This study of the Gospel of Mark takes us back to the basics: Who is this Jesus? What does he expect of me? Is suffering a normal part of the Christian life? What will encourage and strengthen my trust in Jesus? These questions are not born of a lack of faith, but serve to strengthen and stabilize our relationship with the Savior. Get ready to move as Mark's rapid-fire gospel shows us exactly what it means to be a follower of Christ.
In the opening chapters of Mark, we see the meteoric rise of Jesus. We then witness conflict when the religious leaders decide they do not like what Jesus is teaching and how the crowds are drawn to him. Jesus is helping the people of his day understand who he is and what he expects of those who make the decision to follow him.
Jesus trained his disciples to trust him, no matter what they faced. When we know who Jesus is, we will trust him. When we trust him, we can follow him anywhere he leads.
A fresh way to look at Jesus is to study his disciples as they walked with him and watched his actions. Sometimes they heard his words clearly and understood what he was doing. At other times they completely missed the point of what Jesus was doing in their midst. If we are honest, we likewise all have a lot to learn about hearing, seeing, and following our Savior.
Jesus was consistently clear about what his life would look like. He would serve humbly, die sacrificially, and offer all that he had for our sake. Our Savior was just as specific about what our lives should look like. We are to serve with a joyful and willing spirit, take up the cross every day, and follow him no matter what the cost.
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he was also coming to the end of his life on earth. In this section of Mark’s Gospel, the pace moves even faster and the hatred the religious leaders have toward Jesus becomes more intense. In these accounts of conflict and tension, we find the Savior teaching powerful lessons about who he is and the kind of lives he wants his people to live.
From his humble birth in a manger, Jesus was the servant king. The closing chapters of Mark reveal God’s ultimate act of service for all the world. Jesus was arrested, put through mock trials, beaten, and crucified for our sins. His sacrifice assures us that he was the greatest servant who ever lived. His resurrection confirms that he was—and is—the King of all kings.