Mark’s Gospel in 40 Readings
Use this page as a handy guide to read through the Gospel of Mark, and reflect on what you read. You could read it every day or a few times a week.
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Mark is sometimes called the urgent Gospel. Reflect on the dynamic action of the opening verses and the urgent imperative for us to live this Gospel.
Here are three dominant themes of the Christian faith – Good News – Repent – Believe. How much have they impacted our lives?
Mark 1:21 – 2:12
“They were astonished at the way he taught.” There are other completely astonishing things about Jesus in this passage. Reflect on them and ask yourself “how can we convey that sense of astonishment at Jesus in our world?”
Mark 2 :13-17
Matthew’s response to the call of Jesus was immediate. He was ready to act when Jesus spoke. Are we?
Mark 2:18 – 3:6
Jesus shows us simple points and pathways to God – new patch on old garments – new wine in old wine skins. How can we remain ‘new’ in our faith – young in mind and heart?
Mark 3:7 – 19
In the midst of his busy ministry Jesus chose the twelve – to “be with him.” That was the first priority – to be with him. We must learn to be with him before we can serve him. Are we learning?
Jesus speaks of a sin that cannot be forgiven – insulting the Holy Spirit. Someone has wisely said, “If you are worried about having committed this sin, it is a clear sign that you haven’t!” The Holy Spirit enables us to recognise and receive God’s truth. Has God convicted you of a sin in the past? Did you listen and obey?
Mark 4: 1- 34
Reflect on the seed and the sower. Are our hearts good soil from which good fruit will spring?
Mark 4: 35-41
Galilee was notorious for its storms but Jesus had said, “let us cross to the other side.” If he has said it, we can rely upon it no matter what storms we may face. Can we open our hearts to his word so that faith grows?
Here is a vivid, gripping story – a man released and restored yet people urge Jesus to leave. Isn’t that like saying, “don’t disturb me, don’t take us out of my comfort zone.” Are we ready for God to take us out of ours?
Mark 5:21 – 43
A man pleading for his daughter and a woman seeing her last hope of help – and Jesus is there. He is always there. Do we recognise his availability in our needy world?
Just the carpenter’s son – that’s all they saw. They missed the glory because they focused on the ordinary. In the ordinary circumstances of our lives can we open our eyes to the glory of God?
Jesus sent them out in twos – never alone. Is there someone alongside you? Is there someone you can partner with in prayer and service?
The end of John the Baptist is sad, but I love the Collect for his special day on June 24th – “Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Saviour by the preaching of repentance: lead us to repent according to his preaching and according to his example, constantly to speak the truth…” Let’s make it our prayer.
“Come to a lonely place and rest a while.” We all need space to recharge our batteries and step into quietness for our spiritual renewal. Is that on your schedule?
The crowds came with their insistent demands. We can always bring our needs to Jesus but instead of always coming to get, we need also to come to give – our time, our worship, our service and our love. Can we cultivate that practice?
The Pharisees were always obsessed with rules and regulations. Legalism had taken the place of Life. The Lord of Life calls us to freedom but we lose that when we reduce our faith to petty restrictions. Are we choosing freedom and living fully in Christ?
Mark 7:24 – 8:10
Here is persistent faith that does not quit. Can we learn a lesson from this faithful Mother? Never give up!
The people were always looking for a sign – something spectacular – but failed to see that God was with them in Jesus. “Earth’s crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees, takes off his shoes; the rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning) Do we see the wonder of God in each new day?
Mark 8:31 – 9:1
There is a cross at the heart of our discipleship. Are we ready to pick it up and carry it?
Have you had moments of ‘transfiguration’ when the glory of Jesus was revealed to you? Thank God for those times. And now, let’s ‘come down from that mountain’ and trust God for his provision in the often ordinary, present.
“This kind can come out only by prayer.” Are we faithful in praying for God’s intervention in the lives of others? Make a commitment today.
In Jesus’ upside-down kingdom the first will be last. Godly humility isn’t the same as low self-esteem. Jesus knew he was God’s Son and yet he took a towel and washed the feet of his friends. How can we cultivate this godly humility?
Jesus holds us to God’s radical standards. Today, let’s pray with King David (Psalm 51.10): “Create in me a clean heart, o God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”
The young man’s true god was his wealth. Is there something that is holding us back from following Jesus without compromise?
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus is asking us the same question. How will we answer?
Jesus doesn’t enter Jerusalem as a warrior king, but on a humble donkey (read Zechariah 9.9). Do we have status symbols that give us an unhelpful sense of identity? Can we ‘choose the donkey’ instead?
Jesus became angry, but he did not sin. We are right to be upset about injustice, but sometimes we get angry about personal insults and petty irritations. Are we angry about the right things?
As Christians we have ‘dual citizenship’ – in our own nation and in the Kingdom of Heaven. Are we giving to Caesar what belongs to him and to God what only he can demand?
When we rise to new life, our union with Christ will outshine all other relationships. Thank God for loved ones who have gone before us. And then renew your trust in Jesus, the Lord of the living and the dead.
When we are uncertain about what to do, let’s ask ourselves which course of action best demonstrates love for God and love for others. Apply this to a decision you are wrestling with.
Review your giving: Are you giving from the ‘left-overs’ or of your ‘first-fruits’? Can you increase your giving in one area of your life (money, time, skills) and trust God that you will still have enough?
“Be alert!” If Jesus came back tomorrow, what changes would we make today? Make that change!
The beautiful sacrifice of the unnamed woman is still remembered today. Rejoice that your acts of love and service will never be forgotten in God’s economy.
When we celebrate Holy Communion, we remember that Jesus has dealt with all our failures, mistakes and sins on the cross. Thank God that you are a beloved child of God because of Jesus. Listen to this song…
“Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. Just two words but a heaven-and-earth-shattering truth! “Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is in charge of the universe. I bow before you. I trust in you.”
Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd. Where are we in danger of compromising our convictions to satisfy others or bow to the pressure of public opinion?
The temple curtain separated a holy God from sinful people. Now the curtain is ripped open (from the top!) Thank God for the gift of a relationship with God through Jesus. You may want to listen to this song…
Joseph was waiting for the kingdom of God, so he boldly went to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body. Jesus’ death empowered him to be identified as his follower. How can we be bold in showing that we are followers of Jesus?
Jesus’ resurrection changes everything. Let his new life transform your life daily. Continue to read God’s Word and to pray to him. You may want to watch this…