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Autor: anton • November 1, 2010 • 966 Words (4 Pages) • 1,039 Views
Explain What a Study of St. Mark's Gospel Can Tell Christians About the Nature of Discipleship
In this essay I will discuss what I have found about being a disciple in Mark's Gospel - the costs and the rewards, their lifestyle and their duties - using quotations from the Gospel to highlight my findings.
After John the Baptist had prepared the way for Jesus, Jesus began to look for people to assist him in creating the Kingdom of God. Jesus chose lowly fishermen as his first disciples - men who were uneducated, poor and from the small town of Galilee. He did this to show that even ordinary people could become disciples, and emphasised this point further by selecting Levi the tax collector to become a disciple, in Mark 2:13-17. Tax collectors were resented by the general public and were seen as sinners by members of the church. Jesus responded to the Pharisees' disapproval by telling them "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick", meaning he had come to help those in need - like sinners and criminals - and not those who were righteous and actively pursued their faith.
This proves that Jesus' disciples were ordinary people and did not possess any "superhuman" qualities. In "the calming of the storm", the disciples became afraid of the storm and lost their faith in Jesus. Jesus rebuked them after he had calmed the wind and the waves, but they became even more alarmed at his abilities. Ordinary people can relate to this natural fear, and this passage emphasises that the disciples were not extraordinary.
When Jesus was on trial, Peter denied all knowledge of him because he feared for his own life. This showed cowardice, since Peter had previously sworn to stand by Jesus through anything. This is a natural human instinct, and it proves that all the disciples made mistakes.
Situations like this tested the disciples' faith and commitment to Jesus, as these are some of the most important aspects of discipleship.
Jesus wanted his disciples to carry out good work and spread the word of God. In Mark 6:7-13, he gave them authority over evil spirits so they could remove bad from people and restore righteousness in the world.
Jesus told them to "take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals, but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them." This is an assessment of the disciples' devotion, as the disciples were limited in their possessions, and lost their independence by relying on other people's hospitality.
In Mark 16:15-16, Jesus told his disciples "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned". This would emphasise to the disciples the importance of trusting and believing in Jesus, and also that they are not working in vain.
However, being a disciple was not without trials and the rewards came side by side with risks. When Jesus called his disciples he expected them to give up their jobs, their lives, families and security. The disciples "at once...left their nets and followed him". This shows