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Life Lessons from Mark: A Life-Changing Story

Life Lessons from Mark: A Life-Changing Story

by Max Lucado
Life Lessons from Mark: A Life-Changing Story

Life Lessons from Mark: A Life-Changing Story

by Max Lucado

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Overview

In the eighth chapter of Mark, Jesus looks at his disciples and asks them a very direct question: Who do you say that I am? You've probably been asked some important questions in your life. But the grandest of them is an anthill compared to the Everest of this question of Jesus'. He's asking us the same question today.

Join beloved author Max Lucado as he opens Mark's Gospel and helps you discover how to respond to God's Living Word and step out in faith. As you read, study, journal, and discuss the book of Mark, watch for these key themes that Max will unpack throughout the book:

  • Jesus was a savior and yet a servant.
  • Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for humanity's broken relationship with God.
  • Jesus performed miracles through the power of God.
  • Jesus taught about the kingdom of God.

The Life Lessons with Max Lucado series brings the Bible to life in twelve lessons filled with intriguing questions, inspirational stories, and poignant reflections to take you deeper into God's Word. Each lesson includes:

  • An opening reflection on the Bible book you're studying.
  • Background information to deepen your understanding of the cultural and historical setting.
  • An excerpt of the text (from the NIV and the NKJV).
  • Exploration questions with plenty of room to write your own thoughts and notes.
  • Inspirational thoughts from Max as well as a closing takeaway for further reflection.

The Life Lessons series is ideal for use in both a small-group setting or for individual study.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310086321
Publisher: HarperChristian Resources
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Series: Life Lessons
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 376,752
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Since entering the ministry in 1978, Max Lucado has served churches in Miami, Florida; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and San Antonio, Texas. He currently serves as Teaching Minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. He is the recipient of the 2021 ECPA Pinnacle Award for his outstanding contribution to the publishing industry and society at large. He is America’s bestselling inspirational author with more than 145 million products in print.

Visit his website at Max Lucado.com

Facebook.com/Max Lucado

Instagram.com/Max Lucado

Twitter.com/Max Lucado

Youtube.com/Max Lucado Official

The Max Lucado Encouraging Word Podcast

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

COMPASSION

Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him.

Mark 1:41 NKJV

REFLECTION

Compassion describes one of those longings we find easier to feel than to describe. We can see that compassion relates to sympathy and empathy, but it seems deeper. Showing compassion is not so much about how someone feels toward us but is more about how he or she acts toward us. Think of a time when you were hurting or in need. How did someone show you compassion?

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SITUATION

As Jesus preached about the kingdom and healed many diseases, his ministry expanded rapidly. Crowds were growing; demands were great. Once in a while, a quick event unfolded that left a lasting impression, such as when a leper came to Jesus. When this leper approached Jesus, he was breaking all the rules. Lepers were "unclean" and weren't supposed to come near anyone. But Jesus looked beyond that fact.

OBSERVATION

Read Mark 1:40–45 from the New International Version or the New King James Version.

New International Version

40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."

41 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 "See that you don't tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them." 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

New King James Version

40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, "If You are willing, You can make me clean" 41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed" 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.

43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

45 However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.

EXPLORATION

1. What does the leper's statement reveal about his belief in Jesus?

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2. Jesus could have healed the leper simply by speaking to him. Why do you think Jesus instead reached out and touched him?

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3. Lepers were the outcasts of society and were forced to live outside the city limits. Why did this leper approach Jesus?

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4. What did Jesus instruct the man to do after he was healed? Why do you think Jesus commanded him to do this?

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5. Why didn't the leper obey Jesus' request to keep quiet?

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6. What do you think the leper might have felt after Jesus touched him and healed him?

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INSPIRATION

Jesus was a master at communicating love and personal acceptance. He did so when he blessed and held ... little children. But another time his sensitivity to touch someone was even more graphic. This was when Jesus met a grown man's need for meaningful touch, a man who was barred by law from ever touching anyone again. ...

To touch a leper was unthinkable. Banishing lepers from society, people would not get within a stone's throw of them. (In fact, they would throw stones at them if they did come close!) ... With their open sores and dirty bandages, lepers were the last persons anyone would want to touch. Yet the first thing Christ did for this man was touch him.

Even before Jesus spoke to him, he reached out his hand and touched him. Can you imagine what that scene must have looked like? Think how this man must have longed for someone to touch him, not throw stones at him to drive him away. Jesus could have healed him first and then touched him. But recognizing his deepest need, Jesus stretched out his hand even before he spoke words of physical and spiritual healing. (From The Gift of the Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent.)

REACTION

7. Think of a time you witnessed an act of compassion. How would you describe what you saw?

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8. Have you ever withheld compassion from someone in need? If so, what was the reason?

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9. Who could be considered the "lepers" in today's society?

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10. What would have to change in order for you to better follow Jesus' example and show compassion even to those you find unattractive?

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11. What specific person in your life comes to mind to whom you can show compassion?

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12. In what ways do you need Jesus' compassionate touch?

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LIFE LESSONS

Compassion is one aspect of love. Compassion may grow from feelings, but true compassion represents a practical attention to someone's needs. It doesn't require us to feel; it requires us to act. Sympathy says, "I feel bad that you're hungry." Empathy says, "I know something about how you feel; I was hungry once myself." But compassion says, "Friend, let's go get something to eat." Sympathy and empathy don't require us to do anything, but compassion will cause us to touch, lift, feed, and help those in need as Jesus did for the leper.

DEVOTION

Jesus, you set the bar of compassion high, but you promised to help us meet it. Teach us to practice a different way of seeing people. We look to evaluate, and we look to criticize. We look to feel sorry, and we even look to feel superior to others. But help us instead to look for opportunities to practice compassion. Energize us to move beyond our feelings into the territory of treating people the way you treated them.

JOURNALING

What are some practical ways that you can reach out in compassion to those around you?

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FOR FURTHER READING

To complete the Gospel of Mark during this twelve-part study, read Mark 1:1–45. For more Bible passages about Jesus' compassion, read Matthew 8:15; 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; Mark 10:13–16; Luke 7:13; 22:51; and John 11:35.

CHAPTER 2

HEALING AND FORGIVENESS

"Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins."

Mark 2:9–10

REFLECTION

Most of us know someone who has been healed physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Perhaps that someone is the person we see in the mirror. What were the circumstances surrounding that person's healing? What was more amazing to you: the fact of the healing or the way it came about? Why?

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SITUATION

As we saw in the last lesson, Jesus could hardly turn around without meeting people with needs. The audience pressed in and sometimes crowded out those with very real needs. The following event illustrates how far some friends were willing to go to get help for someone they loved. It also demonstrates that Jesus sees past the obvious needs to the deeper ones.

OBSERVATION

Read Mark 2:1–12 from the New International Version or the New King James Version.

New International Version

1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So he said to the man, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

New King James Version

1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."

6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" — He said to the paralytic, 11 "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house." 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

EXPLORATION

1. What risks did the men who carried the paralyzed man take in bringing him to Jesus?

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2. In what ways did their act demonstrate their faith in Jesus?

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3. Why were the scribes upset when Jesus forgave the paralyzed man's sins?

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4. Why did Jesus forgive the paralyzed man's sins first before healing his body?

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5. How did the people respond to the miracle? How is their response different from the way people respond to God's work today?

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6. In the light of this passage, what does it mean to be healed spiritually?

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INSPIRATION

Whether [the man] was born paralyzed or became paralyzed — the end result was the same: total dependence on others. ... When people looked at him, they didn't see the man; they saw a body in need of a miracle. That's not what Jesus saw, but that's what the people saw. And that's certainly what his friends saw. So they did what any of us would do for a friend. They tried to get him some help. ...

By the time his friends arrived at the place, the house was full. People jammed the doorways. Kids sat in the windows. Others peeked over shoulders. How would this small band of friends ever attract Jesus' attention? They had to make a choice. Do we go in or give up?

What would have happened had the friends given up? What if they had shrugged their shoulders and mumbled something about the crowd being big and dinner getting cold and turned and left? After all, they had done a good deed in coming this far. Who could fault them for turning back? You can only do so much for somebody. But these friends hadn't done enough.

One said that he had an idea. The four huddled over the paralytic and listened to the plan to climb to the top of the house, cut through the roof, and lower their friend down with their sashes.

It was risky — they could fall. It was dangerous — he could fall. It was unorthodox — de-roofing is antisocial. It was intrusive — Jesus was busy. But it was their only chance to see Jesus. So they climbed to the roof.

Faith does these things. Faith does the unexpected. And faith gets God's attention ...

Jesus was moved by the scene of faith. So he applauds — if not with his hands, at least with his heart. And not only does he applaud, he blesses. And we witness a divine love burst.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Life Lessons from Mark"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Max Lucado.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

How to Study the Bible v

Introduction to the Gospel of Mark ix

Lesson 1 Compassion (Mark 1:40-45) 1

Lesson 2 Healing and Forgiveness (Mark 2:1-12) 9

Lesson 3 Responding to God's Word (Mark 4:1-20) 17

Lesson 4 Faith Through Trials (Mark 4:35-41) 27

Lesson 5 Step Out in Faith (Mark 5:21-42) 35

Lesson 6 Testing Faith (Mark 6:45-51) 45

Lesson 7 God's Truth Versus Tradition (Mark 7:1-23) 53

Lesson 8 True Discipleship (Mark 8:34-38) 63

Lesson 9 Faith to Overcome (Mark 9:14-29) 71

Lesson 10 Salvation Through Faith (Mark 10:17-31) 81

Lesson 11 The Greatest Commandment (Mark 12:28-34) 91

Lesson 12 Adoration (Mark 14:3-9) 99

Leader's Guide for Small Groups 107

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