Life Group Questions
Session 4: Mark 3:7–4:34
Read Mark 3:7–4:34.
Watch Francis Chan, “The Gospel of Mark” Video Series Session 4: Mark 3:7–4:34 (11 minutes)
Francis started off the video by explaining Jesus’s discipleship model. He explained why the varied terrain near the Sea of Galilee was ideal for illustrating the different kinds of soil in the Parable of the Sower. Not everyone was privy to the true meaning of Jesus’s teachings. He chose just a few to mentor up close.
Take a closer look at Mark 3:7–19. What sets the disciples apart from the crowds following Jesus?
Think about how Francis presented the two groups of people: the called-out disciples and the crowds. If you were to look at your life honestly, which group would you belong to?
In Mark 3:7–35. Mark is playing with two main themes, but he splits them up across four sections of text (which are easier to see in a print Bible than digital). Those four are Mark 3:7–12, 13–21, 22–30, and 31–35. Read each of the passages. What similarities do you notice between 3:7–12 and 22–30, as well as between 3:13–21 and 31–35? Note especially the main characters in each passage apart from Jesus.
Mark bounces from the theme of Jesus and demons to Jesus and his true family and back again. The four stories together form a whole, all driving at one main idea. In the first section (3:7–12), the very demons Jesus casts out validate his identity and his mission. In the third section (3:22–30), the scribes attempt to invalidate Jesus’s ministry by saying he does his miracles by Satan. What’s the irony in the way those two passages work together? What do you think Mark is trying to say about the scribes?
Now turn to Mark 4:1–20. The Parable of the Sower is one of Jesus’s most famous parables, and for good reason. It lays out the path of true discipleship for us along with all the possible pitfalls along the road. Jesus is describing discipleship, a journey that is constantly challenged. Choose one of the soils in the parable and apply it to someone today. If he or she were like the soil with thorns, for instance, what might be happening in that person’s life? Use your imagination.
For each of the three kinds of soils after the first, reflect on your spiritual journey. During what times in your life did your faithful following of Jesus struggle to take root?
Has there been a particular struggle or temptation that has threatened to entangle your discipleship?