Week 8: Mark 13-14

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Day 1: Mark 13:1-20

Note: Days 1 and 2 cover one of the most debated sections of the Gospels among Christians as to the correct interpretation. There is disagreement about if Jesus is just speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, of just the end of the world apocalypse and his second coming, or both. My personal opinion is that it is a combination of both, and I will try to show that here. I will also include articles at the end of Day 2’s reading from the different sides of the argument, so you can compare the different points for yourself. You can go as deep into this or as shallow as you’d like.

This is a non-essential issue for salvation, and our role as Christians and security in Christ remains the same regardless of if the events of these predictions are imminent or have already taken place.  

  1. What do the disciples marvel at? Take a minute to research how incredible this temple was. It would well qualify as one of the Wonders of the World if it were still here today. The stones themselves were massive!
    • What does Jesus predict specifically about the stones?
  2. Read Matthew 23:37-39
    • What is Jesus’ emotional state during this time?
  3. Compare and contrast Matthew 24:3, Mark:13:3-4 and Luke 21:7.
    • What is the question the disciples asked in Matthew? Is it two questions or one? How is that different from Mark and Luke?
    • What clue does this give us about the prophecy Jesus gives? It is about one event or many?
  4. Mark 13:5-13, what are the signs that do NOT indicate the events that Jesus is predicting?
    • Have you heard of Christ Consciousness promoted by many new age teachers or the Universal Christ promoted by Richard Rohr? Are these possibly examples of many claiming to be Christ?
  5. Have you heard people say that natural disasters are a sign that the world is going to end soon?
  6. What is the abomination that causes desolation in Mark 13:14-20? (Daniel 9:20-27)
    • What does “abomination” usually refer to in the Old Testament? (Deuteronomy 7:25, 17:2-5, 18:9-12, 1 Kings 11:7)
    • Is this a sign of the end times or of the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD or possibly both?
    • Could this sign be the same sign in Luke 21:20-24 or is it referring to a different event? (Note: There is disagreement on this)
  7. Have greater evils happened in our world since this event? (verse 19) Could this mean this section in Mark (not Luke) is meant to be about a future date and not the 70AD destruction of Jerusalem?

Research Question:

  1. Look into the history of what happened in 70AD in connection with this specific prophecy in Luke, particularly what Eusibius writes. It’s simply incredible. Were there Christians in Jerusalem during its destruction?

Day 2: Mark 13:21-37

  1. Mark 13:21-23
    • Why is this warning repeated here?
    • What is different about the timing?
    • Are all signs and wonders from God or can they be counterfeit? (See also 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)
      • Should we rely on signs and wonders as a sign of God’s power with someone?
    • How does Matthew 24:26-28 say we will know when Christ returns?
      • Do you know of any religions/cults who have said Christ returned secretly?
  2. Mark 13:24-29: Signs of the Second Coming
    • Are these literal future events, apocalyptic language mirroring Isaiah 13:10-13 regarding 70AD, or both?
  3. Mark 13:30-37: Many skeptics point to verse 30 and say the generation passed so Jesus is a false prophet. What do you think? There are a few other possibilities:
    • A word study of the Greek word used here shows the primary meaning of the word to be “clan, race or nation.”
      • Is it possible that the Greek word used here means “Nation” meaning the Jewish people will not pass away until these things happen?
    • Another possibility is that Jesus is speaking just of the destruction of Jerusalem with this verse, something we know at least John would be alive for, as he died closer to 100AD. Here are some reasons this could be true:
      • Does Jesus know when the end of time will come? (Verse 32)
      • Could he have known it would happen before the group standing with him died?
      • Could “all these things” refer to the first part of the disciples’ question in Matthew 24:3?
  4. What are our instructions as we wait for Jesus to return? (33-37)

Research Questions:

  1. Do you know the differences between the premillennial, amillennial and postmillennial views of the second coming of Christ? How might this passage be interpreted in those different views?
  2. Compare and contrast Mark 13:1-37, Matthew 24:1-50 and 25:31-46 and Luke 21:5-38. What is similar and what is different from the Mark passage.

Resources: Examples of varying opinions to find for online

Day 3: Mark 14:1-11

  1. Between verses 1-12, what is the Markan Sandwich?
  2. When were the priests and teachers planning to kill Jesus? Why not during Passover?
  3. Do they fear God or do they fear people?
  4. Read John 12:1-11 and Matthew 26:2-13
    • Do we know the name of this woman?
  5. Is this the same story as the one in Luke 7:36-50 or is this a different event? Why or why not?
  6. Who is mad about the “wasted” money? (John’s account)
    • Do you find that ironic?
  7. What is the significance of the anointing? (Exodus 30:22-33, 1 Samuel 10:1, Psalm 23:5, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1)
  8. Does Jesus mean that we don’t need to care for the poor, but just love Him? Or is it about the specific timing of this event?
  9. How is Mary’s reaction to Jesus’ predictions of his death different from the disciples?
  10. How does Jesus elevate the status of women in this passage compared to how the culture viewed them at the time?
  11. What do the disciples commonly discuss/argue about? (Mark 9:34, Mark 10:35-45)
    • What was Mary’s concern?
    • How will Mary be remembered?
  12. Did God cause Judas to betray Jesus?
    • Did God know beforehand that it would happen?
    • How are those two concepts different?
  13. How long have the religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus? (Mark 3:6)
  14. Why did the priests need Judas?

Research: Compare and Contrast the Mark, John and Matthew accounts. Are they contradictory or can they be harmonized? Below is an extra resource to help think through this topic.

Day 4: Mark 14:12-31

Note: Some commentators believe this was actually Mark’s home because of the reference to his home in Acts 12:12.

  1. What is the symbolism of the Passover meal? (Read Exodus 12:26-27)
  2. In verse 18-19, what does Jesus predict? (Psalm 41:9)
    • How do the disciples react?
    • What does this show us about them?
  3. What Old Testament Scriptures predict the death of the Messiah?
  4. Could Judas have repented in that moment?
  5. Does Jesus say the traditional words of the Passover or something new? (Read The Mishnah, Pesachim 10:1-7, extrabiblical Jewish writings)
  6. Do you think the disciples understood the significance of Jesus’ words in the moment or not until later?
  7. Did the bread and wine literally become his body and blood in that moment or is it symbolic language? Why?
  8. What is the significance of taking part in the Lord’s Supper in the Christian life?
  9. Take and eat: Can the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice for us be forced upon us or do we have to choose to accept it?
  10. Read Exodus 24:8. How was the covenant established there?
    • How will the new covenant be established? (Hebrews 9:22-27, 1 Peter 2:24)
  11. What do they do before they go to the Mount of Olives?
  12. Read Psalm 115-118. Note: The Passover always ended with singing these Psalms
    • Knowing what Jesus was about to do, what stands out in these Psalms to you?
    • Could you sing these Psalms before knowing you are going to such a terrible fate?
  13. Read Zechariah 13:7-9. Who does it say strikes the Shepherd?
    • Who does Jesus say will strike the Shepherd?
  14. What does Jesus predict about Peter?
  15. What does Peter vow?

Research Question: What day did the meal occur on and is this a contradiction with John’s account? (Note: A careful study of how Jews marked time and days is important to answer this question.)
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stqA0Es1y1o&t=253s

Day 5: Mark 14:32-42

  1. Who does Jesus take with him?
    • Why did he bring them?
  2. Jesus is about to do the hardest thing he will ever do as a man. How is he feeling?
  3. What is Jesus about to do? (Read 2 Corinthians 5:21)
  4. What does Jesus pray?
    • Have you ever prayed a similar prayer?
    • Does God give us what we want?
  5. What does Jesus pray the second time?  The third time? (Hint: Read Matthew 26:44)
    • What does this teach us about how we are to pray?
  6. How many times did Jesus find the disciples sleeping?
  7. Where else does Jesus refer to the cup? (Mark 10:38-39)
  8. “If it were possible.”
    • Is Jesus asking to let humanity be sent to hell or if there’s another way to achieve this salvation?
    • If there was another way, would God have done that?
  9. “Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
    • Does this prayer lack faith or is it full of faith?
    • Should we pray the same?
  10. Could Jesus have chosen not to be crucified?

Research Questions:

  1. Mormonism views this scene as when Jesus achieved the atonement for us instead of on the cross (although they mean something different by that). Is that view supported by Scripture? Why or why not?
  2.  Read John 17 for a more in depth look at what Jesus prayed on the way to the garden.

Day 6: Mark 14:43-65

  1. How did Judas identify Jesus to the crowd of men?
  2. Who drew a sword? (Read John 18:10)
  3. What reason did Jesus give for why they arrested him in private?
  4. What happened to the disciples?
  5. What is up with the man who ran away naked? Many commentators have proposed that this was Mark himself, but there is not more evidence to support that other than the possibility of Mark owning the home of the Lord’s Supper.
  6. Mark leaves out the trial before Annas and the second trial before the Sanhedrin. Does missing information equate to a contradiction?
  7. Where was Peter during the trial? (Verse 54)
  8. Could they find evidence against Jesus?
  9. Did Jesus say he would destroy the temple? (John 2:19)
  10. Did the testimonies of the witnesses agree?
  11. What does the High Priest ask Jesus the first time?
    • What is Jesus’ response?
    • Why is that significant? (Isaiah 53:7)
  12. What does the High Priest ask Jesus the second time?
    • What is Jesus’ response?
    • Why is this significant? (Read Exodus 3:14, Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13)
    • Does the High Priest understand the claim Jesus is making?
  13. What does the beating entail? (Read Mark 10:33-34 and Isaiah 50:6)
  14. In verse 65, why would they ask Jesus to prophesy? (Read Matthew 26:67-68. This is an undesigned coincidence and a sign of good eyewitness testimony)

Research Questions:

  1. Is this a legal trial or an illegal trial?
  2. Why would Mark not identify the person in Mark 14:47, but John would 18:10? Look at the dating of John, John 21:18-19 and when Peter died.

Day 7: Mark 14:66-72

  1. What are each of the times Peter betrays Jesus?
  2. Was Peter with the other disciples or with people who were not following Jesus? (Note: Some commenters believe this would be the same group of people that participated in the beating of Jesus because the same Greek word is used to describe both groups in 54 and 65.)
  3. Why would he deny Jesus?
  4. What does Peter do when he realized he too betrayed Jesus?
  5. What is the difference between Judas and Peter?
  6. Will Peter be restored? (Read Luke 24:34 and John 21)
  7. Could Judas have been restored?
  8. Did Peter grow from this event?
    • Did he ever betray Jesus again?
    • How did Peter die?
  9. Read the Parable of the Soils again. (Mark 4:1-20)
    • What soil was Peter before the betrayal?
    • What soil does Peter become after the resurrection?
    • What hope does this give us for our own trials and failures?