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What can a study of St Mark's Gospel tell Christians about the nature of discipleship.

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Introduction

What can a study of St Mark's Gospel tell Christians about the nature of discipleship. A disciple is someone who believes in and helps to spread the teachings of one another. St Mark's Gospel helps us understand the nature of discipleship through various stories concerning the disciples. In Mark's Gospel, the disciples are called apostles whenever they are sent out by Jesus on a mission of teaching and healing. The disciples are told to travel light on their mission, Jesus said, "Take nothing for your journey except a staff- no bread, no bag, no money in your belts." Jesus does not want his disciples to be burdened down by material possessions. Real Christian discipleship requires total commitment. It is about sacrificing everything for the service of God. It is not important about the quantity you give but the quality, and leave yourself totally dependant on God for survival. In the calling of the first four disciples Jesus calls them individually, this shows how great his power and charisma drew them to him. Jesus said, "Come follow me". ...read more.

Middle

He saw their true qualities. He could take their weaknesses and turn them into strengths. The Poor Widow is a good example of true discipleship as she put everything she had into the offertory. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out all of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything- all she had to live on." Discipleship means we must be willing and committed to give up everything for God and rely on him for survival, just like the poor widow. Marks tell us that the Rich Young Man lacked this commitment. Jesus asked him, "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." But he could not sacrifice his wealth and power for God. True discipleship means a willingness to give up everything. Mark does not hide the disciple's weaknesses. He wanted to show they were normal men who at times failed in understanding, faith and courage. ...read more.

Conclusion

True discipleship involves having the courage and strength to continue, even if you have failed. Faith and prayer is what helped the disciples survive without that they would have never become disciples. Discipleship involves commitment, sacrifice, rejection and even death. However there are rewards like eternal life. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth no one who has left brothers and sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in the present age and in the age to come, eternal life." In the final chapter of Mark's Gospel Jesus gives his last instructions, the commission to the disciples. These instructions are the same for anyone who wants to become a Christian in future generations. Jesus said, "Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Jesus forgave the disciples for not believing him that he had raised from the dead. He sent them out to preach, teach, to heal and encourage Christians to join the church. The Commission is for all nations. It involves sacrifice, commitment and possibly death. Yet true disciples imitate the life of Christ. Kirsty Mc Kenna S1F ...read more.

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