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Session 2: Who is Jesus?

1. Opening up

  • ASK: What stuck out to you from Mark chapters 1-4? Did you have a favorite story?
  • Respond: Feel free to use their answers to jump off into different topics, or take time to answer questions what might come up. Show them how you might answer a question that you don’t know the answer to (look at a Study Bible, email a friend/ pastor, or so on).
  • Pray: it’s great to remind ourselves and our kids that we need God’s help as we study and talk about the Word. Ask for the Spirit to lead you.

Transition: If you were reading or hearing the Gospel of Mark for the very first time, you would be asking one big question…

2. QUESTION: Who is Jesus? ANSWER: He is the King.

  • There are two really important things to notice in the first verse which says, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”:
    1. First, this is the “gospel.” In the Greek language that was the word for “GOOD NEWS!” To help us explain the meaning of that phrase, think of a movie or book where there was a major battle or war.
      • ASK: What comes to mind, when you think about a story with a major battle? (Maybe something from the Chronicles of Narnia, or a Marvel Movie, or a historical story about World War II)
      • ASK: How important was it for each side to win? Was it a small thing?
      • ANSWER: Obviously, in any major battle, winning is massively important to everyone involved or connected to one particular side. If the Narnians lose the battle against the White Witch for instance, it means that all of them will either be enslaved or killed.
        • IMAGINE: In whatever story you’re thinking of, imagine you are on the side of the good guys and your town is waiting to find out the results of the battle. If you win, it’s life and joy and celebration. If you lose, it’s enslavement or death. The whole town is waiting and waiting and waiting. And then, finally, you see the messenger running on the horizon. He’s running towards you. And all of a sudden you can hear what he’s shouting – GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS! And the town rejoices! You’ve won the battle and you’ll have life. That’s the meaning of the gospel word. Mark is not giving us a list of how to be a good person or make ourselves a little bit nicer. He’s come to tell us GOOD NEWS.
    2. Second, he tells us that the good news is about a king. We are used to hearing the name “Jesus Christ” so maybe we think that “Jesus” was his first name and “Christ” his last name. But that isn’t the case. The name “Christ” is a title, that means “Anointed One.” It meant that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah. Many Old Testament passages pointed to the Messiah who would be the King. So right from the very beginning of this biography, Mark tells us that what we’re about to read is the Good News about Jesus the King. That’s a really big deal.

Transition: Kings and rulers tend to have authority. We could say they are “in charge” and have the ability to make things happen. With Jesus we see lots of power and authority…

3. Jesus is the King with AUTHORITY

  • Here’s what’s cool about Mark: he doesn’t just tell you that Jesus is the King, he shows you. Remember that he’s giving us eyewitness accounts of Jesus’s life. The Gospel of Mark is action-packed: it’s one event after the next.
  • Ask: Where do you see signs of Jesus’s authority? Where do you see his power? (brainstorm together)
  • Answer: We see Jesus’s Power and Authority…
    1. In his teaching. Mark 1:22 says: “And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” The people listening to Jesus realized he was very different from their normal teachers and speakers. He taught with incredible wisdom and authority.
    2. Over sickness. Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law from sickness and fever. He heals lepers, those with demons, and a paralytic. He clearly has power over sickness.
    3. Over nature. In Mark 4:35-40, Jesus literally rebukes the wind and the waves and they listen!
    4. Over sin. Finally, in one of the most amazing passages in these early chapters we see that Jesus has authority over sin – he can actually forgive sin.
      • READ together Mark 2:1-12. Jesus was teaching in a house. It was so packed with people that a group of friends decided to bring their disabled friend to Jesus by coming down through the roof. The houses in Jesus’s day usually had a rooftop that you could walk on, and there was obviously a spot where these guys could move some roofing to lower their friend down into the house. Now imagine this: they lower him down so that Jesus would heal them and he says: “your sins are forgiven.”
        • ASK: What do you think the paralytic and Jesus’s friends would have thought at this point?
        • ANSWER: If it were me, I would be thinking, “What about my body Jesus? I came here to be healed, not to have my sins forgiven.” But see, Jesus seems to be making a point. We have a bigger problem than broken bodies. We have a sin problem. Now Jesus goes on to heal his body too, but it’s amazing that the first thing he does is forgive his sins. Jesus obviously thinks that our biggest problem is not the bad stuff that happens to our bodies, but the problem inside of our hearts.
      • SIN: we will talk more about sin later on, but we want to begin thinking about what it is. We usually think of it as doing bad stuff. But sin is more than that. A lot of our sin is taking good things and treating them as more important than God.
        • ASK: Can you think of any examples of that?
        • Here’s the point: When we treat other things as more important than God, we are not treating Jesus as the King. So here are two questions to start asking yourself: what are the things in my life that sometimes seem more important to me than God? And, are their certain areas in my life where I don’t really want to listen to Jesus?
          • Parents, to the extent that you can share your own answers appropriately, show your children why you need the Gospel.

The lesson ends here. The following section is simply a summary of the main point of this session…

4. The BIG Picture GOAL: Jesus is God who took on flesh. He is the KING with all authority.

  • The POINT: If you miss the details of this lesson, don’t miss the big picture of these opening chapters. Mark is telling us that God has come to earth. He’s revealing the good news about Jesus – he is the King with all authority.
  • Application: The application of this point is to start thinking with your children about sin: how we push back against Jesus’s authority, and how we tend to serve counterfeit things instead of the King.

5. For next time…

  • Choose a recurring day and time to do this study.
  • Kids and parents: Read Mark chapters 5-8. If this will be a challenge for your son or daughter, read it together over a few days. Read it, or listen to it using a Bible app, like the ESV Bible app or the YouVersion Bible app.
  • Parents, look over the next lesson… coming soon!
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