Mark 10:32-52

  1. Verses 32-34, 45. What new aspects of his suffering does Jesus introduce here?
    Cf. 9:31. Why does he continue to stress this subject?
    Why were his disciples amazed and afraid, and what ought we to be?
  2. What motives do you think were behind the request of James and John, and what was the meaning of Christ’s reply to them?
    Do our own aims I life also reveal the same spiritual shallowness?
    What is the governing principle of true Christian greatness?
  3. What were the progressive steps which led Bartimaeus to the recovery of his sight?
    What can we learn from this incident that will both guide and encourage us when trying to help those who are spiritually blind to find their way to Christ?

Note. Verse 38. The terms ‘baptism’ and ‘cup’ are sometimes used symbolically in Scripture to denote suffering that has to be endured.
In this passage they are forceful; reminders of the cost of following Christ.
Cf. Luke 12:50; Mark 14:36.

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Mark 10:17-31

  1. What basic wrong assumption was made by this man about salvation and eternal life?
    Cf. Eph. 2:9. Why did Jesus stress to him the demands of the Law?
    What the real hindrance that held him back?
  2. Why did Jesus say it would be hard for those with riches to enter the kingdom?
    Cf. Luke 14:33.
    Are there any things in my life that are holding up spiritual progress?
  3. What promises does Jesus make to those who are willing to renounce earthly wealth to follow him without reservation?
    What is meaning of the warning in verse 31?
    Cf. 1 Cor. 13.

Note. Verse 25. ‘There does not seem to be any good early evidence for the view that the phrase eye of a needle is a postern-gate in the city wall’. The phrase is better understood as a vivid description of sheer impossibility. (See Mark [TNTTC], p237).

Mark 10:1-16

  1. Verses 1-12. What is Christ’s teaching about divorce, and on what grounds does he base it?
  2. Verses 13-16. No doubt the disciples were trying to be thoughtful here by guarding their Lord from unnecessary intrusion; why then was Christ so indignant?
    In what ways am I also in danger of obscuring Christ form those who are seeking him?
  3. Verse 15. What does it mean to ‘receive the kingdom of God like a little child’, and why is this so essential Cf. Matt. 18:2-4.

Mark 9:30-50

  1. Verse 33-37. How does Jesus explain the way to become spiritually great?
    What especially ought we to learn from the examples of a little child?
    Cf. Matt. 18:4.
  2. Verses 38-41. What three reasons does Jesus give here why the disciples should not have acted as they did? Why did they fail to gain similar understanding about his teaching concerning what was going to happen to him (verses 30-32)?
  3. Verses 43-48. What spiritual truth is Jesus seeking to convey here?
    In what sense are we to cut off a foot, or pluck out an eye?
    Why may it be necessary to apply such drastic measures?

Notes.

  1. Verse 43, 45, 47. ‘Hell’ or ‘Gehenna’ (Greek) is a reference to the Valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem, where the refuse of the city was cast and burnt.
    It had become a synonym for the place of final ruin and destruction.
  2. Verse 49. ‘Salted with fire’: subjected to a fiery process of discipline to purge out cooption. Cf. 1 Pet. 4:17; Heb. 12:11.

Mark 9:1-29

  1. Verses 1-8. What would be the significance for the three disciples of the appearance of Moses and Elijah and also of the voice out of the cloud?
    Cf. John 1:45; Luke 24:27. How would this new experience be likely to help and encourage them?
  2. Verse 11-13. What question did the scene on the mountain raise in the minds of the disciples, and how did Jesus reply?
    Consider how closely John the Baptist resembled Elijah.
  3. Why was Jesus so disappointed at what he found his return to the rest of the disciples?
    What does this incident teach us about the chief causes of failure in our Christian witness and service (see verses 23 and 29)?

Note. Verse 24. ‘If believe; help me overcome my unbelief!, This implies ‘Help me just as I am, a doubter who wants to believe’.

Mark 8:27-38

  1. Verses 27-29. What did the disciples need to understand first of all, before Jesus could begin to explain to them about his death?
    Why was this so important and why were most people so slow to understand it?
    Cf. Luke 10:21, 22.
  2. Why was Peter unable to accept Christ’s teachings about his death?
    What is the meaning of Christ’s rebuke?
    In this matter of a right attitude to Christ’s death, on whose side are you?
  3. Verse 34-38. What two alternative courses are presented to us in these verses?
    Why is it so important to make the right choice?
    What does this involve, and what does Jesus say will be the final result of a wrong choice?

 Notes.

  1. Verse 33. ‘Get behind me, Satan’ Jesus was faced with a similar temptation in the wilderness to avoid the cross. Cf. Matt. 4:8-10.
  2. Verse 34. For the meaning of the word ‘deny’, see Luke 12:9; 22:34. Here it means to disown self, to refuse to recognize the claims of self as against those of Christ.

Mark 8:1-26

  1. What characteristic features in the Lord Jesus stand out in the miracle of 8:1-9?
    What special claim had this particular crowd on the Lord’s provision?
    Cf. Matt. 6:33. Of what was his provision a sign?
  2. Why did Christ warn the disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod (verse 15)?
    Why did   he question them about the miracles that had recently taken  place?
    How do thought and reflection of this kind help us to grow spiritually?
  3. Verses 22-26. What can we learn from this incident about the way and the cost of leading someone in need to experience the saving power of Christ?

Note. Verse15. The word ‘leaven’ used here symbolically refers to the unseen pervasive influence of sin.