January 31, 2021: Episode 80 | Speaking of First Impressions
The message that sparked the conversation ... Under the Impression.
How good are you at reading people? Are your initial reactions usually correct? Join us in a conversation about Mark chapter 5 and the accuracy of first impressions.
(1) How confident are you in your first impressions of people? Share your first name, and, on a scale of 1 to 10, rate your confidence level in your first impressions of others. After everyone shares, tell us why you gave that rating ...
(2) First impressions are inevitable. But how we use them is an open question. Sometimes we might use first impressions like a casting director to "typecast" people for certain roles we expect them to play in our lives. When do you find yourself "casting" people by type?
(3) Or we might resist letting a first impression become a lasting impression. Rather than typecasting people, we might "read" them, like a complex character who is slowly revealed through an entire novel or series of novels. When are you more open to "reading" a person's character gradually, over time?
(4) When people initially meet Jesus as recorded in The Gospel According to Mark, their first impressions of him are often dead wrong, or at least incomplete. For example, the people of Jesus' hometown are under the impression he's pretending to be something he's not (Mk 6:2-3). There's a crowd that thinks he's laughable—a fool (5:40), and another crowd that thinks he's dangerous (5:17). Then, there are the demons. Their impressions of Jesus are, ironically, fairly accurate (5:7, cf. 3:27). And, in the middle of this section, there's a man and a woman, both of whom are laboring under their own incomplete impressions of Jesus (5:21-36). As you listen to Mark 5:1-6:14, what's one word or phrase that stood out to you, intrigued you, raised questions for you, or otherwise got your attention?
After everyone shares their word or phrase, we'll go around and explain why it "got" you.
(5) Reflecting on this, what are you getting to know more deeply about Jesus?
(6) How is this good news for you?
(7) Coming away from this conversation, what do you want to say to people in your household, congregation, or neighborhood?