Mark 6:1-29 Study Guide

This weekend, we continued our study through the Gospel of Mark as Pastor Doug Sauder taught from Mark 6:1–29. In this message, we saw how Jesus was and still is misunderstood, how He teaches us to deal with being misunderstood because of our faith, and how we can trust and depend on Him regardless of our circumstances.

In this week’s group study, Calvary Young Adults Director Drew Eales and Calvary Women Director Annie Harley invite us into a deeper conversation on Mark 6:1–29, specifically on verses 6b–13, when Jesus sent His disciples out to preach the gospel.

 

THIS WEEK’S GROUP RESOURCE

Below, you’ll find some key questions to reflect on and consider in your group, with your family, or in your circle of friends, some action points for the week, and a look ahead. 

Ice Breaker: What are some things you depend on to get you through the day and why? What happens if you forget one of those things or get out of your morning routine?

Getting the Conversation Going: We depend on a lot of things in our society today—our phones, the internet, electricity, cars, air conditioning, our favorite coffee shop, the gym. We depend on social media to keep us in the know regarding the world and even on our loved ones. And then we wonder to ourselves, How did people even live before _________? How did people survive before the internet? How did people get to places before cars? How did people even talk to each other before smart phones? These are all things either we, or perhaps younger generations who were born in the era of some of these modern innovations, have pondered. And the same is true throughout history, as the Romans may have wondered how people traveled safely before the Roman system of roads, or the Europeans may have wondered how people made books before the printing press. The point is we advance through some innovation and then regress in our ability to function properly without it.

In Mark 6:6b–13, we see Jesus send out the disciples in pairs of two to different villages to preach the gospel and drive out demons. In fact, it says He “gave them authority over impure spirits” (Mark 6:7 NIV). The word for authority in the Greek is exousian, which refers to the delegated power God gives to His followers, authorizing them to act in accordance with His purposes and plans, to carry out His work as they are guided by faith. And here’s the most interesting aspect of this passage . . .

“These were his instructions: ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.’”—Mark 6:8–10 (NIV)

Discussion Question 1: The disciples were basically instructed to bring nothing but a staff and receive hospitality from strangers. Why did Jesus give such specific instructions? What was the purpose and why is it important?

Dependence on One Another: Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs to minister. He likely had several reasons for this: 1) It’s safer to not travel alone, 2) the law required two or more witnesses to verify a matter (Deuteronomy 19:15), 3) they could keep each other accountable, on mission, and fight off discouragement, and 4) to help each other, lean on one another, and learn from each other. Ministry should never be done alone. Truthfully, it can’t be successfully done alone. Paul had colleagues and apprentices as well as friends and ministry partners everywhere he went. So did Peter, James, John, and the other apostles. Walking in the authority, power, purpose, and work God has called us to is a true privilege and great honor, but it is not always easy. It’s a heavy responsibility and can come with a great deal of hostility, rejection, ridicule, and persecution.

Discussion Question 2: Why do you think Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs? What does this teach us?

Dependence on God: As He sent them out, He gave them authority over unclean spirits and instructed them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, money, extra clothes, bags, etc. Without money, they wouldn’t be able to buy themselves anything. Jesus knows that having more things often equals more distractions, which can both literally and figuratively slow us down and take our focus away from the mission and purpose He has for us. More things can also hinder our desire to trust and depend on the Lord to provide, and can even act as a source of pride! Dependence can come down to pride in our lives. There is a deep fragility in this way of living, because when things don’t go our way, we tend to fall apart.

Consider that Jesus didn’t travel with much but was always provided for, and the disciples here would also be provided with whatever they needed for the moment. Not only that, they were empowered to drive out impure spirits and heal people. So, even though they were sent out with almost nothing, they had everything they needed.

We’re all commanded to share the gospel and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Romans 8:11 teaches us that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells inside those of us who are believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Just like the disciples were empowered by Jesus as they grew in their walk with Him, so are we! Our faithful Savior gives us everything we need as we trust in Him. We simply need to trust and take the steps of faith He is calling us to!

“They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”—Mark 6:12–13 (NIV)

Discussion Question 3: What things have replaced my dependence on God?

Discussion Question 4: In what ways can you depend less on the things of this world—the material, the technological—and become more dependent upon Him?

Discussion Question 5: In this passage, Jesus sent the disciples out to different villages to accomplish the work He had for them, and they did great things in His name. Where is He calling you? Where has the Lord placed you right now? How are you walking in that calling and depending on Him today?

This Week: Make a list of only 10 essential things you use for daily living. Then make a list of things that aren’t essential that you find yourself depending heavily on for other reasons (entertainment, escape, boredom, etc.). Consider steps you can take to limit these things in order to spend more time enjoying Him and growing in your relationship with Him!

Pray It Out: This week, pray as a group and thank the Lord for empowering and providing for your every need. Ask for a spirit of greater contentment with His provision and for the Spirit to help you steward what He has given you. Also, write down the requests of your group members, spend time praying over these requests, and keep praying individually over them throughout the week.


“THE GOSPEL OF MARK” RESOURCE PAGE

Looking for more info on the Gospel of Mark? Check out this page with all sorts of resources, a weekly breakdown, message takeaways and group studies, devotionals, articles, and much more!

Mark Resource Page


A LOOK AHEAD

This weekend, we’ll continue our study through the Gospel of Mark as Pastor Stephan Tchividjian shares from Mark 6:30–53. In this message, we’ll study the stories of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and Him walking on water!


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About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.