The Gospel of Mark

The Beginning of the Good News

Written around the year 70 CE during a turbulent time of persecution, the Gospel of Mark conveys a dramatic sense of urgency, challenging Christians to remain resolutely steadfast in their radical commitment to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

Fortunately, as Christians living in modern America, we don’t face the possibility of persecution or even execution, as did the Christians to whom Mark was writing. Nevertheless, we do live in a time when many social, political, economic, and religious forces are at work, subtly and gradually tempting us to ignore or even abandon our commitment to walk in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This study is appropriate for individuals, small groups, or Sunday morning classes. It includes links to Bible readings and commentary and reflections questions.
Each session also includes a guest commenter who considers the scripture reading.

Session 1

Introduction: by the Rev. Dr. John Lewis

The introduction gives an overview of what users may expect in this ten-session study of the Gospel of Mark and offers suggestions of how best to use it.  The study is especially designed to encourage conversation in a congregation or small group and provides ample questions to provoke thoughtful insights.

Read the Introduction to the study of Mark here.


To open this study, we asked five persons the question, “When did you get your first Bible and what do you remember about it?” Listen to their recorded answers below

Bishop Gary Lillibridge

Bishop  David Reed

John Lewis

Jane Patterson

Marjorie George


Session 2
Theme: God’s Beloved

Read Mark 1:1-15; 9:2-9; 15:33-39

Read a reflection on God’s Beloved   by the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson.

Guest commentator is the Rev. Sean Maloney. Sean wonders if God would refer to him as “beloved.”


Session 3
Theme: Banishing Spirits of Oppression

Read Mark 1:21-29; 5:1-20

Read a reflection on Banishing Spirits by the Rev. Dr. John Lewis

Guest commentator is Bonnie Reeves. Bonnie maintains that Christ’s “control over spirits of oppressions is absolute.”


Session 4
Theme: Life Restored

Read Mark 5:21-43

Read a reflection on Life Restored by the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

Guest commentary is by the Rev. Rod Clark. Rod reflects on what the word “faith” means to us. Is it just a belief, or is it a call to action?


Session 5
Theme: Is there Enough?

Read Mark 6:30-44; 8:1-21

Read a reflection on Is There Enough by the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

Guest commentator is Thurma Hilton, who reflects on her needs always being met.


Session 6
Theme: Taming Chaos

Read Mark 4:35-41; 6:47-52

Read a reflection on Taming Chaos the Rev. Dr. John Lewis.

Guest commentator is the Rev. Brad Landry. Brad speaks about bringing order out of chaos.


Session 7
Theme: The Cost of the Cross

Read Mark 8:27-38; 9:30-37; 10:32-45

Read a reflection on Cost of the Cross the Rev. Dr. John Lewis

For her commentary, Betty Anne Cody reflected on each of the Mark passages individually. And she did so by taking an unusual vantage point. Listen to all three audios in which Betty Anne takes on the persona of Mark’s grandmother.




Session 8
Theme: Seeing Clearly

Read Mark 8:22-26; 10:46-52

Read a reflection on Seeing Clearly by the Rev. Dr. John Dr. Lewis

Guest commentator is the Rev. Carrie Guerra. Carrie finds that in her life she sometimes is looking for the dramatic healing, when so often healing is more of a process than an event.


Session 9
Theme: Radical Offering

Read Mark 12:41-14:9

Read a reflection on Radical Offering by the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

Guest commentator for this session is  Roger Graham. Roger  comments on some key phrases in these passages.


Session 10
Theme: He is going ahead of you

Read Mark 16:1-8

Read a reflection on He Is Going Ahead of You by the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

The final guest commentator is Clark Hendley. He tells us to “Go!”

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