The Gospel of Mark Discipleship and the Passion

Jesus’ Travels in Chapters 1-8
 Mark 1: 16 – “And passing along by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and Andrew…”
Mark 3: 7 – “Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the
sea and a great multitude from Galilee followed.”
Mark 4: 1 – “Again he began to teach beside the sea…he
got into a boat and sat in it on the sea.”
Mark 4: 35 – “On that day… he said to them, “Let us go
across to the other side.”
Mark 5: 21 – “And when Jesus had crossed again in the
boat to the other side…”
Mark 6: 45 – “Immediately he made the disciples get
into the boat and go before him to the other side…”
Jesus’ Travels in Chapters 1-8
 The first time Jesus leaves the area around the Sea of
Galilee is in chapter 7; this is directly after a group of
Pharisees comes up from Jerusalem to see what Jesus is all
about and if he is properly keeping the Law of Moses
 Jesus has a passionate confrontation with the Pharisees and
then sets off to the Northwest to the region of Tyre and
Sidon where he meets and heals a Syrophoenician woman’s
daughter ; she is Greek/a gentile who displays a great
amount of faith
 Following this he traces back through the Galilee area to
the pagan/gentile area of the Decapolis and performs more
Peter’s Declaration at Caesarea
 The Gospel of Mark takes a dramatic shift in Mark 8:
 Jesus exits the Sea of Galilee again to head to Caesarea
Philippi, a pagan area where often times children had
been sacrificed to pagan deities
 For the first time in the Gospel, Jesus poses the direct
question to the disciples concerning his identity
 Peter (in Mark’s Gospel) simply states, “You are the
Christ”; as usual Jesus commands them to silence
Discipleship in Mark 8: 31 – 10: 52
 Immediately following Peter’s declaration Jesus announces
to just the disciples that he will have to be rejected and
killed by the Jewish leadership in order to rise after three
 Peter then rebukes or chastises Jesus for claiming that he
will be killed
 This plays perfectly into why Mark emphasizing the
Messianic Secret: people simply aren’t ready for the
Messiah that Jesus will turn out to be, even his closest
 Jesus then calls Peter “Satan” and accuses him of thinking
only as man would
Discipleship in Mark 8: 31 – 10: 52
 Following this Jesus calls “the multitude” along with
the disciples to describe to them exactly what is
demanded in being a disciple of Jesus
 He explains that simply you must take up the cross and
lose your life in order to gain it
 Next, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a high
mountain (most likely Mt. Tabor) and becomes
transfigured, appearing with Elijah and Moses
 Jesus still maintains the messianic secret charging the
three to not tell anyone of the Transfiguration
Characteristics of Discipleship in
 A disciple must take up his cross and lose his life (Mk
A disciple’s greatness is shown by his willingness to be
last amongst everyone (Mk 9: 33-37, Mk 10: 35-45)
A disciple must receive the Kingdom like a little child
(Mk 9: 36-37, Mk 10: 13-16)
A disciple must avoid sin at all costs (Mk 9:42-1o:12)
A disciple must leave all their possessions and goods
from this world (Mk 10: 17-31)
The Journey to and Entrance into
 After Peter’s declaration, Jesus and the disciples pass
through Galilee and their main residence at Capernaum
one last time
 At the beginning of chapter 10, Mark tells readers that Jesus
is setting out on a journey to Judea and the area beyond the
 In Mark 10: 32-34, Jesus tells the Twelve that the reason
they are going to Jerusalem is precisely so that Jesus (who
refers to himself as the Son of man) may be tortured and
killed by the Jewish leadership
 This is tremendously frightening for the Apostles who,
although aware of Jesus’ final destiny, had no idea that they
were on a sort of “death march” to Jerusalem
Jesus’ Ministry in the Jerusalem
 (video clip)
 Jesus enters Jerusalem to begin chapter 11; he is greeted
triumphantly but the people are still confused about the
identity of the Messiah
 They say in Mk 11: 10, “Blessed is the kingdom of our father
David that is coming, Hosanna in the Highest!”
 This verse highlights the expectation that Jesus’ feared and
gave reason to the messianic secret: the people desire and
seek a kingdom like David’s but Jesus does not have this
type of kingdom
 Jesus’ first actions are to explore and then cleanse the
Ancient Temple of Jerusalem
Jesus’ Ministry in the Jerusalem
 One by one Jesus encounters all of the Jewish
authorities who seek his downfall
Pharisees and Herodians (who back in chapter 3 had
begun planning Jesus’ death) question him on taxes
Priests and elders question his teaching authority
Sadducees question him on the resurrection of man
Scribes question him on the greatest commandment
Finally, Jesus renounces the scribes specifically for
their delight in high standing and riches
Jesus’ Prophecies and Warnings
 Chapter 13 of Mark serves as Jesus’ final instructions to all
those who still follow him
 This chapter is of MAJOR importance to Mark’s audience
suffering persecutions in Rome and throughout the empire
 Mark employs Jesus’ words to the disciples to instruct his
readers in two ways:
Remain faithful to the very end, no matter how frightening
and difficult your suffering might be (Mk 13: 3-13)
2) In the end, at an undisclosed time, Jesus will save his elect,
those who have suffered to the very end (Mk 13: 14-31
The Passion of Jesus in Mark
 Assignment in groups:
1) Read Chapters 14 and 15 of Mark’s Gospel
2) On a sheet of paper please identify the following
All of the people who are mentioned betraying, fleeing, or
denying Jesus
All of Jesus’ words from Mark 14: 43 through the end of
Mark 15
The statement from Jesus which causes the high priest to
tear his garments and condemn him to death
The Passion of Jesus in Mark
 The passion narrative begins very morbidly, with Jesus’
body being anointed with funeral/burial oils even before
his suffering begins
 Jesus also prophecies about his absolute betrayal and
abandonment by his disciples; this is key for persecuted
readers to hear as they find themselves increasingly cut off
and abandoned
 The words of Jesus throughout are sorrowful, frustrated,
and ridden with pain; he is frustrated with his disciples’
lack of watchfulness and frustrated with his arrest at the
hands of people who heard him day after day in the Temple
The Passion of Jesus in Mark
 The sufferings of Jesus in Mark include scourging, mocking,
being spat upon, and being struck with a reed; the mocking
specifically at the hands of the Roman soldiers again has great
significance for Mark’s Roman readers
 In Mark, Jesus has a prolonged time of actually being crucified
on the cross; he is crucified at the third hour and does not die
until the ninth hour; this is of course three hours longer than the
traditionally accepted 3 hours Jesus spends on the cross
 Finally, in Mark, Jesus’ words on the cross are not tender or
fulfilling; Jesus simply asks God why he has been forsaken and
then lets out a loud cry before dying
 Overall the picture of abandonment and suffering in Mark is
The Conclusion of Mark’s Gospel
 Interestingly, Mark’s Gospel ends almost in the same way it
 After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, the disciples
receive instruction to return to Galilee to meet the risen
 The disciples however react almost exactly the same as
throughout the beginning of the Gospel when the
messianic secret was in full swing: with astonishment,
disbelief and fear! (Mk 16: 8, 11, 13)
 There is no happy reunion in the end; Jesus has to chastise
the disciples for their fear and unbelief (Mk 16: 14)

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