You can also download the questions or use the reading plan on the Bible App.
- What do we learn about John the Baptist?
- How does John prepare the way for Jesus?
- How might you help prepare those around you to encounter Jesus? Ask God for an opportunity today.
- What different responses do you see to Jesus’ authority?
- What is Jesus accomplishing through his authority?
- How responsive are you to Jesus’ authority? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any resistance in your heart.
- What details do you notice about Jesus’ interactions with Simon, the man with leprosy, and the paralyzed man?
- How is what Jesus offers them more or different than what’s expected?
- As you consider God’s recent interactions with you, what can you say about what he wants to offer you? Interact with him about that.
- What does Jesus do here that’s unexpected or controversial?
- In these two stories, how is Jesus like new wine being poured into old and new wineskins?
- As you look at your own life, are there any “old wineskins” you can let go of? Ask God to prepare for you “new wineskins.”
- As you imagine being one of this vast crowd, what might you see, hear, smell, and feel?
- What is the significance of what Jesus appoints the twelve to do (v. 14-15)?
- How is Jesus inviting you to be with him, and who is he sending you to? Thank him for the good message and healing authority he's given you.
- What are the various voices of opposition to Jesus’ ministry and what are their charges?
- How does Jesus’ explanation of his authority (v. 23-27) authenticate his ministry?
- How have you seen Jesus confront evil in your world? Thank and praise God for his power over evil.
- What characterizes each of the four responses to Jesus’ words?
- How might Jesus teaching a parable that requires a personal explanation be like the farmer scattering seed on different soils?
- When you are confused by God’s word or actions, what characterizes your response? Make plans to “stick around to ask questions” of Jesus.
- As you consider carefully what you read, what are the key details of the Kingdom parables?
- What themes come across in more than one parable?
- How are you encouraged by this teaching on the Kingdom of God? Ask him to show you how to live today in faithful response.
- What can you tell from the text about how the various people are feeling in each of these intense situations?
- How does Jesus address each fear?
- What situations in your life are causing you to fear? Talk with Jesus about how you can choose faith over fear.
- What obstacles do Jairus and the woman face as they come to Jesus, and what motivates them to press forward?
- What do Jesus’ responses to these people in need demonstrate about his character?
- What needs do you want to bring to Jesus? With bold humility, come to him and ask for his healing and comfort.
- How do the reputations of Jesus, John, and Herod affect these stories?
- What does the contrasting example of King Herod emphasize about Jesus?
- As Jesus sends you out today, reread v. 7-13 and ask him for his instructions for you and the humble courage you’ll need to obey.
- What are the disciples’ emotional highs and lows through this story?
- What is Jesus showing the disciples about being a shepherd for people?
- How is Jesus inviting you to join in his shepherding? Ask him for what you will need to remain soft-hearted.
- How does Jesus critique the Pharisee’s teaching about what defiles us?
- Given how Jesus defines hypocrisy in v. 6-8, what would a life honoring God look like?
- What do you find in your own heart as you reflect on v. 21-23? Admit to God what you’ve found and ask him to grow in you a true holiness.
- What is new or different about these two healings?
- How do the challenging words and actions of Jesus serve those he encountered?
- When has the healing of Jesus in your life felt challenged or delayed? Ask him to draw you toward faith and intimacy in every encounter.
- How is this story similar or different from the feeding of 5000 in Mark 6:30-44?
- What are the disciples supposed to understand from these experiences with Jesus?
- Where in your life is God offering you second-time-around lessons? Thank God for his patient instruction and ask for deepened understanding.
- What do the disciples learn about Jesus and his path?
- Given these hard words, what makes it worth it for a disciple to follow Jesus?
- Now halfway through Mark, what have you learned about the gospel of Jesus? Talk with Jesus about losing your life for him and his gospel.
- Where do you see evidence of power in these two stories?
- What do the disciples not yet understand about the power of the Kingdom of God?
- Where in your life have you become comfortable in your own abilities rather than depending on God’s goodness and power? Ask him to forgive you and help you overcome your unbelief.
- What unexpected things does Jesus say about greatness and lameness?
- How does Jesus’ teaching on taking drastic measures to avoid sin in vv. 42-50 connect with his earlier teaching on greatness?
- Where has your pursuit of worldly greatness left you vulnerable to sin? Ask God instead for an opportunity today to serve others.
- How does Jesus view marriage?
- Why does Jesus criticize their hardness of heart?
- How should this teaching impact your own decisions and relationships?
- What is left behind and what is received?
- What would it have looked like for the rich man to receive the Kingdom of God as a child?
- What is the hardest thing for you to give up to follow Jesus? Ask your heavenly Father to make it possible for you to do so!
- How do the two requests made of Jesus compare to one another?
- How is Jesus acting out his purpose “not to be served, but to serve” in his responses to both requests?
- What is the cry of your heart to Jesus? Ask him to align your desires with his for the sake of others.
- Compare the first and second times Jesus and his disciples enter Jerusalem and the Temple.
- How does Jesus’ curse of the fig tree relate to his interactions in the temple?
- Jesus wanted his house to be a house of prayer for all nations. How have you lived out that value, and where have your customs obstructed it?
- How would you describe the tenants in the parable?
- What is Jesus saying to the Pharisees through the parable?
- Where do you see in your own world violent resistance to Jesus’ claims to authority? Linger and marvel at God turning the rejected one into the cornerstone!
- Who is praised and who is rebuked?
- How are all the people we see here doing in terms of keeping the two greatest commandments?
- Very practically, how can you love God and love your neighbor this week?
- What does Jesus instruct his disciples to do?
- How do you see God’s care for his people, even amid this terrible prediction?
- How have you experienced God’s care for you as you went through hard times beyond your control? Offer him your thanks.
- What does Jesus tell his disciples to watch for?
- Why is the return of the Son of Man worthy of our attention?
- Rather than idly speculating on his timing, consider what God would have you and your community do while you alertly watch for his coming.
- What are all the different ways we see people responding to Jesus?
- What might their responses reveal about their views of Jesus and of themselves?
- Talk with Jesus about who you are and who he is. Be sure to include some quiet time to listen and let him speak.
- Imagine all that Jesus must be feeling as you make your way through this part of his story.
- How does Jesus find strength during great difficulty?
- What might it mean for you to keep watch with Jesus in Gethsemane today?
- What are all the ways Jesus is being disowned?
- What do you think is going on for Peter that leads him to deny Jesus?
- When is it difficult for you to identify as a Christian? Bring the pressures you face to God and ask for faith, wisdom, and courage to speak and act as a witness of Jesus.
- Who has power here and of what sort?
- Why do you think Jesus chooses to be power-less here?
- What kind of power do you hold and how do you use it? Where is God inviting you to be powerless?
- How do the different people respond to Jesus and his crucifixion?
- How does the centurion come to call Jesus the Son of God?
- What is your response today as you consider the death of Jesus?
- Who honors the body of Jesus and how do they do it?
- What might the women be experiencing as they approach the tomb, meet the young man, and leave with the news?
- “He has risen.” Jesus is not found in a tomb. What feelings does that invoke in you and what does it mean for your life from here?