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Mark's Gospel and Discipleship

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Introduction

Religious Studies Coursework: Mark's Gospel and Discipleship A - Explain what a study of Mark's Gospel can tell Christians about the nature of Discipleship. Discipleship is a very prominent issue throughout Mark's Gospel. In the opening chapter of his Gospel, Mark recounts the calling of the first disciples (114-20), and the disciples' mission is explained by Jesus at His Ascension at the very end of the Gospel (1615-18). So discipleship is a key subject of the Gospel, representing its importance as an issue for all Christians. One part of the nature of discipleship examined in Mark's Gospel is the idea of being called to discipleship. Jesus literally calls His first disciples: Simon, Andrew, James and John, saying "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (117). This shows Christians Jesus' great power and authority, to cause the first disciples to leave everything for Jesus. Christians should understand this, and take from it that Jesus calls His disciples into various forms of discipleship. The next idea that a Christian can take from Mark's Gospel is that of mission in discipleship. Jesus sends His disciples out with a very clear mission: to go out in pairs, with nothing but a staff, sandals and only one tunic. ...read more.

Middle

B - Explain how this teaching about discipleship might affect the life of a Christian today. Undoubtedly, the description of the nature of discipleship in Mark's Gospel was meant to be read at the time of the early Church, about two thousand years ago. However, much of the teaching involved is still very relevant to Christians today, though it may affect a Christian in a different way. The first part of the nature of discipleship explored in Mark's Gospel is that of being called to discipleship. This idea can still affect the life of a Christian today, in a variety of ways. A Christian may feel called by God through prayer and thought, which, though they may not offer a direct response from God, they can often lead to dramatic changes in the direction of one's life. Another way some feel called is through experience: for example, if a family has suffered a loss, one may feel called to turn to God and to discipleship. There are more extreme ways of being called, even today, many people believe that they have had visions or dreams of calling for God. However a person is called to discipleship, it is up to them to respond. ...read more.

Conclusion

Christianity is the biggest religion in the world, with over two billion followers; therefore support from other Christians is always available. Also, the belief in eternal life is still prominent in Christianity, so there is the promise of something better after the short-term earthly life - eternal life with God. The weaknesses of the disciples are also examined in Mark's Gospel. As the disciples had weaknesses in the early Church, so Christians today have weaknesses. But this should encourage modern disciples - as the early disciples were forgiven for their errors, so disciples today will be forgiven. In summary, the vast majority of the teaching about discipleship in Mark's Gospel is still very relevant today. Disciples are still called to discipleship, they are still sent out on a mission, they still have to teach and preach, they still have to show humility, there are still promises of rewards and disciples are still forgiven for their human errors. Some of the teaching is interpreted in a slightly different way: for example, many Christians do not believe it necessary to give away all their possessions, but to deal with their possessions responsibly. For Christians, discipleship must still continue, throughout the ages of Christianity, until Jesus comes again in glory. ?? ?? ?? ?? RS Coursework - Mark's Gospel and Discipleship Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

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