Religion - St. Mark's Gospel

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Topic 6 – Discipleship

Peter - a role model for discipleship?

  • Peter is one of the first disciples called
  • He is a fisherman - uneducated, not wealthy + not influential (surprising choice by Jesus)
  • Peter and Andrew come as a pair of brothers (as do James + John)
  • They respond immediately suggesting that they are receptive and open to God's call
  • Peter (and the others) abandon their families and their life to follow Jesus. = Brave

Healing of Jairus' Daughter

  • He is one of the inner three who witness her rise from the dead
  • He is chosen to witness this miracle because he is trustworthy and he will tell others (in the gospel)

Peter's Declaration at Caesarea Philippi

  • "You are the Christ" - he recognises Jesus as the Messiah
  • Confusion about Jesus' Messiah-ship seen in his challenge/rebuke of Jesus when Jesus warns of his forthcoming suffering, death and resurrection
  • He is the spokesperson for the thoughts of others
  • He is brave enough to challenge Jesus

The Transfiguration

   Offers to put up shelter for Jesus, Moses & Elijah

The Rich Man

  • Peter questions the challenges of discipleship
  • Peter speaks up "look we have left everything for you..."

Jesus predicts Peter's denial

  • Peter is confident that he will be able to stay with Jesus and be a loyal disciple
  • Arguably he is over-confident; Jesus wants that he will be tested
  • Peter's promises; "Even if all fall away I will not" & "Even if I have to die for you, I will never disown you."
  • Even though Peter disappoints Jesus he is still trusted and recovers from failure to become a leader in the Church (we are all only human)

Peter's Denials

  •  Peter does not totally abandon Jesus although he 'follows at a safe distance'
  •  Peter denies Jesus three times - each with increasing panic and strength - by the last he swore an oath that he did not know Jesus
  • Peter's emphasis on self-preservation rather than his promise to die for Jesus

The Call of the First Four Disciples

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Key Points

  • Their response is immediate. "at once", sense of urgency
  • Why? Because of their knowledge of his work and his reputation
  • "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men"
  • The disciples were surprising choices for Jesus due to their low position in society
  •  "fishers of men" - an image for the purpose of the disciple = to bring


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