Discussion Questions for January 6, 2019

Mark 4:35 - 5:20

What does it mean?

1. Give a summary of Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God in Chapter 4:1-34. 

2. In v35, Jesus and the disciples leave the crowds on the shore to cross the lake.  Mark includes two interesting comments – first, that they took Jesus ‘just as he was,’ and second, that there were other boats with him (listening to him).  Why do you think Mark inserts these details?

3. In v38, why is it significant that Jesus is asleep?

4. What does the disciples’ question in v38 reveal about their state of mind in the storm and their view of Jesus?

5. What do Jesus’ questions in v40 reveal about his desire for the disciples?  Isn’t it understandable for them to be afraid?  What have they seen thus far (in Mark’s account), that could have buoyed their faith? 

6. Why does Mark include the rhetorical question from the disciples in v41?  What does it tell us about them?  In what sense do they not know who he is?

7. In the second story, starting in 5:1, why does Mark give so many details about the man with the unclean spirit - where he lived, how he lived, attempts to restrain him, numbers of demons, etc.?

8. Why is it significant that the local farmers raised pigs? 

9. Why, upon seeing the miracle that Jesus did for the man, were the townspeople afraid?  Why would they beg Jesus to leave?  Compare and contrast their response with the disciples’ response after Jesus calmed the storm (v40).

10. In contrast to Jesus’ healing in Mark 1:40-45, how does Jesus’ commission to the now-healed man differ from his command to the leper in Chapter 1?   Why do you think this one is different?

11. How would you describe the relationship between these stories of Jesus’ power and the parables about the Kingdom in Chapter 4?

How does it apply?

1. In both these stories, the people saw Jesus’ power and became afraid.  Was there a time in your life when you saw Jesus’ work and you were simultaneously afraid?  Explain.

2. Mark clearly wants us to see and trust Jesus’ power.  What do you desire more for yourself right now – to see more of Jesus’ power or to place greater trust in the power you have already seen?

3. How can we help each other in our seeking and seeing the power of Christ at work?  How can we help each other live more confidently with what we’ve seen?