Introduction to the Gospel of Mark – Deric Bartlett

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Sermon Notes

This week, Pastor Deric start the new series “The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World” with an introduction to the book of Mark.

THREE reasons to study the Gospel of Mark  

  1. The theme: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”
  2. The author is human: John Mark 
  3. The context is relevant: “pamphlet for hard times”

FOUR facts about Jesus in the Gospel of Mark 

  1. Jesus was a man
  2. Jesus was a preacher man
  3. Jesus was a busy man
  4. Jesus was a focused man

THREE takeaways from the Gospel of Mark  

  1. The important place that people have in the kingdom of God 
  2. The central place that humility has in the kingdom of God
  3. The vital place that the Gospel has in the kingdom of God


What do you buy way more of than most people?

1. According to your understanding, what is the gospel [Mark 1:1], and why is it directly related to the Person of Jesus Christ [cf. Romans 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; and 2 Timothy 1:8-12]?

2. The Gospel of Mark makes no reference to Jesus’ lineage but begins with quotes from Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 about the coming of Messiah’s forerunner. What was a forerunner’s purpose, and how can believers carry on a similar ministry today [cf. Colossians 4:5-6; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; and 1 Peter 3:13-16]?

3. Mark presents Jesus as a man of action and power. Why do you think that would appeal to a Roman audience at the height of the Roman Empire? Consult Mark 2:1-12; Mark 4:35-41; and Mark 5:1-20 for more insights

4. Mark 8:27-30 is strategic in Mark’s Gospel as Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ. From that moment, Jesus begins to foretell His suffering and death [Mark 8:31]. Why was Christ’s suffering necessary [cf. Philippians 3:10-11; Colossians 1:24; 1 Peter 1:10-11; and 1 Peter 4:12-13]?

5. The crowds and Jesus’ disciples had their own particular ideas of what the Messiah’s mission should be and how it should be accomplished. Jesus had a radically different idea as expressed in a key verse – Mark 10:45. How does this verse shape your view of ministry for Christ’s sake [cf. John 13:12-17; Galatians 5:13; and 1 Peter 4:10]?

6. Mark’s Gospel was likely addressed to suffering Christians. How would Christ’s example, as God’s Suffering Servant, be of great comfort and challenge to persecuted believers? Consider also Acts 14:22; Philippians 1:27-30; and 2 Timothy 3:12.

7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

“Jesus lost all his glory so that we could be clothed in it. He was shut out so we could get access. He was bound, nailed, so that we could be free. He was cast out so we could approach. And Jesus took away the only kind of suffering that can really destroy you: that is being cast away from God. He took that so that now all suffering that comes into your life will only make you great. A lump of coal under pressure becomes a diamond. And the suffering of a person in Christ only turns you into somebody gorgeous.” (Tim Keller)