Weekly Study Questions

Mark 8:1-26, "Not Yet"

  1. Compare the feeding of the 4,000 here with the feeding of the 5,000 in Mark 6: 33 ff.  In both miracles what was it that motivated Jesus to perform the miracle?  What does this motivation tell us about Jesus then and now?
  2. What does it mean that the Pharisees came out to argue with Jesus?  What was at the center of their issue with Jesus?  What did they want and why do you think Jesus was not going to give it to them?  How does this still apply today?
  3. What does it mean in verse 12 that Jesus sighed deeply in His sprit?  What was He sighing about?  What things do you think still cause Jesus to sigh in His spirit?
  4. What is leaven?  How does it work?  What is the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod?  Why does this leaven warrant a warning from Jesus?
  5. What does it mean to have a hardened heart?  How is this condition or potential condition connected with the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod?
  6. What is it about the disciple’s discussion about the fact that they have no bread concern Jesus so much?
  7. What was it that Jesus would have His disciples see, understand, and remember?  Why is it important today that we see, understand, and remember?
  8. What was it that they were to remember about the feeding of the 5,000 and the feeding of the 4,000?  In what way would remembering help them be able to understand why "having no bread" is not a big deal? 
  9. In what way does Scripture, specifically Mark's Gospel help us to see, understand, remember, in such a way that we can have absolute confidence in Jesus as we face the challenges of life today?
  10. What have you learned from this passage and how are you going to engage this truth in your life this week?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 7:31-37, "Doing All Things Well"

  1. Who are the "they" in verse 32 and why do you think they brought the deaf man to Jesus?
  2. In what way does this account help us answer the question of who Jesus is? 
  3. How do you think those that brought the deaf man to Jesus had answered the "who is this Jesus" question?  How complete do you think their understanding was?
  4. What does it mean they "implored Him to lay His hand on him"?  What are they saying about Jesus in making that request?
  5. What did Jesus do in response to their request concerning the deaf man?  Whose faith was Jesus responding to?  What does this tell us about Jesus and how He engages those who may have an incomplete understanding of who He is?
  6. Given the fact that the crowd obviously wanted to see this man healed, why do you think Jesus "took him aside from the crowd, by himself"?  What do we learn about Jesus from this decision to deal with the deaf man in this way?
  7. In my message I emphasized that Jesus met this deaf man in a way that was perfectly suited to meet his need.  How does Jesus as recorded in verses 33 and 34 tailor His approach to best engage and minister to this man? Explain? What does that tell us about Jesus then and now?
  8. Why do you think Jesus "sighed" when He said to the deaf man "Ephphatha!" (be opened)?  What is the immediate context of the sigh?  What does a deep sigh indicate?  What thoughts and emotions are usually associated with sighing?  What does this tell us about Jesus and who He is?
  9. Why did Jesus give them orders not to tell anyone what had happened?
  10. Why do you think they disobeyed Jesus and proclaimed it widely?
  11. Why do you think the crowd was utterly astonished when it was they, that had asked Jesus to lay hands on the man in the first place?  What is so astonishing about this miracle?
  12. What does it mean when it was said of Jesus "He has done all things well"?
  13. The Greek word for "well" is Kalos – which usually means "good" in the sense of excellent in its nature and character, beautiful, admirable.  How was the healing of the deaf man and the releasinghis tongue to speak "Kalos"?
  14. In what way today is Jesus still doing all things well?
  15. How does this declaration "He has done all things well" lead us to a decision about who Jesus is in our own lives and in what way does it give us the confidence to trust in Him?
  16. How are you going to take what you have learned about Jesus from this passage and apply it in your life this coming week?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 6:45-52, "Connecting the Dots"

  1. Why do you think Jesus sent the disciples immediately away to Bethsaida instead of going with them Himself?  Check out John 6:15.
  2. What do we learn from this passage about prayer and the priority Jesus gives it?  Given who Jesus is and what He can obviously do, why pray?  Why not just do?
  3. Even though Jesus is not physically with His disciples how do we know He cares and is concerned for them?  What does this passage tell us about Jesus care and concern for us?
  4. From this passage discuss what it means to obey Jesus even when we encounter strong headwinds in our doing so.  Is resistance normal?  Why or why not?   What do the strong headwinds require of us if we are to obey and fulfill Jesus commands?
  5. Why do you think Jesus chose to walk on water to rejoin His disciples rather than simply walking around the sea and meeting them on the other side?
  6. What does it mean in verse 48 when it says that Jesus "intended to pass them by"?  Why would He do that?
  7. Why were the disciples afraid when they saw Jesus?  What made them lose courage and what gave them courage?  What are you afraid of?  Where do you need Jesus to give you courage?
  8. Why did Jesus answer their fear with "it is I"?  Why is this assurance so important for us today?
  9. What does it mean that they had not gained any insight (put together, comprehended, understood, connected the dots) from the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand?
  10. What was it that Jesus wanted them to get from the feeding of the five thousand that would have equipped them to respond differently in this situation?
  11. Mark goes on to say that the fear, the astonishment, the failure to connect the dots was a product of the fact that their heart was hardened.  What does it mean to have a hardened heart?  How can a heart that is hardened prevent one from truly knowing who Jesus is and living in the reality of that truth?
  12. In what way would this account have been different if the disciples would have had soft hearts? 
  13. From this passage how can we detect the condition of our own hearts?  What are we afraid of?  What are you astonished about when it comes to who Jesus is and what He can do?  What will you just not receive or believe?
  14. How can we soften our hearts? How would Jesus have me continue to soften my heart?
  15. What insight have we gained from this passage and how are we going to live in it?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 6:30 - 44, "The Challenge"

  1. In what way does Mark reveal who Jesus is through the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand? Who is He? 
  2. In what way does the feeding of the five thousand reveal who the disciples are, and by extension who we are in the service of our Lord?  Why does that matter today?
  3. In verse 34 it says that Jesus felt compassion for them "because they were like sheep without a shepherd".  What does that mean and why is it important in understanding the heart of God?  Is this still true of people today?
  4.  Why did Jesus ask the disciples to do the seemingly impossible work of feeding the multitude?  What was their response?  What would your response have been?
  5. Why do you think Jesus was not interested in what they did not have, or what they could not do, but rather what they did have and what they could do?
  6. What could they do and what did they have?  Why was it important that they give it to Jesus?
  7. What did the disciples learn about giving their not enough to Jesus and then seeing Jesus make it enough? Why was that an important lesson for the future ministry of the disciples?  For our service for Jesus today?
  8. Why were there 12 baskets of leftover, one for each disciple?  What did Jesus want the disciples to know?  In what way did knowing this equip them for future ministry?
  9. In what way was this miracle not so much for the multitude but for the disciples? 
  10. What was it that Jesus wanted the disciples to understand about the ministry He was calling them to, and their inability to do it in their own power?
  11. Please discuss this passage in relation to Phil. 4:13; Hebrews 11:6, and 2 Cor. 8:12.  In what way does Mark's account of the feeding of the five thousand illustrate the truth found in the previous verses? 
  12. How would God have the truth of these verses manifested in our lives?
  13. What have you learned and what are you going to do with what you have learned?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 6:14 - 29, "Answering the Question"

  1. How does the account of John the Baptist execution in this passage fit with Mark's purpose of helping us understand who Jesus is?
  2. According to verse 14 what is the actual question people are attempting to answer?
  3. In what way does asking and answering the wrong question keep us from really coming to terms with who Jesus is? 
  4. What is the right question they should be asking if they really want to know the reason for this miraculous manifestation of power?  What is that question and how would Mark have them answer it?
  5. How does this passage help us understand who Jesus is and isn't?  Why is that important?
  6. In what way does this passage help us understand the way people can make decisions concerning Jesus based upon incomplete or erroneous information?  In what way is that true today?  Why is Scripture (Bible) the source we should go to if we really want to know who Jesus is?
  7. In Mark's day who did the people think Jesus was?  Why do you think they thought that?  In what way does what people think and say about Jesus influence our understanding of who Jesus is? Then and now?
  8. In what way does Herod's personal experiences shape his understanding of who Jesus is?  In what way do personal experiences, both good and bad, shape our understanding of who Jesus is?  Of accepting who He is?
  9. What can we learn from this passage about the power of peer pressure?  Why is it important that we understand that power when it comes to making our own decisions concerning Jesus?
  10. What have you learned from this passage and in what way are you going to apply it in your own life?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 4:35-41, "Fear and Faith"

  1. In what way does the fierce storm make the disciples acutely aware of their need for Jesus?  How does crisis still do that in our lives today?
  2. Notice it was Jesus who requested to cross to the other side that set up the opportunity for crisis and miracle.  What would you say to someone who would say of this account that Jesus was "setting His disciples up for failure"?
  3.  In what way does God orchestrate events today and for what purpose?  What does He want us to really know? 
  4.  In what ways do we have the opportunity (like the disciples ) to encounter "who Jesus really is" in everyday experiences?  Explain? 
  5. When in your own experience has this happened?  What did you personally learn about Jesus (and yourself) through that experience and how has that "knowing" impacted your life?
  6.  In what way did the life experience strengthen your faith?  Challenge your faith?
  7. What is the difference between exercising faith in Jesus in the "no big deal" times of life and the "big deal" times of life?  Why is that?  What part does fear play in these times?
  8. What was the underlying assumption of the disciple’s question to Jesus in verse 38?  Why is this question more than just a question but also an accusation?  What is it accusing Jesus of?
  9.  In what ways as we experience circumstances and crisis in our own lives are we tempted to question Jesus in the same way?  What does that reveal about our understanding and confidence in who Jesus is?  How does fear connect with doubt and undermine our faith?
  10. In what way does Jesus question to His disciples "Why are you afraid?  Do you still have no faith?" point up the true nature of this moment of crisis for the disciples?
  11. How does this account help us understand how faith challenges fear, and fear challenges faith? Why is it important that we know this very important truth?
  12. Can fear and faith co-exist?  How?  Include in your answer the fact that the disciples did ultimately go to Jesus for help?
  13. According to verse 40 Jesus said they had "no faith".  When does "little" faith become "no" faith? Is there a difference, and what is it?
  14. What would this account have looked like if the disciples would have had the faith Jesus spoke about?  In what ways would it have been the same? Different?
  15. Why is the question the disciples ask each other in verse 41 so amazing in light of the fact that they have been with Jesus for more than a year?  How does that speak to our continued growth and understanding of "who Jesus really is"?
  16. What are your fears that challenge your faith?  In what way is Jesus giving you opportunity to know who He really is, address your fears, and live in faith in Him?
  17. How are you going to apply what God has revealed to you through this passage?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 4:21-34, "'Our Part' & 'God's Part'"

  1. In what way does verses 21 – 25 help us to understand our part in receiving and responding to the Word of God as represented in the parable of the seed and the soils?
  2. Why does Jesus use a parable of a lamp to explain the soils parable?  What is He explaining and why is it important that we "get it"?
  3. In what way does light and having light produce responsibility to respond to what it reveals?  Check out John 3:16 – 21.
  4. What does it mean in verse 24 when Jesus says, "Take care what you listen to..."?  Why the caution?  Why is it important that we take this caution seriously?  How does this phrase fit with the rest of what Jesus is saying in verse 25?
  5. Why is Jesus caution to "take care what you listen to..." still applicable and important today?  In what ways does Jesus instruction in verse 24-25 speak to the realities that we as believers routinely experience today?  What do we have to lose? What do we have to gain?
  6. What does it mean "by your standard of measure it will be measured to you"?  Is this absolute or is it being applied in some more specific and limited way?  Explain?
  7. In light of the text in Mark 4, what does it mean that "more shall be given" to those who already have?  Who are these who have?  Have what? Given what?
  8. In what way does verses 26 – 29, Jesus parable of the seed help us understand the sovereignty of God and the power resident in His word? 
  9. In what way does the parable of the seed contrast the power of God and the power of man? Why is it important that we understand and accept this when it comes to doing our part and God doing His part?  What does our life tend to look like when we don't get this truth?
  10. What is Jesus referring to when He says, "the kingdom of God"?
  11. What can (do) we learn about the kingdom of God from the parable of the seed in (verses 26-29)?
  12. In what way(s) is the parable of the Mustard Seed a picture of the kingdom of God?  What does it reveal about that kingdom?  P
  13. What have learned about the things we are called to do and the things only God can do?  What are they? 
  14. How are you going to respond this week to the things you are called by God to do?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 4:1-20, "Faithfulness - A Thorny Issue"

  1. In what way does Mark 4:1-20 fit, and further explain Jesus warning found in Mark 3:20-29?
  2. How does the attitude of our hearts affect the way that we hear and ultimately receive or not receive the Word of God?  Notice Jesus emphasis upon listening and hearing.
  3. In what ways are the soils Jesus talks about in this passage still present today in the lives of people? In our lives?  Why is it important that we understand this reality and in what way(s) does the truth revealed here inform our efforts in evangelism (as sowers) and discipleship (as good soil)?
  4. What is spiritual fruit and this fruitfulness that Jesus says is a result of receiving the word? Start with faith in Romans 10:17:  Gal. 5:16-25; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
  5. In what way is spiritual fruitfulness an indicator of who we now are in Christ Jesus?  See 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 2:20; Matt.7:16-18; Matt.1`5:18,19.
  6. What does it mean in Matt.3:8 that our fruit should be in keeping with our repentance?  In what way does John's words apply and give us further insight into this passage?
  7. Given that the seed is sown in good soil and produces fruit abundantly (30-60-100) how do we keep the soil of our lives good? Is there levels of fruitfulness, and if so, why is that?
  8. In what ways can the dangers present in the other three "bad" soils threaten and reduce the fruitfulness of the good soil?
  9. Why is it important to God that we bear fruit?  1 John 15: 1-16, esp. vs. 8 & 16
  10. In what way has this parable spoken to you?  What would God have you take away from this passage as a "sower" and as a "soil"?
  11. In what way(s) are you going to apply what God has shown you?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 3:20-35, "The Unpardonable Sin?"

  1. From this account in Mark 3 what do we learn about the nature and power of human attitude?  What was the attitude of "Jesus own people"?  What was the attitude of the Scribes? In what ways were they similar, and in what ways were they different?
  2. In what way can these attitudes if left unchallenged keep each group from discovering who Jesus is and what He has come to do for them? 
  3. How does the attitudes of each of these groups distort the work and message of Jesus?  In what way does this distortion put them at risk of not entering into the salvation God has provided in Jesus?
  4. How does our own attitudes affect the way we view scripture and respond to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives?  In what ways can that cause us to miss out on all that God has for us in Jesus?
  5. In what ways can we co-operate with the Holy Spirit to discover and deal with attitudes that would hinder or even nullify His work in our lives?  See Psalm 139;23-24; Psalm 95:7,8; 1 John 1:9;
  6. According to this text what does it mean to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit?
  7. In what way are the Scribes potentially guilty of such blasphemy?
  8. What is "an eternal sin" or unpardonable sin according to this text?
  9. In what way is this sin actually a rejection of the only way of pardon which is found in Jesus and Jesus alone, and thus an unpardonable sin? Why is it important that we understand that Jesus is speaking these words to those who refused to believe who He is, and what He has come to do? Discuss in light of John 3:16; John 1:12; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5,6; Phil.3: 9-11; Hebrews 10.
  10. In what ways are the Scribes dangerously close to ultimately committing this sin? (see verse 30) Who do they say Jesus is?  By what power do the Scribes claim Jesus does these great works of power?  In what way does their assertions make them guilty of speaking blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?
  11. Why is it impossible for a believer to be guilty of the unpardonable sin?  Check out the various ways believers can grieve the Holy Spirit Ephesians 4:30, resist the Holy Spirit –Acts 7:51; and quench the Holy Spirit – 1 Thess. 5:19 and still not be found guilty of the eternal sin?  What does our pardon, our forgiveness of sin rest upon?
  12. What would you say to a believer who is afraid they may, or could possibly be guilty of the unpardonable sin?
  13. What have you learned from this passage and in what way are you going to incorporate what you have learned into your life?

Weekly Study Questions

Matthew 28:1-8, "Risen, just as He said"

  1. Discuss and compare the various accounts of Jesus Resurrection as recorded Matthew 28: 1- 10; Mark 16: 1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20: 1- 18.  In what ways are they the same and in what ways are they different?  How do all four accounts help us more fully understand this very important moment in time as it is being experienced by Christ's followers?
  2. Clearly the women had come to the tomb expecting to minister to Christ's dead body.  How is it that they had heard Jesus speak of His resurrection and yet they did not believe (including the disciples)? 
  3. In what ways do we still have trouble today believing what Jesus has said He will do?  Why is it that we can hear and yet not believe?
  4. Why did Jesus when He encountered the disciples after His resurrection not take them to task for their unbelief?  Check out His interaction with Thomas in John 20: 24-29.  What do we learn about Jesus through this interaction with Thomas?  In what way does that encourage us in our own faith challenges and failings?
  5. In Romans 6 Paul applies the realities of Jesus resurrection to every believer who has placed their faith in Jesus.  What are those resurrection realities for each of us today?
  6. In what way does this passage point up the importance of the resurrection for each of us as we live out our lives in Jesus?
  7. Why is the resurrection of Jesus so important to our faith according to Paul in 1 Cor. 15: 12-19? 
  8. In what way does Jesus resurrection give you confidence to trust Him for all the other things He has promised to you?  What are those promises? 
  9. In what way is Jesus resurrection going to help you live for Him today?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 2:23-3:12, "The Lord of the Sabbath"

  1. What is Jesus answer to the Pharisees as they accused His disciples of unlawful conduct on the Sabbath?  In what way does the Pharisees disregard for the precedent set by David help us understand their attitude as they engage Jesus?  What is that attitude?
  2. What does it mean that the "Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath"?  How does this fit with what Jesus said earlier in defense of His disciples eating grain (working) on the Sabbath?
  3. What does it mean when Jesus says He is "Lord even of the Sabbath"?  Check out these passages and discuss if and how Jesus set us free from the Law of the sabbath. Hebrews 4; Hebrews 10; Col. 2:13-17: Ephesian 2:8,9 ...
  4. In what way does Jesus healing of the man with a withered hand illustrate for us and thus help us better understand what He was saying in verses 25-28?
  5. In Mark 3:4 Jesus askes the Pharisees a question.  What is the question and what is the correct answer?  What does the answer tell us about God's intent for the Sabbath?  Check out parallel passages in Matthew12:9-14?
  6. What from this passage do we know about the attitude of the Pharisees?  What does it mean to have "hardness of heart"? 
  7. Why did the Pharisee's silence to Jesus question make Him angry?  What is the difference between being angry and being grieved?  What does this account help us understand about the difference between the heart of the Pharisees and the heart of Jesus?  In what way does Jesus heart and actions help us understand God's original purpose of the Sabbath?
  8. What can we learn from this passage about the heart of God and the nature of Law and grace?  Why is it important that we personally understand the heart of God and the nature of grace, and incorporate that understanding into our lives?
  9. What kind of heart does Jesus want each of us to have? 
  10. What have you learned from this passage and how are you going to apply it this week?

Weekly Study Questions

Mark 2:13-22, "Asking the Wrong Questions"

  1. In Mark chapter 2 the religious leaders ask a series of "why" questions.  In what way does Jesus answer their "why" questions with "who" answers beginning with Mark 2:7-10 and then through verses 22?
  2. Why is it important that we first ask and answer the "who are you Jesus" question before we attempt to ask and answer the "why" question?
  3. Why do you think the religious leaders were asking these questions and why do you think Jesus answered in the way that He did?
  4. In what way does Jesus answer concerning why He is eating with sinners and tax collectors answer the real question of "who" He is and why He has come?  Who is Jesus and why has He come?  See Luke 19:10
  5. In verse 17 Jesus says He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.  Who are the righteous?  Are the religious leaders the righteous, why or why not?  What is Jesus teaching here and what does He want the religious leaders to know?
  6. What is fasting?  Why did Jesus say it was not the right time to fast for His disciples?  Is fasting commanded for Christians?  Check out Matthew 6:16-18; Acts27:9.
  7. What is Jesus helping us understand about "who" He is and what He has come to do by using the illustrations of the "old and New cloth" and the "old and new wineskins"?  Consider your answer in light of passages such as 2 Cor. 5:17.
  8. In what ways do we sometimes try to patch new cloth onto old garment or put new wine into old wineskins in our own spiritual lives?
  9. What have you learned about "who" Jesus is and "why" He has come for you?
  10. How are you going to incorporate what you have learned into your life this coming week?