Posts by Bruce Pratt

Mark: Lesson 22

Lesson text: Mark 9:30-50 Jesus predicts His impending death on the cross to the disciples for a second time. On this occasion, He adds that He will be betrayed, or given over, into the hands of men. In the aftermath of this prophecy, Jesus takes the disciples aside for an extending teaching time. This begins with His response to their debate over who is the greatest. He then explains that any who serve in His name are part of His…

Mark: Lesson 21

Lesson text: Mark 9:14-29 Jesus and his “inner circle” of Peter, James, and John come down from the mountain to a major uproar. The other disciples are in an argument with some Jewish scribes. The dispute seems to be centered around a demon-possessed boy. The nine who didn’t go up the mountain cannot exorcise the demon. The boy’s father is beside himself. In the midst of this turmoil stands Jesus. What he does and says next are lessons on the…

Mark: Lesson 20

Lesson text: Mark 9:1-13 Jesus’ Transfiguration is a turning point in Mark’s gospel. Peter, James, and John accompany Jesus to the top of a mountain. There they are joined by Moses and Elijah and Jesus is transformed. Peter would mention this in his second epistle. John may have been alluding to this at the beginning of his gospel. The event definitely made an impact on these men. And yet Jesus told them to keep what they saw to themselves until…

Mark: Lesson 19

Lesson text: Mark 8:22-36 The second half of the eighth chapter of Mark’s gospel is momentous. This is a pivot point in the narrative of Jesus’ earthly mission. For the first time, Jesus plainly explains to His disciples why He has come. While they are expecting that Jesus will set up his earthly reign, He explains that He is destined to die on a cross. Peter is not having any of it, and he lets Jesus know. Jesus in turn…

Mark: Lesson 18

Lesson text: Mark 8:1-21Mark records Jesus feeding the 4000 in the area of the Decapolis to start chapter 8. On the heels of this miracle the Pharisees appear on the scene again. They request that Jesus give them a sign, which He promptly refuses to do. Getting into a boat with His disciples, the group heads out into the Sea of Galilee. Jesus warns them about the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod, which they completely misunderstand. Lesson worksheet…

Mark: Lesson 17

Lesson text: Mark 7:24-37 Jesus and His disciples make their way to Phoenicia. There Jesus encounters a Gentile woman whose daughter is demon-possessed. What follows is a fun and instructive conversation between the Lord and this desperate mother. The group then travels to the Decapolis, where the crowd brings Jesus a deaf man who also has a speech impediment. Jesus’ encounter with this man is unique and personal. Lesson worksheet Header photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash.

Mark: Lesson 16

Lesson text: Mark 7:1-23 The matter of ceremonial defilement is front and center as chapter 7 begins. Jesus is challenged by Pharisees from Jerusalem. They take issue with the fact that Jesus’ disciples do not follow the regulations for ritual hand washing before eating. Jesus first responds to these men, pointing out that they elevate man’s tradition over God’s law. He uses their legal loopholes in denying financial assistance to their parents as a glaring example. He then explains to…

Mark: Lesson 15

Lesson text: Mark 6:45-56 An action-packed chapter comes to a close with Jesus performing yet another new type of miracle. After feeding the 5,000 He sends the disciples away to cross over the sea to Bethsaida. Strong winds hinder their progress. Late in the evening Jesus approaches them, walking on the water. The disciples are afraid, thinking this to be a ghost. Jesus again challenges their concept of who He really is and why they are with Him. Lesson worksheet…

Mark: Lesson 14

Lesson text: Mark 6:30-44 Jesus’ feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle He performed which is in all four gospels. The disciples had just gotten back from their first evangelistic mission without Jesus. John the Baptist had recently been murdered by Herod Antipas. It was time for rest and refueling. But the crowd still pressed in. Yet Jesus was not angered or resistant to them. Instead He showed them great compassion. Lesson worksheet

Mark: Lesson 13

Lesson text: Mark 6:14-29 John the Baptist has been very vocal about Herod Antipas’ marriage. Herod had divorced his wife in order to marry his brother’s wife. This is illegal according to Jewish law. But John sees it as an affront to God’s righteousness as well. Unfortunately for John, his complaints to Herod anger Herodias, Herod’s wife. It also ensnares John in a substantial amount of political intrigue. Then one dance seals John’s fate. Lesson worksheet Header image by Gianluca Carenza on Unsplash.