Study Introduction

Mark wrote nothing by accident in his gospel. Just prior to the arrest of Jesus, he presents a stark contrast between those who think they have it all and those who have nothing. Which group is which? The answer may surprise you.

What is the most important thing in the universe? The answer might surprise you but goes right to the heart of both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus reveals it to us in Mark 12 as we go in depth into loving God.

Jesus had to answer some very complicated questions designed to trap Him. But being the master chess player, Jesus turned the traps into times of teaching and revealing much about His true identity.

In this portion of Mark we get a clearer picture of what it means to rely on God for things, and what it means to rely on the government. Here the religious leaders try to trip Jesus up, but they fall right into His trap.

What image comes to mind when you think about a hero riding in to save the day? Jesus, our ultimate action hero, rides into Jerusalem to save the day for humanity, but not in the way you would imagine, not this time anyway.

Mark makes an important point about who we think we are in contrast to what we need to be in God\'s kingdom. Just when you think you have it all, you may not have anything and when you have nothing, you have just what you need.

Our idea about success involves three things - all of which were possessed by a man who approaches Jesus. What is he looking for and why? The answers should affect your outlook on this life and the one to come.

As humans we naturally try to do what is in our own best self interest. This doesn\'t always coincide with the character of God. Such is the case with divorce. Jesus shocks His men and the Pharisees with a refreshing look at relationships. As we look at the topic, what seems to matter is the condition of our heart.

What influences you and what kind of influence are you on others? In the final portion of Mark Chapter 9, Jesus describes a common substance: salt. It is either salty or flavorless. When it comes to you affect on your environment are you salt or unsalty?

Face it, we humans like to be in charge of ourselves and as many others as we can. Though we aren\'t all power mongers, this default human behavior causes major problems when we see how God\'s universe really operates. The lesson comes home in this portion of Mark 9.

Probably one of the most common questions people have when evaluating Christianity is: \"Why should I follow Jesus Christ?\" He made a lot of claims, and might even have come back from the dead, but so what? In Mark 8 and 9 we see the two reasons why you should feel comfortable placing your life in His hands.

Jesus asks a crucial question of His disciples - a question that every single person in all of creation and all of history must answer. How you answer may be influenced by a crucial lack in your life - a lack Jesus can uncover.

What is the real nature of faith? We often think it is blind trust in Jesus to give us what we ask for. In reality faith means a transformation of how you think of life, needs, and your relationship with Jesus.

The saying \"It\'s all in your head\" is truer than we would like to admit. What can start out as something done with good intentions can lead us very far astray save for one crucial ingredient: God\'s Word.

Sometimes in our zeal of serving God we begin to take the reigns and can actually not really trust and rely on Jesus for the very work He has called us to.

So what do you think of Jesus? You\'ve heard about Him from the culture and even from the church but is that really Jesus? Some people are afraid of sharing their faith knowing the possible rejection they\'ll receive - so is it worth it?

Jesus challenges us by not showing up when we think He should or answering prayers in the way we think. He also challenges us to go deeper than we ever have in our trust. What will be your answer when he challenges you to trust Him no matter what?

Many times the things that affect us the most are inside, beyond our ability to reach and heal. Such was the case with the woman we meet in this study. How she approached Jesus and what He did in response speaks to how we desire to be healed of infirmity we cannot see.

As humans we have been taken prisoner by a strong opponent who wants nothing but to destroy us. We see this captivity and torture revealed graphically as Jesus takes on not one but thousands of demons at once. It is a powerful picture of how our ultimate action hero sets us free. But the question is, how will you react to the presence of a truly stronger hero?

What happens after you hear the words of Jesus? Is your life different? Today as we study Mark\'s gospel we see how the Lord gives the disciples an opportunity to test how much the words of Jesus became life in them.