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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

Discipleship Coursework Question 1 A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ and his teachings. There are many passages throughout Mark's Gospel that tell us how to be a god disciple, but they are not just listed, they are taught through accounts, stories and parables. When the disciples were called by Jesus they responded with immediate willingness, for example when Jesus calls the first two disciples who were fishermen, Simon and Andrew: "Jesus said to them come with me, and I will teach you to catch people. At once they left their nets and went with him". (Mark 1:17-18) In Mark 2:14 Jesus tells Levi to "Follow me"; "Levi got up and followed him". When Jesus chose the twelve disciples in 'Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles', all twelve were willing and went ahead to preach the word of Jesus Christ. All Jesus' disciples had to make sacrifices to become disciples, for example they had to leave their family behind in order to follow Jesus. So this means that Christians must be willing to follow Jesus and make substantial sacrifices. Disciples should aim to do as Jesus did. Jesus gave his disciples authority over evil spirits and ordered them to take as little as possible, to leave all behind and go ahead to preach and heal (Mark 6:7-11). ...read more.

Middle

The rich man wanted to know what he must do to receive eternal life, and he was told that the commandments must be upheld. The man said, "ever since I was young, I have obeyed all these commandments". Jesus then said to the man, "Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor and you will have riches in heaven, then come and follow me". This clearly didn't please the very rich man, and "gloom spread over his face, and he went away sad". This is the kind of suffering that Mark is talking about. As well as explaining that suffering must occur to enter the kingdom of God, the parable of the rich man also can tell Christians that we must make sacrifices and give up out luxuries to go to heaven. Mark talks a lot about the "Troubles and Persecutions"(Mark 13:3-13) disciples must endure to follow Jesus. Jesus told his disciples to be "on guard", as his disciples would "be arrested and taken to court, beaten in the synagogues, and have to stand before rulers and kings to tell them the Good News". This is obviously not an easy life. Jesus Christ, son of man, says that "For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it". ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, Bill Gates, the billionaire Microsoft founder, gives one million pounds every year to charity. And other wealthy people will give money to charity but if you think of a homeless person giving the tiny amount they possess to charity, it is just totally different. Who is giving more? Is a million pounds more than a small offering off a poor person? No it's not. The poor person who has next to nothing and who is giving that small amount is giving the most. This modern day scenario can seen in Marks Gospel, it is like "The Widow's Offering", where men give much to the temple treasury, and a poor old widow gives two copper coins. To be a modern day disciple, you need to, as the first disciples did, suffer. There are costs and rewards. The costs are that to be a disciple you must drop everything and give up all luxuries. But the rewards include satisfaction on earth and eternal life in the kingdom of God. In conclusion, we can learn a great deal about what it means to be a disciple in Mark's Gospel. Discipleship can be summed up; to follow, to learn, to preach, to believe and to serve. All factors are crucial to be a true disciple and all of these can be learnt by studying Mark's Gospel. Leo Casimo 10D ...read more.

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