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?

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One Note

  1. Nicholas

    Very interesting how Mark ties the two stories together of Jarius’s daughter with the woman who was hemorrhaging. It’s as if Mark pauses the story line to heal the woman who has a hemorrhage and then returns back to the main plot. It does build suspense however, as the daughter who has died when Jesus does arrives is raised back to life. Similar to the story of Lazarus where Jesus tarries when he receives the news that Lazarus is ill and then does arrive until three days after Lazarus has died. It builds the suspense of the story but also shows the power of Jesus to not only heal but to raise the dead, and that even death will not stop him.