Mark’s Story of Jesus: A Reader’s Guide

➡ Average Reading Time: 2 minutes
Mark's Story of Jesus: A Reader's Guide

Reading the text of Scripture is becoming or maybe more firmly “has become” a lost art. We read the Bible in fragments. The internet to some degree has expedited that notion. In the sacred text, we fight an uphill battle because it is has been fragmented for as long as we have been alive and many more years before. The addition of chapters and verses in the 1500s, which was originally meant to help find ideas in the text, has become the way in which we are taught to read the text. I’m sure that the ancient authors would be somewhat perturbed that their material has been treated in such a way, not to mention the frustration that God must feel when his kids seem to claim that he only speaks in fragmented thoughts.

In these guides, we will read and reflect on the Mark’s Story of Jesus as the first telling of his story in the sacred text.

Setting the Stage
Who’s That Guy Mark?
The Story Opens: 1.1-13
First Act: Presentation of Jesus 1.4-8.30
Scene 1: The Authority of Jesus: 1.14-45
Scene 2. Mounting Opposition: 2-1-3.6
Scene 3. Counter Opposition: 3.7-35
Scene 4. More Stories about God’s Rule: 4.1-34
Scene 5. More Stories about the Rule of God: 4.35-5.43
Scene 6. Show and Tell: 6.1-56
Scene 7. Darkness to Light: 7.1-8.30
Second Act: Passion Predictions: I Am Going
to Jerusalem to Die: 8.31-10.52

Scene 1. Passion Prediction 1 (8.31-9.1)
Scene 2. Passion Prediction 2 (9.30-50)
Scene 3. Passion Prediction 3 (10.32-52)
Third Act: Passion of Jesus 14.1-15.47
Scene 1. Questions, Questions, Questions! 11.1-12.44
Scene 2. When is the End?: 13.1-37
Scene 3. It is Finished!: 14.1-15.47
The Story Continues: 16.1-8


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Read Me First

 

Throughout these sessions, I have used the word ecclesia (singular) for the usual word church and ecclesiae (plural) to indicate a church in a particular geographic place, i.e., the ecclesiae at Corinth, meaning the whole of the many smaller ecclesia that met in homes in Corinth. This is to distinguish between the Institutional Church model (IC) and ecclesia that meet in cities and towns around the world. The ecclesiae written about by the authors of the Second Testament were not the same as what the “church” has become over the years of its existence. Usually, but not always, folks think of a church as a place where they go to a building and set in rows of pews and listen to music and sometimes sing and listen to sermons by a pastor or senior pastor. The ecclesiae of the Second Testament time did not invoke this model.

 

I have discovered over the years that if you want to try and change minds about something special, you have to venture out and reword it in order to grasp a foothold for a new refreshed understanding of the idea presented by the word. Such is the case between "church" and "ecclesia."

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Second

 

Referenced verses in the text of this study are not used to prove some point of view. They are merely markers where the subject matter is referenced by other books and authors. To gain a larger view of each quote, a serious student of the Holy Writ would take the time to view the reference and see what the background is. The background provides tracks on which the meaning of a text rides. So knowing the context of a referenced passage would help the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of an author than just the words quoted and marked by a verse number that was not a part of the original author's text, which as you might remember was performed on the text in a random fashion many years later.

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Third

 

The verses that are referenced in these sessions are not meant to prove a point. They are simply pointers to where the idea being written about may have a correlation. In order to see if they accomplish the thesis presented by the original author, a student should read, at a minimum, the chapter in which the verse is found as well as trying to ascertain what the original author may have meant to say to the original audience.

 

Of course, this is a lot of work but it is beneficial work. If one does not understand what the author meant when it was written and the audience could not have understood by what was written, then the words on the page can mean anything that a present reader may assign as a meaning, thus distorting what God was inspiring for the original writer to write to the original audience to hear.

A great and recent book by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird entitled The New Testament in Its World would be a wonderful addition to your reading helps.

 

Happy Reading!

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)