Mark 2:23-3:6

During the days of Jesus, it is estimated that Jewish oral law restricted at least 38 kinds of labor on the Sabbath and the activity of Jesus and his disciples was a violation of that law. Why was Saturday so important to the Jews for rest?

2:23-24, What did the disciples of Jesus do that was challenged by the Pharisees?

They were plucking heads of grain on the ______________, see Duet. 23:25 & Colossians 2:16.

2:25-28, What two arguments did Jesus make in defense of His disciples?

  1. The _____________ of David and his men eating the showbread, 
  1. The Son of Man is _________ of the Sabbath. Would David ever be referred to as Lord of the Sabbath?

How did Jesus ultimately treat the Sabbath Law of Moses, in reference to Matthew 5:17?

The phrase “First Day of the Week” occurs eight times in the New Testament, 

Name three events of the LORD, that are connected to the “First Day of the Week”.

  1. The Lord’s  R________________, Mt. 28:1, Mk. 16:2-9, Lk. 24:1, Jn. 20:1-19
  1. The B____________ of B________ , Acts 20:7
  1. The Churches C_________________, 1st Corinthians 16:1-4

What day is more significant than any other day of the week in the New Testament? See Revelation 1:10

3:1-5, What two commands did Jesus give the man with the withered hand in the Synagogue on the Sabbath?

A.                                                                    B.

When Jesus asked Pharisees about good vs evil and life vs killing on the Sabbath, He must have had Isaiah 58:7-14 in mind, to put the idea of work on the Sabbath as something the Lord would do.

3:6, Who began to plot to destroy Jesus?  The Pharisees together with the _________________

Mark 2:1-22

Capernaum was a town that Jesus kept returning to, see Mark 1:21 & 9:33. Later in his ministry he would judge the majority of it’s inhabitants for a lack of repentance, Luke 10:13-15.

If you see God’s power and hear God’s word, what does He expect? __________________

Which came first for the paralyzed man? Forgiveness or Healing?

Would you take anyone paralyzed up on top of a house to meet a Doctor?

What kind of paralyzed person would consent or desire to be taken up above a house and lowered down through a hole in the roof for the opportunity of healing?

Why didn’t the friends of the paralyzed man wait till the crowds thinned out and get access to Jesus later?  Why jump the line, so to speak?

What was the reaction of most people when they saw Jesus perform a miracle to prove he had the power to forgive sins?

Initially what was the first reason Jesus called Levi the tax collector to follow Him?

  1. To get a free meal
  2. To make hypocrites feel guilty
  3. To show his priority in healing sinners

Jesus stated his purpose in coming and going out into the world was:

“I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to _____________________”

What was the first fact Jesus taught about fasting? It’s about the…

  1. Timing of who’s presence you’re in.
  2. Faith of who’s power you’re using.
  3. Health of who’s doing the fasting.

In using the analogy of mismatching new cloth with old garments, or new wine/old wineskins, 

Jesus claimed to be the new ____________________ and his disciples to be the new ___________

Did Jesus expect his disciples to fast? Yes/No

Are marriage relationships always happy, or do marriages have highs and lows?

What three descriptions does Jesus make of himself in the following verses:




Mark 1:21-45

– Casting out an unclean spirit in the synagogue at Capernaum. Synagogues grew from Israel’s need to have a place to study the Law for prevention of idolatry threatening to invade their society. The first dated evidence we have of synagogues is 250 years before Christ came, during the period of God’s silence between the old and new testaments. Jesus habitually used Synagogues to make known God’s powerful mercy, Matthew 4:23. Demons would often try to invade his teaching but would not be allowed to rule any longer, Mk. 1:39. They were ignorant of exactly why Jesus came into their realm with us, but the demons were certain of his true identity as The Holy One of God.

– Healing the mother-in-law of Simon-Peter from a fever is the powerful compassion Jesus demonstrated on the people his disciples loved. This is a reminder that God takes care of what we can’t take care of. We must do our best with what God gives us, but what we can not do, God can see to, IF we prayerfully ask for His help, trusting His sovereign grace.  Remember James 5:14-15.

– Healing many who were sick of various diseases, and casting out demons; God’s mercy was powerful towards any and all he could physically reach, with the exception of the demoniacs themselves. Because there were so many people, the tireless and powerful work of Jesus took a toll on him and he needed a “desolate” place to pray and refresh himself with his Father for more work in front of him. Jesus had at least two reasons why he silenced them, firstly because they were evil and had no right to speak, it was inappropriate for evil to proclaim what is holy, and secondly because if he let them speak the truth, in any capacity, the obvious political implications are not what Jesus wanted people to pursue, the timing of the public’s desire for a King had to wait till he was nearer the passion week. In this way Jesus was still in complete charge of his self-sacrifice. Don’t forget Paul wouldn’t let the slave girl be used by demons to speak the truth either, see Acts 16:17-18, but preaching the true good news was his priority. This primary purpose of Christ is stated clearly at the beginning of Mark’s gospel, 1:38. 

– Cleansing a leper who came to Him, is the only miraculous work of Christ that is described as a cleansing, not a healing. Leprosy is a disease that the law of Moses linked to sin itself, see Leviticus 13:3-15 for relating the priest’s declaration of leprosy with a ‘cleansing’. While Jesus was more than perturbed with the man’s uncertainty of being healed, God’s mercy was so powerful, despite the anger of Jesus, his compassion towards the leper was able to cleanse him anyway. This is proof that God’s grace & mercy works on the problems of people He is not entirely yet pleased with, this is really good news!  The immediate cleansing of leprosy was mandated by Jesus, but Christ under the law of Moses was obliged to send the cleansed man to the priesthood and offer what God’s law required, see Leviticus 14:1-32. Notice that Jesus himself touched the leper, and was not concerned about catching the illness or being declared unclean by anyone. Why? Because all the previous miracles established his holiness was powerful in the eyes of his disciples. Cleansing someone from leprosy instantly would put Him above any High Priest regarding levels of power. All priests had to wait for what would happen over time, to see if the leper would be cleansed, read Leviticus 13 and you’ll see seven days mentioned over 11 times regarding the long purification process the priesthood had to practice on lepers.

The public announcement of this amazing power above the priesthood, put Jesus in a different position with the public than before. His ministry is about to take a change towards an immense amount of popularity and he would need discretion to keep working and preaching effectively, v45.

Mark 1:9-20

v9, Jesus was immersed by his cousin John the Immersionist, with his baptism of repentance. This marked a change in Christ’s life, from secular to spiritual. Jesus was Immanuel, God with us, he didn’t need repentance because He was already righteous, however, before his baptism, he was not involved in the service of being the Lamb of God. He was indeed the Son of God, but now, after his baptism the Son of God would work, live and die as the Lamb of God. See John 1:29. Whenever we are immersed it is primarily to be forgiven and repentance is an immediate reaction to the gospel, which should take on a part of our lifestyle becoming a sheep! But Jesus had no sins to forgive, and his lifestyle was already righteous, so his baptism was a change in service & sacrifice. Two events immediately took place as soon as Jesus was immersed, Firstly; Heaven being ‘torn open’, and Secondly; His Temptation.

v10, The Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended and remained (Jn. 1:32 “MENO”) on Jesus. This is significant when we read John 3:33-35 “without measure” is shown by the dove staying with him. The descent of the Spirit upon the apostles was tongues of fire resting “KATHIZO”, on them with the sound of rushing wind, which of course soon dissipated, Acts 2:3-4, else how would anyone hear anything of the sermon being translated? What would the purpose of a “dove” serve? Read Ephesians 2:14.

v11, The Voice clarified what John was reminded of, upon seeing the dove, leaving no one in any doubt that God just came closer now to all of them. God was WELL pleased with Jesus. This would certainly give everyone there a sense of privilege to be in His presence. The same pleasure God felt that day is what He feels when he gives anyone the Kingdom today, see Luke 12:32. 

v12-13, As strangely as it would seem for a dove to remain on someone, just as strangely Jesus was driven to a desolate place where wild beasts lived, to be tempted by the devil himself for forty days. During the 1st century this would include bears and lions! Not a place to weaken yourself by fasting alone, making yourself vulnerable to even Satan. What kind of courage would Jesus be driven to display? It’s one thing for a human being to be tempted while other people are present, but what about when you’re alone?

v14-15, For now, Mark ends the role of John’s service in prison, here, but his martyrdom is recorded in 6:1. In the meantime, Jesus starts preaching good news about His Father’s dominion, calling it the Kingdom of God, (not an Old Testament phrase). Pleading for people to trust his message and change their lifestyle, because time is running out. In just 4 decades, Israel would lose their Temple and Economy, only to be left to find security, holiness and purpose in Him, or else. Even today Judaism is a veneer of religion with no Temple and enjoys an economy based entirely on historical references and allies in the world, not God! The phrase “Gospel of the Kingdom” is a phrase Matthew uses in Mat.4:23, 9:35 & 24:14, not Mark, but it emphasizes the power of Christ’s message, which is what Mark is referring to here.

v16-20, The first disciples Jesus calls are fishermen. The majority of employed people in Israel are based in Agriculture, so he is starting off with people who are familiar with not fitting in with a common majority. Cicero wrote this about fishermen in this region at approximately 40BC: “the most shameful occupations are those which cater to our sensual pleasures: ‘fish-sellers, butchers, cooks, poultry-raisers, and fishermen” ~ Cicero, On Duties 1.42. Do you ever think that being a Christian is something the world should respect? Do you think Jesus ever intended the world to respect the church? No, He expects the world to respect His Father! The point of this passage is to teach us what Jesus expects of us, that is: To be fishers of people, so that we can be in a real relationship with Him and get home! Every Christian in some capacity and to some degree must live out a love for the lost souls in this world that will give our Heavenly Father, more than just acknowledgement. What is needed from our neighbor is for them to give Jesus their lives! Peter learnt that and said so in Acts 4:12, it’s a matter of life and death.

Mark’s Life of Christ

The earliest eccelsiastical and unanimous opinion is that “John Mark” wrote it with the help of the Apostle Peter (1st Peter 5:13) Mark’s mother was also named Mary and lived in Jerusalem in a rather large house with an upper room, Acts 12:12, some people believe this may be where the Lord’s Supper was initiated. Mark is known to have traveled with Barnabas in their first missionary journey, but Mark turned back (Acts 13:5-13) which caused trouble between Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:36-41) but he later became a co-worker and a comfort to Paul (Philemon 1:24 & Colossians 4:10-11 & 2nd Timothy 4:11). According to tradition, most scholars believe Mark wrote this gospel before the Jewish Temple was destroyed, as early as 58AD, maybe earlier! Traditions outside the Bible state that Mark was an interpreter for Peter (ref. Papias, 130 A.D.), and that Mark composed his gospel mostly from Peter’s memoirs (ref. Justin Martyr, 150 A.D.) There are three reasons we believe Mark wrote his gospel primarily for Roman readers.

  • Jewish customs are explained, Mk. 7:3-4
  • A Roman understanding of time is used, Mk. 6:48 & 13:35
  • Only Mark identifies Simon of Cyrene as the father of Rufus, Mk. 15:21 & Romans 16:13

The focus appears to be on Jesus as the Perfect Servant. Mark emphasizes the work of the Lord more than His words (he records nineteen miracles, but only four parables), the labor of a person who “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mk. 10:45) and so we say that his theme is “JESUS CHRIST THE SERVANT

It is a concise gospel. The shortest of the four gospels, may make it the best of the four gospels to try and memorize, if memory work is your forte. Luke has 1151 verses but Mark only has 661. Mark’s entire gospel can be read aloud in about 1½ hours. Only 31 verses are unique to Mark, all the rest are quoted by Matthew & Luke. 

It is a fast-paced gospel. Over 40 times he uses a word translated “straightway” or “immediately.” Two-thirds of the verses begin with “and”. The present tense is used frequently (e.g., they come…He says… He sends…). It opens with “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ…” Mk. 1:1, and closes with “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk. 16:15).

It is a vivid gospel. Mark presents little details not found in the other gospels, he wrote like he was an eyewitness which may have been Peter reminiscing.

MARK’S INTRODUCTION 1:1-8, Jesus is the Son of God! He is so important that God prophesied preparation for his service in the world and fulfilled the preparation work in the cousin of Jesus, John the Immersionist. The way which needed preparation is God’s way for his people to live. John used Isaiah 40:3 to emphasize “straight” paths, meaning repentance from a deceptive and twisted lifestyle. He used Malachi 3:1 to emphasize that it would be a very public path with God in full view. Mark is the only author that tells us John’s baptism of repentance is actually able to remiss sin. A powerful fact that gave John’s followers an advantage of purity to follow Jesus and serve God for the benefit of humanity’s salvation. John’s rough and ready lifestyle in the wilderness gave him an immediate audience, the common everyday Jew, so that the message would travel fast by word of mouth all over the Country, from the ground up to the top of society. John’s rudimentary clothing was probably making him look a little like Elijah instead of contemporary Jews, (2Kgs. 1:8) He was quick to teach people that although his baptism was for a big change in their lifestyle, that an even bigger change was ahead in the coming of the Lord.The Lamb of God would baptize by the Holy Spirit Himself, Acts 2:4 & 17, 10:45. The coming Christ was so powerful, that John proclaimed he was unworthy to even untie a sandal strap of Christ. How worthy are we?

Our Purpose in Praising God from the Psalms

Most Christians experience the “power of prayer” and are amazed by God’s grace in their daily life. Some Christians struggle to know His power personally for many years, but all Christians have access to God’s powerful love, message and presence. What the Psalms do in the New Testament is this: They make clear to the reader that God’s powerful message is related to song, as much as it is related to prayer. If a Christian doesn’t notice, learn and practice praise in song, as well as praise in prayer, a Christian can miss the whole plot of God’s power. Afterall, it’s not prayer that is powerful, it’s God! The same can be said for singing Psalms, don’t miss out on the full potential of God’s powerful word.

To sum up the Psalms, we must point out the continuing thread of prophetic promises made about Christ’s sacrifice in the Psalms. Now that’s power! 

Messiah would be called King, Psalm 2:6,  Zechariah 9:9 ~ Matthew 27:37 Mark 11:7-11

Messiah would be betrayed, Psalm 41:9 Zechariah 11:12-13 ~ Lk. 22:47-48 Mt. 26:14-16

Messiah would be falsely accused, Psalm 35:11 ~ Mark 14:57-58

Messiah would be hated without cause, Psalm 35:19 Psalm 69:4 ~ John 15:24-25

Messiah would be given vinegar to drink, Psalm 69:21 ~ Matthew 27:34 John 19:28-30

Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced, Psalm 22:16 Zech. 12:10 ~ John 20:25-27

Messiah would be mocked and ridiculed, Psalm 22:7-8 ~ Luke 23:35

Soldiers would gamble for Messiah’s garments, Psalm 22:18 ~ Lk. 23:34 Mt. 27:35-36

Messiah’s bones would not be broken, Exodus 12:46. Psalm 34:20 ~ John 19:33-36

Messiah would be forsaken by God, Psalm 22:1 ~ Matthew 27:46

Messiah would pray for his enemies, Psalm 109:4 ~ Luke 23:34

Messiah would resurrect from the dead, Psalm 16:10 & 49:15, Mt. 28:2-7 Acts 2:22-32

Messiah would ascend to heaven, Psalm 24:7-10 ~ Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51

Messiah would be seated at God’s right hand, Psa. 68:18 & 110:1 ~ Mk. 16:19 Mt. 22:44

All of these promises were fulfilled in Jesus Christ just for our opportunity to be forgiven, empowered and delivered into eternity with Him. See Psalm 118:20-26. The apostle Paul quoted this referring to our place in The Spiritual Temple of Christ’s body, the church. See Ephesians 2:20-22.

Another amazing fact about the prophetic Psalms is that many of them are not generic phrases that can be understood and applied to any number of people or situations. Most of these prophecies are very specific with details that can only be applied to what Jesus actually did. Praise God for his sovereign grace and strength to perform the fulfillment of such loving acts in painful faith. God the Father is giving us a way and reason to praise Jesus for all he has done for each of us & will do! Praise Him!

A Christian Perspective on Psalm 146

v1-2, Declaring a determination to praise God, is the consequence of pursuing a relationship with Him. He always proves himself praiseworthy, Jesus attributed the greatest commandment humanity could obey was to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, body and mind, Mark 12:30.

Verses 3 and 4 make a point by a play on Hebrew words. In Hebrew adam, meaning ‘man,’ is the same word for ‘earth’ or ‘ground.’ So dirt goes to dirt.

v6 is quoted twice in Acts 4:24 & 14:15. The praiseworthy position and character of Jesus as The Lord is based on the fundamental right of power over his own creation, which we are an innate part of. We are created to praise Him for our own benefit, strength & salvation. His integrity is real from beginning to end, see Titus 1:2 & Hebrews 6:18


· Jesus opened the eyes of the blind (Matthew 9:27-29).

· Jesus raised those who are bowed down (Luke 13:11-13).

· Jesus loved the righteous (Matthew 13:43, 25:46).

· Jesus watched over the strangers (Matthew 8:5-10).

· Jesus blessed the fatherless and widow (Luke 7:12-15).

· Jesus turned the way of the wicked…upside down (Matthew 21:12).

· The logical conclusion is that Jesus is Yahweh, the LORD.

Like Father, like Son. For us, these lines may bring to mind the oracle of Isaiah 61 by which Jesus announced his mission, and further signs of his identity which he sent back to John the Baptist (Luke 4:18f.; 7:21f.).
 v10, The sovereignty of the LORD is seen both in the power of his creation, as well as the all encompassing reach of his grace to humanity, forever! John Newton put it this way, “One of the most beautiful paradoxes in God’s wisdom is sovereign grace. The same grace that is unmerited is also unstoppable”: So why stop praising His grace, once you get it?