Mark 3:1-6 – Learn to read the Bible #10

I’ve just published the tenth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 3:1-6, when Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

See this page if you’d like a few pointers for how to use these videos. Don’t forget to pray!

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key points from Mark 3:1-6

  • It begins “Another time” – could Mark be suggesting this is related to the previous passage? They both seem to be about the Sabbath and Law.
  • “Some of them” (the Pharisees? – makes sense if it follows on from the previous passage) were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus. Why do you think they would do this? Do you think some of your friends or family accuse Jesus without giving him a fair hearing?
  • Jesus asked the man to stand in front of everyone – he didn’t heal the man in secret, but did it in public. Almost as if he was looking to confront the Pharisees.
  • Jesus asked “What is Lawful on the Sabbath – to do good or to do evil”. I think this is a really good principle when thinking about God’s laws: as we saw last time, it’s easy to think the Law is a bad thing, or for obeying the Law to become an end in itself. Maybe you could spend some time thinking about the way you think about the law and how we often get this principle wrong.
  • This doesn’t mean we can ignore God’s laws! – but it’s easy to see them in the wrong way.
  • The Pharisees and Herodians end up plotting to kill Jesus – what irony! Killing someone is unlawful, whereas healing on the Sabbath is not. Why do you think they reacted like this? What does this say about our own sinfulness?

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 2:23-28.

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Mark 2:23-28 – Learn to read the Bible #9

I’ve just published the ninth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 2:23-28, when Jesus is questioned about the Sabbath.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

See this page if you’d like a few pointers for how to use these videos. Don’t forget to pray!

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key points from Mark 2:23-28

  • When you read a passage, think about the things which are repeated – it can often be a really helpful clue in getting to the main point.
  • In this passage, “lawful” is repeated a couple of times, and the Pharisees mention one of the Ten Commandments.
  • There are three things to think about:
    1. Eating corn on the Sabbath was not prohibited by the Ten Commandments. Why do you think the Pharisees added this law? Are there any ways we add to God’s laws?
    2. Jesus said that the laws were made for us – God’s laws are for our good. Do you think of the law like that? Do you think of obeying God as a joyful thing?
    3. Jesus said the Son of Man (himself) is lord even of the Sabbath. We are accountable to him at the end of the day. Are we seeking to obey him in everything?

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 2:18-22.

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Mark 2:18-22 – Learn to read the Bible #8

I’ve just published the eighth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 2:18-22, when Jesus is questioned about fasting.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

See this page if you’d like a few pointers for how to use these videos. Don’t forget to pray!

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key points from Mark 2:18-22

  • The Pharisees and John the Baptist’s followers were fasting. Fasting is not something which is generally associated with happiness! Spend a few moments thinking about why they were fasting.
  • Jesus replies to them and says they can’t fast while the bridegroom is with them – does that mean he is the bridegroom? Is he hinting at what is going to happen to him when he talks about the bridegroom being taken away?
  • If Jesus’ followers can’t fast while he is with them because it is a time of rejoicing and joy – what does that mean about our lives? If Jesus is with us, how should that make a difference to our own emotional state?
  • Jesus finishes by talking about the contrast between the new and the old. Now that he is here, we have to do things differently. Think about how you’ve changed since becoming a Christian. Think about the ways in which you need to do things differently with Jesus.

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 2:13-17.

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Mark 2:13-17 – Learn to read the Bible #7

I’ve just published the sixth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 2:13-17, when Jesus calls the tax collector Levi.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

See this page if you’d like a few pointers for how to use these videos.

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key points from Mark 2:13-17

One important thing for understanding this passage is to realise how people saw Tax Collectors. You might find it helpful to look up a page with some background info about tax collectors.

There were three points I made in the video for you to think about:

  1. Jesus called Levi – a tax collector – who would have been despised by the Jewish authorities at that time. Can you think of anyone today who might be despised in a similar way? What does that teach us about who God calls and values?
  2. The Teachers of the Law questioned why Jesus ate with “tax collectors and sinners”. What do you think that says about how they saw themselves? Do you think they didn’t see themselves as sinners? Were they right to see themselves this way?
  3. Jesus said he didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners. Think about our relationship to God. What does that mean about how we should relate to God? How can we come with honesty and integrity to God?

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 2:1-12.

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Mark 2:1-12 – Learn to read the Bible #6

I’ve just published the sixth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 2:1-12, when Jesus forgives and heals a paralysed man.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

See this page if you’d like a few pointers for how to use these videos.

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key points from Mark 2:1-12

This is a really important passage in Mark’s Gospel and it’s worthwhile spending a bit of time thinking and praying about!

  • Mark once again draws attention to Jesus’ fame spreading. Think about YouTube stars or people who draw a large following online – what must it have been like in Jesus’ day?
  • The paralysed man’s friends broke through the roof and lowered him to Jesus. What does this show about them? What obstacles are there which might stop us from getting to Jesus, and what should we do about it?
  • Why does Jesus say ‘your sins are forgiven’ when the man needed physical healing? What does that say about Jesus’ priorities?
  • Are the teachers of the Law right when they say only God can forgive sins? Was Jesus blaspheming? What does that say about who Jesus is?
  • Jesus says “I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”. Does this help us to understand Jesus’ other miracles?

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 1:35-45.

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Mark 1:35-45 – Learn to read the Bible #5

I’ve just published the fifth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 1:35-45, when Jesus prays early in the morning and then heals a man with leprosy.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key points from Mark 1:35-45

These are the things in the video I highlight (plus one I forgot to mention!)

  • Jesus went to a solitary place to play. What does that say about the importance of prayer? How important should prayer be for us?
  • Jesus tells us that he came to preach (v38). What does that say about Jesus’ priorities, especially when compared with his miracles etc?
  • Jesus heals a man with leprosy. You might find it helpful to think about what it meant to be “unclean” – see e.g. this article. Jesus didn’t simply heal a man with an illness, but made an unclean man clean. That should help us understand more what Jesus was doing. Is there anything which makes us “unclean” before God?…
  • One thing I forgot to mention in the video! – Jesus is willing to make the man clean (v41). What does this say about Jesus’ love and compassion?
  • Jesus’ fame is spreading but he tries to hide it again. Jesus is different to many other religious leaders who want to spread their own fame!

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 1:21-34.

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Mark 1:21-34 – Learn to read the Bible #4

I’ve just published the fourth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 1:21-34, when Jesus drives out an impure spirit and heals many people.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key Points from Mark 1:21-34

  • What things are repeated in the passages? Look out for repetition – it’s often used for emphasis and something the Bible wants us to pay attention to!
  • Jesus taught with authority – what do you think that says about the way that we should relate to Jesus and his teaching?
  • Jesus had authority over evil spirits. Without going into details about demon possession, do you think that says something about Jesus’ mission? Should that give us confidence about good defeating evil?
  • Jesus grew famous – imagine someone today who could teach and heal like Jesus! What would that look like?
  • Why does Jesus tell the evil spirits not to talk about him? Why doesn’t he want people to know who he is?…

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 1:14-20.

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Mark 1:14-20: Learn to read the Bible #3

I’ve just published the second part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 1:14-20, the baptism of Jesus and his temptation in the wilderness.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key Points from Mark 1:14-20

  • John is sent to prison. Why do you think that is? Is that a hint about what’s going to happen to Jesus? Have you seen Christians (maybe yourself) be treated badly?
  • Jesus announces the “good news” – same as gospel. That is what the whole of the book is about. We need to pay careful attention to what he says.
  • You might find it helpful to look up the Kingdom of God to think about what it means.
  • Jesus’ message is repent and believe – if you don’t know what repentance means, look it up – it’s really important in the gospel!
  • Jesus calls his disciples to leave everything and follow him. What might it look like for us to follow Jesus?

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 1:9-13.

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Learn to read the Bible #2: Mark 1:9-13

I’ve just published the second part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 1:9-13, the baptism of Jesus and his temptation in the wilderness.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

Read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better to find it in a physical Bible!). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

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New Feature: Learn to read the Bible

I’ve decided to start a new weekly feature called “Learn to read the Bible”. I do appreciate how hard it can seem to start reading the Bible – it’s a big book that was written a long time ago! How do you get into it? That’s what this series is all about.

You can see my little introduction to the series here:

We are kicking off by reading through Mark’s Gospel. You can see the first session is already available on this page. Why not give it a try?

If you’re interested, do check out the new page with all the information. If you’d like to be notified of new videos, you can do that in a few ways. Subscribe on YouTube or Facebook, or sign up to the mailing list.

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