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Explaining the nature of discipleship in Mark’s Gospel

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Introduction

In this piece of my coursework I will be explaining the nature of discipleship in Mark's Gospel. I will first look at how Jesus called the disciples and what this tells us about the choices of Jesus and the qualities that were needed to become one of Jesus' disciples. I will also look at how the disciples responded to Jesus' calling to them and what challenges they were to face being a disciple of Jesus. The choices that Jesus made were rather odd, they were not wealthy men or influential in the Jewish society. Jesus began the search for his disciples by calling four fishermen with a promise "Come with me, and I will teach you to catch men". Peter, Andrew, James and John all had the same response; they left everything they had without questioning Jesus. They left all the luxuries they had such as: their wives and families, money, homes, jobs and everything else they owned. These men were used to living a good way of life, but had little influence in Jewish society. Next he called Levi (Matthew), the tax collector, who left all the riches he had from his job and the ones he stole from the people of the town. He went with Jesus without questioning him as did Peter, Andrew, James and John. Jesus chose twelve whom he named apostles, he was on the top of a hill from were he called the twelve men that he had chosen to be his apostles. ...read more.

Middle

Jesus stopped and said, "Call him". So they called him and Jesus asked him what he wanted. The man said "I want to see". Jesus then said "Go. Your faith has healed you." (Mark 10:46-52) The twelve men who were chosen by Jesus were to have a life with many challenges to overcome from God. The first challenge they were encountered with was to give everything up, to trust Jesus when he told them he was the Son of God, to follow him to spread the good news of the lord and to be prepared to face persecution for what they believe in. The disciples grow into a fuller understanding of who Jesus is, but it is not surprising that through their challenges they frequently misunderstand what it means to be a follower of this new Messiah. Some of them would have found it much easier to follow the popular belief of a warrior Messiah who would overthrow the Romans. James and John are a good example of the misunderstanding of the disciples. James and John asked Jesus if they might have seats on his right and left hand side in the kingdom. They misunderstood Jesus, he always told that a disciple must have the attitude of a servant. These two still had the popular idea of the Messiah as a conquering King, and saw themselves as victorious warriors of the Messiah. Jesus told them "If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; and if one of you wants to be first, he must be slave of all. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is important to understand that being a Christian does not mean to accepting a life of misery and constant suffering. Quite the opposite is true, as can be seen in the words of Jesus in the parable of The Rich Young Man (Mark 10:17-31) Peter asked Jesus how he and the other disciples would be rewarded for following him. Jesus teaches that those who whole-heartedly decide to follow a Christian way of life will be rewarded many times over. Christians feel that, by following the example of Jesus, their lives are enriched. A close relationship with God, and the community, are among the rewards of discipleship. But the greatest reward of all for Christians is Jesus' promise of eternal life. The first Christians supported each other like brothers and sisters. When they became Christians it was as though they had gained a new family. There were great joys and great sorrows attached to being a Christian. Their treasure was in heaven, and they could look forward to everlasting life, even if the Romans could destroy them in large numbers on earth. True discipleship is not something that can be done in a half-hearted way. To Christians, this means giving up everything in the service of God and of others. This is clearly explained in the story of the widow at the treasury. Jesus praises the widow because she gave more than everyone else to God. Her offering was very small, but it was all that she had. The rich gave offerings that were money they probably had to spare. Words in total: 2,606 ?? ?? ?? ?? Alba Maria Pintos Suarez Tuesday 9th April 2002 10W Religious Education Coursework ...read more.

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