Who is This Man?

Begin with listening to theAdagio from Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto”, which can be found at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gDvHs29S6s

HOMECOMING – Mk.6:1-6a and Parallels (Bible Hub, pg.72)


What is Jesus doing in Mk.6:1-2 and parallels?

What is the reaction of the people to Jesus in Mk, v.2 and parallels?

What does Mk., v.3 and parallels add?

What are they stumbling on in the last line of this verse?

What is Jesus saying about his role in Mk, v.4 and parallels?

Why is this statement true?

In Mk, vv.5-6, why could Jesus do no might works?

Note the difference in Mt. What is difference between “could not” (Mk) and “did not” (Mt)?

Which is original?

If Jesus ‘could not’, what does this suggest about how ‘mighty works’ occur?

Thinking about ‘miracles’, what is needed for healing and wholeness, and what are the respective roles of Jesus and belief? 

What are your symbols of healing?

GIVE US A SIGN – Mk. 8:11f and Parallels (Bible Hub, pg. 83)


What is asked for in Mk.8:11 and parallel?

Why is the question asked?

If the question is genuine, what does it say about the previous signs and wonders associated with Jesus?

What was Jesus’ answer?

How do you explain the differences between Mk. & Mt? 

Which is original?

The attitude of Jesus toward the desire for a sign is also found in Lk.12:54-57:

54 He also said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Also read Lk.11:29 – When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, ‘This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.’”

With Lk.11:29, we have here four different answers to the request for a sign: 1) no sign (Mk.8:12); 2) only the sign of Jonah (Lk.11:29 and Mt.16:4); 3) only the sign of Jonah, the prophet (Mt. 12:39); 4) only the sign of Jonah in the fish (Mt. 12:40).

If Mark is the original form, what are the implications?

How do you feel hearing there will be no sign?

What in us wants Jesus to be the sign?

How do people look for signs?

What does it mean for you to have to live life without a sign?

OPINION OF DISCIPLES – Mk.8:27-33 and Parallels (Bible Hub, pg.85-86)




What is the theme here?

What is the source document?

Where is Jesus?

What does Jesus ask in the first verse?  Why?

Who do people say that he is?

What does Jesus ask in Mk, v. 29 and parallels?  To whom?

Why is he asking them?  Why now?

What is Peter’s answer?

What does Peter mean? i.e. what is his understanding of ‘Christ’?

What is Jesus’ reaction to this in Mark?  Note that “charge” is the translation of a Greek word  which means to rebuke or harshly censure.

What doesn’t Jesus say?

Where else has this issue arisen in our studies?

Why does Jesus react this way?

What does Jesus talk about in vv.32-33 and parallels?

What qualities of the son of man have we identified in our studies so far?

What does Jesus do with Peter’s declaring him Christ?

What is unique about this reference to Son of Man?

What is Peter’s reaction in Mk, vv. 32-33 and parallels?  Why?

NOTE: This material is not straightforward. In four places where Mark mentions resurrection, Matthew follows, but Luke only follows twice.  Also, Mark has no post-resurrection stories; the last verses in your Bible were not present in the earliest copies of Mark, so it is believed they come from a later editor. Since it is inconceivable Mark would omit something as momentous as resurrection, we can only assume that there were no stories of resurrection appearances available to him. We also recall that Jesus said there would be no sign, so the references to resurrection in Mark are likely later additions. 

Look at the content of Mt. 16:17-19, which has no parallels in the other gospels.  Note the attitude of Jesus in these verses. It comes out like a commercial.  Jesus would not have used the word ‘church.’ He was a good Jew, and never suggested starting up a separate movement, especially one called a church, so most scholars believe this passage was inserted to provide a basis of authority for the church in Rome, and because Matthew’s community was in the area from which Peter came,  to support Peter’s authority within it.

In Mk, v.31 and parallels we probably read words put in the mouth of Jesus to account for what had, by then, become history, especially in the case of Mark, who does not seem to know any resurrection stories. 

To read this episode as it appeared in its original form in Document Mark, it is necessary to ignore Mt’s political advertisement and read from Mark, jumping from the end of v. 30 to v. 33, (i.e,omitting vv. 31-32). So Peter’s rebuke immediately followed Jesus’ command not to tell anyone, and this response is what gives rise to his rebuke of Peter. Now the word ‘rebuke’ in Greek is a particularly violent word; there is a lot of emotion behind it.  

What are the “things of men” that Peter is minding? Why would Jesus be so upset by Peter?  

COSTS OF DISCIPLESHIP – Mk.8:34-9:1 and parallels  (Bible Hub, pg.86-87)


What does Jesus say in Mk, v.34 and parallels?

What would a cross mean for Jews?

How would you restate this in your own words?

Do you note any differences in the accounts?

What does ‘daily” in Lk. imply?

What are the implications of not ‘taking up the cross’? Note the danger of projecting onto Jesus our conflict and that which will make us whole.

In Mk, vv.35-37 and parallels, we come across the so-called “Great Paradox.” What is the difference between Mt/Lk and Mark?

What may account for the difference? (cf. Mt.10:38-39 and Lk.17:33) Also see John 12:25 “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in the world will keep it for eternal life.”  This is the only example of a triple source: Doc. Mark, Doc. Q and John.

What is the difference in motivation if “for my sake” is or is not included?

Do you think Jesus said “for my sake” or not?

Focussing on the basic teaching as without any of the qualifications of the word “sake”: What is the motivation for following this teaching?

What is the outcome in the first half of the statement?

What is the process in the first half?

Write ways in which you seek life.

What is the outcome of the second half?

What is the process of the second half?

Write ways in which you might choose to lose life.

Re-write the paradox using new words in a way that makes sense and is true for you.

The Greek can be literally translated, “To build a wall (or hedge) around your psyche is to destroy it; to actively tear down the wall is to bring it to a living birth.”  This is now not so paradoxical.

Where is God in all this?

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