Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 12

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Mark 9:1-29

And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son;listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.

And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Questions to Consider

1. Notice that verse 1 is the concluding statement of Jesus’ remarks at the end of chapter 8. How does verse 1 point to the events in verses 2-8?

2. Who did Jesus take with Him up the mountain? (2) Why do you think He took only these three and not all of the disciples? Why Elijah and Moses? (4) Why not Abraham and David or Isaiah and Noah? Hint- think about the two major categories of Old Testament Scripture, the L__ and the P_______. Which did Moses represent? Which did Elijah represent? How did the Old Testament Law and prophets each point to the coming of Christ? How did Christ fulfill both the Law and the prophets? Considering their upcoming roles in establishing the New Testament church and writing Scripture, why would it have been important for Peter, James, and John to witness the Transfiguration?

3. How does Peter demonstrate the importance of keeping our mouths shut and paying attention to the word of God when we’re ignorant or at a loss for words? (5-7) How do these verses help to show us that God loves, uses, and understands weak and imperfect people?

4. How would the Transfiguration have pointed to the deity of Christ and affirmation of His Messiahship for first century Jews? For Gentiles? For you?

5. Compare verses 11-13 with these Scriptures. How, and in whom, did Jesus say the prophecy of Elijah’s coming had been fulfilled?

6. Compare the private versus public nature of the Transfiguration and the healing of the demon possessed boy. Why would Jesus choose different audiences for these events? Which people/groups were present at the healing of the demon possessed boy? (14-17) Why might the scribes have been arguing with the disciples? (14, 17) Who was Jesus aggravated with in verse 19, and why? We know from verse 19 (and other passages) that Jesus sometimes got aggravated with people, yet we also know that He did so without sinning. Are there any circumstances in which it is possible for us to get aggravated, frustrated, or annoyed with others without being in sin?

7. Describe the effects the demon had on the boy (17-18,20,22,26) and consider how this is a glimpse of the destruction Satan brings to the life and soul of an unsaved person.

8. Think about Jesus’ words to the father (21,23) in light of His omniscience as well as the teaching aspect of His ministry. Did Jesus sometimes say things – not because He lacked knowledge – but in order to elicit a certain response or to get people to think? Do Jesus’ words in these verses indicate that He wasn’t compassionate toward the father and son? What is the father’s response to Jesus in verse 24? What did he mean?

9. The Transfiguration demonstrates Jesus’ power and authority in which spiritual realm? Contrast this with Jesus casting the demon out of the boy, which demonstrates His power and authority in which spiritual realm?


In verse 24, the father says, “I believe; help my unbelief.” Have you ever prayed a similar prayer? Is there an area of your life in which you’re having difficulty trusting God, or a part of Scripture you have trouble believing? This week, spend some time studying what the Bible has to say about it and pray every day that God will strengthen your trust in Him and your belief in His word.

Suggested Memory Verse

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”
Mark 9:42

Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 10

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Mark 7:

Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem,they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

“‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.”30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Questions to Consider

1. Examine verses 2-5. What was the basis for the scribes’ and Pharisees’ criticism of the disciples’ unwashed hands? Hygiene, or another issue? Who is the audience for the book of Mark (hint: scroll back up to the title picture if you can’t remember)? Why would it have been important for Mark to include the parenthetical explanation of verses 3-4 for his audience? According to verse 3, who originated the hand washing rule- Scripture?

2. How many times is the word “tradition(s)” used in verses 1-13? Is Jesus saying all traditions are bad, even traditions at church? Summarize Jesus’ main point (6-9) in your own words. Have you ever observed a church placing a particular tradition ahead of God’s word? How would this passage have applied to that situation?

3. Have you ever been called a “Pharisee” or “legalistic” for standing for the truth of, and obedience to, Scripture? Verses 1-13 crystallize Jesus’ main point of contention with the Pharisees. Was He accusing them of holding too closely to Scripture and insisting God’s word be obeyed? What was He rebuking them for? Is it accurate to call someone who stands firmly on God’s word a Pharisee? What about someone who creates his own man-made doctrine, opinions, or beliefs and holds them in higher regard than God’s written Word? (7) What does it look like today for a person or a church to honor God with their lips, but their heart is far from Him? (6)

4. At the end of verse 13, Jesus says, “And many such things you do.” What are some other traditions of the Pharisees we’ve seen in previous lessons that they held above God’s word? Why is it so important to Jesus that we obey His written Word rather than doctrines created by men?

5. Read verse 15 through the lens of a first century Jew. Think about all the dietary laws and all the things they could not touch or come in contact with because they would be made unclean. List any of those commands you can remember. Is it any wonder the disciples were confused? How might this have been an easier teaching for Mark’s Gentile audience to understand and accept?

6. If you’ve ever discussed the issue of homosexuality with an unbeliever, he might have accused you of “picking and choosing” which Scriptures to obey by pointing out that you don’t obey Old Testament prohibitions against eating pork or shellfish. How do verses 14-22 counter this argument?

7. Why would Jesus not have wanted anyone to know where He was staying? (24) Put yourself in the shoes of a first century Gentile and read verses 25-30. Compare Jesus’ compassion toward an unclean Gentile “dog under the table” with the impossibly high expectations of “holiness” (which even the best Jew couldn’t completely meet) demanded by the scribes and Pharisees in verses 1-13 and in earlier chapters. How would Jesus’ grace and mercy toward the Syrophonician woman and her daughter have demonstrated “God’s good news to the Gentiles”?

8. What did Jesus and the woman mean by their respective words in verses 27-28? Who are “the children“? Who is the “bread“? Who are the “dogs“? Think back through Old Testament history, the covenants, and the promises and prophecies of the Messiah. Why was it appropriate and necessary that Jesus’ earthly ministry was almost exclusively to the Jews rather than the Gentiles?

9. Examine verses 31-37. Scripture doesn’t specify exactly, but who do you think the “they” was in verse 32? Think back over the individuals in Mark who have come to Jesus for healing or exorcism. How did they get to Jesus? Sometimes the afflicted person approached Jesus individually, but in 25-26 and 32, whom do we see interceding on the afflicted person’s behalf?

10. Compare the method Jesus used to heal the Syrophonician woman’s daughter (29-30) with His method of healing the deaf man (33-34). Why did Jesus use different methods for healing different people?

11. “The region of the Decapolis” (31) was Gentile territory, meaning that the deaf man was almost certainly a Gentile. Considering what Jesus explained to the Syrophonician woman in verse 27- why would Jesus have charged the deaf man and his friends not to spread the word about his healing throughout Gentile territory? (36) And why would they have been so disobedient to Him? (36-37)

12. Think about the authority Jesus has, as God. What are the different aspects of His authority demonstrated by: verses 1-13, 14-23, 24-30, and 31-37? How does this chapter showcase law (1-23) versus grace (24-37)? Compare the way Jesus sternly rebuked the scribes and Pharisees, the “teachers of Israel” who were supposed to know God’s word, teach it correctly, and model it for God’s people, with the compassion and mercy He showed the two clueless Gentiles in this passage. Is it appropriate to sternly rebuke “Christian” leaders and “teachers” of the church who are supposed to know God’s word, teach it correctly, and model it for God’s people, yet disobey Scripture and teach their own man-made doctrines instead?


In this chapter, we saw a mother intercede with Jesus on behalf of her child, and friends or relatives who interceded with Jesus on behalf of the deaf man. Skim back over chapters 1-6 and jot down all the instances in which a parent, friend, or loved ones brought someone to Jesus. Why did these people bring their loved ones to Jesus?

Do you need to intercede with Jesus on behalf of an unsaved loved one? Why do you want that person to come to Jesus? Write down that person’s name and commit to pray for her salvation every day this week.

Suggested Memory Verse

There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.
Mark 7:15

Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 7

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Mark 5:

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.

14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24 And he went with him.

And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Questions to Consider

1. Briefly review lesson 6 (link above). Whereas Mark 4 was largely made up of parables, which aspect of Jesus’ ministry does Mark 5 showcase? If you were to outline this chapter, what the are three major natural divisions you could make?

2. Describe, as much as possible, the “lead characters” in each of the healing miracles in Mark 5: the demon possessed man, Jairus, and the woman with the issue of blood. Compare and contrast their stations in life and how Jewish society might have viewed each person: ceremonially clean or unclean, man or woman, high society or dregs of society, wealthy or poor, much faith or no faith, deserving of a miracle or undeserving? Did Jesus make these same distinctions among people?

3. What was the one thing all three of these people had in common (notice the words “begged”, “implored”, etc. throughout the chapter)? What is the one thing all people have in common today? How does Jesus not showing partiality in this chapter reflect that God does not show partiality with regard to sin and salvation? Why would this have been an important principle of the gospel for both Jews and Mark’s Gentile audience to grasp and embrace?

4. Examine the story of the demoniac (1-20). List the things the demons did to the man and the effects they had on his body and his behavior. (3-5,7,15) What does this tell us about the power of Satan? What do verses 6,7,10,12,13, and the words “adjure” (beg or implore), “begged” and “permission” tell us about Jesus’ authority over demons? Are the demons aware of Jesus’ authority over them? Why were the people “afraid” (15) and begged Jesus to leave (17)? They had seen the power Satan had over the man. What did it tell them about the power, authority, and deity of Jesus when He was able to cast the demons out in such a remarkable (13) way? What would Christ’s love and compassion for someone the Jews would have considered cursed and irreparably unclean have said to the Gentiles (whom the Jews viewed similarly) about His love and compassion for them? Compare the impact for Christ the man was able to have on his community (19-20) versus the impact he would have had on them had Jesus allowed him to accompany Him.

5. Review your descriptions (from #2) of Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood. What impact might it have made on those following Jesus to see that He would stop and care for a mere woman – an unclean one at that – when the daughter of an important man – a synagogue official – was on the verge of death?

6. Why did Jesus ask who had touched Him? (30) Was it because He didn’t know or was it to give the woman an opportunity to confess her faith in Him? (30-34)

7. Did the news of the death of Jairus’ daughter come before or after Jesus healed the woman? (35) Which was more urgent, the woman’s illness or the daughter’s impending death? Why didn’t Jesus make the woman wait and deal with her after healing Jairus’ daughter? Compare the raising of Jairus’ daughter to the raising of Lazarus. What similarities or differences do you see in the circumstances, sequence of events, the impact on witnesses, and the consequences?

8. Both the demoniac (20) and the woman with the issue of blood (33) publicly proclaimed what Christ had done for them. Why did Jesus tell Jairus (43) not to tell about Jesus healing his daughter? (21,24,31) (Hint: Consider where {1,20} the healings took place and whether they were public {14,16,17/21,24,30,31} or private {37,40} events.) Are there times when we should keep private something God has done in our lives?

9. The story of the demoniac demonstrates Jesus’ power over _____. The story of the woman with the issue of blood demonstrates Jesus’ power over _____. The story of Jairus’ daughter demonstrates Jesus’ power over_____. How does Jesus’ demonstration of power in these three areas help make the case for His deity and Messiahship? How do these displays of His power and authority bolster or give credibility to His teaching?


In verse 19, Jesus told the former demoniac, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 

We often make small talk or discuss trivial things with our friends. This week, look for an opportunity to share what Christ has done for you with your friends. Maybe there’s a lost friend you need to share the gospel and “how He has had mercy on you” with. When you meet with Christian friends, be sure to encourage one another by sharing “how much the Lord has done for you” – what you’re learning as you study His word, things you’re thankful to Him for, how He has provided or worked in a situation, and so on.

Suggested Memory Verse

And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
Mark 5:19

Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 3

Previous Lessons: 1, 2

Mark 1:21-45

And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.”42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Questions to Consider

1. In Lesson 2 (link above) we saw that Mark 1:1 introduces Jesus as the “Christ” and the “Son of God.” How do verses 21-45 demonstrate that Jesus is, indeed, the promised Messiah, and that He is divine? How does Mark 1:1-20 “credentialize” Jesus and lay the foundation for what he does in verses 21-45?

2. In Mark 1:1-20, Jesus is baptized, successfully endures the “trial by fire” of temptation, calls His first disciples, and begins His ministry. Where, and on which day, according to verse 21, does Jesus’ ministry begin? Is there any significance to the fact that Jesus began His ministry in a synagogue on the Sabbath? What is a synagogue? Why would this have been a natural and appropriate place for Rabbi Jesus’ ministry to begin? Why did Jesus begin His teaching ministry by seeking out a Jewish audience? According to Mark 1:15, what was the central message of Jesus’ teaching that day?

As we study Mark, watch for the word “Sabbath,” the events that happen on the Sabbath, and their connection to Jesus’ deity, lordship, and authority.

3. What are the three main categories of ministry Jesus engages in in 21-45?

4. Examine Jesus’ preaching/teaching ministry in 21-22, 38-39, 45. Where did Jesus teach/preach, primarily? What was the people’s reaction to Jesus’ teaching? What does verse 22 mean when it says, “He taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes”? How does verse 38 indicate Jesus’ preaching/teaching was His primary focus in ministry?

5. Examine Jesus’ exorcising of demons in 23-27, 32-34, 39. What was the demon in 23-27 responding to? (21-22) How did this distract people from listening to Jesus teach? How did both Jesus’ teaching (21-22) and the first exorcism (23-27) demonstrate Jesus’ authority and divinity? When the demons testified about who Jesus was (24, 34), what was His response to them? (25, 34) Why wouldn’t Jesus allow them to speak even though what they were saying about Him was true? How did the people react to this miracle? (27-28)

6. Examine the healings Jesus performed in 30-31, 32-34, 40-45. Did Jesus heal Simon’s mother-in-law just so she would get up and serve them? (31) What do you think was her attitude of heart as she “began to serve them?” How did so many people (33-34) know to come to Jesus for healing? (28, 45)

What was the ceremonial status of a person with leprosy? How did being ceremonially unclean separate a person from the people of God and from the worship of God? Normally, a priest would be made unclean by touching a leper. But when Jesus, our great high priest, touched lepers, was He made unclean, or the leper made clean? (41-42) How does this healing point to Jesus’ mission to reconcile unclean sinners to a holy God? Compare Jesus’ obedience and submission to God’s word (44) with the former leper’s disobedience to Jesus’ word (45). How might his disobedience have caused difficulty for others who wanted to get to Jesus? (45)

7. Why was Jesus famous? (28, 33, 45) Returning to the last question in #4, do you think Jesus would have preferred to be known more for His teaching or for His miracles? Why?

8. What do verses 35-37 indicate about the importance of prayer to Jesus? Why do you think (28, 33, 45) He got up so early to pray?


Verses 35-37 give us an idea of how important prayer was to Jesus- so important that, even though He must have been exhausted from the hard work of ministry, He made sacrifices (like sleep) and cordoned off uninterrupted time for it.

Talking with the Lord as you go about the activities of your day is a wonderful way to “pray without ceasing,” but do you also follow Jesus’ example of cordoning off a regular, uninterrupted block of time specifically devoted to prayer, even if you have to make sacrifices to do so? If not, sit down this week, make a plan for your prayer time – when, where, what you’ll need to sacrifice – and implement it daily.

Suggested Memory Verse

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Mark 1:14-15