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Popularity Breeds Contempt – Discussion Questions
- The Gospel of Mark begins not with the story of Jesus but with the story of John the Baptist. What effect does this order have on Mark’s portrait of Jesus?
- In 1:24, the demon recognizes that Jesus is “of God” before the disciples do. What role do the demons play in Mark?
- Why does Jesus instruct the man not to tell anyone after he heals his leprosy (1:40-45)?
- Imagine yourself in the story of Mark 3:1-6. If you’re the man with the withered hand, what do you make of Jesus? Is there more than one level to that good deed?
- Next put yourself in the first audience of the story. How have the first two chapters prepared you to hear this paragraph in 3:1-6 more intelligently? What do you know that the man with the withered hand doesn’t?
- In 2:27, Jesus says, “The Sabbath was made for humanity, not humanity for the Sabbath.” Have you ever seen rigid enforcement of well-intended rules do harm? What kind of God does Jesus’ saying portray?