BY: Sarah Auger
DATE: Sunday 24 September 2023
‘BIBLE PASSAGES: Read online
Mark – Chapter 2, verses 18 to Chater 3, verse 6.
Mark – Chater 7 (all).
Most classic stories have a good and a bad main character. But what if the line between good and bad isn’t as clear cut as you realise. Jesus showed a new way to know God that was not based on doing good things or following a set of rules, but was instead about relationship and loving God with your whole heart.
Please scroll to the bottom of this page.
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
Each week there are TWO different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring the Bible within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.
A | DISCUSSION STARTERS
These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):
1 | Was there anything that particularly helped you during the talk?
2 | Was there anything that you didn’t necessarily agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?
3 | As a result of the talk, what:
a. Changes do you want to see?
b. Truths do you need to remember?
c. Actions do you need to take?
B | QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE
These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:
Read: Mark – Chapter 2, verses 18 to Chapter 3, verse 6.
1 | What’s your favourite fiction story? Who are the ‘good’ characters and who are the ‘bad’ ones?
2 | In Mark 2:18-22, Jesus responds to the question of fasting. How does Jesus’ analogy of the new patch on old garments and new wine in old wineskins challenge our approach to spirituality and religious traditions? See also Matthew 9:14-17 and Galatians 5:1-6.
3 | Discuss the significance of Jesus referring to himself as the bridegroom (v19). How does this imagery deepen our understanding of His relationship with His followers?
4 | The Pharisees accused Jesus’ disciples of breaking the Sabbath by plucking grain. How does Jesus’ response in Mark 2:23-28 emphasise the purpose of the Sabbath and its application in our lives?
5 | In a sense, Jesus is re-interpreting the commonly held ‘rules’. How would you summarise what he is doing and saying?
6 | Read Mark 3:1-6. Jesus heals a man with a damaged hand on the Sabbath. What does this miracle reveal about Jesus’ priorities and His view of human needs over religious regulations?
7 | In Mark 2:27, Jesus states that the Sabbath was made for humans, not humans for the Sabbath. Discuss the purpose of the Sabbath in providing rest, reflection, and worship. How can observing regular periods of rest enhance our spiritual well-being?
8 | In both the incidents of the plucking of grain and the healing on the Sabbath, Jesus challenges the religious leaders’ understanding of righteousness. How does Jesus’ focus on the heart rather than mere external observances impact our approach to faith? (See also 1 Samuel 16:7 and Isaiah 29:13)
9 | As you pray, ask that God would help you to have the right approach to living for him.
As you explore these questions pray for one another to deepen and develop your relationship with Jesus.
BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES
King’s Cross’ by Timothy Keller
Unpredictable yet reliable, gentle yet powerful, authoritative yet humble, human yet divine.’ Respected pastor and bestselling author Tim Keller takes a deep and thought-provoking look at the life of Christ. Drawing from Mark’s gospel, he explains how Jesus’ identity as king and his purpose in dying on the cross have meaning and significance on a cosmic scale as well as for the individual. THE REASON FOR GOD gave a passionate and intellectually compelling case for God, while THE PRODIGAL GOD explored the gospel’s central message of grace. Now KING’S CROSS gives a captivating account of the person at the heart of it all: Jesus. Written in Keller’s trademark authoritative yet inviting style, this book will unlock new insights for believers and unbelievers alike. (Source)
‘The Gospel According to Mark’ by James R. Edwards
This new Pillar volume offers exceptional commentary on Mark that clearly shows the second Gospel—though it was a product of the earliest Christian community—to be both relevant and sorely needed in today’s church.
Written by a biblical scholar who has devoted thirty years to the study of the second Gospel, this commentary aims primarily to interpret the Gospel of Mark according to its theological intentions and purposes, especially as they relate to the life and ministry of Jesus and the call to faith and discipleship. Unique features of James Edwards’s approach include clear descriptions of key terms used by Mark and revealing discussion of the Gospel’s literary features, including Mark’s use of the “sandwich” technique and of imagistic motifs and irony. Edwards also proposes a new paradigm for interpreting the difficult “Little Apocalypse” of chapter 13, and he argues for a new understanding of Mark’s controversial ending. (Source)
‘Gospel of Mark Summary’ by The Bible Project
Watch this overview video on the book of Mark, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. Mark demonstrates that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah who inaugurates God’s kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection.