Lesson - June 24, 2018

The Parable of the Vinedressers

Mark 12:1-12


1 ¶  Then Jesus began teaching them with stories: “A man planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country.

2  At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop.

3  But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed.

4  The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head.

5  The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed,

6  until there was only one left--his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’

7  “But the tenant farmers said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’

8  So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body out of the vineyard.

9  “What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you--he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.

10  Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.

11  This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.’ ”

12  The religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus because they realized he was telling the story against them--they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away.


1.  What was your reaction to a time when you were cheated?  To whom was Jesus speaking? (12:1)


2.  Why did the man in the parable plant a vineyard? (12:1) What has his intent?  



3. What happened to the man's vineyard while he was away on a journey?  (12:1)



4.  Why did the owner of the vineyard send so many servants to the tenants looking after the vineyard? (12:2-5)



5.  Who was the last person the owner sent to his vineyard?  How did the tenants treat the owner's son? Why? (12:6-8)



6.  What would be the response of the vineyard owner when he discovered how the tenants treated his son? (12:9)




7.  What is the significance in Jesus saying that He will fulfill Psalm 118:22-23? (12:10-11)



8.  How did the religious leaders respond to the parable Jesus told? (12:12)



9.  What is the meaning of this parable? How does God want us to treat His message?


Lesson - June 3, 2018

The Triumphal Entry

Mark 11:1-11 


1 ¶  As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead.

2  “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.

3  If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it and will return it soon.’ ”

4  The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside the front door.

5  As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”

6  They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it.

7  Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it.

8  Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields.

9  Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!

10  Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!”

11  So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples.


1.  Where did the events of this story take place? (11:1)


2.  What did Jesus tell His disciples to do? (11:2) How did the disciples' experience match with what Jesus said? (11:4-7)


3.  What did the people in the village do when the disciples asked to take their colt? (11:6) What did Jesus do with the colt? (11:7)


4.  Why did the people spread cloaks and branches on the road for Jesus? (11:8-10)  What does the reaction of the crowd tell us about how they interpreted Jesus' entry into Jerusalem? (11:9-10)


5.  What do you think the disciples thought about what Jesus asked them to do?  What did Jesus communicate to the crowds by riding a donkey into Jerusalem?


6. How should we imitate the disciples' example of following the Lord’s instructions?


7.  Why do you think God does not always reveal His intentions or long-range plans for us when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances?


8. What should we do when we do not understand what God is trying to accomplish in us and through us?    


Lesson - May 27, 2018

Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight 


Mark 10:46-52


46  Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47  When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  48  “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49  When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!”

50  Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

51  “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”  52  And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.



1.  Where did the events of this story take place? What do you think motivated the blind man to call out for Jesus? (10:46)


2.  What was significant about the way the blind man addressed Jesus? (10:47-48)


3.  Why did the people rebuke the blind man?  How did the blind man respond to the criticism from the crowd? (10:48)


4.  What do the blind man's actions tell you about his character and his attitude toward Jesus? (10:48)


5.  How did the crowds of people treat Bartimaeus after they found out Jesus had called for him? (10:49)


6.  How did Bartimaeus react when Jesus called him? (10:50)  How did Bartimaeus respond to Jesus' question? (10:51)


7.  How did the blind man's actions reveal to Jesus that he had faith? (10:52)



8.  What specifically can you learn from Bartimaeus' example?                    


Lesson - January 21, 2018

Jesus Walks on the Water 

                                                   Mark 6:45-56


45 ¶  Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home.

46  After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.

47  Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land.

48  He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them,

49  but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost.

50  They were all terrified when they saw him.

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!”

51  Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed,

52  for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.

53  After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. They brought the boat to shore

54  and climbed out. The people recognized Jesus at once,

55  and they ran throughout the whole area, carrying sick people on mats to wherever they heard he was.

56  Wherever he went--in villages, cities, or the countryside--they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.


1.  Why did Jesus go into the hills by himself?  What is significant about this? (6:46)



2.  What problem were the disciples having? (6:48)



3.  How did the disciples react when they saw Jesus walk on the water? (6:49)



4.  Why do you think Jesus chose to walk on the water to get to the disciples' boat?



5.  Why were the disciples "totally amazed"? (6:51-52)



6.  What did Jesus do after He and the disciples had crossed over the lake? (6:54-56)



7.  What difference did it make that the crowds welcomed Jesus? (6:56)  



8.  How should you respond when you sense God at work in your life?



9.  Why do you think we are sometimes so surprised by God's goodness to us?


Lesson - January 28, 2018

Clean and Unclean

Mark 7:1-23

1 ¶  One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.

2  They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating.

3  (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions.

4  Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to--such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.)

5  So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”

6  Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

7  Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’

8  For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”

9  Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition.

10  For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’

11  But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’

12  In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents.

13  And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”

14  Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand.

15  It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”


17  Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used.

18  “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you?

19  Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)

20  And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you.

21  For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder,

22  adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.

23  All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”            



1.  What are some favorite American family traditions?  


2.  Who was gathered around Jesus and what did they notice?  Why did this concern the

Pharisees and teachers of the law? (7:2-5)


3.  What did the Pharisees ask Jesus?      What were the Pharisees doing wrong? (7:5-8)


4.  How were the Pharisees being hypocritical in this instance? (7:9)


5.  How did Jesus place tradition in proper perspective? (7:10-19) 


6.  What actually makes a person “unclean”? (7:20-23)


7.  What’s wrong with “holding on to the traditions of men”?


8.  In what ways do you think it is possible to worship the Lord in vain?


9.  What can we do to honor the commands of God above our traditions?