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What can a study of St Mark's Gospel tell Christians about what it means to be a disciple?

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Introduction

AO1: What can a study of St Mark's Gospel tell Christians about what it means to be a disciple? Mark's Gospel gives us a unique insight into what it means to be a disciple and the hardships which one must endure in order to be a true disciple of Christ. The oxford English dictionary describes discipleship as " Throughout Mark's Gospel Jesus calls a number of people to take up the task of discipleship. To begin with he commands four humble fishermen Simon and his brother Andrew along with James and John the Sons of Zebedee. As soon as Jesus spoke to them they immediately responded to him and left all they had known behind. They did not question who Jesus was or why he wanted them to come with him rather they willingly accepted his command with great zeal. The actions of these four men demonstrates the real spirit of discipleship and therefore as discples we to should give up what stands in our way of being true followers Another man who gave up everything for Jesus is Levi otherwise known as Matthew. ...read more.

Middle

This shows us that as disciples we should immediately leave what is burdening us and follow the good example Jesus has shown us. Through Marks gospel we are able to understand the real reasons why Jesus recruited the 12 disicples. He called them to do three things. One was to be companions to Jesus on his mission, second was to preach what he had taught them and third was to cast out demons. He passed his authority on to them so they could be examples to the world. In essence a disciple is someone who gives up their earthly possessions and looks to something much greater than just material worth. This was a task that Jesus had asked his disciples to do. We learn this lesson through the story of the rich man. A man who had lived by the Ten Commandments his whole life but could not part from the riches of this world therefore could not receive the riches of the next. ...read more.

Conclusion

As disciples we must face the suffering, rejection as well as death. A disciple must be willing to put up with hardship and suffer for the good of the gospel. Another theme which is quite evident in relation to disciples is that of failure. We see Peter denying he even knows Jesus not once but three times. Also in their final hours with Jesus the disciples fail him by not staying awake and giving into the temptation of sleep. Worst of all they abandon him in fear of their own lives when he probably needed them most before he dies. Mark ends the gospel in a state of despair. The discipleship has failed. Some believe he done this to show how hard and costly being a disciple can be. That being a disciples does not just mean following but believing in Jesus. That there will be failure if we are not prepared to sacrifice even if the path we must follow as a disciple is not an easy one. "So they went out and ran from the tomb, distressed and terrified. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid". ...read more.

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