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"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" Mark 11:9
Throughout the ages, human beings have probably given more time and attention to questioning God's existence than to any other concern. Most people believe, both now and throughout history, that there is a divine Being out there-somewhere-watching over us. To announce that God exists is not particularly breaking news.
But claiming that God is here, right now, right next to us-that is big news. Again, while many believe there is a God, fewer accept His role in their lives. Humans often ask of God: Does He care about us? Pay attention to us? Torture us? In his gospel, Mark answers those questions by introducing us to Jesus Christ. There is a God, and He does more than just watch over us. Mark gives us the opportunity to meet Him, to get to know Him, and to rely on Him completely. This is the sort of headline news that changes lives.
1 Before you dive into your study of the gospel of Mark, read it. First, read it as though it is a novel-give it your full attention and don't stop until you finish the book. Then go back and skim it and use the space below to jot down the following:
Your first impressions
Repeatedwords or phrases General themes
What you discover about Jesus
Your favorite character. Least favorite
Your favorite miracle
Your own explanation of one parable
Christ. This comes from the Greek word christos, which means "anointed one." It's a translation of the Hebrew word mashiach, which means "Messiah." In the Old Testament, the kings of Israel were anointed with oil as a sign of spiritual authority. The oil represented the Spirit of God.
Son of God. This title was not used in the Old Testament in reference to the coming Messiah. Instead it referred to the people of Israel or the king of Israel. It inferred ideas both of being chosen (like God's people) and of deserving obedience (like a king). Once Jesus arrived on the scene, it started being used for the Messiah.
2 What do Mark's first words (1:1) imply his gospel will be about?
3 What do Jesus' first words in Mark suggest will be the main theme of His preaching (1:15)?
live 4 What resonated with you most as you read through this book? Explain why.
5 Write down some things you'd like to learn from this twelve-week study, and how you would like your life to be changed by it.
In your group, talk with each other about your first impressions of Mark. What connected most with you? How did you react to Jesus' teachings? Did reading Mark change your perspectives about the Bible or Jesus? Explain.
Choose one of the key ideas you found while reading through Mark, and pray that God will give you wisdom to help you apply it to your life in the weeks to come. Write some of those specific prayers below,
Memory Verse of the Week
Did a particular verse make you think? Is there a verse you can't get out of your head? Write it down and memorize it. Allow God's Word to permanently brand itself in your head and your heart.
Excerpted from mark Copyright © 2004 by The Navigators. Excerpted by permission.
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