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?