Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gospel of Mark – Lenten Guide

This Lent I’m going to be reading through the Gospel of Mark, along with the rest of my church. I’m going to try and each day to blog a few thoughts about the readings and ask a few guiding questions. I hope you’ll join me in reading and discussing the Gospel of Mark and that it will enhance our Lenten season as we follow Jesus to the cross.
Day 1 (Mark 1:1-13)
Mark’s Gospel might be the most accommodating Gospel to our time. It is a simple, succinct, yet vivid account of Jesus’ ministry emphasizing more what Jesus did than what He said. Mark moves quickly from one episode in Jesus’ life and ministry to another, often using the adverb ‘immediately’ (watch for it!). The book as a whole may be characterized as ‘The beginning of the Gospel” (1:1). The life, death, and resurrection of Christ comprise the ‘beginning,’ of which the apostolic preaching in Acts in the continuation.
Where does Mark point as the beginning “of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (vv. 2-3)?
How might Jesus’ baptism and temptation prepare for the rest of Jesus’ ministry?
In verse 10 Mark notes at Jesus’ baptism that the heavens were “opened” or split apart. In 15:38 at Jesus’ crucifixion the curtain in the Holy of Holies is also split apart (same Greek word as 1:10). What do you think that says about Jesus’ ministry and where it comes from?
Do you remember your baptism? How has your baptism served as a call or empowerment to ministry for you?
How do you think God affirms us, as the Father did with Jesus in verse 11?
If Jesus faced temptations what might that say about the Christian life?
Where is this Scripture challenging you? Where does this Scripture speak to you?
I invite you to share your thoughts.

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