Of the four Gospels in the Bible, Mark’s is the most action-packed (and also the shortest). Clearly, Mark was inspired to record the key stories of Jesus’ life in order to help future generations be able to answer the question “Who is Jesus?” Many, many people in Mark wrestle with that question, and surprisingly few arrive at the correct answer until they witness and understand Jesus’ death and resurrection. In fact, even the 12 disciples, who are closest to Jesus throughout, DON’T end up following him very well until after the resurrection.
For us, however, the central questions remain. Who is Jesus, really? And how do we follow him well?
We invite you to spend a full week reading, discussing, sharing, and living out these essential Scriptures before gathering for worship and the Word each Sunday. Through the course of the week, we hope answers will emerge to the two prompts in the chart. We believe that these readings have the potential to be fruit-bearing seed (cf. Mark 4:1-20!) not only in our individual devotional lives but also in our families, communities, and groups.
For a simple weekly rhythm, we recommend:
MONDAY // READ IT: Spend some time simply reading the passage. If you have questions about a specific word, we recommend looking the verse up on blb.org and digging into some of the word-study tools you find there. You can also read the verses in several translations. Stalls usually preaches from the English Standard Version (ESV), but the New Living Translation (NLT), New English Translation (NET), Common English Bible (CEB), and New King James Version (NKJV) are all excellent.
TUESDAY // HEAR IT: Listen to the passage as it’s read aloud. You can read the verses to a friend or family member and have them read it back to you. have someone you know read it or most Bible apps for your phone (like YouVersion, for example) have easily accessible audio of the Bible read aloud. For an especially engaging listen, try to track down The Bible Experience recording of Mark.
WEDNESDAY // SAY IT: Retell the passage or story to someone you know, and invite them to tell it to you. This is a super simple family activity you can do with your kids or your small group. Then discuss what it means. Here are some very helpful discussion questions:
THURSDAY // PRAY IT: Spend some time praying through the passage–letting its words inspire your words. We particularly encourage you to pray beyond yourself as well, asking God to work in your neighborhood, for the next generation, and among peoples of every background and nation. How does what you’re learning about Jesus in this passage inspire your prayer for yourself and for others?
FRIDAY // DO IT: As you gather up all the work you’ve done over the last several days, consider how to act on what you’ve read. What is one person you can connect with, idea you can implement, or action you can take that the Scripture and the Holy Spirit are leading you to do?