Power of Understanding – Mark 8:11-21 (Jody Garner)

Posted: Gospel of Mark, Sermons

In Mark 8:19 & 20, Jesus uses some confusing numbers to teach his disciples something. What do these numbers mean? Is it possible that Jesus has a long-term vision in mind? If so, what is that vision? This lesson explores the context of Mark 8:11-21 to try and find out what the numbers mean. To understand the bigger picture, read Mark 6:30-8:21. In this section, Jesus goes back and forth to the “other side.”


Gospel of Mark: The Power of Understanding

Sermon Notes

Mark 8:11-21


A Sometimes you have to be willing to be ridiculed and look crazy for a __________________ _______________.

Travel to the “___________ ____________” indicates a long-term _______________ that Jesus has.


5,000 is possibly a symbol for the _______ books of ___________.

12 is symbolic of the ____ _____________.

The first feeding (6:30-44) takes place in ________________ territory. Jesus is a ________________ for the Jews.

4,000 is possibly a symbol for the _______________ (in Isaiah).

7 in the ancient world was the number for ________________.

The second feeding (8:1-10) takes place in _________________ territory. Jesus is a ________________ for the Gentiles.


Jesus is feeding a multi-_____________ flock. The Gospel is for all ______________________.




11-4-18 – Connect Group Discussion Guide


This discussion guide will follow the sermon from today (11/4/18) and last Sunday’s sermon and challenge (10/28/18).



  1. Read Mark 5:1-20
  2. The key verse is 5:19 – Why did Jesus feel that it was important for the ex-demoniac to go and share his story with his people?



  1. What is a “testimony” (in the religious context)?
  2. Have you ever given a testimony? If so, where, when, what?
  3. Can you think of a time when someone gave a testimony that you felt was powerful or touching?
  4. Why do you think we (as in the COC) have not emphasized testimonies very much?



  1. Challenge a: Write out your story – your faith journey/spiritual autobiography
  2. Have you ever done something like this before? If you did it this last week, what was it like? If you didn’t, what do you think it will be like to write out your faith story?
  3. Challenge b: Share your story with one person
  4. How can sharing your story (or episodes of your story) be beneficial to others?


Text from this morning

  1. Read Mark 8:11-21
  2. What do you think these numbers are all about? Who was listening to the sermon? What was the explanation given?



  1. What comes to mind when you hear the “other side”?
  2. How does Jesus interact with both Jews and Gentiles from Mark 6:30 through Mark 8:10? (also including Mark 5:1-20).
  3. Do you think that Jesus is showing his disciples that he is a shepherd of a multi-ethnic flock?
  4. What do you think it would look like if you shared your story with someone from a different ethnicity?


  1. Pray together