2nd week-What is the Gospel?

23 Mar

Open with prayer, as individual or in your small group

Tim Keller: “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

Our goal in this 4-week lunch study is to make fresh our view of what the gospel is

The gospel is the story of…           how Jesus lived out his life on earth for us

how Jesus died for us

how Jesus rose again (bodily resurrection)


Exercise: Things in common and things that are different!


Notes & remarks

  • Mark originally wrote his gospel for a specific audience, the Jews
  • Christianity & Judaism – lots in common:
  • The same (one) God who is holy, righteous, just & loving and who created the world
  • The same promises in the Bible about God’s plan for humankind after the fall
  • The same view of the Old Testament as God’s revealed word
  • The same desire to have a relationship with God and worship Him
  • The same awareness of sin in humankind and righteous judgement by God
  • The same belief in the need for a Messiah to rescue God’s people and restore God’s kingdom
    • Christianity & Judaism – lots different:
  • Belief in Jesus vs Right conduct, focussing on the Mosaic Covenant (Torah & Talmud)
  • Individual salvation from sin through repentance and receiving Jesus as Saviour vs individual and collective participation in an eternal dialogue with God through rituals, prayers and ethical actions (2 Chronicles 7:14)
  • Triune God; of whom one person (Jesus) became human vs the Oneness of God and a rejection of the concept of God in human form
  • Jesus as Messiah vs a belief that the Messiah will be a human, non-divine person who will restore the physical kingdom of Israel, rebuild the Jerusalem temple and bring earthly peace
  • Resurrection (Bodily? Life after death? Life after life after death? One of a few options?)
    • Mark’s intention was to show that Jesus was the promised Messiah; the Son of God. Emphasis on miracles of Jesus; use of a keyword in his gospel, “Immediately”; records the main events of the life & teachings of Jesus as evidence
    • For Mark, the OT pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. This was, for him, the gospel.

Look at the following pairs of biblical texts, which give the OT references for quotes used by Mark in his gospel.     Read each pair in turn and discuss how Mark seeks to address his specific audience. How does he find common ground? How does he attempt to give answers to differently help opinions/viewpoints? Does Mark change any of the references, and, if so, why?

MARK 1:2-3                        –              MALACHI 3:1 & ISAIAH 40:3

MARK 10:34                       –              ISAIAH 50:6 & HOSEA 6:2

MARK 12:10-11                 –              PSALM 118:22-23

MARK 12:29-31                 –              DEUTERONOMY 6:4-5 & LEVITICUS 19:18

MARK 14:62                       –              DANIEL 7:13 & PSALM 110:1

MARK 15:34                       –              PSALM 22:1

Your notes


Have you changed/refined your definition of ‘gospel’ over the last week?

Close in prayer

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