Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 21

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Mark 14:26-52

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.

32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.

51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.


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 20 (link above) for context.

2. Examine the map below. Trace Jesus’ movements from lesson 20 (the upper room, #1) to the locales in today’s lesson. Where did Jesus and the disciples go first? (26) Next? (32) (Please note: I do not endorse anything on the website cited below that conflicts with my theology as outlined in my Welcome and Statement of Faith tabs above.)

3. Study verses 26-31. How, in this passage, does Jesus demonstrate that He is both a prophet (27,28,30) and the fulfillment of prophecy? (27,49) As you’ll recall from previous lessons, Christ has told the disciples about His impending death many times. Do you get the sense from this passage that they have grasped what is about to happen to Jesus? Compare and contrast the way the disciples believed Jesus’ prophecy of His betrayal (18-19) with their disbelief of His prophecy that they would abandon Him. 

4. Read verses 32-42. If Jesus was God, why did He need to pray? How do Jesus’ desire to pray and the words He prayed demonstrate the Trinity – and the agreement within the Trinity – to us? Compare verse 37 to verses 29 and 31. What do you observe about Peter, and why might Jesus have called him “Simon” instead of Peter? In what ways would it have been better in verses 29-31 for Peter and the others to heed Jesus’ admonition of verse 38 than to make the bold pronouncements they made?

5. What was Jesus’ will, or preference, regarding His impending suffering and crucifixion? (36) Was there any way in which Jesus was lacking faith in God as He prayed (or at any moment of His earthly life)? How did God answer Jesus’ prayer? The Word of Faith heresy teaches a) that it is never God’s will for us to suffer and b) that if God does not answer our prayers the way we want Him to it’s because we don’t have enough faith in Him. How does this passage refute these unbiblical teachings? What can we learn from Jesus’ prayer about the right way to pray?

6. Read Philippians 2:8 and Hebrews 12:4 with verse 36. How far was Jesus willing to go to be obedient to God? How does your willingness to obey God stack up to Jesus’ willingness to go even to a torturous death rather than to disobey God? Is your obedience more like the disciples’ willingness to obey but failure to follow through? (29,31,37,40,41) Do you obey God when it’s painful? Inconvenient? Embarrassing? Expensive? Difficult? When it’s not your will?

7. Go over verses 43-52. Why might the posse that came to arrest Jesus have felt the need to be armed (43) and to place Jesus under guard (44)? If the chief priests, scribes, and elders thought Jesus was so dangerous or blasphemous that they needed to put Him to death, how is it that they needed Judas to point Him out to them? (44) Why would they not have recognized Him on sight? (48-49) How is verse 50 the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in verse 27?

8. Look at verses 51-52 through the lenses of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. God must have thought these details were important enough to include in Scripture, because they’re there. Why do you think God wanted us to know this about the young man? How can we learn, be reproved, corrected, trained for righteousness, made complete, or equipped for every good work by these two verses?

9. Which aspects of spiritual character (ex: obedience, humility, etc.) does Jesus display in today’s passage? What are some specific ways you can emulate Jesus’ spiritual character in your current life circumstances?


Homework

In question 3, we saw that the disciples unquestioningly believed Jesus when He said one of them would betray Him, but didn’t believe Him when He said they would all abandon Him. Why is it so easy to believe some parts of God’s Word and so hard to believe other parts? Identify a verse, passage, or promise of Scripture you struggle to truly believe. Study that passage and its cross references this week, and pray that God will help you to trust Him and believe that part of His Word.


Suggested Memory Verse

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38

Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 20

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

Mark 14:1-26

It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him,14 and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” 16 And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


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 16 (link above) for the timing of chapter 14. During what time period or “era” of Jesus’ life did the events of chapter 14 take place?

2. Examine verses 1-2. What was the Passover? The Feast of Unleavened Bread? Many aspects of the Passover are types or foreshadowings of the events of Mark 14-16. Is that simply a coincidence? Click the above hyperlink (Exodus 12). How do each of the items below point ahead to Christ and His crucifixion?

♦The male lamb without blemish (3-5, see also)
♦”The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight” (6, see also)
♦The blood of the lamb (7, Mark 14:24, see also)
♦The doorposts and lintel covered with blood (7, see also)
♦The death of the firstborn for the deliverance of God’s people from slavery (12, see also)
♦God eliminating judgment for those “under the blood” (13,23, see also)

3. Read verses 3-9. Lepers were, according to Levitical law, unclean, and had to live alone, outside the city. How is it that Simon had a home in the city with invited guests? How could Jesus have entered the house of a leper, without breaking the law, and remained clean Himself?

4. What did the woman’s outward actions (3) demonstrate about her heart attitude toward Jesus? What did the objectors’ outward words and actions (4-5) demonstrate about their heart attitude toward Jesus? Was Jesus being self-centered or uncaring about the poor? (6-7) Why was the woman’s anointing of Jesus the right and godly thing to do?

5. Compare and contrast the woman’s honoring of Jesus (3-9) with Judas’ betrayal of Jesus (10-11, 18-21). How did each of them demonstrate the truth of Luke 6:45? What did Jesus say about each of them?

6. What do verses 12-16 and 17-21 teach us about Christ’s deity and omniscience? What does the two disciples’ unquestioning obedience (16), and the disciples’ unquestioning belief (19) tell us about their faith and trust in Christ? Consider your own obedience to Christ and whether or not you believe His Word. What does this tell you, and others, about your faith and trust in Christ? Why do you think Jesus told the disciples that He was about to be betrayed and who would do it? What does Jesus’ statement in verse 21 mean?

7. What was Jesus trying to convey to the disciples in verses 22-26? What was the significance of Jesus giving the bread (22) and the wine (23) to the disciples? Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that when Jesus said “this is My body” and “this is My blood” He meant it literally, and that when Mass is celebrated today, the bread and wine are supernaturally transformed into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus. This is a false teaching called transubstantiation. Were the disciples literally eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood in this passage? How does this (as well as Scripture) demonstrate that Jesus was speaking metaphorically? Can you think of other instances in which Jesus spoke about Himself metaphorically that we do not take literally? If someone were to ask you if you “take the Bible literally,” how would you answer?

8. What was the significance of Jesus saying “this is my blood of the covenant“? (24) Which covenants would the disciples have been familiar with which were sealed with blood? What was this new covenant Jesus was referring to?


Homework

Reflect on the past 24 hours of your life. List three things you said or did and what these outward words and actions demonstrate about your heart attitude toward Jesus.


Suggested Memory Verse

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38

Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 19

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Mark 13

And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”


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. Read verses 1-2. Where had Jesus just been teaching? How do these verses demonstrate the “prophet” part of Jesus’ threefold office of “Prophet, Priest, and King”? Did Jesus’ prophecy come true? How and when? How does this support Jesus’ omniscience and trustworthiness?

2. What were God’s theological reasons for allowing the temple to be destroyed? Why is the temple obsolete now that Christ has come?

3. Examine verses 3-13. In verse 4, the disciples ask what the signs they could be on the lookout for that the temple is about to be destroyed. Does this indicate they expected Jesus to establish His kingdom right away or millennia later? What should Jesus’ answer in 5-8 have indicated to them about the timing of these events? Compare the timing aspect of verses 5-8 with 9-13. In which section does Jesus seem to be indicating events that would happen within the disciples’ lifetime? In which section does Jesus seem to be suggesting that the events He mentions are far off? (Hint: look at Jesus use of the word “you” in both sections.)

4. What “signs” (4) did Jesus say would take place prior to the end of time and the establishment of His kingdom? (5-8) What is Jesus’ primary instruction to the disciples – then and now – in this passage? (5,6,9)

5. What will the disciples “bear witness to” before governors and kings? (9) Sometimes people use verse 11 to suggest that a pastor or teacher need not study for and prepare his sermon or lesson ahead of time, but should speak extemporaneously  “by the Holy Spirit”. Examining verse 11 in context, is that what this verse means? How do verses 9-13 refute the “health, wealth, and prosperity” gospel?

6. What is the abomination of desolation of the end times? (14) What does God instruct His people to do when this event occurs? (15-18, 21, 23) What will all of these end times events culminate in? (26-27) Make a list of the specific things in verses 5-25 that Christ says will happen before He returns (26-27).

7. Verses 5-25 deal with “what” will happen. Verses 28-37 deal with w___ they will happen. When does Jesus say these end time events will occur? (32-33) Like the disciples, we tend to focus on “When will these things be?” (4) and the specific events that will occur. List Jesus’ explicit instructions (do this, be that, don’t do this, etc.) to the disciples and us in verses 5, 7, 9, 11, 14-16, 18, 21, 23, 28, 33, 35, 37. Is Jesus’ focus more on the events and timing of the events or on instructing His people how to respond to those events? What are some ways Christians can begin preparing our hearts to rightly respond to those events if they should occur in our lifetime?

8. Summarize verses 5-37 in one to two sentences. What do we call the branch of theology that deals with the end times and the return of Christ?


Homework

One of the themes of this passage is that false christs and false prophets will arise to deceive many and lead them astray. Make a list of five specific ways you can avoid being led astray by a false teacher. Begin implementing one of those ways this week.


Suggested Memory Verse

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Mark 13:31

Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 18

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Mark 12:28-44

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

35 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
    until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

37 David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.

38 And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”


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 17 (link above). Who were the three groups of people Jesus addressed in verses 1-27? Who is the “they” in verse 28? The “he/him”? How does the first half of verse 28 indicate that this event (28-34) took place immediately after Jesus’ discussion with the Sadducces (18-27)?

2. Examine verses 28-34. What kind of person is Jesus addressing in this section? (28) Why did the scribe ask Jesus his question? (28) Considering his reason (28), Jesus’ evaluation of him (34), and the general tenor of the conversation, do you think this scribe was trying to trap Jesus as Jewish leaders in 1-27 were trying to do, or do you think this was a genuine question by someone truly trying to follow God?

3. Why would a Jewish leader need to ask what the most important commandment was? (28) Where does Jesus point the scribe for the answer to his question? What does Jesus say is the greatest commandment? (29-30) This commandment deals with the relationship between man and Whom? What does Jesus say is the second greatest commandment? (31) This commandment deals with the relationship between man and whom? Can you think of another place in Old Testament law that deals with these two relationships? (Hint: Review question 8 from lesson 14 (link above).) Which relationship always comes first? If we obey the greatest commandment, what impact will that have on our obedience to the second greatest commandment?

4. Explain the scribe’s response to Jesus (32-33) in your own words. What did Jesus mean when He said the scribe was “not far from the kingdom of God”? Why didn’t Jesus say the scribe was in the kingdom of God? What was the scribe lacking? Were Jesus and the scribe discussing Old Testament law or New Testament gospel? Are we saved by obeying Old Testament law or repenting and believing the gospel? How does the gospel fit with the laws Jesus and the scribe were discussing? Is it possible to truly love the Lord or others if the gospel hasn’t first changed your heart?

5. Compare verses 35-37 to Psalm 110 (Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1 in verse 36) and Acts 2:29-36. Who is “The Lord” in verse 36? Who is “my Lord”? David was regarded by the Jews as the greatest king in Israel’s history. Would it make any sense for David to call a merely human descendant of his (a “son of David”) “my Lord”- a higher rank than his own? What would have to be true of the spiritual nature of this descendant of David’s that David calls Him “my Lord”? What does God say to the Messiah in verse 36? Could a mere human be qualified to sit at God’s right hand and have his enemies put under his feet? What is Jesus trying to convey about His deity to those who didn’t believe He was God and to those who expected the Messiah to be only a great human king like David?

6. In what location (35) did Jesus teach verses 38-40? Was this a public place? To whom (37) was Jesus speaking? What were some of the things the scribes were guilty of? Why will the scribes receive greater condemnation? Greater than whom? How does this passage demonstrate that it is biblically permissible and appropriate to publicly warn God’s people against false teachers and false doctrine?

7. Compare Jesus’ description of the scribes in 39-40 with His description of the widow in 41-44. What was Jesus trying to teach the disciples (43) by contrasting the two? How does this reinforce what Jesus taught the disciples in Mark 10:42-45?

8. As an Old Testament Jew the widow was under the law of the tithe, but how much did she choose to give? (43-44) Christians are not required by Scripture to tithe, but we are instructed to be generous givers. How does the widow set an example for us of New Testament, sacrificial giving?

9. Prosperity gospel preachers often urge people to give sacrificially to their ministries and promise that God will repay their generosity with wealth. Do verses 41-44 support this idea? Did Jesus walk over to the woman and miraculously make her wealthy on the spot? Does God promise anywhere in Scripture to reward Christians with wealth for their sacrificial giving?


Homework

In lesson 17, we saw several people who were merely trying to be argumentative or to trap Jesus by asking Him questions about the Bible. Today, we saw what seemed to be a genuine question by a scribe seeking to learn. Have you ever been asked either, or both, of these types of questions? What was the question, and how did you respond? Compare your response to 2 Timothy 2:24-26. Were you quarrelsome? Kind? Patient? Write down three ways you could respond better in the future according to this passage.


Suggested Memory Verse

And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Mark 12:33

Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 17

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Mark 12:1-27

And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country.When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this Scripture:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
11 this was the Lord’s doing,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.

13 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. 14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” 15 But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

18 And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”

24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”


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 16 (link above) to refresh your memory on the timing of chapter 12. What two significant events took place in Mark 11? So Jesus’ teachings in chapter 12 took place after what and before what?

2. Review Mark 4:10-12 or lesson 6 (link above). Why did Jesus often teach in parables? How does Mark 12:12 fit with Mark 4:10-12? Why do you think most of Jesus’ parables were agricultural in theme?

3. Examine verses 1-12. Who is the “them” in verse 1 (hint: look back at the end of chapter 11)? In this parable, who is represented by…? (hint: think like the people Jesus is talking to – think Old Testament history)

The vineyard planter/owner (1)

The tenants (1)

The series of servants sent to collect fruit (2,4,5)

The vineyard owner’s rejected son (6)/the rejected stone (10)

What message is Jesus trying to get across to the Jewish leaders (and others who might be listening) with this parable? Compare verses 6-8 with verse 12. Would this have conveyed to the Jewish leaders that Jesus knew what they were plotting?

4. Read Psalm 118:19-27 (from which Jesus quotes {22-23} in verses 10-11) as though you’re one of the Jewish leaders Jesus is telling this parable to, who has just witnessed His triumphal entry (Mark 11/lesson 16). What does Jesus’ careful selection of these verses from a messianic psalm tell you about whom He is claiming to be? Why would the Jewish leaders have “feared the people” (12) and so refrained from arresting Jesus at that time?

5. Who is the “they” in verse 13? Why did “they” want to “trap [Jesus] in His talk” (12)? In order to grasp the import of verses 13-17, it’s necessary to understand who the Herodians were. How does the joining together of Pharisees and Herodians demonstrate the expression, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”? Why would this particular question about taxes (14) have served to put Jesus at odds with one group or the other? Is it possible they were trying to put Jesus in the same catch 22 they had been in in Mark 11:29-33? What was hypocritical (15) about all the things they said in verse 14? Did they genuinely mean any of these things? Why did they “marvel” at Jesus’ answer? (17)

6. Who were the Sadducees? (18) Why would the Sadducees ask Jesus a question about something they didn’t even believe in? (18,23) When Jesus says people will become “like” angels in heaven (25), does He mean that believers literally become angels when they die? What is Jesus trying to teach the Sadducees about the resurrection in verses 26-27? What does it mean that God is not “God of the dead but of the living”?

7. What might a first century Gentile Christian, or you as a Gentile Christian today, have learned from all of this conflict with the various sects of Jewish leadership?

8. Some people falsely teach that we should never question, challenge, or rebuke pastors and other church leaders, no matter what. How does Jesus, in the first half of chapter 12, demonstrate the importance of rebuking and correcting leaders who act sinfully or teach unbiblical doctrine? Compare how Jesus responded to false teachers and their false doctrine to the way some Christians today say we should respond to false teachers and their false doctrine.

9. Jesus used three different methods of teaching correct doctrine to three different groups of people in today’s passage, but His message of biblical truth and sound doctrine was consistent. Which method did He use to teach the chief priests, scribes and elders in verses 1-12? The Pharisees and Herodians in verses 13-17? The Sadducees in verses 18-27? How does this demonstrate that, in teaching the Bible, it’s helpful to “know your audience” and use wisdom in how you convey the message so that they might best understand it?


Homework

Jesus had no problem teaching sound doctrine and correcting false doctrine, but He used wisdom in the way He went about it with different people. For example, He flat out told the Sadducees twice, “you’re wrong,” (24,27) and “you don’t understand God or Scripture” (24). With the chief priests, scribes, and elders, He told a parable (1-12), and they got the message. Do you teach a Sunday School/Bible Study class, or do you have a friend who believes false doctrine and needs correction? Sit down this week and think about the best method you could use to get the biblical message across to this class or person, considering who they are, their background, personalities, etc.


Suggested Memory Verse

And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Mark 12:33