1. How would you define the word “charisma”?
(Charisma is defined as a compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. A second definition: a divinely conferred power or talent. Another: Charisma is the ability to attract, charm, and influence the people around you.)
2. Who do you know that has “charisma?”
Today we begin a 13 week study of the book of Mark. The most charismatic person to ever live was Jesus Christ. His very presence commanded attention.
This Gospel that bears his name, although we do not find Mark identified as the writer, was attributed to him early in the second century AD. It is also widely accepted that Mark simply wrote the memoirs of the Apostle Peter. Although we can’t know a precise date of the writing it is generally thought to have been written prior to AD70 when Jerusalem along with the Temple was destroyed by the Emperor Nero, although it could have been as late as AD 90.
It was most likely written for a Greek audience because several Jewish customs are explained for the reader.
The events recorded in this gospel are not always in chronological order. When compared to the other Gospels the events may not be in the same sequence but none the less accurate.
The main theme: Mark 10:45—“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark focuses on action and the superiority of Jesus.
3. What do we know about Mark? (John Mark became famous when he deserted Paul and Barnabus on their first church-planting trip. He was the subject of a sharp disagreement between Paul and Barnabus that brought about two teams going out to share the gospel. Later, Paul said Mark was a valuable asset and should be brought to Paul—2 Tim. 4:11.)
Read Mark 1:1-8
Affirmed! Read Mark 1:9-11
(Use the map to locate these important places.)
1. What evidence do you see here that affirms Jesus as the anticipated Messiah?
2. What do we see in verse 4 as the reason to be baptized by John?
3. If Jesus did not need to be baptized for repentance and the forgiveness of sin, why was He baptized? (An act of obedience to the Father; Open display of His commitment to His mission as Messiah; As an example to us as we yield in obedience.)
4. What do these verses tell us about Jesus? (He was yielded to the Father’s will.)
Read verse 10. Throughout Mark’s Gospel we will find a sense of urgency as illustrated in verse 10. In the first chapter alone, we find ten separate examples where this sense of urgency appears.
5. What evidence do we see here that affirms Jesus’ power to fulfill the task ahead of Him as Messiah? (The Holy Spirit came down visually to testify His presence with the Son.)
6. If a friend asked why you believe Jesus is God’s Son, how would you respond?
7. Why is it important to understand and accept His role as Son? (He is our example for obedience to the Father.)
8. How do these events declare Jesus’ authority? (Jesus’ authority comes directly from the Father.)
9. How do we demonstrate Jesus’ authority in our lives? (Through obedience! Jesus is our guide for day to day living.)
Tested! Read Mark 1:12-13
Notice how Mark moves us along quickly with the word “Immediately”!
Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13 have a much more detailed narrative of Jesus’ temptation than Mark gives here. John doesn’t cover it at all.
1. How does knowing that Jesus faced temptation help you better understand His identity? (He was fully man and fully God. He understands what temptation is like for us.)
2. What role does the Holy Spirit play in these verses? (Jesus was, according to Luke, “led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” Jesus certainly had power of His own-after all He is God the Son, but just like us, He was led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. He is our example in following the leadership of the Holy Spirit.)
3. What do we learn here about temptation and how to deal with it? (1-it is Satan who tempts us. 2-we can resist temptation in the power of the Holy Spirit. 3-use the Word of God to overcome temptation. 4-everyone is tempted. 5-Heb. 4:15-16 teaches Jesus was “tempted in every way,” just as we are, and He will equip us with His power to resist.)
4. What does the fact that Jesus was tempted immediately after His baptism teach us? (Many times after a spiritual victory, Satan will attack us to discourage us. Elijah is a great example.)
Heard! Read Mark 1:14-15
The reference to the imprisonment of John the Baptist was primarily a way to identify that time as the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
1. What are three basic points to Jesus’ message? (1-“the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near.” 2-“Repent” 3-“Believe in the good news!”)
2. How would you describe Jesus’ message in three sentences or less?
3. What sets His message apart from the messages presented by other religious leaders?
4. Up until Jesus came how did the Jews expect the Messiah to manifest Himself? (They expected an earthly king to rule politically.)
5. How do we participate in the kingdom as a believer this side of heaven? (The Kingdom of God is when and where God rules.)
6. How does Jesus help with this? (Jesus calls us to follow Him with our lives!)
Followed! Read Mark 1:16-20
1. Did there seem to be urgency in Jesus’ command?
2. Was there urgency in their response?
3. What factors might have prompted the disciples to leave their occupations to follow Jesus? (They may have heard about Him secondhand from some who saw Jesus’ baptism and witnessed the dove. We know from other gospels this wasn’t their first time to hear Jesus.)
4. What might Jesus ask a modern-day person to leave behind in order to follow Him? (Whatever is near to the heart and would stand in the way of full obedience to Him! Jesus doesn’t want us to be unhappy but He does require that we forsake anything that has first place in our heart over Him.)
5. What might Jesus call you to leave behind—or embrace—to follow Him? (Jesus’ call involves leaving behind certain relationships, pursuits, and loyalties to follow Him. Name some of these, such as selfishness or greed.)
Jesus was calling His disciples not only to literally come to Him, but also spiritually to walk with Him in a new life. We are not only called to “leave” something but we are called “to” something—a joy-filled life of service to the King of kings and Lord of lords and a close intimate relationship with Him.
We catch ‘em Jesus cleans ‘em!
Summarize and Challenge!
1. What do the things a person holds most tightly reveal about what he or she trusts for security?
2. What is the relationship between holding on tightly and faith?
3. What do the events and people in Mark 1:1-20 teach us about God’s character? (He loves us and will go to any extent to reclaim us to Him! Jesus is the very image of God!)
4. Which is your greatest challenge right now: Yielding to God’s authority? Or resisting temptation?
Now deliberately do both!