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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

EXPLAIN WHAT A STUDY OF ST. MARK'S GOSPEL CAN TELL CHRISTIANS ABOUT THE NATURE OF DISCIPLESHIP. Before beginning to answer this question, two things will need further clarification, i.e. what is meant by nature? And what is a disciple? Nature is defined as personality or disposition of something and the word 'disciple´┐Ż is used to describe the very first followers of Jesus, those people who left everything they had, to follow Jesus and to learn from him. The term 'disciple´┐Ż, although it means one who learns, also applies to anyone who calls them self a Christiandisciple is a follower of a cause. So in the course of this essay I will examine different passages from Mark's Gospel and evaluate what we can learn about being a follower of Christ and what discipleship qualities as disciples we need. The first passage I have chosen to examine is 'Jesus calls four fishermen' (1: 16-20) In this passage Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee where he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. He called them saying, "Come with me and I will teach you to catch people." ...read more.

Middle

This shows that the disciples had to be willing to accept new people and new ideas and that they had the willingness to change themselves to be non-prejudice and more like Jesus. The next extract, I have chosen is 'The Rich Young Man' (10: 17-31). In this extract Jesus was approached by a rich young man who asked him what he must do to receive eternal life. Jesus told him to follow the Ten Commandments and when it became evident that he did, Jesus told him to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor and follow him. The young man left disheartened as he was very rich. This shows that not everybody could be disciples and highlights the qualities of selflessness and willing ness to follow Jesus and awareness that money and riches could separate them from God. The disciples were able to give up everything unlike the young man and we should learn that this is a part of the nature of being a disciple. In the following section, I will examine what is known as 'The Cost of Discipleship' (8: 34-38). ...read more.

Conclusion

Just as he denied Jesus for the third time, a cock crew and Peter remember Jesus' prediction and he ran off and wept. Peter, understandably enough, has shown fear and a lack of courage. He has been disloyal and showed a lack of true friendship. This was a very hard time for Peter and he has failed but he remained the chief disciple. This shows that to follow Jesus you need not be perfect and though you may fail from time to time Jesus understands and forgives. Disciples don't have to be infallible. After analysis of the passage above I have come to the following conclusions about the nature of discipleship: disciples either today or in the time of Jesus need many qualities; most of all courage, commitment, faith, trust, willingness to leave everything, selflessness, and conviction to name but a few, however as Peter shows us sometimes we fail but this is alright, none of us are perfect and God doesn't expect us to be, so even if we do fall short, we can still be welcomed as a follower of Christ. (949 words) Andrew Lavery S1F 1 10/05/2007 ...read more.

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