As we spend the summer preaching through the Gospel of Mark we encourage you to read through it along with us. Below you will find a 12 week reading plan, an explanation of the S.O.A.P. method of reading the Bible, and some additional resources to support and further your study of the Gospel of Mark this summer.
Items needed for each day:
Bible | Pencil | Journal
S — SCRIPTURE – Which verse stood out to you?
Start by asking the Holy Spirit to teach you and point you to Jesus. Read the daily reading and keep your heart open to hear from God as you read. If something in Scripture stands out to you, it’s probably not you; it’s probably the Holy Spirit trying to invite you to pause and consider it. Write that verse or verses down in your journal.
O — OBSERVATION – What is really happening here?
Ask questions about the passage. Who, what, where, when, why, and how? Consider the context of the verses around it and the world around it. Seek to understand what is really happening and how it connects to Jesus and the rest of God’s Word.
A — APPLICATION – How can you apply it today?
Let the verse ask you the question, ‘What are you going to do about it?’ If we believe God’s Word to be true, and we do, then what is it going to ask us to add, remove, continue, stop, start or change in our life. Consider these implications through prayer in the next step.
P — PRAYER – Ask God to help you use what you’ve learned.
Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.
SCHEDULE YOUR READING
Set aside a time and a place to meditate on God’s word. Create a distraction-free environment to dive deeper into the scripture.
PRAY BEFORE YOU READ
Ask God to reveal His truths as you read. Pray for consistency and clarity.
READ WITH A FRIEND
Read with someone that will hold you accountable for your daily reading. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
READ WITH A BIBLE CONCORDANCE
A Bible concordance is a list of Biblical words sorted alphabetically, with any scriptures that include that word. We recommend “The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.”
READ WITH A BIBLE COMMENTARY
Commentary Bibles allow us to gain a Bible scholar’s perspective on the scripture you are reading. We recommend the “New Bible Commentary, 21st Century Edition” Edited By: Gordon J. Wenham, J.A. Motyer, D.A. Carson, R.T. France.
SHARE WHAT YOU ARE LEARNING
Don’t just read it! Share how God’s word is speaking to you!
AUTHOR: JOHN MARK
While there are very few details of John Mark given by Scripture, there is still much known about him. He was a companion to Paul and Barnabas, and he traveled with them, and then eventually he and Barnabas went on a missionary journey together (Acts 15:36-41). It is believed that it was John Mark’s mother’s house that Peter came to after being miraculously rescued from prison (Acts 12:1-17), and it was from here that John Mark got to know Peter. Church historian Papias (60-163 AD) describes him as an interpreter of Peter who “wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ.” So while John Mark may not have been physically present during all of Jesus’ ministry, he was, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, conveying the testimony of the Apostle Peter, who was an eyewitness to it all.
The Gospel of Mark is the first of the four Gospels written. It was written to a primarily Roman audience to communicate a fast-paced narrative of Jesus’ life, mission, and purpose. He moves quickly and provides only the necessary details. His focus is mainly on revealing Jesus as the Messiah & Son of God who calls people to a life-changing relationship with himself and showing how actively Jesus pursued this mission and purpose from the moment He started to completion.
AUTHORITY Spiritual authority that the book of Mark talks about comes from God. Jesus had authority over the things of this world. This is why Jesus could heal, prophecy, and perform miracles.
DISCIPLES During Jesus’ 3 years of ministry, from the time he was 30 until he was 33, he chose 12 disciples to do his ministry with him. These men were fishermen, doctors, and tax collectors that all answered the call when Jesus asked them to “come and follow me.”
The 12 disciples are:
Simon the Zealot
James, Son of Alpheus
James, Son of Zebedee
FAITH An obedient belief in God and His promises, commands, and callings in His Word. It is the foundation of our relationship with God. It is not based on what we can see, touch or hear but on what God has said in his word.
FASTING Primarily refers to abstaining from food but can be applied to any activity or consumable that can distract us from God (i.e., Social Media, News, etc.) The Spiritual Discipline of fasting is recentering our focus on Jesus by removing distractions and finding our satisfaction and fulfillment in Him.
FORGIVENESS Choosing to lay down the right to punish someone for their offense against you because Jesus did the same.
GOD THE FATHER God has always been and will always be. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, God loved us so much that he sent his one and only son to die for our sins. Because of this love, we can spend eternity in heaven with him.
GOSPEL Gospel literally means ‘Good News. The Gospel is the good news that Jesus came to save us FROM the penalty and shame of our sin and save us TO a new identity, purpose, and mission.
HEAVEN The location of the throne of God, Jesus, and the angels.
HELL A place of eternal punishment that at its very core is the absence of God and all good things. The Bible says in hell there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
HOLY SPIRIT The spirit of God and the third member of the Godhead. He is fully and equally God with God the Father and God the Son (Jesus). When Jesus went to heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper on earth. The Holy Spirit is fully available to every one of us, and he empowers and gifts each believer for the mission of purpose Jesus has given us all.
JESUS God in the flesh. The second member of the Godhead. He is fully and equally God with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Simultaneously He is fully man, come as the image of the invisible God who can identify with our weaknesses; He was born in a feeding trough and began His ministry at the age of 30. For three years, He taught, healed, and performed miracles. He came as a perfect, sinless example so that He could die in our place for the forgiveness of our sins, was buried in a tomb, and rose from the dead three days later to remove the separation between God and humanity so that we could be set free from Satan, sin, and death here and now, and spend eternity with God.
KINGDOM OF GOD The effectual rule and reign of God on earth through His gathered people, the church.
MERCY Mercy is withholding a punishment or consequence from someone who deserves it. This is what Jesus did for us.
PARABLE A short story or analogy meant to teach truth through word pictures and real-life examples. Jesus taught with parables throughout scripture.
PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES Religious leaders in Israel that knew the law and scriptures. These groups rejected Jesus as Lord. These groups ultimately led the way to getting Jesus crucified.
PROPHECY One of the spiritual gifts that God gives. It is when someone receives a word from God and gives it to someone else.
SABBATH The fourth of the ten commandments A day reserved for rest by the Jewish people. On this day, no work is to be done, and it is a day that should be dedicated to God.
SALVATION Salvation is believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Receiving salvation gives us eternal life in heaven with God. There are three primary lenses of salvation.
– Justification – The removal of the debt and penalty of past, present, and future sin and the restoration of relationship with God.
– Sanctification – The ongoing process of being reshaped and remade into the likeness of Jesus in our attitudes, desires, intentions, and actions.
– Glorification – The ultimate and final restoration of ALL things to be under the rule and reign of King Jesus where all effects of Satan, sin, and death are removed forever. We have received the guarantee of this but have not experienced the fullness of it yet.
WATER BAPTISM A public declaration of an inward decision. He is symbolizing both cleansing and the death, burial, and resurrection of someone who accepts the salvation (see above) that Jesus came to offer. Jesus shows us the example of being baptized by John the baptist in scripture.
JERUSALEM The capital of Israel and the place where Jesus was crucified.
BETHLEHEM The birthplace of Jesus. Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem because there was no room in any of the inns in all of the town. It was prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
NAZARETH Jesus’ hometown where he grew up, in the region of Galilee.
GALILEE Galilee is a region in Israel where the majority of Jesus’ public ministry took place.
CAPERNAUM The ‘home base’ for Jesus’ earthly ministry. On the coast of the Sea of Galilee. This is where Jesus called his disciples, taught in synagogues, and performed many miracles.
SON OF MAN One of Jesus’ favorite titles for Himself. It refers to both the fact that He was not only the Son of God but also the son of man, a reference to his humanity; He was both fully God and fully man. It also is a callback to Daniel 7, where one called ‘the son of man’ would be exalted and lifted high and be a fulfillment of God’s promises.
TEACHER (Rabbi) It was commonplace for Teachers (or Rabbis) to have Disciples (or students/pupils).
MESSIAH The promised Savior/Deliverer of God’s people promised throughout the Old Testament.
SON OF DAVID This refers to Jesus being of the line of King David, to whom the promise was given that he would have a descendant who would establish the Kingdom of God forever (2 Samuel 7:12-13).