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Explain what a study of Mark's Gospel can tell Christians about the nature of discipleship.

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Introduction

Eva Martin 10W October/November 2002 R.S. GCSE Coursework: Discipleship 1) Explain what a study of Mark's Gospel can tell Christians about the nature of discipleship. In Mark's Gospel, there are many accounts of Jesus' disciples and Apostles which are helpful to Christians as examples of the nature of discipleship. In this part of my coursework essay I hope to address questions involving what Mark's Gospel tells us about Jesus' disciples and Apostles, as well as defining the principle of what being a disciple entails, and defining also who the apostles were. This is because by learning about past disciples and the Apostles, a modern disciple of the Church can learn about the nature of discipleship. A disciple is somebody who is inspired enough by somebody to learn about them, listen to their ideas and follow them and their way of life. Disciples take someone as their leader and try to do what they say. It is possible to be a disciple of anybody, but all Christians are disciples of Jesus. An Apostle is a selected disciple. There were only 12, and were chosen by Jesus to be leaders of the other disciples. At the time of Jesus, He had a following of about 300-400 ordinary disciples. ...read more.

Middle

He predicted, for example, that Simon Peter would betray Him (Mark ch. 14, vv. 30 and 31). Another occasion was when all the Apostles fell asleep in Gethsemane when they had being asked to stand guard (Mark ch. 14, vv. 37-42). To conclude, the Gospel of Mark is a rich source of guidance for Christians. By attempting to model their own discipleship on the Apostles', they can draw, not only guidance in learning what is expected of them as disciples, but also comfort in knowing that it is possible for them to achieve this and that they will be forgiven if sometimes cannot succeed. 2) Explain how this teaching about discipleship might affect the life of a Christian today. In this part of my coursework essay I hope to explain how my answer to question one might affect a Christian today by explaining their duties, things which they might give up or must not give up, hardships they might face, rewards they might receive, ways in which a Christian may change his/her own life and the ones of Christian in other countries. I also hope to clarify how the teachings might be taken by different Christians, and how this might make them different from other Christians. ...read more.

Conclusion

Early Christians baptised only adults, which means they did not consider children to be fully Christian. True religion should be a form of personal commitment that should be made out of your own free will. It is better to wait until a child is old enough to have the capability to do so. However, as I said earlier, there are also valid reasons why children could be considered Christians: Children can be welcomed and participate in helping in the Christian community to which the parents belong, and they may enjoy doing so, by helping with charity work or doing small tasks in church that can make they feel special. It is also a great comfort to many small children to pray to God, as they can feel more secure and relieve some of their anxieties. So, although I agree that some good can be drawn by introducing children to Christianity, I feel it is wrong to expect from them the level of commitment that being fully Christian means. This is why I think that baptism and confirmation should be left until the child is old enough to make his/her own decision about religious life, whereas I find no wrong in letting children draw good from finding comfort in praying or enjoy making themselves useful by helping out at church. ...read more.

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