2023- Jan 11 | The Gospel of Mark: A Unique One
SMALL GROUP MATERIAL
Small Group Questions:
- What is your favourite gospel and why?
- Why do you think the word “immediately” was used 41 times in the 16 chapters of Mark?
- Read Mark 10:45, what does this verse say about the character of God, and us as his followers?
- The Gospel of Mark is very fast-paced, why do you think this gospel is so unique in contrast to the others?
- What does Mark want us to learn about Jesus through how he writes?
THE MAIN POINT
The Gospel of Mark is a unique book that follows along the life of Jesus with a sense of action, urgency, and restoration.
The Gospels are written eyewitness accounts of the life, and ministry of Jesus. The four Gospels include; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They have similarities but are all unique in how they share the story of Jesus. Imagine you and your friends visited an art museum, and then separately recorded your personal experience, each report would have different details and perspectives. No one’s account would be wrong, just different. The Gospels are not in competition with one other or direct copies of each other. They each are unique and tell a story from a different perspective.
Mark is a unique Gospel account because of the length and content. Mark is the shortest Gospel with 16 chapters, and within these chapters, Mark includes 18 miracles, with only four parables and one major discourse. Mark also leaves out the account of Jesus’ birth, the Sermon on the Mount, and several of the most well-known parables. Mark became more popular when biblical scholars discovered it was the earliest written of the four Gospels and was probably the primary source of information for the writers of Luke and Matthew.
Author: The Gospel of Mark was written by a man named Mark (Latin version), John Mark (Hebrew). Scholars believe John Mark was a son of a widow named Mary. It is believed Mark was too young to be a disciple but was fascinated with Jesus. There is a chance that his house was used to host the disciples for the Last Supper.
Date: Most biblical scholars are convinced Mark was the earliest Gospel written, (between 64-68 AD). The events in the Gospel of Mark take place during Jesus’ ministry around 30-33 AD.
Audience: Mark was writing this Gospel to Roman Christians, many of whom were gentiles. Mark was written during a divisive time in history. There were thousands of Christians being martyred in Rome.
Sections: Jesus’ Ministry (1-10); Passion week (11-16)
Mark is very fast-paced, the word “immediately” is repeated 41 times within the 16 chapters. Jesus arrives fully grown, and Mark jumps right on into the first chapter describing baptism, the temptation of Jesus, the first disciple, His ministry in Galilee, and driving out unclean spirits.
As you prepare the core of the message using personal stories and questions keep in mind these points:
- The Gospel of Mark showcases Jesus’ action, compared to his teaching
- The Gospel of Mark is a unique book that follows the life of Jesus with a sense of urgency and restoration. The urgency is because Jesus is the son of God, and the kingdom of God is here now.
- Mark’s purpose was to create a sense of urgency to call people to repent and believe.
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- Encourage the youth to read the whole book of Mark throughout this series with a focus on the sense of servanthood.
- Ask God to challenge/convict us as we dive into the series.
- Draw on a whiteboard the difference between each gospel, and challenge the students to not just view the gospels all the same but see what the Gospel of Mark wants to teach us about Jesus.