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

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Introduction

Charlotte Ribbons 11SCA Discipleship Coursework: Question 1 Explain what a study of St. Mark's Gospel can tell Christians about the nature of Discipleship. Throughout Mark's Gospel we hear of Jesus' disciples, and the qualities they possess. There are certain demands made upon them, which they have to, fulfill. A disciple has to have faith and trust in God as well as commitment, dedication and courage. Friendship also plays an important part in being a disciple. The 12 disciples and Jesus all have a special bond of friendship. Many demands are made upon a disciple, we hear in the story of 'the call of the four disciples' that a disciple needs to have dedication and trust in God. Jesus asks the four disciples which he unusually selected himself to leave all their belongings and follow him. They showed trust in God by believing in him and followed Jesus with no questions asked. ...read more.

Middle

In the story of 'The cost of discipleship' Jesus say 'If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross and follow me.' The disciples did all these things. They 'forgot self'; by putting others first and forgetting their own self importance and self esteem. They 'took up the cross'; they were prepared to follow Jesus until death and take on all the responsibilities. They 'followed him'; they gave up a life with their family and home to follow Jesus on his mission to preach the word of God. These three demands made upon the disciples show enormous commitment, faith and courage. The life of a disciple was hard and tough with many pressures faced. They lived a life like this for one reason, God. Jesus told them of their reward; '...will not receive in this age a hundred times as much - houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children and land - and persecutions beside; and in the age to come eternal life' This shows us that the disciples reward come at a cost - persecution. ...read more.

Conclusion

The disciples are not always perfect as we see in 'Peters promise and denial' (14:26-31; 66-72). The disciples have shown their faith in God by following him and trusting him one hundred percent. Until now Peter had done the same but now he fails and denies the word of God. Jesus forgives Peter for his mistake, which is what he would expect from all his disciples. This also connects with the theme friendship it is harder to forgive your friend then your enemy. 'The commission' (16: 14-18) during this story we see the disciples being scolded for not having faith and trust in God. The disciples are demanded to have faith in God, as it is this faith which leads to other qualities such as dedication, courage and trust. Throughout Mark's Gospel we hear of many stories of the twelve disciples. We see their faith, courage, dedication, commitment and trust put into action. Without these qualities they would not have been able to follow Jesus in his journey of suffering to seek the reward with God. 1 1 ...read more.

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