St.Mark's Gospel Theme E


Parable of the Sower ~Mark 4:1-9

PATH - the seed that fell among the path were eaten by the birds (satan). Some people are like that seed, as soon as they hear the message Satan comes and takes it away.

ROCKY GROUND - The seed that fell among rocky ground had little soil. The seeds soon sprouted as the soil was not deep enough. The sun burnt them and the roots were not deep enough so it dried up. People are like this as they hear the message and receive it gladly but it doe not sink deep so they don' last. When persecution comes they turn away.

AMONG THORNS - The seeds that fell among the thorn bushes were chocked by the weeds when they grew so they did not produce any corn. These people hear the message but the worries about life and love for riches choke the message and they don't bear fruit.

GOOD SOIL - The seeds that fell among good soil sprouted, grew and produced corn, some had 30, others 60 and others 100. These people hear the message, accept it and bear fruit-do good.

GOD = Sower     SEEDS = God's message

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Parable of the Mustard Seed ~ Mark 4:30-32

KEY IDEAS    The kingdom of God is open for everyone despite your race or religion. - "The                              birds come and make their nests in their shade"                                                                                  The kingdom of God starts off small but eventually grows into a large                                               community - "The smallest seed in the world"

~ The mustard seed is like Christianity which started small with 12 disciples but has spread all over the world.

~It provides shelter for poor and vulnerable people and includes all outcasts and Gentiles.

~Jesus was teaching that the Kingdom starts off hidden, small and insignificant but then it grows and becomes substantial in size. there is a link between the parable and the Entry into Jerusalem, Jesus entered not as a king but as a humble person on a colt. A small act that resulted in something so large that it changed the world.

"After a while, it grows up and becomes the biggest of all plants."

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Parable of the Growing Seed ~Mark 4:26-29

Jesus tells of a man who scatters seed on the ground and then allows nature to take its course. As the man who sowed the seed goes about his business day by day, the seed begins to have an effect. First, the seed sprouts; then it produces a stalk and leaves, then a head of grain, and, fully corn in the head. Jesus emphasizes that all of this happens without the man’s help. The man who scattered the seed cannot even fully understand how it happens—it is simply the work of nature. “All by itself the soil produces” (verse 28).

The parable ends with a harvest. As soon as the grain is ripe, the sickle is employed, and the seed is harvested. This happens at just the right time. we can interpret the growth of the plants as the working of God’s Word in individual hearts. The fact that the crop grows without the farmer’s intervention means that God can accomplish his purposes even when we are absent or unaware of what he’s doing. 

"Yet he does not know how it happens"

"harvest time has come" - when everyone believes in the message

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Jesus and the children: Mark 10:13–16

While children are the focus of the story, they are the only people in the story that say and do nothing for themselves. they are brought by their parents, blocked by the disciples, called and welcomed by Jesus. They are simply obedient and humble participants. Jesus said that of all the people involved, we should be like them. We should go where the Father wills, trusting in his love, blessing and wisdom.

"The kingdom of God belongs to such as these"

"Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it"

CHILDREN = trusting loyal innocent obedient

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The rich man: Mark 10:17–27

A man ran up and asked, "Good teacher what must  I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said no one is good but God. And told him to follow the commandments but the man said he has done it since he was small. Jesus then said " Go and sell everything you own and give it to the poor, then come and follow me" The man went away sad because he was very rich. Jesus then said how hard it was for a rich man to enter the KOG. He said "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the KOG"

Disciples were amazed as back the wealth was a sign of God's approval. Jesus said wealth will get in the way of a person's relationship with God. For him entering God's kingdom was not by human merit but by God's grace.

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The greatest commandment: Mark 12:28–34.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

The law teacher agreed and Jesus said " You are not far from the KOG"

All of Christianity comes down to how we love God and how everything we do - relationships, work, entertainment, education, displays our love for God. No success, status, or possession will matter at the end of our days. How we loved God and loved others will be our victory.

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Parables are the best way to teach about the KOG -

AGREE- the parable of the sower, easy to interpret today and back then   

Parable of the mustard seed teaches us about it and how it grows 

Jesus and the children is clear advice an how we have to act 

DISAGREE- Rich man can be misinterpreted that you must be poor

Bible was written 2000 years ago and for a different society

Hard to interpret as we don't know agriculture

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The Kingdom Of God (CHIP)

COMMUNITY- The KOG is a community where all who believe in God are together. It's open to all even gentiles. We are a community as a church globally and we are all one.

HOPE- The KOG is where hope wins over despair. Eternal life over earthly death, the paradise that is promised after this life. Goodness over evil, it's the hope of goodness in the world. With faith, we overcome evil and illness.

INNER STATE- The KOG has the potential to be inside all of us. If we accept God in our hearts the kingdom lives within us. we can then share it with others.

PRESENT REALITY- The kingdom is here on earth in all goodness. Every time that we see a good deed or action- we are blessed by the opportunity to have the K in our lives.

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The Greek (Syro-Phoenician) woman’s daughter: Mark

Jesus' mission was mainly for Jews so that they could take the gospel further. He did not want to be seen as a con man so he was rude o the woman at first when he used the proverb about Jews being the children and gentiles the dogs. Jesus stated the Jews must have access to the teaching first and the woman accepted it so it was offered to Gentiles as well.  her faith was rewarded and it is shown in the way her daughter was cured.

"It isn't right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs"

"Even the dogs under the table eat the children's leftovers"

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The significance of Jesus' attitudes to outcasts

1st century Christians

-Mark's gospel gave hope to Christians facing persecution

-Assured them that all are valued by god

-Gave hope to Christians facing discrimination

21st century Christians

- Different groups suffer injustice for different reasons

-His attitude teaches us that prejudice and discrimination are unacceptable

-We should stand up and befriend outcasts to restore dignity back in their lives.

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The epileptic (demon-possessed) boy: Mark 9:14–29

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not. So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do have faith but not enough. Help me to have more.” After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer

Some Christians have argued that the disciple's failure to heal the boy was partly due to the fact that they debated the matter with others rather than simply giving themselves entirely over to faith and acting on that basis.

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The widow at the treasury: Mark 12:41–44

The widow dropped in 2 copper coins worth about a penny in the temple's treasury.

Jesus praised her for the sacrifice she made. Sign of her commitment and trust that God will provide for her. He was not interested in the size of offering but the intention of it, it should be self-giving not looking for praise. 

She was a woman and a widow so she was an outcast. Christians should do the same as Mother Theresa, or they can pray, have bible study or charity work.

She gave all she had to live on

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The call of Levi: Mark 2:13–17

Levi got up and followed him.

I have not come to call respectable people but outcasts.

Under Jewish law, it was unclean spiritually to enter the house of a tax collector. Food laws

He brought forgiveness and hope to all those hated by society

He came for the spiritually sick (Levi dishonest)

Amazed people because Levi was chosen as the first 4 were humble and Levi as a tax collector was seen as dishonest. He left a good earning job to follow a wandering healer.

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The man with leprosy: Mark 1:40–45

The man came and begged on his knees to be healed. He reached out his hand and touched him and leprosy left him. This showed that Jesus was more than just a man.  Jesus healed the man of his disease but also cleansed him from his sin without becoming infected Himself. Which shows that purity flows from withing him.

 He asked him not to tell anyone what just happened and to go to the priest to be checked out.  This would show that he was cleansed and he would leave an offering.  Then the priest would give permission for him to come back and live with the people again. By going to priest the healed man would send a message that Jesus had a special power from God and that he was the Messiah.  Every day, Jesus is trying to reach out and show His love to you but sometimes we're too busy to notice.

"If you want to you can make me clean."

"I do want to, be clean"

"Don't tell anyone about this"

A man suffering from a dreaded skin disease came to Jesus, knelt down and begged him for help.

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The anointing at Bethany: Mark 14:1–9

To understand the nature of Mary’s act, we must understand the value of the perfume she used. It was worth “more than 300 silver coins” the equivalent of an entire year’s wages in those days. It would have been exceptionally rare for a woman in that era to own something so valuable, it's suggested that the flask of perfume was a family heirloom, which would add sentimental value to the perfume’s monetary value. In other words, Mary gave a very costly gift to Jesus when she anointed Him in her home. Jesus said that she anointed Him in preparation for His burial. As is well known, the disciples objected to the extravagant gift, saying that it would be better to sell the perfume and give the money to the poor. But Jesus corrected them, praising Mary’s act. 

"She broke that jar and poured the perfume over Jesus' head"

"She has done fine and beautiful thing for me."

"But you will not always have me"

"What she has done will be told in memory of her"

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The call of the first disciples:Mark 1:16–20

First was Simon and Andrew who were fishing alone, he said to them "Come with me and I will teach you to catch people"

Then It was James and John who were with their father, "As soon as Jesus saw them he called them"

The four men were not just becoming just his disciples but they were also going to share in his ministry like when they went on their mission. They were not just fishers of men in Gallilee but they were authorised as leaders all over the world.

They also recognised his authority and responded to his call immediately. It showed their obedience.

Beginning of his ministry and showing their faith and admiration on him.

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The mission of the Twelve: Mark 6:7–13

"Don't take anything with you except as stick"    "No bread, no beggar's bag, no money in your pockets, no extra shirt"       "Wear sandals but if you are not welcomed in a place, leave it and shake the dust off your feet as a warning"     "They drove out many demons and rubbed olive oil on many people to heal them"

Jesus sends out the twelve two-by-twoA partner bestows strength. A partner fosters accountability. A person is less likely to succumb to temptation when accompanied by a partner.

  It was to further the Kingdom. The purpose of the Christian community was to proclaim God's Kingdom, and other interests of the community were subordinate to that. 

He sent them with the bare minimum so that they can trust in God who will provide for their needs. The shaking of the dust showed they were excluded from the chosen people of God.

Goals- repentance, exorcism and healing by anointing with oil.

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The cost of discipleship: Mark 8:34–38

CARRY YOUR CROSS- You have to be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for Jesus and your cause. In case of persecution, you must not hide but instead, be proud and stand up for your religion.     Peter died upside down on a cross, James beheaded all martyrs.

FORGET SELF- Ignore everything about you and put others above yourself. Give up personal comfort and pleasure to help others.     Levi gave up a good-paying job for this, Christians humiliated and some fought lions and sacrificed their pride.

FOLLOW ME- To live the example of Jesus by serving others, accepting the shame of a possible death on the cross just like Jesus did. Most disciples were martyrs.  James and Joh left their dad immediately and early Christians sold their property to preach the gospel and dedicate their lives to it.

"If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry cross and follow me."

"Whoever lose4s his life for me and the gospel will save it"

"We have left everything and followed you"

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The rewards of discipleship: Mark 10:28–31

"They will receive a hundred times more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields"

"They will receive eternal life"

"Many who are now last will be first"

There would still be rich and poor, and oppressors and oppressed. Jesus had come to bring radical change to the system of relationships, to establish God’s Kingdom where all shared in the “enough” and the “hundredfold” and where no one’s dignity was greater than that of others because all bore the image of God.

What Jesus was saying rather was that those who classed themselves as first did so only because they were not in touch with the essence of human dignity, even their own. If they had been, they would have seen the radical equality of all. Ignorant of their true dignity they became enslaved to substitutes. 

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The commission Mark 16:14–18.

"He rebuked them for their lack of faith"

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation"

"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved"

"They will drive out demons, they will speak new tongues, they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well"

A new start for the 11. they misunderstood Jesus during his ministry and failed him in his arrest and crucifixion.  But they were human and had weaknesses so they were forgiven. This mission gave them their future role as leaders of the Catholic Church. Peter became a Pope.

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The ascension:Mark 16:19–20.

"He was taken up to heaven and sat at the right-hand side of God"

"The Lord worked with them and proved their preaching was true by the miracles"

Marked the end of Jesus's physical presence on earth

For early Christians, it was the final proof the Jesus was truly the son of god

Jesus continued to work with them, he was a spiritual guidance for them

Jesus was King

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Peter’s denials: 14:27–31, 66–72

As with all our failures, God used Peter’s many failures, including his three denials of Christ, to turn him from Simon, a common man with a common name, into Peter, the Rock.

A second reason for Peter’s failure was fear. To his credit, although all the others had fled  Peter still followed Jesus after His arrest, but he kept his distance so as not to be identified with Him. There’s no question that fear gripped him.

Peter’s denial was based partially on weakness, the weakness born of human frailty. He warned Peter to stay awake and pray because, although the spirit is willing but the flesh was weak.

“Before the **** crows twice tonight, you will say three times that you don't know me”

"I will never leave you"     "Even if I have to die with you"

“I do not know the man you are talking about.” 

"And he broke down and cried"

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The woman with a haemorrhage: Mark 5:24b–34

"Severe bleeding for 12 years" - She had suffered for a long time but still believed she could be cured. He cured her because she was suffering and was an outcast.

"If I just touch his clothes I will get well" - she believed his power was strong enough to work through his cloak. Jesus wanted to know exactly who did this because it was very courageous

"Immediately her bleeding stopped" - her faith resulted in her cure- clothing extension of person showed his power

"Trembling with fear told him the whole truth" - Shows her respect for his authority, she trusts him. Fear was due to awe of the cure and fear of his reaction.

"Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering" - daughter shows his compassion, he wanted her to not suffer and be accepted. 


Modern Christians can learn to have faith, change is that we need proof and have medicine, Christians don't dismiss science but believe it adds to faith and healing.

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Costs of discipleship outweigh the rewards" 12 mar


He asks us to carry the cross and give up our life

Christians are expected to give up everything, we are constrained by work, family and commitment we can't just follow

As humans, we need to consider ourselves can't just forget ourselves


Eternal life is an ultimate reward and is not too great to sacrifice for

Many disciples died as martyrs so if it wasn't too much for them why is it for us

Jesus appreciates our sacrifices and the costs will be equal to the rewards

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Peter's denial was as bad as Judas' so he is not a


He had sworn that he would even die for Jesus so it was the ultimate betrayal

Even though Jesus told him this will happen he did nothing to stop it

Promises should be binding, they promised to be fishers of men yet they failed


Showed he wanted to live and he later became pope

Judas betrayed him for money and selfishness

Peter showed up and followed him Judas just left

He wanted to have forgiveness

Peter's mission was not over it began when Jesus ascended

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The way Jesus treated outcasts has no relevance to


Teachings are outdated, his way seemed like the best way to follow and there was no other choice

His teachings could be misinterpreted like the greek woman's daughter

Jesus cured those outcasts to make them fit in but we can't do that


The issues occurring back then are still happening now

Outcasts can achieve great thing if included like Levi

Jesus thought we were all made in God's image so if we disregard others we disregard god- the greatest commandment

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