February 25, 2007 – Note that next week, March 4th, is our Stake Conference.
See Student Guide.
This is the first time in Gospel Doctrine class this year that we turn to Mark for study. Note that only 7% of Mark is exclusive material of the three Synoptic (“to see together”) Gospels (Matt., Mark, Luke). Some believe Mark to be the original gospel source written about 65-70 AD from which Matthew & Luke drew. Tradition tells us that Mark is John Mark, the sometime missionary companion of Paul & Barnabas & a reputed acolyte of Peter. Tradition also tells us that Mark accompanied Peter to Rome where he acted as interpreter, probably from Aramaic to Latin. Mark was a Jew writing to a Gentile & Roman audience because he regularly explained Aramaic words and phrases (see Mark :41).
In addition, we may discuss these questions in class:
- How does Joseph Smith’s retitling of this book change your view of it?
- Mark Ch. 1, v. 1, how is this “a beginning” of Christ’s gospel? How does this relate to John’s “beginning,” or the “beginning” mentioned in Genesis? Does the literal meaning of “gospel” (good news) shed light on the “beginning” recorded by Mark? Why does Mark start with Jesus’ baptism instead of his birth, like the other synoptic gospels do?
- v. 2, why does Mark cite the Old Testament here?
- v. 16-20, Jesus is shown here CHOOSING his apostles, as they were going about their temporal work, instead of them choosing him. Is this significant? How do you interpret their “straightway” response in following him? Even by leaving their father & servants in the very act of fishing?
- v. 22, How did the scribes teach? How was this in contrast to the way Jesus taught?
- v. 34, Why did Jesus silence the devils?
- v. 35-36, What do we learn from this portrayal of Jesus? Notice who’s right on His heals, not missing a beat.
- v. 44-45, Why does Jesus tell the leper not to relate his experience to anyone and then charge him to offer cleansing sacrifices “for a testimony unto them?” Isn’t this a contradiction? Why does the healed leper act the way he did? How did this affect Jesus? The leper? Others?
- Mark Ch. 2, v. 2, contrast the “no room” in this event with Luke 2:7. What’s different, the same?
- v. 5, How did Jesus SEE their faith? Who’s faith did he see? The sick man or the men who carried him? How does faith work as illustrated here? Notice Jesus’ ability to “see” in v. 8.
- v. 6-12, notice the use of the word “hearts” here. Why were the scribes there? How did their “hearts” contrast with the “hearts” of those who carried the man with palsy?
- v. 8, What was Jesus asking the scribes? Do we do this, too? To our detriment or benefit? What’s the difference?
- v. 5, Why did Jesus forgive the sick man’s sins? Had he asked for such a blessing?
- v. 14-15, Why did Jesus choose Levi (Matthew) as a disciple? Who’s house are they eating at?
- v. 17, What is Jesus’ responsibility as he describes here? How does the Greek meaning of repentance influence your understanding of Jesus’ role? From Jim F.’s post on FUTW: “The Greek word translated “repent” is “metanoein.” Robert Guelich (Word Biblical Commentary34a:44-45) argues that “metanoein” is the equivalent of “sūb” in the Old Testament, usually translated as “return.” To repent is to return to God; it is to return to the covenant he made with Israel. “
- v. 19-22, How are these two parables related? Why did he answer in this manner? See Mark 4:34.
- v. 23-28, Be sure to read JST Mark 2:26-27 here. Is this related to the first parable in v. 19-20?
- Mark Ch. 4:35-41, Read JST. Gen 14:30-31. What did Christ expect of his apostles? How are faith and fear related? See v. 41. Did the apostles not know who Jesus was?
- Ch. 5. Note the last act of Jesus in Ch. 4 was to still the elements, even the wind and sea obey him. Then he goes to a place called Gadarenes, meaning “reward at the end,” populated by Greeks and Syrians–or Gentiles. The region of the Gerasenes would be in Gentile territory on the (south)eastern side of the Sea of Galilee across from Galilee. Immediately, we are told, he’s met with devils who worship him. Why do the devils seek Jesus instead of running away from him?
- You might be interested in what happened to the pigs…food for thought.
- Why, in v. 17 do the people want Jesus to leave?
- v. 19, note the unique call Jesus gives the healed man to “go on a mission.” He goes to Decapolis, (meaning “ten cities,” because of the ten cities that were in it. You can see these places on your Map #14 in the LDS KJV.) Previously Jesus had asked those he healed to “keep quiet” but here Jesus instructs the man to declare what the Lord has done for him, in contrast to the usual instructions to remain silent. Here in Gentile territory Jesus allowed more open discussion of his ministry. D. L. Bock per NET Bible suggests that with few Jewish religious representatives present, there would be less danger of misunderstanding Jesus’ ministry as political.
- The following two stories of women being healed are beautiful. It’s really too much to treat here. Simply, note the symbolism in these stories of the number 12 (at 12 years the girl is a “daughter of the law” by Jewish law), hearing Jesus, the use of the word “straightway” again, the word “whole,” and how faith and works interplay here and the “fear” factor interplaying again with faith, and fasting vs. eating. Note how many times people are healed because of another person’s faith in their behalf. These miracles take place just before Christ sends his apostles on their missions as recounted in Ch. 6. Why?
- Luke Ch. 7:11, Jesus has gone to Nain, meaning “beauty,” which is a village in Galilee located at the north base of Little Hermon. There he blesses the life of yet another woman by raising her son from the dead, her only son.
The question that arrises after reading these passages is: Why? Why did the Savior perform these miracles? How did it further his purpose, fulfill his mission? In times past and present?