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Lesson 2: Friends, Family, And Fast-Spreading News (Mark 1:14-45)

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Day One Study

Ask the Lord Jesus to speak to you through His Word. Tell Him that you are listening.

Read Mark 1:13-20.

Between verses 13 and 14, Mark switched from John’s work to focus on Jesus’s ministry instead. He skipped about a year of Jesus’s public ministry in Judea (covered in John chapters 1-4). During that year, Jesus began to gain followers as He proclaimed the nearness of the kingdom of God that the Jews had been wanting for so long.

1. Discover the Facts: After John is put into prison, all eyes are now on Jesus.

  • Where did Jesus go (v. 14)?
  • What message did Jesus proclaim in vv. 14-15?
  • Was this different than what John had proclaimed (see Matthew 3:2)?
  • How should someone get ready (v. 15)?

Think About It: Jesus didn’t say they needed to get ready for the coming kingdom by gathering their swords, axes, or other weapons. He said they must repent and believe the good news. There’s that word “repent” again. To repent means to change your unbelief to belief, to mourn your sins and choose God’s way of approaching life.

  • Who does Jesus see as He walks by the Sea of Galilee (vv. 16, 19)?
  • What does Jesus say to Simon and Andrew (v. 17)?
  • What was their responsibility?

Focus on the Meaning: His invitation to all these men was two-fold. 1) To follow Jesus. That phrase literally means, “to come alongside or walk the same road.” He was challenging them to be His disciples. Rabbis had disciples. This relationship lasted for months or years. Disciples learn from their “rabbi” and apply what they learn to their lives. 2) Fishers of people—they would be disciple-makers. Fishing is a transferable concept. Their tools and skills for fishing would be transferred to targeting and reaching people in Jesus’s plan. He would give them training and opportunities. Plus, hanging out together would foster intimacy in their relationship with Jesus.

  • What was the response of all 4 men (vv. 18, 20)?

2. Read John 1:35-42. What was Jesus’s first interaction with the brothers Simon and Andrew?

Scriptural Insight: We know from Mark 1:20 that James and John were the sons of Zebedee. From the lists of the women near the cross (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40 and John 19:25), we can conclude that the mother of Zebedee’s children was named Salome and that she was also Mary’s (Jesus’s mother) sister. That makes her Jesus’s aunt, and her sons (James and John) would be Jesus’s first cousins. So, Jesus knew all 4 of these men before this day recorded in Mark 1.

3. Read Luke 5:4-7. What did Jesus give them so they could follow Him immediately?

Historical Insight: Fishing from the Sea of Galilee was a lucrative business. The lake teemed with big fish so the fishermen were prosperous. Peter, Andrew, James and John made a good living. They would have dried, pickled and preserved their fish, then sold it to merchants who delivered it to other parts of the Roman world by way of Rome’s extensive highway system. Zebedee, his sons, and Simon and Andrew were partners in the fishing business. Jesus gave them so much fish that this likely provided resources for their families for months!

The 2009 movie Julie and Julia is a great illustration of disciple-making. The move portrays young Julie Powell becoming a disciple of the chef Julia Child through Julia’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. As a disciple, Julie studies the recipes and follows the procedures. She experiences the joy of cooking and eating delicious food as Julia taught her through the book. Julie got to know Julia Child “personally” though they never met. In a sense, Julie “followed” Julia. Julie didn’t keep what she was learning about cooking to herself, though. She wrote a blog, bringing others along with her. Then, she wrote a book that was turned into a movie. Many women bought Julia Child’s book and started cooking through it because of Julie’s influence. That’s disciple-making. While she was following Julia Child as her disciple, Julie Powell was introducing other people to Julia, sharing what she was learning so they could cook that way, too. Julie was a follower and a disciple-maker at the same time. That’s what Jesus wants from us, too—to be followers of Him and disciple-makers for Him at the same time.

4. Heartbreak to Hope: Christianity is Christ—all about a relationship with Him. It’s not a society, an organization, or a set of rules. It’s a relationship-based new way to approach life with freedom and joy.

  • Like Peter, Andrew, James and John, have you already made the decision to trust in Christ for your salvation and follow Him?
  • Perhaps you don’t have a relationship with Christ and would like to understand what it’s all about. This is the “Good News” about Jesus (often called the Gospel message):

God created you to enjoy a relationship with Himself. Sadly, your sin (the ways you have gone against what God wants for you) has separated you from a holy God and caused spiritual death in you. But, God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, who became human, lived a perfect life, died, and was resurrected to pay sin’s death penalty. You receive God’s gift of forgiveness of your sin by trusting in Jesus as the Son of God who died to take away your sin. At that moment, you receive eternal life and begin a new relationship with Christ. And you gain a new purpose in life, which is to follow Him and enjoy Him forever.

Are you ready to trust in Jesus Christ now?

Write A Prayer To God In Response To What He Has Shown You In This Lesson.

Day Two Study

Ask the Lord Jesus to speak to you through His Word. Tell Him that you are listening.

Read Mark 1:21-28.

1. Discover the Facts: Mark introduced his readers to the teachers of the law (also known as lawyers or scribes). These men were like modern lawyers or seminary professors, proficient in their subject area—in this case, the Mosaic Law. The teachers of the law usually quoted other people. But, Jesus taught with His own authority (vv. 22, 27).

  • What did Jesus do on the Sabbath (v. 21)?
  • How did the people respond (v. 22)?
  • Who was in the audience (v. 23)?
  • What did “he” say (v. 24)?
  • Jesus told the evil spirit to “be quiet,” which literally means “be muzzled” (v. 25). How did the demon respond, showing it was still in rebellion (v. 26)?
  • How did the watching audience respond (v. 27)?
  • Then, what happened (v. 28)?

Scriptural Insight: The unclean or evil spirit was a demon. Demons were angels created at the beginning of creation. One rebelled against God and took 1/3 of the angels with him (Luke 10:18; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 12:3-9). We know that rebel leader as Satan, “the accuser.” Demons are under him as angels in rebellion against God. They do everything they can to thwart the purpose of God, gaining control over people through deception, counterfeits, fear, manipulation, and torment. It seems that during Jesus’s life on earth Satan launched a counter attack through demonic possession of individuals. The evil spirit identified Jesus correctly. Jesus as the Son of God had the power to destroy them; He was their adversary as the Holy One of God. He defeated the enemy by driving out demons, demonstrating His authority over all the spirit world—the good angels who served Him plus Satan and his demonic forces. Jesus is more powerful than Satan and any demon. Nothing good can come from demons, which may be why Jesus commanded them to be silent about His identity.

2. Heartbreak to Hope: What in today’s study speaks to your heart?

Write a prayer to God in response to what He has shown you in this lesson.

Day Three Study

Ask the Lord Jesus to speak to you through His Word. Tell Him that you are listening.

Read Mark 1:29-34

1. Discover the Facts: We think news travels fast today. But, it traveled fast 2000 years ago. From noon to sunset, the word spread that Jesus was in town, and He had healed someone. Answer these questions based on what is in the text.

  • Who left the synagogue with Jesus and where did they go (v. 29)?
  • What did they find there (v. 30)?
  • How did Jesus respond to that news (v. 31)?
  • What was her response back to Him?
  • Who showed up at Peter’s door that evening (vv. 32-33)?

Scriptural Insight: In Scripture, a miracle is an act of God that cannot be explained by natural means. God’s purpose for miracles in the Bible seems to be three-fold. 1) To authenticate the messenger and, therefore, the message. Jesus’s miracles showed that He is God. He has authority. The Kingdom is in His presence. 2) To demonstrate God’s compassion for His people. We will repeatedly see how Jesus’s miracles certainly did that. 3) To show the power of God. Only God’s power can do the things that Jesus did. Jesus is God on earth.

God still heals today, instantly or through enabling the body to heal itself. But, He makes no blanket promise to do so during this time in which we live. Where God chooses to allow affliction and trouble to remain in our lives, He promises hope through comfort and through teaching us how to depend on Him. We learn to trust Him with what He chooses to do.

Read Mark 1:35-39.

2. Discover the Facts: Jesus makes a few intentional choices. See what they are in this passage.

  • What did Jesus do the next morning (v. 35)?
  • When the disciples found Him, what did they say (v. 37)?
  • What was Jesus’s plan that fit with His purpose (v. 38)?
  • What did he do (v. 39)?

The people of Capernaum would have kept Him there as their in-house healer. Jesus knew His purpose was beyond that. He wanted to get the message out. A relationship with God was more important than just physical healing. He traveled to all the little towns in the region, each about a mile or two apart, and taught in the synagogues. This time of travel probably lasted a couple of months.

3. Heartbreak to Hope: If Jesus needed time alone with God and intentionally made that happen, we need it far more. That personal time with God is often called a “quiet time.” Read the following quote than answer the questions below it.

Think About It: In her book, “A Practical Guide to Prayer,” Dorothy Haskins tells about a noted concert violinist who was asked the secret of her mastery of the instrument. The woman answered the question with two words, “PLANNED NEGLECT.” Then she explained, “There were many things that used to demand my time. When I went to my room after breakfast, I made my bed, straightened the room, dusted and did whatever seemed necessary. When I finished my work, I turned to my violin practice. That system prevented me from accomplishing what I should on the violin. So, I reversed things. I deliberately planned to neglect everything else until my practice period was complete. And that program of planned neglect is the secret of my success.”

There are many good things we can choose to do with our day. Unless we discipline ourselves and make a deliberate effort, good things and the tyranny of the urgent rob us of spending time with God in Bible reading and prayer. Reflect on how you spend your day. What do you do or can you do to intentionally withdraw from activity to be alone with God and His Word? What “Planned Neglect” could you practice?

Write a prayer to God in response to what He has shown you in this lesson.

Day Four Study

Ask the Lord Jesus to speak to you through His Word. Tell Him that you are listening.

Read Mark 1:40-45.

1. Discover the Facts: A man came to Jesus with a great need.

  • A man with leprosy came to Jesus and asked what (v. 40)?
  • The leper had faith in Jesus’s ability to heal him, recognizing God’s choice not questioning God’s ability. How did Jesus respond to the man (v. 41)?

Focus on the Meaning: In v. 41, “compassion (NIV)” is a better translation than “pity (ESV).” Jesus felt compassion for the man. Compassion means that you are moved with a desire to do something to help. It is not just feeling sorry for someone. How long had it been since someone touched the leper? The Jews were concerned about becoming ceremonially unclean if they touched someone sick. Uncleanness was not sin. But, it restricted their interaction with others in the community and their attendance at the synagogue until they were purified through passage of time (a new day) or an offering. Others would be made ceremonially unclean if they touched the leper, but nothing made Jesus unclean.

  • After being healed, what instructions did Jesus give to the man (vv. 43-44)?
  • What happened instead (v. 45)?

Scriptural Insight: Why did Jesus tell people not to speak about their healing? It could be for several reasons: 1) Jesus did not want to be considered just a miracle worker, (2) He did not want His teaching ministry hindered by too much publicity being given to His healing miracles, and (3) He did not want His death to come prematurely, i.e., before He had finished His ministry. (NIV Study Bible 1984 Edition, note on Matthew 8:4, p. 1453)

2. Heartbreak to Hope: Crowds were everywhere begging for Jesus to do something all the time. It probably felt for Him like it does for us at a sold-out concert or athletic event. If you are a parent or teacher, the crowds were like children who won’t leave you alone or who continually pester you about something. Or, perhaps this is how you feel at work, constantly surrounded by people with needs. Jesus understands how you feel. He’s been there. Do you have confidence in that?

3. Heartbreak to Hope: Reflect back on this whole lesson, how did someone experiencing heartbreak, pain, or uncertainty find hope, healing and love?

Write a prayer to God in response to what He has shown you in this lesson.

Related Topics: Gospels, Women's Articles

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