A 10-Week Study on the Gospel According to Mark

by Coty Pinckney, Desiring God Community Church, Charlotte NC

Each Week:

(1) Pray that this part of God’s Word would be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Ps 119:105). Pray that this Word would dwell in you richly (Col 3:16). Pray that God would give you insight and understanding into the passage (2 Tim 2:7).

(2) Read the passage assigned at least once, possibly several times spread out over a few days. Do the reading before looking at the questions.

(3) Answer the questions below that are specific for each passage.

(4) Answer these general questions about the passage:

Your study will stick with you more if you spread it out over several days. Enjoy this wonderful gospel, and may the Word dwell in you richly!

Click below to go to the questions for each week. (Please take note of the copyright notice).

Week 1: Overview and Mark 1:1-39

Week 2: Mark 1:40 to 3:35

Week 3: Mark 4 and 5

Week 4: Mark 6:1 to 7:30

Week 5: Mark 7:31 to 9:13

Week 6: Mark 9:14 to 10:45

Week 7: Mark 10:46 to 12:27

Week 8: Mark 12:28 to 13:37

Week 9: Mark 14

Week 10: Mark 15 and 16



Week 1: Overview and Mark 1:1-39

(1) Read the entire gospel of Mark once, preferably at one sitting. What is the overarching structure of this book? Identify 2 to 4 major sections.

(2) What do these first 39 verses tell us about the reason Jesus came into the world? See in particular verses 14, 15, and 37-39.

(3) The disciples tell Jesus that “everyone” is looking for Him; who are these people looking for Jesus? Why does He ignore them and leave Capernaum?



Week 2: Mark 1:40-3:35

(1) What groups of people cause problems for Jesus in this section (note: there are at least three)? For each group, list the problem, the reason (if any) for their opposition to the way Jesus is proceeding, and explain the lesson for us today.

(2) What is the purpose of fasting? In what sense were the fasts of the Pharisees wrong? What is the purpose of the Sabbath? Did Jesus honor that purpose? Did the Pharisees?

(3) Is there an example in this section of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

(4) Compare 3:28-30 with 3:33-35. What is the opposite of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit? Is everyone either a blasphemer against the Holy Spirit or part of Jesus’ intimate family?



Week 3: Mark 4-5

(1) Consider verses 9, 12, 23, and 24 of chapter 4. Note that Jesus’ first words in verse 24 can be translated literally as “See what you hear”. What is Jesus stressing in this section?

(2) Summarize the lesson of the parable of the seeds given your answer to question 1. How does this parable relate to what we considered last week at the end of chapter 3?

(3) In 4:35 to 5:43, how many different types of fear does Mark illustrate (there are at least four)? What types of fear illustrated in this passage are proper for a Christian? Why? What is the solution to the improper fears illustrated here?



Week 4: Mark 6:1-7:30

(1) Use this passage to compare Herod, the political king, to Jesus, Israel’s true King. What are the major differences between them? Are there any similarities?

(2) Consider 6:33-44. Do the disciples eventually obey Jesus’ command in verse 37? If so, how? Are there lessons in this for how we ourselves fulfill Jesus’ commands?

(3) In 7:18-19, is Jesus teaching that His followers should not follow God’s command? Consider Matthew 5:17-18 in your answer. In 7:14-22, how does Jesus explain the underlying purpose of the Jewish cleanliness regulations? In light of 7:6-13, how were the Pharisees violating that underlying purpose?



Week 5: Mark 7:31-9:13

(1) How many blind and deaf people does Jesus deal with in this passage? Make sure and consider 8:17-18 in your answer. Why is it so important that the disciples open their eyes and see at this point in time?

(2) What new revelation does Jesus give in 8:31? How do 8:34-9:1 help to explain Jesus’ harshness with Peter? What is Peter’s fundamental misunderstanding? Is this a prevalent misunderstanding today?

(3) Why is Peter’s statement in 9:5 so ridiculous? What lesson can we draw for us today?



Week 6: Mark 9:14-10:45

(1) What new teaching does Jesus give His disciples in 9:30-31, over and above that in 8:31? What new teaching is in 10:32-34?

(2) How does one become great in the Kingdom of God, according to this passage? Consider the entire passage, including 10:1-12, in giving your answer.

(3) Does 10:30 mean that when we give up our house for Jesus’ sake, we will receive 100 more houses in this present age? If not, what does this promise mean? What is a proper way to rely on this promise?


Week 7: Mark 10:46-12:27

(1) Read Psalm 118. Is this Psalm a prophesy about Jesus’ triumphal entry? Given the Psalm and the Mark passage, what are the people anticipating will happen after Jesus enters Jerusalem? Are these expectations right or wrong?

(2) In 11:12 to 12:27, Jesus has a series of conflicts with different people. Make a list of each event, stating the disputant and the reason for the dispute. What is Jesus’ general method of dealing with these opponents?

(3) Jesus appears harsh in this passage: consider 11:14, 11:33, and 12:9. Why does Jesus curse the fig tree? Why is He so harsh with his opponents? Are there lessons here for us today?



Week 8: Mark 12:28-13:37

(1) In 12:28-34, consider Jesus’ choice for the greatest commandments. Would the Pharisees have made the same choice? What light does this shed on Jesus’ teaching about how we fulfill God’s commandments? What lessons can we derive from this today?

(2) What is the purpose of 12:35-37? Note that 35 begins, “And Jesus answering.” What question is He answering? Why doesn’t Jesus answer the question He poses in 37? What is the answer to that question?

(3) Compare the question the disciples ask in 13:4 with Jesus’ answer. What is the emphasis in the question? What is the emphasis in Jesus’ answer? What lessons for us does Jesus drive home throughout the passage, but especially in verses 33-37?



Week 9: Mark 14

(1) Compare and contrast the woman who anoints Jesus to Judas. How well did each know Him? What did they owe Him? What does each do to Him?

(2) Compare and contrast Peter and Jesus in verses 27 to 72. What is the attitude of each of them to himself? To God? What source of power is each relying on?

(3) In light of verse 49, who is in charge of these events?

(4) What are the only words of Jesus that Mark records during His Jewish trial? Why doesn’t He say more? Why does He say these particular words?



Week 10: Mark 15 and 16

(1) What are the only words of Jesus that Mark records in chapter 15? What is the importance of these words?

(2) Read Psalm 22. Outline and summarize the Psalm. Why does Jesus quote from this Psalm in 15:34? What does Jesus mean by these words?

(3) Why does the angel add the words “and Peter” to his command in 16:7?

(4) Reread the entire book. Look again at your original outline. Would you change your outline now? What lessons do you need to take away from this study? How will this study change your daily life?


Copyright © 2001, Thomas C. Pinckney. This data file is the sole property of Thomas C. Pinckney. Please feel free to copy it, but for circulation freely without charge. A set of questions for one week may be copied on its own, but must contain this copyright notice. If the entire study guide is used in a small group, the copyright notice need only appear on the initial handout.

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This data file in its original or modified form may not be copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications, or other products offered for sale, without the written permission of Thomas C. Pinckney, email, c/o Desiring God Community Church, Box 620099, Charlotte NC 28262.

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