Small Group Questions: 03-31-2024

ICE BREAKER

If you had an entire day to do whatever you want…what would you do? In this scenario imagine you could teleport instantly to a new place. Where would you go? What would you do? Where would you want to watch the sun rise? Where would you eat your meals? Have fun designing “the perfect day.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Read Mark 16 together as a group. Feel free to pause and discuss things you notice, were reminded of, have questions about, etc. Once you’ve done this, feel free to re-read sections that are related to the questions below.

1. Mark 16:1-3

-What emotions do you think the women who arrived at the tomb early in the morning were experiencing?

-How might their emotions have shifted as they encountered the unexpected scene at the tomb?

Why do you think the women were concerned about who would roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb?

-What does this detail reveal about their expectations and understanding of the situation?

-Reflecting on the women's actions in bringing spices to anoint Jesus' body, what does their dedication and commitment to Jesus' memory teach us about discipleship and devotion?

2. Mark 16:4-7

-Imagine you are accompanying these women to the tomb. How do you imagine you & they would have felt on the way, upon arrival, when encountering the young man dressed in white inside the tomb, on their way home?

-What might have been going through their minds as they heard his message?

-The angel tells the women, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here" (Mark 16:6). How might this message have challenged the women's expectations and beliefs about Jesus' fate?

-In verse 7, the angel instructs the women to go and tell Jesus' disciples and Peter that He is going ahead of them to Galilee. Why do you think Peter is singled out in this instruction?

-What significance might this have for Peter personally and for the larger community of disciples?

3. Mark 16:8

-Why do you think the women fled from the tomb in fear and amazement, and why did they not say anything to anyone?

-How might their reaction reflect the tension between disbelief and astonishment at the angel's message?

-Reflecting on the women's initial response, what lessons can we draw from their experience about the challenges of processing unexpected and miraculous events?

-How might their journey from fear to faith resonate with our own experiences of encountering the risen Christ in our lives?

-In the ancient world women were regarded as worthless witnesses. Why does Mark’s mention of them here actually affirm the validity of this story rather than call the events into question?

-The women were given the task to “Go & tell…” but didn’t because of fear. Have there been times when you did not tell people about Jesus because you were afraid? Share a couple of examples with the group. Don’t be self-conscious! All Christians have had this experience.

-What tasks has our risen Lord given you in order to take the Gospel into all the world?

4. Mark 16:9-20

-Many scholars, Christian and not, believe that Mark 16:9-20 was not part of the original Gospel of Mark. This belief stems from a number of observed facts. Among these are that the earliest and most reliable manuscripts of Mark's Gospel end at Mark 16:8.

-What does this abrupt ending after verse 8 tell us about how early Christians saw the events of Easter and their significance?

-If Mark intended to end with verse 8 as it is, how is this an appropriate ending to the book?

-How do the potential doubts about the authenticity of Mark 16:9-13 affect your understanding of the resurrection narrative in Mark's Gospel?

-If Mark 16:9-20 is not part of the original text, how would it change your interpretation of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, particularly to Mary Magdalene?

-Considering the absence of these verses in some ancient manuscripts, what implications might this have for our understanding of the transmission and preservation of biblical texts?

PRAYER PROMPT: Take time to thank God for the Gospel of Mark. If there were themes, particularly memorable stories, encouragements, or group interactions that were shared or discussed, give thanks for those as well.

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