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  • Gospel of Mark A Discipleship Discussion Guide

    MarksGospelisprobablythefirstgospeltobewrittendown.AndMarktendstoberatherconcise.Hisistheshortestgospel.Mostimportant,however,MarksGospelprovidesastraightforwardpathwithwhichtostudyofJesuslifeandministry.Hisopeningdeclarationstateshispurposesuccinctly:

    ThebeginningofthegospelaboutJesusChrist,theSonofGod.(1:1)UnlikemostoftheJesusWalkBibleStudySeriesstudiesthatareemaildeliveredeachweekanduse

    anonline forum fordiscussion, this study isdesigned toprovide thecurriculumcoreofa facetofacediscussionbasedclassorsmallgroupthathasBiblestudyasanimportantcomponentofitslife.

    My Life Group Idevelopedtheselessonswhileleadinga20to25minutediscussioneachTuesdaynightJune2015

    throughMarch2016aspartofamensLifeGroup.HereshowourLifeGrouptypicallyworks.Wemeetforabitlessthananhourandahalf.WebeginbysharingwhatisgoingoninourlivesandwhereweareseeingGodshand.Next,wespendafewminutesprayingforeachotherandourfamilieswithsentenceprayers.Weconcludewithabout20minutesBiblediscussion.

    Each week I would prepare a few questions on a briefpassagefromtheGospelofMark ina4per81/2x11pageformat that Icouldcutup tohand togroupmembers.Then Iwould lead offwith the first question.Our study ended upextending for 35weeks, or just under three quarters.A fewlessons might lend themselves to an additional week fordiscussion.

    For each handout I included the questions plus a smallblack and white illustration I found on the Internet.Unfortunately, I did not take time to trace down copyrightownershipofanyoftheseillustrations.

    The Leaders Role Ifyoureasmallgrouporclass leader, I inviteyou to take

    advantageofthematerialsIvedeveloped.Theresnocharge.

    Leader Preparation I recommend that you prepare yourself by reading the

    materialforeachtextinagoodcommentaryonMarkdesignedforlaypersons.Twocometomind,bothofwhichcanbepurchasedonlineused:

    R.AlanCole,Mark(TyndaleNew TestamentCommentaries; InterVarsity Press, 1989), 347pages.

    TomWright,Mark for Everyone (For Everyone series; SPCK/Westminster JohnKnox Press,2004),244pages.

    Copyright2016,RalphF.Wilson.Allrightsreserved.Iherebygrantyoupermissiontoreprintatnochargeasmanycopiesasyouneedformembersofyourlocalgroup.

  • GospelofMarkDiscussionQuestionsin35Lessons 2

    Copyright2016,RalphF.Wilson.Allrightsreserved.Iherebygrantyoupermissiontoreprintatnochargeasmanycopiesasyouneedformembersofyourlocalgroup.

    Onceyouvereadtheappropriatesectioninthecommentary,then,hopefully,youunderstandtheissuesinvolvedinthepassage,soyoucanintelligentlyguidethediscussionasneeded.However,dontprepareaminilecture!Themethodoutlinedhereisaquestiondiscussionapproachtolearning,notalectureapproach.

    How to Lead the Discussion Havesomeone in thegroupreadaloud thefirstseveralverses,and thenreadoutthefirstquestion

    fromthehandout.Bepreparedtorephrasethequestionifyouneedtopromptadiscussion.DiscussionthatisbasedontheScripturetextisnotmerelytradingignorance.Ivefoundthatwhenpeoplebegintodiscuss,theyfindoutwhattheydontknowandareoftenforcedbacktothetexttogettheanswer.Aspeopleengage,thelightsbegintogoon,andGodsWorddoesitsworkinhearts.

    Yourjobasleaderistomakesuretheygetthepointofthequestion,butdontgivethemtheanswerunlessabsolutelynoonegetsit.Ifsomeonegetsevenapartoftheanswer,encouragethem,andsuggestthattheresevenmore.Thenbesilent.Themoreyoutalk,thelesstheyhavetothinkandprocess.

    Yourrolewillrequireyoutomovethegroupalongbygoingtothenextquestionsotheyareabletocoverthewholepassage.Ifyoudontgettoallthequestions,theworldwontend.

    Ihumblypresent thesematerials toyou as thebasis fordiscussion forusewithgroupsyou lead.Thoughtheyarecopyrightedinordertoprotecttheirintegrity,Iherebyofferyoupermissiontoreprintcopiesforyourlocalministryuse.

    RalphF.WilsonJesusWalkBibleStudySeriesLoomis,CaliforniaJuly1,2016

    Beloware:

    Handouts(PDF).Thisdocument includes(1)these instructionsabove,(2)a listofthe35 lessonswithquestions,and(3)thehandoutquestions(35pagesof4upmasters).

    Introduction to the Gospel of Mark (to be handed out the first week with lesson 1) ManyscholarsseetheGospelofMarkasthefirstofthefourgospelswrittendown.TheearlyChurch

    Fathers areunanimous that itwaswrittenbyMark (probably JohnMark).ChurchhistorianEusebiuscitesPapias(whoministeredinthelatefirstandearlysecondcenturiesAD):

    MarkbecamePetersinterpreterandwroteaccuratelyallthatheremembered,not,indeed,inorder,ofthethingssaidordonebytheLord.(Eusebius,ChurchHistory3.39.16)

    TheGospelofMarkwasprobablywritteninRomeinthemid60sAD,perhapsjustafterPetersmartyrdomin65AD,butbeforethefallofJerusalemin70AD.

    Mark seems to have beenwritten for both Jewish and Gentile Christianswhowere undergoingpersecutionfromboththeJewsandRomans.

    Markistheshortestgospel.Itbeginsabruptlywiththeassertion:ThebeginningofthegospelaboutJesusChrist, the Son ofGod (1:1). Youll find theword immediately used often.Mark also endsabruptly at 16:8, as if the final page of the documentweremissing. The Longer Ending ofMark,containing16:920, iswrittenbyanotherhand tocomplete thegospel,but isclearlypenned in the latedecades of the first or early second centuries, and reflects the early churchs understanding of Jesusresurrectionandcommission.

    Asyou study theGospelofMarkeachweek, read theverses indicated, thendiscuss theprovided

  • GospelofMarkDiscussionQuestionsin35Lessons 3

    Copyright2016,RalphF.Wilson.Allrightsreserved.Iherebygrantyoupermissiontoreprintatnochargeasmanycopiesasyouneedformembersofyourlocalgroup.

    questionsinyourgroup.Asyoutalktogether,everyonewillbecomeengagedintheprocess,thedeepermeaningsofthetextwillbecomeapparent,andyoulldiscoverwaysyoutoapplytheprinciplesinyourownlife.

    1. Preparing the Way (Mark 1:1-20) 1.WhatwasJohntheBaptistsrole?WhatwastheessenceofJohnsmessage?(1:19)2.WhydidJohndressthewayhedid?Whydidheactabnormally?Whatdidpeoplethinkabouthim?

    (1:6)

    3.Why do you think the Spirit sent Jesus into the desert? (1:1213)Does he ever send us for thispurpose?

    4.WhatwasJesusearlymessage?(1:1415)WhatdoestheworldthinkJesusmainmessageis?

    5.WhydoyouthinkSimonandAndrew,JamesandJohnansweredJesusradicalcall?(1:1620)

    6.IsJesuscalltodaysoradical?Howshouldwerespondtoit?

    2. Jesus Heals (Mark 1:21:-2:12) 1.What is thesignificanceof Jesuscastingoutanevilspirit?Whathad thespiritsaid?Howdoes this

    propelJesuscareer?(1:2128)

    2.WhydidJesushealPetersmotherinlaw?(1:2933)Whateffectdidthishaveonthetown?Shouldweroutinelyprayforsickpeople?

    3.WhydidJesusdisappear?Whatdidhisdiscipleswanthimtodo?WhatdidhisFatherwanthimtodo?How was this predictable pattern foundational for Jesus ministry? Have you developed thispattern?(1:3539)

    4.Whatfaithdidtheleperhave?WhydidtheleperqualifyhisprayerwithJesuswill?WhatwasJesuswill?Whatwastheeffectofthelepersdisobedience?(1:4045)

    5.Didtheparalytichavefaith?Whatistherelationshipbetweenforgivenessandhealing?HowdidJesuswordsoffend?(2:112)

    3. Jesus Challenges the Status quo (Mark 2:13-3:6) 1.Whatwasthesocialstandingoftaxcollectors?WhydidJesuscallLevi?Howdidherespond?Howdid

    the religiouspurists respond?Whodid Jesuscome for?Are therepeoplebelowyou thatyou felluncomfortablehelping?(2:1317)

    2.WhydidthePhariseescriticizeJesusaboutfasting?WhatwasJesusanswer?Whatisthelessontousoftheoldandnewwineskins?(2:1822)

    3.WhatisthesignificanceoftheSabbathbeingmadeforman,ratherthanvisaversa?WhatdoesitmeanthatJesusisLordoftheSabbath?(2:2328)

    4.Whywere thePhariseesupsetabout Jesushealing themanwith the shriveledhand?Whydid theyconsiderthissuchaseriouschallenge?(3:16)

  • GospelofMarkDiscussionQuestionsin35Lessons 4

    Copyright2016,RalphF.Wilson.Allrightsreserved.Iherebygrantyoupermissiontoreprintatnochargeasmanycopiesasyouneedformembersofyourlocalgroup.

    4. Pressures & Solutions (Mark 3:7-35) 1.WhateffectdidthecrowdshaveonJesusministry?Howdidhisdisciplesassistwiththecrowds?(3:7

    12)

    2.Whatspecificallyweretheapostlestodo?Whatisthesignificanceofbeingwithhim?(3:1319)

    3.Howdidhisfamilyrespondtohispopularity?Howdidthereligiousleadersrespond?(3:2022)

    4.WhydidJesustelltheparableofthekingd7omdivided?Whoisthestrongmanintheparable?WhyisitsoserioustoblasphemeagainsttheHolySpirit?Whatdoesthismean?(3:2330)

    5.Whatdid Jesusmotherandbrothersplan todo?Whoare Jesusnew family?Howdoes Jesusnewfamilyact?(3:3135)

    5. The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20) 1.WhydidJesusteachwithparables?(4:912)

    2.Whatwas the soil like along thepath? (4:4)Whywere the birds able to eat itup?Whatdoes thisrepresent?(4:15)

    3.Whatwas thesoil likeoverrockyplaces?Whydid theplantspringupquickly?Whydid itwither?(4:56).Whatdoesthissoilrepresent?(4:1617)

    4.Whathappenstotheseedsowninthornyplaces?(4:7)Whatdothethornsrepresent?(4:1819)

    5.Whathappenstotheseedsownongoodsoil?(4:8)Whatkindofyielddoyougethere?(4:20)

    6.Whatisthedifferencebetweentheresultonthegoodsoilandtheothers?

    7.WhydidJesusgivethisparabletohisdisciples?Whatwashetryingtoteachthem?

    8.Howdoyoutellifsomeoneisatruebeliever?

    9.Whatkindofsoilareyou?

    6. Parables of the Kingdom (Mark 4:21-35) 1.WhatdoestheParableoftheLamponaStandteachusaboutourwitnesstoothers?(4:2123)

    2.Whatdoes theParableof theMeasures teachusabout the importanceof listeningcarefully to Jesus?(4:2425)

    3.WhatdoestheParableoftheGrowingSeedteachusabouttheKingdomofGod?(4:2629)AboutourjobandGodsjob?

    4.WhatdoestheParableoftheMustardSeedteachus?(4:3033)Howdiditreassurethedisciples?

    5.Is thestoryof Jesuscalming thestormaparable?Whatwas it intended to teachabout faith?Aboutfear?AboutJesuspower?

    7. Miracles of Deliverance, Healing, & Resurrection (Mark 5) 1.Howwouldyoudescribe thecrazymanssymptoms.Whatmakesyou think thismightbedemonic

    insteadofchemicalimbalance?(5:120)

    2.Whodoesthisstoryteachusaboutdemons?