The Gospel of Mark

Dense Disciples – Discussion Questions

Interpretation Questions:

  1. The Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign from heaven (8:11). Why does the Gospel place this question between two stories about feeding miracles?
  2. 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?
  3. Is Mark’s characterization of the disciples consistent? Are there examples of them getting anything right, or are they only slow to understand?

Application Questions:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
Yale Bible Study