Last night was session four in a series of discussions with student-athletes here at Southern Illinois University related to Jesus’ relationships as described in the Gospel of Mark. I have been experimenting with a couple of things in these discussions and I’m now ready to share some of my observations.
1 – I’ve been using an on-line video of the Gospel of Mark, shown on my living room’s large screen television in place of a person reading it. Here’s the link to that video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3h7s19G_-w&feature=related The video has been remarkably effective and I believe it is so for a few reasons. First, this generation has grown up with video and they gather much of their information via video on-line. Second, this form shows the text on the screen, it is read aloud and it has images and music behind it which enhance the reading.
2 – The intentionally relational focus of this study helps these sportspeople to connect personally with the narrative and to see the human elements in each story. They don’t see these as “Bible stories” as much as examples of how Jesus interacted with people as a model for how they can wisely and redemptively relate to those around them.
3 – I have printed out my outline (as seen below and as attached), handed them out at the beginning of the session and included questions for contemplation and application at the end for them to use throughout the week. I had no idea if this would work, but not a single page is left behind when they go home. It seems they’re willing to do the contemplation and application after our meeting is over. I’m very happy with that.
Here is last night’s simple outline. Please note the focus on relationships and the simplicity of the questions. Please feel free to use the study if you like and to experiment with videos of Scripture, printed outlines to carry home and other means to help your sportspeople to engage the truth of Scripture and each other toward the goal of life transformation.
1. Read Mark chapter 6 aloud (or use the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3h7s19G_-w&feature=related) and pray together.
2. In verses 1-6, Jesus and His disciples return to His hometown.
a. How do the home folk respond to Jesus’ message?
b. Why would they act this way?
c. How does Jesus respond to their unbelief?
3. In verses 7-13 and 30-52 Jesus teaches and then tests His disciples.
a. What seems to be the big idea in His teaching in verses 7-13?
b. What did the disciples do after receiving the instructions?
c. How did Jesus test the disciples in verses 35-52 and how well did they do on the test?
d. How much did they learn from the process?
4. In verses 14-29 we hear about King Herod’s response to Jesus’ growing popularity.
a. How would you characterize Herod’s actions?
b. Why would he act this way?
5. Jesus deals wisely with a hungry crowd in a remote location in verses 35-44.
a. How did He demonstrate wisdom, authority and power?
6. In verses 45-52 Jesus again deals with the forces of nature.
a. How is this occasion different from the one in chapter 5 and how similar?
b. What preceded His stroll on the sea?
c. How are the two connected?
7. How did the crowds in Genessaret respond to Jesus’ presence in their area?
a. What happened to them?
8. Thoughts for contemplation and application: How would you benefit from a similar approach to relationships as Jesus demonstrates in chapter 6 in your relationships with;
a. Your teammates?
b. People from your hometown?
c. A jealous authority figure?
d. Mother Nature?
e. Desperately hungry people