Blog, Walking through Mark

Walking through Mark: Mark 1:12-20

Mark begins with John the Baptist and his ministry, which seems a peculiar way to open a book about Jesus. Then, instead of doing a birth narrative, Jesus simply comes from Nazareth as an adult to be baptized by John the Baptist. Mark is setting the tone for his book as a fast paced narrative, as evidenced by his frequent use of the word immediately. Previously in the narrative, Jesus was baptized as a fulfillment of prophecy and an example for us. In this passage we see him tempted, beginning His ministry, and calling His first disciples.

Notice how short each event’s description is in this story. Mark seemingly wants to include these events, but in short detail so he can spend more of his time on other narratives. In fact, the last five chapters of Mark are dedicated to the final week of Jesus’ life, something no doubt the author felt important to elaborate on. For more information on the stories in this text, you can look at Matthew 3-4, Luke 3-5 and John 1. In this passage, Mark continues to introduce Jesus to his readers and show how He got started in ministry. It’s interesting to note in these events how many of them happen in the wilderness, not just bad things but good things too.

Mark 1:12-20


Where did Jesus immediately go after His baptism?  Why do you think God chose for it to happen at this time in Jesus’ life? 

How long was Jesus in the wilderness? Calculate that same amount of time from today. If you went into the wilderness today and came out 40 days later, what day would you come out? What things would you miss?

What happened to Jesus during his wilderness stay? Who/what was with Him?

When did Jesus come into Galilee? Why do you think it mentions the timing in this way?

Verse 15 is the first recorded words of Jesus in Mark and His first proclamation of the gospel. What is Jesus proclaiming? Put His message in your own words.

What were Simon and Andrew and later James and John doing when Jesus passed by? What was their profession?

What did Jesus say to Simon and Andrew? Why do you think he said it that way?

What did all these disciples do when Jesus spoke to them? How fast did they do it? What does this reveal about their belief about Jesus and about their own hearts?


How aware are you of the temptations you struggle with? How can you increase your dependence on God to get you through those temptations without sinning? (v 12-13)

Jesus’ first recorded words in Mark included the gospel and how to be saved. Can you share the gospel succinctly? If not, practice today how you could share the basics of the gospel in 3 minutes or less.

These disciples left everything immediately to follow Jesus. Do you have that same attitude? What things is Jesus asking you to give up to follow Him? What idols in your life have become more important that the God who saves you?


Ask for a new perspective of thankfulness concerning times that seem hard- like the wilderness

Petition for fresh ears to hear where the Spirit is leading you and the courage to follow Him (v 12)

Ask God for help as you face temptation- that He would lead you away from it and give you the strength to overcome it (v13)

Pray that God would give you wisdom in how to share the gospel clearly (v 15)

Entreat the Lord for a responsive heart that is quick to obey (v 18)

Ask God to reveal idols in your heart that keep you from obeying (v 18)

Petition for a fresh perspective so that stopping to follow Jesus in the middle of something isn’t a nuisance but a time to be obedient and bring glory to God (v 16-20)

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