Dig deeper in Mark 1–5 with these prompts.
- Based on what you see in Mark 1, what’s the main message of the book of Mark? What words or themes do you see repeated in Mark 1–5?
- “Mark wrote his fast-paced Gospel (‘immediately’ is used 42 times by Mark, and only 19 times in the rest of the NT) to convince his readers that they must have the right confession of Jesus (that he is the Son of God) and the right response to him (committing to following him). Remembering this will help make sense of every story in the Gospel.”  Highlight or underline when you see the word “immediately,” and consider what Mark wants you to notice when he uses that word.
- Jot down an outline for Mark 2:23–3:6. What’s the key point in this section? (Remember this format, because Mark uses it often: event A, conflict A, main point of events A and B, event B, conflict B, resolution.)
- “Jesus’ miracles not only gobsmacked the locals, they propelled his fame far and wide from a tiny neighborhood around Capernaum to regions as far as Syria, Tyre and Sidon to the north, and to Idumea way to the south. And Capernaum was indispensable for his fame. Why Capernaum? The answer is simple: location. . . . Capernaum was the key (humanly speaking) to the spreading fame of Jesus: comfortable living conditions; a friendly, diverse populous; a constant flow of foreigners; and exceptional cross-country / cross-cultural connections. No wonder Jesus chose Capernaum as his headquarters! No wonder from there his fame spread and intensified like a tsunami!”  Look at Capernaum on a map of first-century Israel to see how Capernaum was key to Jesus’ ministry.
- Jesus’ healing of the bleeding woman in Mark 5:24–34 is also recorded in Matthew 9:20–22 and Luke 8:43–48. Read those accounts of this miracle, and note what’s similar and what’s different in each to round out your understanding of this story.
20 And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak;
21 for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.”
22 But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.
And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone,
44 came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.
45 And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.”
47 When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed.
48 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
The Gospel According to
Preaching of John the Baptist
Mk 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You,
Who will prepare Your way;
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.’ ”
4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
6 John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey.
7 And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.
8 “I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The Baptism of Jesus
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;
11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
12 Immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness.
13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.
Jesus Preaches in Galilee
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
16 As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen.
17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
18 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
19 Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.
20 Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.
21 They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach.
22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24 saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”
26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him.
27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.
29 And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her.
31 And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them.
32 When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed.
33 And the whole city had gathered at the door.
34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.
35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.
36 Simon and his companions searched for Him;
37 they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”
38 He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.”
39 And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.
40 And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”
41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
43 And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away,
44 and He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
45 But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere.
The Paralytic Healed
2:1 When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home.
2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them.
3 And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men.
4 Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.
5 And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,
7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?
9 “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’?
10 “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic,
11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”
12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
13 And He went out again by the seashore; and all the people were coming to Him, and He was teaching them.
Levi (Matthew) Called
14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.
15 And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him.
16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
18 John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and they came and said to Him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”
19 And Jesus said to them, “While the bridegroom is with them, the attendants of the bridegroom cannot fast, can they? So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 “But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.
21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results.
22 “No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”
Question of the Sabbath
23 And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain.
24 The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
25 And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry;
26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?”
27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
28 “So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
3:1 He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered.
2 They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.
3 He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!”
4 And He said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent.
5 After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
6 The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.
7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea,
8 and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him.
9 And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him;
10 for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him.
11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!”
12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.
The Twelve Are Chosen
13 And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him.
14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach,
15 and to have authority to cast out the demons.
16 And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter),
17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”);
18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot;
19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.
20 And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal.
21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.”
22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”
23 And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?
24 “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
26 “If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!
27 “But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.
28 “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;
29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—
30 because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
31 Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him.
32 A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.”
33 Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?”
34 Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!
35 “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
Parable of the Sower and Soils
4:1 He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very large crowd gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land.
2 And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching,
3 “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow;
4 as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up.
5 “Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil.
6 “And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 “Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.
8 “Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
9 And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
10 As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables.
11 And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables,
12 so that while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven.”
13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables?
14 “The sower sows the word.
15 “These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
16 “In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;
17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.
18 “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word,
19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
20 “And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
21 And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand?
22 “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.
23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
24 And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides.
25 “For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”
Parable of the Seed
26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil;
27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know.
28 “The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.
29 “But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?
31 “It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil,
32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.”
33 With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it;
34 and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
Mark 4:35–41 (NAS): Jesus Stills the Sea
35 On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.”
36 Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him.
37 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.
38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.
40 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith?”
41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
The Gerasene Demoniac
5:1 They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes.
2 When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him,
3 and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain;
4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
5 Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones.
6 Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him;
7 and shouting with a loud voice, he said, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!”
8 For He had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”
9 And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”
10 And he began to implore Him earnestly not to send them out of the country.
11 Now there was a large herd of swine feeding nearby on the mountain.
12 The demons implored Him, saying, “Send us into the swine so that we may enter them.”
13 Jesus gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea.
14 Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the country. And the people came to see what it was that had happened.
15 They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the “legion”; and they became frightened.
16 Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the swine.
17 And they began to implore Him to leave their region.
18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him.
19 And He did not let him, but He said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.”
20 And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
Miracles and Healing
21 When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore.
22 One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet
23 and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.”
24 And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him.
25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,
26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse—
27 after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak.
28 For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.”
29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?”
31 And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”
32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”
35 While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?”
36 But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”
37 And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
38 They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing.
39 And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.”
40 They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was.
41 Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).
42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded.
43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.