Monday, October 5, 2015

The Gospel of Mark: A Serving Savior / 2015-2016 - Lesson 02 - “Ministry Begins in Galilee” - Mark 1:29-2:12

Lesson 02     “Ministry Begins in Galilee”   Mark 1:29-2:12
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
Context:  Read Mark 1:32-2:16 to help understand the context of this passage.  Read Mark 1:35-2:12 in a more literal or more dynamic translation than you usually use.  Read Leviticus 14:2 about the procedure for lepers who had been healed.
1.     ID: (1:35-36)  What observations can we make about Jesus’ time of prayer?
2.     WS/CR: (1.41)  What does it mean that Jesus was “moved with compassion (splagchnizomai)?  (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 18:27; 20:34; Mark 6:34; 8:2; 9:22; Luke 7:13; 10:33; 15:20)
3.     CR: (1:44)  Why did Jesus tell the leper He healed, “show yourself to the priest?”  What would the man have offered? (cf. Leviticus 14)
4.     ID: (1:44-45) Jesus did not allow the demons to speak in Mark 1:34 “because they knew Him.”  Now Jesus tells the healed man to show himself to the priest and “say nothing to anyone.”  What clues are in this passage to why Jesus didn’t want the healed man to speak about Him?
5.     ID: (2:3-5) How could Jesus see their faith (pistis)?  What does that teach us about faith?
6.     WS: (2:6) What does it mean for God to forgive (aphiēmi) sin?  Why did the scribes think Jesus was speaking blasphemies (blasphēmia)?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.     After a long day of teaching and healing Jesus rose in the morning long before daylight and went off to pray.  If Jesus is the Son of God, why did He need to pray?  When is the last time you took a prolonged time to pray? 
2.     Do you remember a time when someone showed you compassion or a time when you showed compassion?  What causes you to be moved with compassion? How can we develop the trait of compassion in our lives?
3.     Why do you think the healed man disobeyed Jesus and proclaimed freely that he was healed?  Why don’t we obey Jesus after he told us to proclaim the Gospel?
4.     Do people see our faith?  How should people be able to see our faith?
5.     What is the main point for each of these two miracles?  Are they related?
6.     Where in this passage do we see Gospel truths about God, Man, Christ, and our response?  Have your sins been forgiven?
Going Beyond:  1. Record these miracles on your “Miracles in Mark Chart.”
2.  What areas of theology are touched on in this passage?
   The Bible     God    God the Father    Jesus Christ      The Holy Spirit      Man     Salvation     The Church     Angels & Satan     Future Things –

Introduction to the Miracles of Jesus
By Hampton Keathley IV
When something amazing happens, we often say, “It’s a miracle!” But more than likely that is not technically correct. It was not a true miracle. It was amazing, it was abnormal, etc., but was it a miracle?
What is a miracle?
(1) A scientist gave the following definition of a miracle on an April 14, 1995 PBS program. He said, “A miracle is nothing more than a natural law not discovered.” So, he doesn’t believe in miracles. He thinks everything can be explained scientifically. This is an attitude which at the least denies any intervention into our world by God, and more than likely means that scientist denies the existence of God.1 I don’t see how raising someone from the dead, restoring a blind man’s sight, etc. are natural laws not yet discovered. This is obviously a bad definition. The fact that anyone would take this guy seriously is a sad commentary on our society.
(2) A computer magazine had the following definition in its word-for-the-day section: “Coincidence is a miracle where God chooses to remain anonymous.” In other words, there is no such thing as coincidence. This elevates almost everything to the status of being a miracle. I would have to go along with the idea that there is no such thing as coincidence or chance. If there is such a thing as chance, then God has an equal out there in the universe, against which He is competing. Think about that statement for a minute. If there is such a thing as chance, then God has an equal out there in the universe that He is competing against. In other words, God is not in control. So, although I think that God is control and is involved in our lives, does that mean that these events are miracles? No.
These two illustrations represent opposite extremes. The truth is somewhere in the middle. What is a miracle?
If we look at the words the New Testament uses for miracles we see the following:
(1) It is an act of a supernatural being. The word dunamis has the idea of a supernatural power. It speaks primarily of the agent of the act. That power may be delegated to a human agent. The question is "Where did Jesus’ power to do the miracle come from?" There are two options - either from God or from Satan. Obviously, Jesus’ power came from God. Some suggest that Satan only imitates miracles. I think Satan can perform miracles. He does not have divine power, but he does have supernatural power. So the idea from the word dunamis is that there is supernatural power involved.
(2) Another word - terasa - speaks of the effect. A miracle is an unusual event. Terasa speaks of the wonderment of the event – as in signs and wonders. As a matter of fact, terasa is always used with semeion.
(3) The Greek word semeion means sign. A miracle is a significant event. It has purpose. Matthew, Mark and Luke use the first two more. John uses the word semion, because he is focused on the purpose of Jesus in performing the miracles.
(4) Therefore, in our search for a definition, if we combine the ideas of these words used in the New Testament, we might come up with the following definition:
Definition: A miracle is an unusual and significant event (terasa) which requires the working of a supernatural agent (dunamis) and is performed for the purpose of authenticating the message or the messenger (semeion).
I don’t want to imply that God can’t do a miracle without a miracle worker or that He can only do miracles when He needs to authenticate His message. But, examination of Old Testament and New Testament miracles shows that when a human is the agent performing a miracle, the purpose is authentication of the person and his message. For example: Moses, Elijah, Jesus, Apostles… That is the norm. It is a little oxymoronic to use the words norm and miracles in the same sentence, but I think it is important to establish what the norm is if possible because of what various people teach concerning miracles.

1 This attitude can be traced back into the period of the Enlightenment and received one of its most cogent arguments in the philosopher David Hume. For a brief description of Hume’s arguments, especially as they touch on the issue of the resurrection, see Greg Herrick, The Historical Veracity of the Resurrection Narratives,
Does your group take the time to read through the passage?  Is it really safe to assume everybody has read it or remembers what they read?  God promises to use his Word.

1. Question one in the walk section follows up with this question.  You might have that in the back of your mind as you guide the discussion on this question.
2. You might take the time to look through the references to see what it was that the Gospels say moved Christ with compassion.  Again there is a walk question to follow up with this topic.
25.49 σπλαγχνίζομαι; σπλάγχναc, ων n (only in the plural): to experience great affection and compassion for someone—‘to feel compassion for, to have great affection for, love, compassion.’
σπλαγχνίζομαι: Σαμαρίτης δέ τις ὁδεύων ἦλθεν κατ’ αὐτὸν καὶ ἰδὼν ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ‘but a certain Samaritan who was travelling that way came upon him, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him’ Lk 10:33.
σπλάγχναc: ὡς ἐπιποθῶ πάντας ὑμᾶς ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ ‘how I long for you all because of the compassion of Christ Jesus himself’ Php 1:8.
In Php 1:8 the phrase ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ is ambiguous. It may mean ‘because of the compassion which Christ Jesus himself has for you’ or ‘… for me.’ On the other hand, it may also be interpreted as characterizing the kind of love which Paul has for the believers, for example, ‘how I long for all of you, even with the kind of love Christ Jesus himself has for you.’[1]
3.  This is an opportunity to look back to Leviticus to see the law or custom referred to here. Don’t spend a lot of time on this.
4.  We saw Jesus tell the demons to not speak and now the ex-leper is told not to tell anybody.  I think you will see a couple direct hints why in the text.  The Chronological Life of Christ has some additional suggestions.
“Why does Jesus command him to keep silent about this?  First, as prejudice against Jesus rose, this leper’s chances of being declared clean by a priest against Jesus rises, this leper’s chances of being declared clean by a priest would diminish due to his connection with Jesus.  Thus, it was for the leper’s benefit.  Second it was for Jesus’ benefit.  His popularity is rising at such an alarming rate that he is already mobbed by the crowds.  Jesus is trying to avoid the very thing that happened (Mk 1:45): the leper blabs it all over and the crowds swelled so that Jesus can no longer enter any city but has to stay in the country.  Furthermore, as is indicated by Luke 5:15, Jesus’ presence creates excitement for the wrong reasons.  The crowds want physical healing and a circus show.  This makes it all the more difficult to teach his true identity.  Finally, the tensions have begun to rise between Jesus and the religious hierarchy.  There is no need for a premature, nasty confrontation.”  -- Moore, Mark E. The Chronological Life of Christ. Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub., 2007. 132.
5.  Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone.
6.  We have a claim by Christ to be God.  This is also a good place to do a word study on the word for forgive.
2.  Compassion is important for men.  Jesus was not a push over, but also had a “tender side.”  What should that look like for men?  Can we be tough and compassionate?
5.  Look for the Gospel in this passage.  Don’t force it in but take time to notice it.  We have truths about who Jesus is, what God is like, forgiveness, etc.
This is the start of an article that defines a miracle.  While it is not the only or even the best definition, it does use the three Greek words the Bible used to highlight some truths about Jesus’ miracles.

n neuter
[1] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 293.

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