Introduction: In the United States we have days when we
encourage parents to take their children (I would guess one
at a time) to work so the children will learn about what
their parents do during the day. That is how our study this
week feels to me. Mark started his gospel by declaring that
Jesus was the Son of God, and then gave us supporting
evidence from the Bible. Mark then added endorsements from
John the Baptist, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit! Next
Mark takes us to witness what Jesus is doing as He begins
His ministry. A “This is God and see how He spends His
time.” Sounds great to me, so let’s dive into the Gospel of
Mark and spend a day with Jesus!

I. Picking Helpers

A. Read Mark 1:16-18. First, put yourself in Jesus’
place. Why would He choose these two to be
disciples? Was He concerned about not having
enough to eat? Mark says nothing about picking them
because of their theological excellence.

1. Now change roles. Why would these two
fisherman decide to leave their fishing
equipment to “become fishers of men?”

a. And what does “fishers of men” mean?

B. Read John 1:35. Who is John and why does he have
disciples? (This is John the Baptist, the most
famous preacher of the day. Of course he had

C. Read John 1:36-37. Suddenly, John is short two
disciples. Why? (John has identified Jesus as the
Messiah. Two of John’s disciples leave immediately
to follow Jesus.)

D. Read John 1:38. What answer should these two
disciples give to Jesus? (We just heard you are the
Messiah, and we want to be part of the action.)

1. What different answer do they give? (Where are
you staying?)

a. Why would they give an answer like that?
It seems rather stupid. Put yourself in
their place and see if this is an answer
you might give? (They have been told that
Jesus is the most important person in the
history of the world. It would be very
presumptuous to say, “We think we should
be your disciples.” For that reason they
give a much less bold answer.)

E. Read John 1:39. If you were the two disciples, what
would you think of Jesus’ response? (What an
encouragement! Jesus is inviting them to come

F. Read John 1:40-42. Who are these two men who want
to be disciples of Jesus? (Andrew and Simon.)

1. Look back at Mark 1:16-17. Is Mark leaving
out critical details? Or is this a second
encounter between Jesus, Andrew, and Simon?
(If you continue the story in John 1, it never
goes beyond Andrew and Simon following Jesus
to where He was staying, and then spending
time with Him. In Mark we seem to be viewing a
second encounter in which Jesus gives them a
formal invitation to become disciples. Of
course they immediately agree.)

G. Read Mark 1:19-20. Do these two disciples seem
different than Simon and Andrew? (Simon and Andrew
had nets. James and John own a boat. They are part
of a family business that has employees. These are
successful fisherman!)

1. The question remains, why would Jesus recruit
them to be His followers? Whether Jesus is
recruiting poor fisherman or successful
fisherman, they are still unqualified for the
job, right?

2. When Jesus says in Mark 1:17 that He will make
them “fishers of men,” is Jesus saying that
their job skills are transferable? Great
fisherman? You can be great evangelists!

H. Let’s read outside of Mark’s gospel so we can get
our facts straight. Read Luke 5:10. Are James and
John in business with Simon? (Yes. This is not poor
versus rich fishermen. They are all in business

I. If you just read Mark, it seems that Simon, Andrew,
James, and John all immediately followed Jesus –
and that might be their best qualification for the
job. Luke records a different background. Skim
Luke 5:1-3 and read Luke 5:4-5. How familiar is Simon
with Jesus? (He knows Him. He calls Him “Master,”
and agrees to do something that contradicts Simon’s
professional opinion.)

J. Read Luke 5:6-11. What qualifications does Simon
Peter (and presumably the other three) demonstrate
to be Jesus’ disciples? (They now believe based on
personal experience that Jesus is God. He is the

II. Demon Witness

A. Read Mark 1:21-24. Why do you think Mark includes
this demon endorsement of Jesus’ identity? (Demons
are liars, but this sounds like truth. The demon is
afraid of Jesus and the demon admits his future.)

B. Read Mark 1:25. Why does Jesus reject the demonic
endorsement? (Jesus does not want to be associated
with demons. He does not want their help. Plus,
His main concern is for the person who is demon

C. Read Mark 1:26-28. What does this demonstrate is
Jesus’ relationship with demons? (Notice the
reversal. Jesus does not seek a demon endorsement
to elevate His standing. He commands demons and
they obey. Jesus is a man of action and power!)

D. Look again at Mark 1:23. Why was this demon in
church? If he thought Jesus might destroy him or
free his prey, why take the chance?

III. Blessing the Family

A. Read Mark 1:29-31. This was Sabbath. Is it right to
heal and serve on the Sabbath? (Jesus heals and she
serves. There is no adverse comment about this.)

B. Read Mark 1:32-33. Why did the crowd emerge “at
sundown?” (The people thought that either the
journey or the hoped for healing would be improper
during the Sabbath.)

C. Read Mark 1:34. What evidence is Mark giving us
that Jesus is the Messiah? (Healing, power over
demons, and the inference that many (all?) demons
knew who He was.)

IV. The Talkative Leper

A. Read Mark 1:40. Does the leper believe that Jesus
is the Messiah? (He kneels before Jesus and says
his healing is a matter of whether Jesus is willing
and not whether Jesus has the power.)

B. Read Mark 1:41. Does Jesus care about our problems?

C. Read Leviticus 5:3. Why would Jesus touch the
leper? (This text says that touching an unclean
human creates “guilt.” Leviticus 5:5 says this sin
must be confessed. Jesus did not need to touch him
to heal him, the touch shows Jesus’ pity and love.)

D. Read Mark 1:42. Was Jesus sinning by touching the
leper? (When Jesus touched him he was no longer

E. Read Mark 1:43-45. Why would the leper disobey
Jesus when Jesus made clear (“sternly charged”)
that the leper should keep his mouth shut about
this miracle?

F. Read again Mark 1:38 and Mark 1:45. How serious a
problem has the leper created for Jesus?

1. What about the other sick and demon possessed
people who would now continue to be sick and

2. Should Jesus have skipped healing the leper?

a. What does the fact that Jesus healed him
anyway tell us about the nature of God’s
attitude toward our problems?

3. Did the leper think he was doing the right
thing by telling others about Jesus? (I feel
confident that he did. This is a warning about
following what we think is right as opposed to
what God tells us to do.)

4. Is Jesus’ ministry stopped by the leper? (No.
It just made it more difficult for people to
see Jesus.)

G. Friend, what have you learned about Jesus based on
spending a day with Him? I learned that Jesus is
God, and Jesus has great pity and love for us. Is
this someone you, like the fishermen, would like to
follow? Why not decide to become a follower of
Jesus right now?

V. Next week: Controversies.

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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Holy Spirit as you study.