reading? Who is he? How is this story different from the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000? What is the point of these feedings? Are they just to stop people from being hungry? Jesus is upset that the disciples still don’t understand the signs, but what is it they are supposed to understand? Why does Jesus get upset again that they haven’t understood the signs? What kind of signs are the Pharisees demanding? Why were they demanding a sign? Had they not just seen or heard of the miraculous feeding? What conclusion does Jesus make as a result of the Pharisees’ question? Why was it wrong for them to be asking for a sign? Are we a generation now that is looking for more signs and miracles? Is that wrong? What was the yeast or leaven of the Pharisees and followers of Herod? What did they think the Kingdom of God should be like? What do we think the Kingdom of God should be like? Is our vision the same as that of Jesus? The disciples didn’t understand things about Jesus. Is there anything that we are finding hard to understand about Jesus? Can’t you see the signs (Mark 8:1-21) Confusing signs from website below, Bibles In May cell when we discussed the feeding of 5,000 the Witness section was to sponsor a child individually and/or as a cell. For when we send money overseas it is literally multiplied, and the money we send will feed a lot more people when spent overseas then it would be if spent here in the Western World. Check back with your cell on how you are doing with that, and rather where you would like to go with that. Perhaps a couple of you want to team up and sponsor a child together— this could be a great discipleship model. We could even have a friendly competition between cells, what cell can sponsor the most kids. But in all seriousness this is a life or death matter and your cell can bring life to a child or two today. Keep your eyes open for signs this week of the Kingdom. Whenever you see something this week that points towards Jesus and his Kingdom and mission, jot it down, and share with the rest of the cell next week. Movie: Signs (obviously) This is a different story from the feeding of the 5,000, not just a re-telling. The number is different, the time they are in the wilderness, the amount of food, and the fact that the location is more remote. Clearly the disciples are meant to be understanding something from these miracles, but they are not, at least not yet. They still are thinking it’s primarily about the physical miracle, but Jesus is saying that these signs are pointing to something quite different, to a new Kingdom reality, and to himself as Messiah. The Pharisees demand a sign, but what more of a sign could they want than feeding 4,000? To Jesus, their question was a sign that this generation was stubborn and deaf to his Kingdom message, determined to do things their way and not God’s. This represented a clash of Kingdom-visions, Jesus’ vision vs. the Pharisees’ vision. So the “leaven” or bread of the Pharisees represented the wrong sort of Kingdom vision. The Pharisees had a vision of strict ritualistic purity and separation from the gentiles, including Rome. Theirs was a vision that would lead to violent revolt. The Herodians had a vision that would establish Herod’s family as the royal family of Israel, under the Roman authority. Both of these visions missed the mark substantially in Jesus’ mind. Jesus uses a quote from Jeremiah about not understanding, not seeing and not hearing. This warning was originally given to Israel concerning injustice and worshipping idols, and how this sin would lead to foreigners taking them over. Jesus is issuing the same warning here, saying that if they do not see and hear and recognize the true King, (Jesus), then calamity would befall Israel.