The Gospel of Mark demonstrates that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah who inaugurates God’s kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection. Mark is a carefully crafted story that gives an account of Jesus’ life and addresses the question of whether or not He is the Jewish Messiah. In the first half, everyone questions who He is, the middle questions the disciples’ belief about Him and the second half tells how He became the Messiah. Many Jews hoped that the Messiah would overthrow the Romans and rule as king, but as we read this book, we see that He came as a servant to set up the kingdom of God on earth. While He is the Son of God, He also sacrificed His life to save people from slavery to sin. The book’s abrupt ending challenges us to decide if we believe He is the Messiah. (Which some early Christians feel is too abrupt and later clarify this by the addition of verses 9-20.)
- Chapters 1-8 define WHO Jesus is – the Messiah.
- Chapters 8:27-10 defines HOW He will become the Messiah.
- Chapters 11-16 show Him AS the Messiah, the servant ransoming Himself for all.
Look In: Discussion
- What are some of the ways Jesus showed is “God-ness”, his “Messiah-ship” in the first half of the book?
- Put yourself in the disciple’s shoes for a minute. How surprised or doubtful would you be to have your promised king, liberator, Messiah (the guy who’s been fulfilling prophecy, healing all kinds of people, and even raising the dead) say that he must be a servant and die to fulfill these roles? How would you feel? Are you really willing to be called His disciple when they are about to kill Him?
- What significance does it have that a Roman soldier, an enemy of the Jews, recognizes Jesus for who He is?
Point: We all need to answer Jesus’ question, “who do you say I am?” Is Jesus the Messiah, the savior of the world?
- Who do you say Jesus is? Why?
- If we believe Jesus is the Messiah, then we are asked, like the women at the tomb, to go tell others. Does this cause you fear? What can you do to combat that fear?
- Who is one person you will tell what you know about Jesus this week?
- How can we pray for you and them?
Pray for one another to do this and be ready to share what God does with your obedience.
The Bible Project: Explore Mark