Post Author: Nathanael Ballew

Nathanael is a member of our leadership team and is responsible for organising all the Gatherings that happen across Riverside. He also works for Riverside Performing Arts (RPA).
October 6, 2023
A Story That Equips | Session 6

BY: Nathanael Ballew
DATE: Sunday 8 October 2023

‘BIBLE PASSAGES: Read online
Mark – Chapter 6, verses 7 to 13 & verses 30 to 42.

There is a brilliant YouTube video of a little girl trying to hula-hoop. She thinks she’s doing well, but in reality her Dad is stood behind her, holding the hoop! Jesus doesn’t just call us to follow him, he calls us to step out in faith as partners in his mission. We are given his authority to do his work on earth. And as we do so, we discover him right there with us equipping us to join in what he is doing.

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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.

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?


These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:

Read:Mark – Chapter 6, verses 7 to 13 and verses 30 to 42.

1 | There is a brilliant YouTube video of a little girl trying to hula-hoop. She thinks she’s doing well, but in reality her Dad is stood behind her, holding the hoop! What might this teach us about our part in this epic story of life, and God’s part?

2 | In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus sends out His disciples in pairs. What can we learn from this? How does it emphasise the importance of community and support in our spiritual journeys?

3 | Explore the instructions that Jesus gave to His disciples about their conduct during their mission. How can these principles guide us in our lives, and in how we might point people to Jesus? (See also Matthew 10:16 and Colossians 4:5-6)

4 | In Mark 6:12-13, the disciples spoke of repentance, drove out demons, and healed the sick. What can we learn from their ministry about the power and relevance of the the message about Jesus in addressing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs today? (See also Acts 2:38 and James 5:14-15)

5 | In Mark 6:34, Jesus has compassion on the crowd, who were like sheep without a shepherd. How does this description resonate with the human condition today? How does Jesus’ compassion offer hope and guidance in the midst of our brokenness?

6 | In the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:30-42), how does the miracle of multiplication emphasise Jesus’ ability to provide for our needs beyond our human limitations? What does this teach us about trusting in God’s provision, particularly in times that are difficult? (See also Philippians 4:19 and Matthew 6:31-33)

7 | As you reflect on the role of the disciples in this account, what might this show us about our role in Gods’ mission?

8 | Reflect on the abundance of leftovers after the feeding of the five thousand. How does this symbolise God’s generosity and the principle of sowing and reaping in our lives? (See also 2 Corinthians 9:6 and Luke 6:38)

9 | As you pray, ask God to direct you this week in living for him. Pray that you would be able to play your part in God’s mission.

As you explore these questions pray for one another to deepen and develop your relationship with Jesus.


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.




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Riverside is a church made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences all with one thing in common, our discovery of God and his amazing love. 

We are on a journey together to ‘help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers’. 

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