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Dense Disciples – Discussion Questions
- The Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign from heaven (8:11). Why does the Gospel place this question between two stories about feeding miracles?
- Jesus seems to change his mind based on the Syrophoenician woman’s argument (7:24-30). In a section where the disciples clearly don’t learn anything, is this a scene where Jesus learns? If not, how do we explain his change of mind? If so, what do we learn about Mark’s view of Jesus?
- Is Mark’s characterization of the disciples consistent? Are there examples of them getting anything right, or are they only slow to understand?
- After Jesus heals the deaf man, he tells the man not to tell anyone, but “the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it” (7:37b). Why do you think Jesus is so intent on secrecy?
- In 2:27, Jesus said that “The Sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the Sabbath!” How does this help us understand his statement to his disciples: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” (6:31)? Is there a lesson here to incorporate into our own faith journeys?