Free E-mail Bible Study Elijah: Rebuilding Yahweh's Altar
Mark's Gospel is probably the first gospel to be writtendown. And Mark tends to be rather concise. His is the shortest gospel. Mostimportant, however, Mark's Gospel provides a straightforward path with which tostudy of Jesus' life and ministry. His opening declaration states his purposesuccinctly:
"The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ,the Son of God." (1:1)
Unlike most of the JesusWalk Bible Study Series studies thatare e-mail delivered each week and use an online forum for discussion, this studyis designed to provide the curriculum core of a face-to-face discussion-based classor small group that has Bible study as an important component of its life.
My Life Group
I developed these lessons while leading a 20- to 25-minutediscussion each Tuesday night June 2015 through March 2016 as part of a men'sLife Group. Here's how our Life Group typically works. We meet for a bit less thanan hour and a half. We begin by sharing what is going on in our lives and wherewe are seeing God's hand. Next, we spend a few minutes praying for each otherand our families with sentence prayers. We conclude with about 20 minutes Biblediscussion.
Each week I would prepare a few questions on a brief passagefrom the Gospel of Mark in a 4-per-8-1/2" x 11" page format that I could cutup to hand to group members. Then I would lead off with the first question. Ourstudy ended up extending for 35 weeks, or just under three quarters. A fewlessons might lend themselves to an additional week for discussion.
For each handout I included the questions plus a small blackand white illustration I found on the Internet. Unfortunately, I did not taketime to trace down copyright ownership of any of these illustrations.
The Leader's Role
If you're a small group or class leader, I invite you totake advantage of the materials I've developed. There's no charge.
First, download the free PDF file containing these instructions, overview, and weekly handouts (50 pages).
I recommend that you prepare yourself for each lesson by reading thematerial for each text in a good commentary on Mark designed for laypersons. Twocome to mind, both of which can be purchased online used:
- R. Alan Cole, Mark(Tyndale New TestamentCommentaries; InterVarsity Press, 1989), 347 pages.
- Tom Wright, Mark for Everyone (For Everyone series; SPCK/WestminsterJohn Knox Press, 2004), 244 pages.
Once you've read the appropriate section in thecommentary, then, hopefully, you understand the issues involved in the passage,so you can intelligently guide the discussion as needed. However, don'tprepare a mini-lecture! The method outlined here is aquestion-discussion approach to learning, not a lecture approach.
How to Lead the Discussion
Have someone in the group read aloud the first severalverses, and then read out the first question from the handout. Be prepared torephrase the question if you need to prompt a discussion. Discussion that isbased on the Scripture text is not merely trading ignorance. I've found thatwhen people begin to discuss, they find out what they don't know and are oftenforced back to the text to get the answer. As people engage, the lights beginto go on, and God's Word does its work in hearts.
Your job as leader is to make sure they get the point of thequestion, but don't give them the answer -- unless absolutely no one gets it. Ifsomeone gets even a part of the answer, encourage them, and suggest thatthere's even more. Then be silent. The more you talk, the less they have tothink and process.
Your role will require you to move the group along by goingto the next question so they are able to cover the whole passage. If you don'tget to all the questions, the world won't end. J
I humbly present these materials to you as the basis fordiscussion for use with groups you lead. Though they are copyrighted in orderto protect their integrity, I hereby offer you permission to reprint copies foryour local ministry use.
Ralph F. Wilson
JesusWalk Bible Study Series
July 1, 2016
- Download Free Handouts Now (PDF). This 50-page document includes (1) these instructionsabove, (2) a list of the 35 lessons with questions, and (3) the handoutquestions (35 pages of 4-up masters).
Introduction to the Gospel of Mark (to be handed out the first week withlesson 1)
Many scholars see the Gospel of Mark as the first of thefour gospels written down. The early Church Fathers are unanimous that it waswritten by Mark (probably John Mark). Church historian Eusebius cites Papias (whoministered in the late first and early second centuries AD):
"Mark became Peter's interpreter and wroteaccurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said ordone by the Lord." (Eusebius, Church History 3.39.16)
The Gospel of Mark was probably written in Rome in themid-60s AD, perhaps just after Peter's martyrdom in 65 AD, but before the fallof Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Mark seems to have been written for both Jewish and GentileChristians who were undergoing persecution from both the Jews and Romans.
Mark is the shortest gospel. It begins abruptly with theassertion: "The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God"(1:1). You'll find the word "immediately" used often.Mark also ends abruptly at 16:8, as if the final page of the document weremissing. The "Longer Ending" of Mark, containing 16:9-20, is written by anotherhand to complete the gospel, but is clearly penned in the late decades of thefirst or early second centuries, and reflects the early church's understandingof Jesus' resurrection and commission.
As you study the Gospel of Mark each week, read the versesindicated, then discuss the provided questions in your group. As you talktogether, everyone will become engaged in the process, the deeper meanings ofthe text will become apparent, and you'll discover ways you to apply theprinciples in your own life.
1. Preparing the Way (Mark 1:1-20)
1. What was John the Baptist's role? What was theessence of John's message? (1:1-9)
2. Why did John dress the way he did? Why did he act"abnormally"? What did people think about him? (1:6)
3. Why do you think the Spirit "sent" Jesus into thedesert? (1:12-13) Does he ever send us for this purpose?
4. What was Jesus' early message? (1:14-15) What doesthe world think Jesus' main message is?
5. Why do you think Simon and Andrew, James and Johnanswered Jesus' radical call? (1:16-20)
6. Is Jesus call today so radical? How should we respondto it?
2. Jesus Heals (Mark 1:21:-2:12)
1. What is the significance of Jesus casting out an evilspirit? What had the spirit said? How does this propel Jesus' career? (1:21-28)
2. Why did Jesus heal Peter's mother-in-law? (1:29-33)What effect did this have on the town? Should we routinely pray for sickpeople?
3. Why did Jesus disappear? What did his disciples wanthim to do? What did his Father want him to do? How was this "predictablepattern" foundational for Jesus' ministry? Have you developed this pattern?(1:35-39)
4. What faith did the leper have? Why did the leperqualify his prayer with Jesus' will? What was Jesus' will? What was the effectof the leper's disobedience? (1:40-45)
5. Did the paralytic have faith? What is therelationship between forgiveness and healing? How did Jesus' words offend?(2:1-12)
3. Jesus Challenges the Status quo (Mark 2:13-3:6)
1.What was the social standing of tax collectors?Why did Jesus call Levi? How did he respond? How did the religious puristsrespond? Who did Jesus come for? Are there people "below" you that you felluncomfortable helping? (2:13-17)
2.Why did the Pharisees criticize Jesus aboutfasting? What was Jesus' answer? What is the lesson to us of the old and newwineskins? (2:18-22)
3.What is the significance of the Sabbath beingmade for man, rather than visa versa? What does it mean that Jesus is Lord ofthe Sabbath? (2:23-28)
4.Why were the Pharisees upset about Jesus healingthe man with the shriveled hand? Why did they consider this such a seriouschallenge? (3:1-6)
4. Pressures & Solutions (Mark 3:7-35)
1.What effect did the crowds have on Jesus'ministry? How did his disciples assist with the crowds? (3:7-12)
2.What specifically were the "apostles" to do?What is the significance of "being with him"? (3:13-19)
3.How did his family respond to his popularity?How did the religious leaders respond? (3:20-22)
4.Why did Jesus tell the parable of the kingdomdivided? Who is the "strong man" in the parable? Why is it so serious toblaspheme against the Holy Spirit? What does this mean? (3:23-30)
5.What did Jesus' mother and brothers plan to do?Who are Jesus' new family? How does Jesus' new family act? (3:31-35)
5. The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20)
1.Why did Jesus teach with parables? (4:9-12)
2.What was the soil like along the path? (4:4) Whywere the birds able to eat it up? What does this represent? (4:15)
3.What was the soil like over rocky places? Why didthe plant spring up quickly? Why did it wither? (4:5-6). What does this soilrepresent? (4:16-17)
4.What happens to the seed sown in thorny places? (4:7)What do the thorns represent? (4:18-19)
5.What happens to the seed sown on good soil?(4:8) What kind of yield do you get here? (4:20)
6.What is the difference between the result on thegood soil and the others?
7.Why did Jesus give this parable to hisdisciples? What was he trying to teach them?
8.How do you tell if someone is a true believer?
9.What kind of soil are you?
6. Parables of the Kingdom (Mark 4:21-35)
1.What does the Parable of the Lamp on aStand teach us about our witness to others? (4:21-23)
2.What does the Parable of the Measures teach usabout the importance of listening carefully to Jesus? (4:24-25)
3.What does the Parable of the Growing Seed teachus about the Kingdom of God? (4:26-29) About our job and God's job?
4.What does the Parable of the Mustard Seed teachus? (4:30-33) How did it reassure the disciples?
5.Is the story of Jesus calming the storm aparable? What was it intended to teach about faith? About fear? About Jesus'power?
7. Miracles of Deliverance, Healing, & Resurrection (Mark 5)
1.How would you describe the crazy man's symptoms.What makes you think this might be demonic instead of chemical imbalance? (5:1-20)
2.What does this story teach us about demons?
3.What did pigs mean to Jews? What is the elementof the pigs add to the story? (5:11-13)
4.Why didn't Jesus have the man accompany him?What was his mission instead? (5:18-20)
5.What was wrong with the sick woman? How long hadshe been sick? What might her touch affect the ritual purity of those aroundher? (5:24-27)
6.What was the focus of her faith? How did Jesus'sense her healing? What is the role of faith in her healing? (5:27-34)
7.Who is Jairus? What is his position in thecommunity. How does he approach Jesus? What are the obstacles to his faith? Howdoes Jesus encourage him? (5:22, 35-40)
8.Why does Jesus exclude others from the room?Why does he give orders not to tell about this? (5:40-43)
8. Mission and Danger (Mark 6:1-30)
1.Why did people in Nazareth have a hard timebelieving in Jesus? (6:1-6)
2.Why did Jesus send out the Twelve? Whatauthority did he give them? (6:7-11)
3.What were his instructions to them? What was thepurpose of these instructions? (6:8-11)
4.What was the content of their message? Whatmiracles did they do? (6:12-13)
"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a person of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not,it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever theygive you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house tohouse." (Luke 10:5-7)
5.What are the characteristics of a "person ofpeace" according to Luke 10:5-7?
6.Why does Mark spend so much space telling aboutthe imprisonment and death of John the Baptist? What are we to learn from this?(6:14-29)
9. Feeding the 5,000, Walking on Water (Mark 6:31-56)
1.Why did Jesus withdraw with his disciples?(6:31-32)
2.Why didn't the people let them get away? (6:33)
3.How did Jesus characterize the people (6:34)
4.Why do you think Jesus assigned the disciples tofeed the multitude? (6:37)
5.How did Jesus tell them to start? (6:38)
6.How did the disciples help implement themiracle? (6:39-41)
7.Why did Jesus have the disciples collect theleftovers? (6:43-44, see 8:19-20)
8.Why did Jesus stay behind? What does that teachus? (6:45-46)
9.Why did Jesus scare his disciples by walking onthe water? What was he trying to do? (6:48-50)
10.In what way were their hearts hardened? (6:52)
11.How would you characterize Jesus' healingministry from verses 54-56? What attracted people?
10. Clean and Unclean (Mark 7:1-23)
1.What kind of ceremonial washing were the Jewsaccustomed to? (7:3-4) What this for sanitation?
2.Why did the Pharisees criticize Jesus' discipleswhen they ate? (7:1-2, 5)
3.How did the Pharisees fit Isaiah's prophecyquoted in verses 6-7.
4.Can you think of any present-day religioustraditions supersede what the Bible teaches?
5.Have you ever been in a church that refused todo things differently than they had always done before -- that is, traditionbound? How can you break out of this place?
6.According to Jesus, is uncleanness external orinternal? (7:18-20)
7.What are some forms of uncleanness within?(7:20-23)
11. Healings in Gentile Regions (Mark 7:24-37)
1.Why does Jesus "withdraw" to this region outsideof Galilee (see Matt 15:21)?
2.Why doesn't Jesus have any privacy here? (7:24)
3.Why does the Syro-Phoenician woman want?(7:25-26)
4.Why does Jesus seem to spurn her? (7:27)
5.How does her answer demonstrate faith and wit?(7:28-29)
6.Why do you think Jesus goes to the mainlyGentile region of the Decapolis? What do these two stories have to do with theprevious theme of "clean and unclean" (7:1-23)
7.How does Jesus go about healing the deaf-muteman? (7:32-37) How does this compare to their expectations?
12. Signs, Unbelief, and Healing (Mark 8:1-26)
1.What similarities do you see between the Feedingof the 4,000 (8:1-10) and the Feeding of the 5,000 (6:30-44)? What differences?
2.In this context, what does the Pharisees' requestfor a "sign" tell you about their powers of observation? Their faith? (8:11-13)
3.What is the "yeast" or "leaven" of thePharisees? (8:14-15) Why does Jesus tell them to "beware" or "watch out" forit? How might it infect us?
4.What does all this have to do with bread? Whatis the lesson of the "leftovers" from the feedings of the 5,000 and the 4,000?(8:17-20) What don't the disciples understand? (8:21)
5.What healing procedure did Jesus use to heal theblind man of Bethsaida? (8:22-26) When hewasn't fully healed, what did Jesus do? What can we learn from this for prayingfor the sick today?
13. Confession and Self-Denial (Mark 8:27-38)
1.Where does this incident take place? (8:27)
2.What questions does Jesus ask? How does Peteranswer? (8:28-29)
3.What did the Jews expect the Christ or Messiahto be?
4.Why does Jesus tell them to keep this a secret?(8:30) How might telling endanger Jesus' mission?
5.What does Jesus say about his death andresurrection? (8:31-32) How does this correspond to Jewish ideas of theMessiah?
6.Why does Peter rebuke Jesus in private? Why doesJesus rebuke Peter? About what matter is Peter speaking Satan's words? (8:33)
7.What does it mean to "take up one's cross" andfollow? Which does the cross represent here? Burden? Christian symbol? Death?(8:34)
8.Why is self-denial avoided by Christians? Howcould one trade the world for one's soul? Can a person be a true disciplewithout self-denial? (8:34-37)
14. A Glimpse of Glory (Mark 9:1-13)
1.Why do you think Jesus brought the three towitness his transfiguration? (9:2)
2.What did they see? (9:3)
3.What is the significance of Elijah and Moses?(9:4)
4.Why did Peter want to put up three shelters?What happens when people memorialize God-sightings in our day?
5.Elijah. Malachi 4:5-6. Who is the "Elijah"Jesus refers to? (9:12-13)
6.In what way did the disciples "see the Kingdomof God come with power"? (9:1)
15. Help My Unbelief (Mark 9:14-32)
1.Why were the "teachers of the law" arguing withthe disciples? (9:14)
2.Why does Jesus struggle with their unbelief?(9:19)
3.What faith does "if you can" represent? Whatdoes Jesus say about faith and possibility? (9:24)
4.What method does Jesus use for this exorcism?(9:25)
5.Why couldn't the disciples drive out the spirit?(9:28-29)
6.Why didn't Jesus want a crowd in Galilee?(9:30-31)
7.Notice how Jesus equates the Son of Man with theSuffering Servant (9:31; Isaiah 53). Why does Jesus warn the disciples abouthis impending death and resurrection? (9:31-32)
16. Pride, Tolerance, and Sin (Mark 9:33-50)
1.Why do you think the disciples argued about whowas greatest among them? (9:33-34)
2.Jesus gives two responses. What are they?(9:35-36)
3. Why did the disciples want to stop the man castingout demons? What did this have to do with their motivation in vss. 33-34? Whatwas Jesus' direction? What does this do with a cup of water? (9:38-41)
4.Who are the "little ones" of verse 42? What dothey have in common with those in verse 41?
5.Why is Jesus so adamant about sin? Is hespeaking literally or in hyperbole? What is our society's attitude about sin?(9:42-48)
6.Why is "fire and brimstone" preaching out offavor? What truth does it contain? (9:48)
7.Salt was used with sacrifices in the OT(Leviticus 2:13), probably alludes to living lives of sacrifice. What does a"salty" disciple look like? What about an "un-salty" disciple? Which are you?(9:49-50)
17. Divorce (Mark 10:1-12)
You must understand: (1) The Pharisees trying to getJesus to take sides on an ongoing Jewish controversy: whether a man can bedivorced for "any cause" (such as burning the toast), or only for adultery.(See Matthew 19:3-12 for a fuller statement.). (2) Mark's abbreviated versionleaves out the adultery exception, because it was assumed. It is explicitlyincluded in Matt 19:9 and Deut 24:1 ("some indecency").
1.Why did the Mosaic Law allow divorce? (10:4-5)What's an example of "hardness of heart"?
2.How does Jesus see God's original intention formarriage in the creation story? (10:6-7; Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:31).
3.What is the significance of "one flesh"?(10:8-9; Gen 2:24)
4.Why would invalid divorce cause adultery?(10:10-12)
5.How can we apply these principles honestly inour very broken world without being either overly sloppy or overly legalistic?
18. Entering the Kingdom (Mark 10:13-31)
1.How is the disciples' attitude in 10:13 similarto their attitude in 9:33-38?
2.What is the point of comparison betweenwelcoming children and people entering the kingdom? What does this teach usabout faith? (10:13-16)
3.Who do we learn about the man in verses 17, 20,and 22? What did he mean "inherit eternal life"? (10:17)
4.Why does Jesus question his relative use of theadjective "good"? (10:17-18)
5.Why does Jesus require the man to selleverything and give it to the poor? (10:21)
6.Why is salvation virtually impossible for therich? (10:23-27)
7.What does Jesus promise those who give up thingsfor Jesus and his gospel? (10:28-30)
8.How will the "first" be last, and vise versa, inthe Kingdom? (10:31)
19. Power and Service (Mark 10:32-45)
1.Why do you think the disciple couldn't graspJesus' three-time prediction of his death and resurrection? (8:31; 9:31-32;10:33-34) What prophecies do we find it hard to believe?
2.Why do James and John ask to sit Jesus' rightand left? How does it show faith? How does it show pride? How does Jesus answerthem? (10:35-41)
3.How do secular officials tend to exerciseauthority? What does "lord it over" mean? (10:42) How does this show up inchurch history? In your local congregation?
4.How does this contrast with Jesus' servantleadership? What does it mean to be a servant, a slave? (10:43-44)
5.How was Jesus' life an example? (10:45;Philippians 2:5-8) How did he illustrate this at the Last Supper (John 13:4-17)
6.In what way did Jesus come as a ransom? (10:45;see Isaiah 53:5, 11).
20.The Son of David (Mark 10:46-11:11)
1. Why is Bartimaeus sitting by the roadside? (10:46)
2. What does the title "Son of David" mean? What doesthis say about Bartimaeus's faith? (10:47-48)
3. Why did people try to quiet Bartimaeus? Why didn't hequiet down? What does this say about his faith? (10:48)
4. Why does Jesus ask him what he wants? Isn't itobvious? How does he answer? (10:51)
5. What is the connection between faith and healing?What does "following" Jesus entail? (10:52)
6. Read Zechariah 9:9. How does Jesus entering Jerusalemon a donkey fulfill prophecy? (11:1-10)
7. Do you think Jesus has already arranged with thedonkey's owner to use his animal? Why or why not? (11:2-6).
8. Why should we obey Jesus' instructions when they makeno sense to us? (11:2-6)
9. In what ways do the people worship Jesus at thetriumphal entry? (11:7-10)
10. What do the people's shouts tell us about theirfaith? About their understanding of who Jesus is? (11:9-10)
21. The Withered Fig Tree and Barren Temple (Mark 11:12-26)
1.What does the fig tree symbolize in Israeliteculture? (see Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10)? (We need to understand this actsymbolically.)
2.How had the Israelites corrupted the true use ofthe temple? What was the true use of the temple (11:17). How had the highpriests (who received a cut of profits) corrupted it and made it "a den ofrobbers"?
3.What did Jesus do in the temple? How was itreceived by the chief priests and teachers of the law? (11:15-18)
4.Why do you think Mark interweaves the accountsof the withered fig tree and the barren temple? What does the fig treerepresent here symbolically? (See a similar parable using a vineyard as thesymbol in Mark 12:1-12.)
5.What does Jesus teach about the power andimportance of faith in prayer? (Mark 11:22-24)
6.Why is forgiveness so important to integrity inprayer? (Mark 11:25; also Matt 5:23-24; 6:12,14)
22.The Parable of the Tenants (Mark 11:27-12:12)
1.When Jesus cleansed the temple (11:12-19), whydid the Jewish leaders question his authority to do so? In what way was this a"trick question" in order to entrap him? (Mark 11:27-33)
2.How did Jesus' question about John's authorityto baptize stop the Jewish leaders from pressing their attack on Jesus'authority? (Mark 11:29-33)
3.In Jesus' Parable of the Tenants, who does thevineyard builder represent? The vineyard? The tenants? The son? (Mark 12:1-9)
4.Jesus quotes Psalm 118:22-23. In that prophecywho is the stone? The builders? The capstone/cornerstone? (Mark 11:10-12)
5.According to Matthew 21:41, 43, who are the"other tenants" to whom the Kingdom will be given?
6.When people reject Jesus in our day, what is theconsequence of their blind eyes (2 Corinthians 4:4) and their rejection?
23. Jesus Answers Trick Questions (Mark 12:13-27)
1.Who wanted to trap Jesus regarding taxes? Why?What was the trick question? (12:13-15)
2.What would Jesus do if he said they should paytaxes to Caesar? What would they do if he said they shouldn't?
3.How were they hypocrites? (12:14-15a)
4.What was Jesus' answer? Why did it disappointthem? (12:15b-17)
5.Who wanted to trap Jesus about the resurrection?(6:18-23) How could a woman become a widow seven times over? How did leviratemarriage require a man to marry his brother's widow? (Deuteronomy 25:5-10)
6.What will be the state of marriage in heaven? (6:25)
7.How does Jesus demonstrate resurrection fromGod's words to Moses? (6:26)
8.What do we learn from this about responding toinsincere questions?
24. The Great Commandments (Mark 12:28-34)
1.Who asked Jesus the question? What do you thinkhis motive was? In what way was this a "test question"?
2."Love the Lord with all your heart" comes fromthe Shema recited daily by observant Jews (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). What is involvedin obeying this command? What does it mean to "love" God?
3."Love your neighbor as yourself" comes fromLeviticus 19:18. How do we fulfill this command?
4.In Matthew, Jesus said: "All the Law and theProphets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:40). In what ways is thistrue?
5.Our world generally acknowledges the greatnessof the Second Commandment. Why do they ignore the First Commandment?
6.How did the questioner respond? What did Jesussay to him? In what way was he "not far" from the Kingdom?
25. The Widow's Offering (Mark 12:35-44)
Context: Various groups have asked Jesus questions:Should we pay taxes? How can there be a resurrection? What is the greatestcommandment?
1.Jesus quotes the messianic Psalm 110:1, "TheLord says to my Lord...." What is his question? To whom does he ask it? What ishis point? (12:35-37)
2.What sins are the "teachers of the law" guiltyof? Where do we see these sins today? (12:38-40)
3.Why does Jesus look at people giving offerings?Does he look today? (12:41-44)
4.Jesus contrasts the rich people who "threw inlarge amounts" with a "poor widow." What can we surmise about this widow?(12:41-44)
5.How much did she put in the offering? How couldit be "more than all the others?" (12:44)
6.Is Jesus' measurement scale for offeringsabsolute or relative? What does this teach us about how much we should give? Howdoes this relate to tithing?
7.What about this story makes us uncomfortable?
26. Signs of the End (Mark 13:1-25)
Called Mark's "Little Apocalypse" because it is short,these verses are difficult to interpret fully. Like a puzzle with some missingpieces. But let's see what we can learn.
1.What disciple's statement prompted Jesusto discuss the end times? (13:1-2)
2.What will the disciples be doing during thistime? (13:9-11)
3.In spite of betrayals, why must we stand firm tothe end? (13:12-13)
4.When should they flee? What will this period belike? (13:14-20)
5.What is done "for the sake of the elect"? Whoseems to be present on the earth at this time? (13:20)
6.What kind of deceptions should we expect?(13:21-23; also 13:5-6)
7.Jesus quotes Isaiah 13:10; 34:4. What will bethe signs in the heavens? (13:24-25)
27. Parables of the End (Mark 13:26-37)
1.What does "the Son of Man coming in the clouds"have to do with prophecy? (13:26; hint: Daniel 7:13-14) Who will the Son ofMan gather?
2.The so-called "rapture" is depicted here as theangels are sent to "gather his elect" (13:27) How do you think this will takeplace?
3.What is the Parable of the Fig Tree? What doesit teach us regarding Christ's return? (13:28-31). Note "generation" (genea)can mean (1) "race" (2) "generation, contemporaries," or (3) "age."
4.Who knows the date? (13:32) Why should we beskeptical of Bible teachers setting dates?
5.In your own words, relate the Parable of theWatchful Servant (13:33-37). What is the point of the parable?
6.In practical terms, what does it mean for us to"watch" or "keep watch"? (13:33, 35, 37)
28. Anointing at Bethany (Mark 14:1-11)
Note: This is probably the same event as in John12:1-8 and Matthew 26:6-13, but NOT Luke 7:36-50 (about a sinful woman). In ourpassage the woman seems to be Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus (John 12:1-2).
1.Who was plotting to kill Jesus? Why? Whatoccasion were they seeking? (14:1-2)
2.Why did the woman anoint Jesus with suchexpensive perfume? What do you think was the woman's motive?
3.How valuable was the perfume in terms of a laborer'swages? How would these wages translate to your currency today? (14:5)
4.Why were some people upset about theextravagance? Would you be upset at this extravagance? Why or why not? (14:5)
5.How did Jesus interpret the gesture? Why did hedefend her? (14:6-8)
6.John tells us that Judas objected to theextravagance (John 12:4-6)? According to John, what was his motive?
7.Why do you think Judas betrayed Jesus? How wouldhis intelligence be important to the conspiracy to kill Jesus? (14:2, 10-11)
29. The Last Supper (Mark 14:12-26)
1.What were Jesus' instructions on where to preparethe Passover meal? Had Jesus made previous arrangements, or was this a divineappointment? (14:12-16)
2.Passover evening, Jesus revealed a betrayeramong the Twelve. Did Judas act of his own free will? Was he compelled bypredestination? Was he responsible for his actions? (14:17-21)
3.In what sense is the broken bread on thisPassover night Jesus' body? (14:22; see also 1 Corinthians 11:23-24). Whatmeaning do you think the disciples attached to this, at this time and later?
4.What did his blood represent? (14:24) What ismeant by the phrase "the blood of the covenant" (Exodus 24:8). Look for theorigin of the phrase "for many" in Isaiah 53:11-12. In what way does Jesus'blood affect us?
5. What promise do you see in verse 25? How does thisrelate to Revelation 19:9?
6.What is the purpose and effect of partaking ofthe Lord's Supper regularly? (1 Corinthians 11:26)
30. Peter's Bravado and Gethsemane (Mark 14:27-42)
1.What about Peter's character gives birth to hisbravado and comparisons with other disciples in verse 31? Have you ever beenblinded by pride?
2.Why do you think Jesus wanted only Peter, James,and John close to him in Gethsemane? (14:33a)
3.Why was Jesus so distressed? What was he afraidof? What did he recoil at? (14:33b-34a)
4.What does it mean to "keep watch"? (14:34b,37-38) What happened to the disciples?
5.What did Jesus ask the Father? What is "thiscup"? How does Jesus keep his desires from getting in the way of the Father'swill? (14:35-36)
6.What does Gethsemane teach us about Jesus'humanity? About his relationship with the Father?
7.How does the command to "watch and pray" aid uswhen we're tempted? (14:38) How can we implement watching? Praying?
31. Arrest and Trial before the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:43-65)
1.Why did Jesus' enemies need to find him awayfrom the crowds? (14:2). What key role did Judas play in the conspiracy?(14:43-45). What is the irony of Judas's kiss? (14:45)
2.Whose ear got cut off in the scuffle? (14:47).How did Jesus respond? See also John 18:10.
3.Why didn't various accusations against Jesusstand up to scrutiny in court? (14:58-59) Why, do you think, Jesus didn'tanswer these false charges?
4.Why did the high priest ask Jesus if he was thepromised Messiah? What was he hoping to hear? (14:61)
5.How did Jesus answer the high priest? (14:62) Inwhat ways does his answer correspond to the prophecy in Daniel 7:13-14?
6.How does Jesus admitting to being the Christ(Messiah) relate to the eventual charge before Pilate as claiming to be "Kingof the Jews"?
32. Peter's Denial, Jesus before Pilate (Mark 14:66-15:20)
1.Why does bold Peter, who cut off an ear hoursbefore (John 18:10), deny Jesus so vehemently now? What has changed?
2.What does Peter's denial teach us about obeyingJesus' instruction in Mark 14:38?
3.What does Peter's restoration in John 21:15-17teach us about forgiveness?
4.How does is charge "King of the Jews" designedto cast Jesus as a threat to Pilate? (15:2)
5.Why doesn't Jesus answer the false chargesagainst him? Why do you think Pilate is amazed by this? (15:3-5)
6.What indications are there that Pilate issympathetic to Jesus? (15:6-11)
7.Why does Pilate give Jesus over to flogged andcrucified? (15:12-15)
8.What did flogging involve? Why were condemnedcriminals flogged so brutally? How did this help accomplish the Roman's task tosubdue the Jews? (15:16-20)
9.How is "wanting to satisfy the crowd" (15:15) atemptation in your life?
1. Why do you think Simon of Cyrene was conscripted tocarry Jesus' cross? Why do you think his sons are mentioned? (15:21)
2. Read Psalm 22:7-8, 14-18. In what ways I does 15:24fulfill the prophetic words of this psalm?
Note: The 6th hour is noon, the 9th hour is 3 pm.
3. What did crucifixion involve? What would Jesus befeeling physically? Emotionally? Spiritually?
4. How accurate was the placard on the cross above him:"The King of the Jews"?
5. Read Isaiah 53:12? How does verse 29 fulfill some ofthese words. What does Isaiah mean when he says "for he bore the sin of many"?Who is in charge in Isaiah 53:12. The victim or his enemies?
6. What light does Isaiah 15:12 shed on Jesus' explanationof his own death in Mark 10:45?
7. In what sense did Jesus die for our sins and ransomus? Where would we be if he didn't die for us?
34. Jesus' Death and Burial (Mark 15:33-47)
1.Why do you think Jesus cries out the first wordsof Psalm 22:1? Why did the Father forsake him? (15:34)
Note: Wine vinegar was posca, a drink Romansoldiers had on duty to relieve thirst, not to intoxicate.
2.What is the significance of the curtain of thetemple being torn from top to bottom? (15:38) What did the curtain separate?(see Hebrews 6:19; 9:3)
3.Why did the centurion call Jesus the Son of God?(15:39)
4.Why were the women present? How did theyminister to Jesus? (15:40-41; see Luke 8:2-3)
5.What do we know about Joseph of Arimathea? Whydid Pilate see him so readily? Why was Pilate surprised that Jesus was alreadydead? (15:43)
6.How did Joseph prepare the body? Where did heplace it? Who knew? (15:45-47) What additional do we learn from John 19:38-42?
35. Resurrection and Commission (Mark 16)
1.Why were the women concerned about opening thetomb? What did they find when they got there? What was their reaction? (16:1-5)
2.How did the angel reassure them? What was hisannouncement? (16:6-7)
3.What did the women do then? Later, after Jesusappeared to Mary Magdalene, what did she do? Why do you think Jesus choose toreveal himself first to a woman? Why did the disciples have so much troublebelieving? (16:8-11)
NOTE: Mark 16:9-20, the so-called "longer ending" ofMark is very early, but written by a different hand than the rest of theGospel, probably because the last page was missing from the manuscript.
4.What are the parameters of the "GreatCommission" in Mark's Gospel? (16:15)
5.What signs were the apostles told to expectamong believers? (16:16-18) Which of these occur in the Book of Acts? Whichoccur today?
6.What was the effect of the signs thataccompanied the disciples' subsequent preaching? (16:20)
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Gospel of Mark: A Free Discipleship Discussion Guide