Introduction to the Gospel of Mark (chapter 1)

Written by Iain Greensheilds   

Over the next few weeks we will be engaging in a major study of Mark's Gospel, but we will be doing it a wee bit differently. Each Sunday, the Minister will highlight part of a chapter in the Sermon, but there will be an opportunity for people at home to follow up with the following notes. I hope you find this enriching.

 

Day 1

Begin the week by reading through the whole of Mark chapter 1 - this should not take you long. If you have time, read it through again and note down anything that in particular speaks to you, stands out, or about which you have a question.

 

Who is Mark? He is a young man who was a follower of Jesus, but not one of the 12 disciples. Most people believe that Peter used Mark as his secretary and dictated this account of the life of Jesus to Mark. It is reckoned that this is the first Gospel to be written and it begins at a pace and continues to move quickly to the last week of Jesus' life on earth.

 

 

Day 2

 

Read Mark 1:1-12

In 12 verses, Peter covers the ministry of John the Baptist, the baptism of Jesus and the temptation of Jesus!

 

  • How does Peter describe Jesus in verse 1?
  • What does verse 4 indicate is necessary for our sins to be forgiven?

 

(Comment: people came in their numbers to hear a message that demanded that people turned away from their sins - doesn't sound very popular, but is the response so intense because deep down this is what people know they need?)

 

  • What does the baptism of Jesus tell us about His relationship with God the Father?
  • Why was the tempting/testing of Jesus so important?

 

Jesus passed where we failed and so this is a vital part of our salvation.

 

 

Day 3

Read Mark 1:14-20

It is interesting that Jesus links the end of John the Baptist's ministry with the beginning of Jesus' ministry -

  • what is the essence of Jesus' message in verse 15?

 

In our desperation to make the Christian Faith palatable, interesting and acceptable to people, are we missing the core message of Jesus?

  • What strikes you most about the calling of the first disciples and their response to Jesus?

 

 

Day 4

Read Mark 1: 21-34

The evidence of supernatural power would not have been unusual in the times of Jesus - it is the prevalence and scope of it that marks out Jesus as exceptional.

 

  • How does Peter describe the impact of Jesus' teaching in verse 22?
 
  • When you read the teaching of Jesus do you sense and acknowledge such authority?
 
  • Are we placing ourselves under the authority of the teaching of Jesus in all aspects of our living and decision-making?
 
  • Now what of the man possessed by an evil spirit? People who dabble in the occult are in danger of being possessed. Look at the relative ease with which Jesus deals with this possession.

 

 

 

Day 5

Read Mark 1:35-45

Jesus has as a priority, communicating His message about faith and repentance. The ministry of Jesus is quite deliberate and has a clear strategy -

 

  • How might mission throughout our parish be strategised?

 

We are back to Jesus' healing - a major part of the ministry of Jesus.

 

  • Do you not find Jesus' question strange in verse 40? Are there times when our illness defines us and we might be vulnerable about letting go?
  • How does verse 41 describe the emotional response of Jesus to this man?