January 8th, 2017 (Mark 1: 1-13)
- As we begin this study of Mark, what do you know about the book?
- How can Mark call the appearance of John the Baptist the “beginning” of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
- Why does Mark quote Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3?
- What do you think John the Baptist meant when he preached a baptism of “repentance for the forgiveness of sins”? (Vs. 4)
- Is John’s baptism the same baptism we receive and obey today?
- Why did John distinguish between his baptizing in water and the Messiah’s baptizing with the Holy Spirit? What’s the difference?
- What is the significance of Jesus being baptized by John?
- Were the 40 days in the wilderness necessary for Jesus? If so, what does that contribute to the story?
January 15th, 2017 (Mark 1:14-28)
- Why does Jesus say “repent and believe”? Isn’t that out of order? Haven’t you always been taught to believe and then repent? Is this a big deal?
- When Jesus says, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”, what is He telling us about discipleship?
- Would you have been able to drop your nets and leave “at once”?
- What about us today? Does God expect us to be “fishers of men”? Does God expect us to follow Him “at once”? What if we have business matters or personal interests to take care of first?
- What does it mean that Jesus taught as one with “authority”? (Vs. 22) Are there those who still teach this way today?
- What was the “unclean spirit”? Was it different than mental illness? If it was mental illness, how did the man seem to know about Jesus?
January 22nd, 2017 (Mark 1:29-45)
- If you saw Simon’s mother-in-law healed today, how would you describe the “cure”? Do these types of healings take place in our time?
- Specifically, why doesn’t Jesus allow the demons to speak about Him? (Vs. 34) What does this say about our reputation as messengers for Christ?
- Does Jesus’ prayer life tell us anything about Him? How do your prayer habits compare to His?
- Does Jesus inform us of His main purpose for coming to earth? Is that different or the same than what you always thought? (Vs. 38)
- If the Lord came to bring a “new” message, why did He command the leper to show himself to the priest and offer a sacrifice? Isn’t this the message of the Old Law?
- Why did Jesus caution the leper not to tell anyone? Does verse 45 give us any insight?
January 29th, 2017 (Mark 2:1-12)
- Why did Jesus tell the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven”, instead of, “Be healed”?
- Was this a teaching ploy to stir up Jesus’ critics? If so, what purpose did it serve?
- Why were the teachers of the law convinced that Jesus was blaspheming? (Vs. 7)
- Is it true that only God can forgive sins? Aren’t we commanded to forgive each other’s sins?
- In the words of Jesus, which do you think is more difficult—to forgive sins or to heal?
- Was Jesus more impressed by the paralytic’s faith, or by the faith of those who carried him? (Vs. 5) How do you know?
- Does God call us to be more like the paralytic or like those who were willing to carry him to Jesus?
February 5th, 2017 (Mark 2:13-17)
- How could men like Levi immediately respond to Jesus’ call of discipleship? As we discussed a few weeks ago, could you immediately leave everything and follow Jesus? Why or why not?
- What were the scribes and Pharisees implying when they asked, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Vs. 16)
- Does Jesus’ response about physicians answer their accusation?
- If the teachers of the law and Pharisees lived today, what type of people do you think they would say “religious” people shouldn’t eat with?
- Are we diligent about avoiding these people? Would we be willing to eat with them? Why or why not?
- Who exactly are the “healthy” and who exactly are the “sick”? How do we know which group we’re in? Is it possible for us to be in both?
February 12th, 2017 (Mark 2: 18-22)
- Who were “John’s disciples”? Why weren’t they yet disciples of Jesus?
- Who is the “bridegroom”? Who are the “guests”?
- Overall, what was Jesus’ logic about fasting?
- What, if anything, does that teach us about fasting today?
- Why does Jesus include patching old garments and pouring new wine in old wineskins in this discussion?
- Do you choose to fast? Why or why not?
- If we’re going to fast, what must we make sure we don’t do?
- Is it wrong to refuse to fast?
- Is it wrong to force fasting on others?