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A Study of the Gospel of Mark

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Mark 1   [KJV]

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

1The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Q1. Who does Mark say Jesus is?

2As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Q2. Who is the "messenger"?
Q3. To whom does "you" refer?

3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Q4. Why do you think Mark quoted from the Old Testament?
Q5. Is the Old Testament important to us Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ?

4John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
Q6. Did many come to see and listen to John?
Q7. What did the people do before they were baptized?
Q8. What does "repent" mean to you?

6And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
Q9. Did people find a man who was well-dressed?
Q10. How do you think John looked?

NOTE: If we wanted to select someone to announce our pending arrival, we would choose a well-groomed, well-dressed, well-educated, well-mannered, respectable "point" person, whose sole purpose would be to impress people as s/he prepared the public for our imminent arrival. It would be much like a herald of old trumpeting the arrival of the king. However, our choice is definitely not God's choice.  See I Corinthians 1.18-25.

7And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
Q11. Many people seemed to be flocking to John. Yet, John himself seemed to be waiting for someone. From John's words, do you think that John eagerly anticipated this person or was he worried and concerned?
Q12. From what John said, do you think this person had dirty sandals or was he someone important? How can you tell?
Q13. It seems to be human nature to want people to look up to us and to think that we are GREAT! Do you think John was like that?

8I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Q14. What / Who is the Holy Spirit (Ghost)? (See Matthew 3.16, John 1.32-33, John 4.24, John 14.16-17, & Acts 2.1-4)

The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus

9And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
Q15. Are John and Jesus related? (See Luke 1.36)

10And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 11And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Q16. "there came a voice came from heaven" refers to whom?
Q17. How would you have felt if your earthly dad had said those exact same words to you?
Q18. What do you think Jesus felt?
Q19. The "Spirit" refers to the Holy Spirit. Do you think that Jesus was able to perform miracles before now?

NOTE: With Jesus' baptism and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the perfect and pure man Jesus began His true ministry.

12And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 13And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
Q20. Was it important that Jesus be tempted?
Q21. Was Jesus' temptation for Him, for us, or for Satan?

Matthew 4:1-11

The Temptation of Jesus

1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Q22. Had Jesus ever sinned?
Q23. Why did Jesus need to be tempted?

2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
Q24. Was Jesus hungry after nearly six weeks without food?

NOTE: While we do not know why the number "40" is important, it appears a number of times in Scripture: for example: Genesis 7.4 (Noah), Genesis 18.29 (Sodom & Gomorrah), Exodus 34.28 (Moses recorded Commandments), Numbers 32.13 (Israel wanders in desert), Jonah 3.4 (Jonah prophesied in Nineveh), Acts 1.3 (after the cross, Jesus appeared), and many others.

3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Q25. Who is the "tempter"?
Q26. Is the "tempter" alive and well today?
Q27. What was the "tempter" really suggesting to Jesus?

NOTE: Satan basically said, "IF you are the Son of God, why don't you prove it? It isn't a big deal. You're hungry and you can turn that stone into bread... can't you? Come on."

NOTE: Satan was using the temptation of self or selfishness or selfish desires ("Hey, if it feels good, it must be good!" or "I'm not hurting anyone and it feels sooo good!") to cause Jesus to sin against His Father. Bread would never had tasted so good to a man who had been without food for forty days/nights.

4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Deuteronomy 8.3)
Q28. Where do we find every word that comes from the mouth of God?
Q29. As Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, how often should we read God's Word? Why?
Q30. Is reading and studying God's Word important to our faith and to our life in this world?
Q31. Is the Bible just another book? Or is there a spiritual power within the printed Word?

5Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Q32. What do you think Jesus saw?

6And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Psalm 91.11&12)
Q33. Who is quoting Scripture to prove his point? Is there a lesson in this to us?
Q34. What was the "tempter" really suggesting to Jesus?

NOTE: Again, Satan basically said, "IF you are the Son of God, why don't you prove it? You're powerful. Right? And IF Scripture is true, then you will be saved by angels. So, what's the big deal? Or are you afraid to trust your father to save your life? Come on."

NOTE: Satan was using the temptation of pride ("You say you are the Son of God, why don't you prove it?") to cause Jesus to sin against His Father. God loves His Son more than we can ever hope to comprehend, while we are in this world. God loves us the same! However, sin is the barrier between the Holy and pure Lord God Almighty and us. God gave us the bridge to pass over that barrier of sin to Him... the bridge is the Lord Jesus Christ and our belief in Him and His death and resurrection.

7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Deuteronomy 6.16)
Q35. When we pray, do we sometimes "tempt" (or test) God with what we ask?
Q36. If God answered each and every one of your prayers and my prayers, what would life on earth be like?
Q37. If God answered every one of our prayers, what would happen to free will (or free choice)?

NOTE: It is said that God does answer each of our prayers: the answer is either yes, no, or wait!

8Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Q38. Describe some of the riches that Jesus saw.
Q39. What would you do for a million dollars or a 100-million dollars? Would you like to be President?
Q40. Did the devil have ownership rights to the world?

NOTE: Again, Satan basically said, "Look at all the splendor that is before you! I will give this to you, Jesus. All you have to do is bow down right here in front of me. Look at what I will give you. It is just a tiny, little thing that I ask from you in return."

NOTE: Satan was using the temptation of greed to cause Jesus to sin against His Father. Can you imagine the power Jesus had at His fingertips? The first chapter of John's Gospel begins, "(1) In the beginning was the Word [or Jesus] and the Word [or Jesus] was with God and the Word [or Jesus] was God. (2) He was with God in the beginning. (3) Through Him all things were made...". Just imagine the power the Creator of the world must have at His command?

10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Deuteronomy 6.13)

NOTE: Did you notice that Jesus did not refute Satan's ability to give the world to Jesus?
Q41. How does the world tempt us today?
Q42. The world is full of temptations. How do you resist temptation?
Q43. Are you quick to pray, when you are tempted?
Q44. When is a sin a sin? Is being tempted a sin? Or is it when we give in to a temptation?

11Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Q45. Does the devil have power over Jesus?

NOTE: Jesus said, "Away from me, Satan!" and Satan immediately left Him. We shall see in later chapters of Mark that Satan (or the devil or the tempter) does indeed know whom Jesus is and has no recourse but to obey Jesus' commands and prayers. Praise be to God! Amen.

NOTE: There are three basic temptations: selfishness, pride, and greed. Jesus resisted each one! The way Satan presented those temptations to our Lord was more enticing than anything that we might experience. Jesus knew His Old Testament and He used passages from Deuteronomy to repulse Satan's temptations. Fortunately, God has given us these examples to use, when we too are tempted.

Mark 1 continues

The Calling of the First Disciples

14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Q46. What is Jesus referring to in the phrase "The time has come"?
Q47. Jesus said the "kingdom of God is near". What did He mean?
Q48. To what does "Good News" refer?
Q49. Jesus said, "Repent". Of what were the people to repent?
Q50. Is "repenting" important to us, today? Why or why not?

16Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. 19And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
Q51. Within a short walk, Jesus called four people to serve with Him. Was there anything special about these men?
Q52. Would it be scary to drop everything, including your job, and follow a stranger?
Q53. Were these men bachelors or married? (See Mark 1.30)
Q54. To what does "fishers of men" refer?
Q55. What kind of parental pressure may have been exerted upon James and John?

Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit

21And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
Q56. Why did Jesus wait until the Sabbath to enter the synagogue?

22And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
Q57. The crowds were "astonished at his doctrine" (or "amazed at his teaching"). Why?
Q58. Where did Jesus the carpenter's son get his knowledge and authority?
Q59. What do you think could have been differences between Jesus' teaching and that of the scribes (or teachers) of the law? More passionate? More knowledgeable? Better teachings how disparate parts of the Scripture (Old Testament) fit together? Other attributes?

23And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
Q60. Are people today demon-possessed?
Q61. Why did the possessed man cry out? Wouldn't it have better for the unclean (or evil) spirit to remain quiet?

24Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
Q62. Was there only one evil spirit in the man?
Q63. Why do you think the evil spirit asked Jesus, if He had "come to destroy us?"
Q64. What impresses you the most about this verse?

     Luke 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. (25) And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. (26) Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

25And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
Q65. Why did Jesus command the evil spirit to be quiet (or "hold thy peace"? (It would seem that Jesus would want someone to identify him as the Son of God.)

26And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
Q66. Did the evil spirit obey Jesus?
Q67. Did the evil spirit think about it? Or argue with Jesus? Or was it's obedience immediate? Why?

27And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
Q68. The people recognized that even the evil spirits obeyed Jesus. Do you think the people were surprised? Were the teachers of the law surprised?

28And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
Q69. Why would "News about Him spread quickly"?

Jesus Heals Many

29And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
Q70. Who walked with Jesus? (See Mark.16-20)
Q71. Where did they go?
Q72. In Mark 1.16 Simon and Andrew are identified as brothers. Was it customary at the time to have extended families living together?

30But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.
Q73. Was Simon married?
Q74. What was Simon's more common, famous name?
Q75. Was Simon's mother-in-law sick and, if so, how sick do you think she was?
31And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.
Q76. How was Simon's mother-in-law healed?
Q77. Why do you think Jesus allowed someone who was sick to serve them? Do you think it was a mean thing that Jesus permitted?

32And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
Q78. Had Jesus developed a reputation?
Q79. Since radio had not yet been invited, how did the people know about Jesus' healing powers?

33And all the city was gathered together at the door. 34And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
Q80. Were many people visiting the house of Simon and Andrew?
Q81. The demons knew who Jesus was, yet He wouldn't allow them to identify Him. Why?
Q82. What affect did all of this have upon His reputation?

35And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
Q83. Why did Jesus want to find a "solitary place"?
Q84. Is it important to pray?
Q85. Does anyone have any prayer testimonials?

36And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. 37And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.
Q86. Why were people looking for Him?

38And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.
Q87. What message was Jesus preaching?

39And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
Q88. Do you think that Jesus was welcomed to preach and teach in the synagogues?

A Man With Leprosy

40And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Q89. Do we know to what illness/affliction Mark referred with the word "leprosy" (leper)?
Q90. Thinking about the Jewish traditions, how courageous was the leper?
Q91. Considering the way the leper approached Jesus and the words he spoke to Him, how do you think the leper regarded Jesus? And why?

41And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
Q92. When Jesus touched the leper, what did that convey to the Jewish leaders and priests? And to the leper, himself?

43And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; 44And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Q93. Why was it important that the man go to the priest?
Q94. Why did Jesus tell the man to not tell anyone?

45But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
Q95. Was Jesus' ministry impacted by the healed leper's disobedience?

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