By Luke Johnson | January 1, 2013
Pretend you don’t know anything about Jesus, that this is the first time you’ve ever heard about him. We’re going to read a handful of stories about things he did and said, and we’ll pause to think about what Mark wants us to know about this strange man named Jesus.
Read the readings listed below, pausing after each reading to ask:
What’s going on in this story? What is Jesus doing?
What do the other people in the story think of the things he does and says?
What do you think Mark want us to know about Jesus?
- Mark 1:9-11 - Jesus’ baptism
- Mark 1:12-13 - Jesus in the wilderness
- Mark 1:14-15 - Jesus proclaims the good news
- Mark 1:16-20 - Jesus calls his first disciples
- Mark 1:21-28 - Jesus heals a man with an ‘unclean’ spirit
- Mark 1:29-34 - Jesus heals a bunch of people
- Mark 1:35-39 - Jesus preaches all over Galilee
- Mark 1:40-45 - Jesus heals a man with leprosy
Let’s think about all the stories we just read . . .
How has Jesus spent his time so far? What kinds of things does he do?
What do you find the most surprising about Jesus so far?
From what you read, what do you think it would be like to sit down in a coffee shop with the Jesus of Mark chapter 1?
What’s the first thing Jesus does when he leaves the wilderness?
What is Jesus’ message about? (Look at verse 15)
Jesus is getting ready for action. He asks some local guys to join him.
What does he want them to do? (Look at verse 17)
Why does Mark tell us a story about Jesus freeing a man from a demon? What can we learn about Jesus in this story? (1:21-28)
Who knows who Jesus is in this story? (Jesus has a secret identity in Mark. But some characters know who he is.)
What do the people think of Jesus? Are they surprised by him?
What does the evil spirit say about him?
What does Jesus say to the evil spirit? (verse 26)
Why do you think Jesus tells the demon to be quiet? Wouldn’t it be a good thing for people to know that he’s the “Holy One of God”?
How many stories in Mark chapter 1 show Jesus healing people or casting out demons?
Why do you think Jesus does this so much?
If Jesus came just so that we could go to heaven when we die, why would he bother healing people’s bodies and casting out demons?
How does Jesus feel about the man with leprosy? (Look at verse 41)
In Jesus’ day, people with leprosy were banished from the cities. They were cast out of their homes. Nobody was willing to go near them or touch them. But Jesus doesn’t just talk to the man, he touches him.
How were people’s lives changed by meeting Jesus in Mark chapter 1?
- the disciples
- the man with an unclean spirit
- the people at Simon’s house
- the leper
- the people who got to watch these things happen
What about you? Think about your own life.
How has following Jesus shaped …
- your family?
- the choices you make?
- the way you spend your time?
- how you spend your money?
- the way you treat your brother or sister?
How do you think Jesus is shaping you right now?