In Pursuit of the King

And So It Begins

Speaker: Greg Holder

Service Date: February 10, 2019 Plain Print Version

And So It Begins

The Gospel of Mark- The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

To set the stage for the group discussion, spend some time reviewing the background of the book as presented in the message. Below are brief facts- the group will likely have more from their notes:

  • 2 perspectives found within this Gospel: Mark's,  written with the help of the apostle Peter. 
  • background of John Mark:
    • Cousin of Barnabas (who traveled with Apostle Paul.)
    • His mother's house was a place where early church frequently gathered in Jerusalem.
    • May have been in the Garden of Gethsemane at time of Jesus' arrest.
    • Traveled with Paul and Barnabas on one of their Missionary trips.
    • John Mark left Paul and Barnabas midway in their journey, causing rift in their relationship.
    • Refer to 2 Timothy 4 and discuss God's healing of the relationship.
    • Was written in Rome, to Roman audience.
  • Mark points out that Jesus preached "The Kingdom of heaven is here"  Jesus Himself is the King, but Mark jumps quickly right into Jesus' baptism as a reminder that Jesus came as one who chose to IDENTIFY with us.  
  • He encouraged us to:
    • Repent.  Spend some time talking about this word and (1) it's cultural connotations, but also (2) what it truly means. 
      • turn away, turn back, etc. What are ways we consciously or unconsciously push back against this?
    • Believe.  What is Jesus asking us to believe?  
      • turn toward. How do we consciously take steps to turn toward Him?

There are two traps we could fall into.  One is Refusal/denial--choosing to be blind to my sin.  What kind of things do I really have to repent of?

The other is allowing my sin to blind me to everything God wants to ultimately do in my life.

  • Where have you fallen on this spectrum and where are you now?

Discuss the quotes below:

“When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer."

"It may be a very bad thing that I needed God to die for me, but it is a wonderful thing that God thinks I’m worth dying for.” Lewis Smedes.

Jesus invited the disciples to "come and see" before asking to "follow Me."

In reality, our walk with Christ is more than just that one-time decision.  The life of a disciple is a daily walk, with all the ups and downs of the vigorous and steep terrain much like the landscape of Israel.  

But new creation has already begun. The sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the present world ... That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christian: to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God's new world, which he has thrown open before us.”
NT Wright


A few additional Scripture references for Mark- (some may have more from their message notes). · Acts 12:12 · Acts 12:25 · Acts 13:13


Think about what you wrote down privately regarding the question Greg asked- What do you want by the end of this study? How would you like for your life to be different. If you are comfortable, share with the group.


As The Gospel was not meant to stay within the confines of a church building, neither is our faith. As a group, decide how you can tangibly encourage one another to be Christ-followers throughout the week. Text messages? Calls? Grab a cup of coffee? You decide.