The Gospel of Mark

An EasyEnglish Semantically Analysed Text (Level B) on Mark’s Gospel

(A semantically analysed text makes implicit information explicit.)

Leslie Pride

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

Words in italics are not in the Greek text. We believe that they are implicit.


 (This translation is for someone who translates the Bible into his own language. People may be able to use this to make translations into their national languages. And then, you can use such translations to translate into your own language.

This translation is clear and it explains itself fully. We have added some words to make the meaning clear. We write these words in italic writing. Italic writing is sloping writing. It is writing where the letters slope. You may not need to translate all the words that are in italics. But some people may not know much about the Bible. Or there may not yet be Christian churches in their area. Then the italic words could help such people understand the full meaning of a sentence. In any particular language, you may need to use the right words to connect sentences.)

MARK 1:1-8

The good *Message about Jesus begins when John the *Baptiser tells people to turn away from their *sins

v1-2 I want to tell you the good *Message about Jesus *Christ. He was the man who was also God. Many years before, the *prophet Isaiah had said that *Christ would come. Isaiah wrote down what God said to his *Son. And this is where the good *Message begins. God said: ‘Listen. I am sending someone ahead of you. He will get people ready for you to come. He will be like someone who is preparing the road ahead for an important official. v3 This person whom I send will be in the desert. He will call out to the people who go by. He will say to them: “Get ready for the *Lord to come. You must prepare the road ahead for a very important person. You must make the paths straight where he will walk. So, make yourselves ready for the *Lord to come.” ’

v4 The person whom Isaiah said would come was John. People called him John the *Baptiser. John went to live in a desert area. He was telling people that God would forgive their *sins. But first they needed to turn away from their *sin. Then John would *baptise them.

v5 A large number of people were going out to the place where John was. These people lived in Jerusalem city and elsewhere in Judea district. They were listening to John’s words. And they were confessing the wrong things that they had done. Then John was *baptising them in the River Jordan.

v6 John wore rough clothes that he made from camel’s hair. John also wore a leather belt, and he ate only *locusts and wild honey. v7 This is what he was telling the people: ‘Very soon a man will come who is very great; I am nobody compared to him. I do not even deserve to be his slave. v8 You said that you wanted to change your lives. So I *baptised you. And I only used water to *baptise you. But the person who is coming will put his *Holy Spirit deep inside you. The *Holy Spirit will really change your lives.’

MARK 1:9-13

The *Holy Spirit comes down on Jesus’ head, and *Satan tests Jesus

v9 At that time when John was talking to the people, Jesus came from Nazareth town. Nazareth is in Galilee district. Jesus went to the place where John was. Then John *baptised him in the River Jordan. v10 As soon as Jesus came out of the water, he saw the *Holy Spirit. God had opened up the sky. And Jesus saw God’s *Spirit who was coming down on his head. God’s *Spirit came down as a *dove descends. v11 Then God spoke to Jesus from *heaven. This is what he said: ‘ I love you very much, my *Son. I am very pleased with you.’ v12 Immediately, God’s *Spirit sent Jesus into the desert. v13 He was in the desert for 40 days. During that time, *Satan tested him. There were wild animals there also. But *angels looked after him.

MARK 1:14-15

Jesus begins to tell people about God’s good *Message

v14 John had been angry with King *Herod Antipas because of the wrong things that he had done. So *Herod sent some soldiers to put John into prison. After that, Jesus went to Galilee district. He was telling people the good *Message that came from God. v15 ‘Now is the time when God will begin to rule people’s lives in a new way’, Jesus said. ‘So turn away from the wrong things that you do! And believe God’s good *Message!’

MARK 1:16-20

Jesus calls four men to travel with him

v16 One day, when Jesus was walking by Lake Galilee, he saw two men, Simon and Simon’s younger brother, Andrew. These men caught and sold fish to earn their money. They were throwing their fishing nets into the lake. v17 Then Jesus said to them, ‘You know how to catch fish. Now I want you to come with me. I will teach you how to attract people. Then those people can learn about me.’ v18 Immediately, they left the work that they were doing with their nets. And they went with Jesus. v19 They went on a little further, and Jesus saw some other men. Two of the men were James and James’s younger brother, John. Zebedee was the name of their father. Both men were in a boat, and they were mending nets. v20 Jesus saw them, and he called them over to him. So James and John left their father. He stayed in the boat with the servants that he had hired. But his sons went away with Jesus.

MARK 1:21-28

Jesus forces an *evil spirit to come out of a man, and people are very surprised

v21 Later, Jesus and the *disciples arrived at Capernaum town. The next *Sabbath day, Jesus went into the *synagogue. He began to teach the people who had gathered there. v22 Those people were very surprised at the way that Jesus was teaching them. He taught them like someone who had God’s authority. He did not speak to them like the men who teach the *Jewish *laws.

v23 So there was Jesus teaching people in the *synagogue. Suddenly a man who had an *evil spirit in him came up to Jesus. This man shouted: v24 ‘Jesus, you are from Nazareth town. You and we have nothing in common. So do not stop us *evil spirits now! Do not destroy us yet! I know who you are. I know that you are very clean and special to God. I know that you have come from God!’ v25 Then Jesus told the *evil spirit: ‘Be quiet! And come out of the man!’ v26 The *evil spirit shook the man hard, and he screamed loudly. Then the *evil spirit came out and it left the man.

v27 All the people who were there were very surprised at this. They kept saying to each other: ‘This is wonderful! First he teaches us in a new way, with God’s authority. And now the *evil spirits obey him when he commands them!’ v28 People very soon went all over the whole Galilee district. They told everyone what Jesus had done.

MARK 1:29-31

Simon’s wife’s mother is sick and Jesus makes her better

v29 Jesus, Simon and Andrew, with James and John, then left the *synagogue. They went directly to Simon and Andrew’s house. v30 Someone quickly told Jesus that Simon’s wife’s mother was ill. Her body was very hot, and she was lying down. v31 He went to her. He took hold of her hand and he lifted her up. She was not hot any more. Then she was able to serve them a meal.

MARK 1:32-34

Jesus also causes many *evil spirits to come out of some people

v32 It was now evening, and the sun had gone down. Some people brought many other people who were sick to Jesus. They also brought some people who had *evil spirits in them. v33 Almost everyone who lived in the town had gathered at the doorway. v34 People were ill with various diseases, and Jesus made them better. He also caused many *evil spirits to come out of people. The *evil spirits knew that Jesus had come from God. That is why Jesus did not allow these spirits to speak about him.

MARK 1:35-39

Jesus travels on through the Galilee area

v35 Jesus got up very early the next morning. It was still dark. He left the house and he went out of Capernaum town. He went to a place where there was no one else. Then he prayed there. v36 Simon and his companions searched for him and they found him. Then they said to him: v37 ‘Many people in the town are looking for you! So come back with us and help them!’ v38 ‘No’, Jesus said, ‘let us go on to all the towns near here. I came into the world to tell God’s *Message to many people! That is why I want to speak there also.’ v39 So they went all through the Galilee district. And every *Sabbath day Jesus was teaching people in the *synagogues of the towns. He was also causing *evil spirits to come out of people.

MARK 1:40-45

Jesus cures a *leper

v40 One day, a *leper came to talk to Jesus. He kneeled down in front of Jesus and asked him eagerly: ‘If you really want to cure me, please would you do so now’, he said. ‘I know that you are able to do this!’ v41 Jesus felt sorry for the man with *leprosy. So he reached out his hand and touched him. Then Jesus said to him: ‘I really do want to cure you. So I will cure you right now!’ v42 Immediately, the man was better. He was no longer a *leper.

v43-44 Jesus spoke strictly to the man who had been a *leper. He told him what he must do next. The *Jewish *law gave certain rules. Jesus told the man to follow these rules. He sent the man away. He said to him, ‘Go to the priest in Jerusalem. Show the priest that God has made you well. And do not tell anyone else what has happened to you. *Moses gave this command to every person whom God has cured of *leprosy. You should go to the *Temple and take a present for God’, Jesus said. ‘Then all the local people will know that God has cured you.’ v45 The man with *leprosy went and the priest saw him. But then the man began to talk to many of the local people. He told them how Jesus had cured him. Because of that, Jesus was no longer able to enter any town publicly. The crowds would just get in his way if he did. Instead, he remained outside the towns in places where nobody lived. And people were still coming to him from all over that region.

MARK 2:1-12

Jesus cures a *paralysed man

v1 Some days later, Jesus and his *disciples returned to Capernaum town. People heard that Jesus was in a certain house. v2 Many people gathered there to see him. They filled the house, and there was no more space to stand in the house. Nor could the people stand round the doorway outside. Jesus told them God’s *Message. v3 Then some other people arrived at the house. They were bringing a *paralysed man to Jesus. Four men were carrying him on a mat. v4 But they were not able to take the man directly to Jesus because there were so many people round Jesus. So they went up on the flat roof. They removed part of the roof above the place where Jesus was. They made a big hole in the roof. Then they moved the *paralysed man down on the mat by *ropes. They moved him down right in front of Jesus.

v5 Jesus saw that those men believed him. They knew that Jesus could cure their friend. So Jesus said to the *paralysed man, ‘My friend, I forgive your *sins!’ v6 Some men who taught God’s *laws were sitting there. They were thinking to themselves: v7 ‘This man is wrong to talk like that! He is insulting God. No human person can forgive *sins! Only God can forgive *sins!’ v8 Jesus knew inside himself what they were thinking. So he said to them, ‘You think that it is wrong for me to v9 tell the *paralysed man, “I forgive your *sins.” But it would not be easier for me to say to him, “Get up and pick up your mat. Now, go home to your house.”

v10 All right, I will show you something. I want you to know this. I am the man whom God sent from *heaven. And God has given me authority to forgive *sins in this world.’ Then Jesus said to the *paralysed man: v11 ‘Get up! Pick up your mat! And now, go home to your house!’ v12 The man stood up immediately! He picked up the mat and he went away. Everybody there was watching him carefully. They all wondered greatly, and they praised God. This is what they said: ‘Only God could do this! We have never seen anything like this before!’

MARK 2:13-17

Jesus goes to a meal with Levi and with other people whom the *Jews called *sinners

v13 Jesus left Capernaum town again and he walked along by Lake Galilee. A large crowd followed him, and he taught them God’s *Message. v14 As he walked on further, he saw a man called Levi. Levi’s father’s name was Alpheus. Levi was sitting in his office. His job was to collect taxes for the *Roman government. Jesus said to him, ‘Come with me and become my *disciple!’ So Levi got up and went with Jesus.

v15 Later, Jesus was eating a meal in Levi’s house. There were many other people who were eating with Jesus and his *disciples. And there were also people who collected taxes for the *Roman government. The *Jews considered all of them to be *sinful people. Many such people were going everywhere with Jesus. v16 Men who taught the *Jewish laws were at the meal. They were also members of the *Pharisee party. Jesus was eating with those people who collected taxes. The *Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with those people. So the *Pharisees said to Jesus’ *disciples: ‘He should not eat with such disgusting people. We call them *sinners.’

v17 Jesus heard what the *Pharisees were saying. So he said this to the men who taught the *Jewish *laws: ‘People who are well do not look for a doctor. It is sick people who look for a doctor!’ And Jesus also said, ‘Some people think that they live in a good and right way. I am not telling such people that they must turn away from their *sins. I came to speak to people who have *sinned. And they know that they have *sinned. I am inviting those people to turn from their *sins.’

MARK 2:18-22

Old customs do not go well with the new way to live that Jesus is teaching

v18 Some people used to *fast often. They were showing that they were sorry for their *sins. They were *disciples of John the *Baptiser. And some people who belonged to the *Pharisee party did the same thing. So one day, some people came to Jesus and they asked him some questions: ‘John’s *disciples and the *Pharisees’ *disciples often *fast’, they said. ‘But your *disciples do not *fast. We think that they should *fast also. What do you say about that?’ v19 This was Jesus’ answer: ‘A man is marrying a woman. And he is still there with everyone at the wedding party. So his friends will certainly not *fast while he is still there’, he said. ‘All the time that the man is with them at the party, they will not *fast. They are happy together. v20 But some day, his enemies will take him away from them. Then his friends will *fast, because they will be very sad.’

v21 Jesus also said: ‘Someone has a hole in his old shirt. No one would sew a piece of new cloth on the old cloth. Perhaps that person does that, and then washes the shirt. But when the new piece of cloth gets wet, then it will get smaller. Then it will tear off more of the old cloth. As a result, there will be a larger hole in the old shirt!’ Jesus said. v22 He continued to speak: ‘In a similar way, no one puts new wine into old *wine skins. Perhaps someone does that. The wine then needs more space and it bursts the *wine-skins. As a result, they will spoil both the wine and the *wine skins! People must put new wine into new *wineskins!’[1]

MARK 2:23-28

What people should do on *Sabbath days

v23 One *Sabbath day, Jesus was walking with his *disciples. They were walking along a path through some wheat fields. And the *disciples were picking some wheat to eat as they walked. They were pressing the wheat in their hands, and eating the grain.[2] v24 Some *Pharisees said to Jesus, ‘Look! Today is the *Sabbath day. Your *disciples should not be doing work like beating out the grain now. Our custom does not allow us to work today!’ v25 This was Jesus’ answer: ‘One day, our *ancestor, King David needed food. Both he and the men with him were very hungry. You all know what he did. You have read about that in the *Scriptures.

v26 It was during the time when Abiathar was high priest. David arrived at the house of God and he entered it. He asked for some bread. And the high priest gave him some loaves of bread. Those loaves were bread that the priests had offered to God that day. And only priests were allowed to eat that bread by *Jewish *law! But David ate some of the bread. And he also gave some of it to the men who were with him. But God did not consider that to be wrong!’ v27 Jesus also said this to the *Pharisees: ‘God established the *Sabbath day to help people! He did not create people just to serve the law of the *Sabbath day!’ he said. ‘So think about this: I am the man who came from *heaven. v28 Therefore, I can decide what my people can do on the *Sabbath day!’

MARK 3:1-6

Jesus cures a man on the *Sabbath day, and so *Jewish leaders plan to kill Jesus

v1 On another *Sabbath day, Jesus entered the *synagogue again. There was a man there whose hand had become of no use. v2 Some men of the *Pharisee party were watching Jesus carefully. They wanted to see whether he would cure the man on the *Sabbath day. They wanted to accuse Jesus of not obeying the *Jewish *law, because he did this work on the *Sabbath day. v3 Jesus said to the man whose hand had become of no use, ‘Stand up in front of everyone!’ So the man stood up.

v4 Then Jesus asked the *Pharisees, ‘Does the *law that God gave *Moses permit people to do good things on the *Sabbath day? Or does the *law permit people to do evil things? Does the *law permit us to cure a person on the *Sabbath day? Or does the *law command us to let a person die?’ But they did not reply. v5 He looked at them angrily. But he was also very sorry because they did not want to listen to him. So Jesus said to the man, ‘Reach out your hand!’ When the man reached out his hand, his hand became well again!

v6 Then the *Pharisees decided to kill Jesus. They left the *synagogue. And immediately, they went to meet with some *Jews who supported King *Herod Antipas. Herod ruled Galilee district. Together they planned how they could kill Jesus.

MARK 3:7-12

Crowds come to hear Jesus because he has already cured many people

v7 Jesus and his *disciples left that town. They went to an area further along Lake Galilee. But a large crowd of people followed him. These people came from Galilee district and v8 from Jerusalem city. They came from other towns of Judea district and from Idumea district. They came from the region on the east side of the Jordan River. And they came from the region round the cities called Tyre and Sidon. This large crowd of people had heard about what Jesus was doing. Because of this they came to him. v9-10 Jesus had cured many people. But still there were many other people there with various illnesses. They were pushing forward to touch him. They wanted to touch him so that they would be cured. So Jesus told his *disciples to get a small boat ready for him. Then he could get into the boat. He could then teach the people who were standing on the shore from the boat. And the crowd would not press against him when they pushed forward. v11 There were also people who had *evil spirits in them. The *evil spirits saw Jesus and they recognised him. The people with the *evil spirits fell onto the ground. They fell in front of Jesus. And they shouted at Jesus, ‘You are the *Son of God.’ v12 Jesus commanded the *evil spirits strictly not to tell anyone who he was.

MARK 3:13-19

Jesus appoints the 12 *apostles

v13 Jesus went with many other people up into the hills. He chose from them the 12 men whom he wanted. When they came together, v14 he appointed them as *apostles. He wanted them to be with him. And later he wanted to send them out to tell the good news. v15 He gave them power to force *evil spirits out of people. v16 These were the 12 men whom he appointed: Simon (he gave him a new name, Peter) and his younger brother Andrew. v17 He also appointed James the son of Zebedee and John the younger brother of James. To both of these he added a new name, ‘Men who are like thunder’[3]. v18 Then there were Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, another James, who was the son of Alpheus, and Thaddaeus. Also there was another Simon. He was a member of the *Zealot party. v19 And there was Judas from Karioth town. He later helped Jesus’ enemies to arrest Jesus.

MARK 3:20-30

Jesus forces *evil spirits out by God’s own power

v20 Jesus returned with his *disciples to Capernaum. They went to the house where he was staying there. Again a crowd gathered where he was. So many people were crowding round him, that he and his *disciples had no time even to eat. v21 His relatives heard about this, so they went to take him home. People were saying that he was mad.

v22 Some men who taught the *Jewish *laws were also there. They had come down from Jerusalem city. They had heard that Jesus was forcing *evil spirits out of people. So they were telling people, ‘*Satan controls that Jesus! *Satan is the *evil spirits’ boss. He helps Jesus to force *evil spirits out of people!’ v23 Jesus called everybody to gather round him. And he used simple stories to talk to them. ‘Your idea that *Satan would force out his own *evil spirits is stupid!’ he said. v24 ‘People who live in the same country do not fight each other. If they fought each other they would stop being a single nation. v25 Also, people who live in the same house do not fight each other. If they do, they will certainly not stay together as a family. v26 In a similar way, if *Satan and his *evil spirits are fighting each other, *Satan’s power could come to an end’, Jesus said. v27 ‘Suppose that someone who owns a house with many possessions in it. And someone wants to break in and steal this man’s property. But the man is very strong. So first the thief must tie up this man. Then he can steal everything that the man owns.’[4]

v28 Jesus also said, ‘Think about this carefully! People may *sin in many ways and they may speak evil words about God. And God can forgive them for that. v29 But perhaps someone will speak evil words about what the *Holy Spirit does. Then God will never forgive them. God will always say that that person is guilty of *sin.’

v30 The people were saying, ‘An *evil spirit is controlling him!’ That is why Jesus told them these stories.

MARK 3:31-35

Those who obey God are very close to Jesus. They are as close as his nearest relatives are.

v31 Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside the house where Jesus was. And they sent someone inside to call him. v32 A crowd was sitting round Jesus. One of them said to him, ‘Sir, your mother, your brothers and your sisters are here. They are outside and they are looking for you!’ v33 Jesus replied to them, ‘Listen to what I have to say about my mother, my brothers and my sisters!’ v34 The *disciples were sitting round him in a circle. So he looked at them and said, ‘Look at these men here! I love them as much as I love my mother, my brothers and my sisters. v35 Anyone who always does what God wants is like my brother, my sister, or my mother! I love such people as much as I love my family.’

MARK 4:1-25

People listen to God’s *Message in different ways: Some people do what God says. Other people completely forget what he says.

v1 Again Jesus was teaching people by the side of Lake Galilee. A very large crowd had gathered round him. There was a boat on the lake. Because the crowd was large he got into this boat. Then he sat in it so that he could teach the crowd better. The crowd was standing on the shore at the water’s edge. v2 Jesus taught them many things by stories. This is one of the stories that he used:

v3 ‘Think about what this story means: A farmer went to his field to sow grain. v4 As he sowed, some seeds fell on the path. And they remained there on top of the path. Then some birds came and they ate those seeds.

v5 Some other seeds fell on rocky ground. There was not much soil over the rocks. The sun warmed the soil quickly where it was shallow. And very soon the seeds began to grow. v6 But when the sun rose higher, it became very hot. Then the young plants dried up and they died. They did not have deep roots’, Jesus said. v7The farmer continued to sow. Some more of his seeds fell on ground where there were many thorny weeds[5]. The seeds started to grow. The thorny weeds also grew up and they crowded round the farmer’s plants. So, those plants produced no grain.

v8 The rest of the farmer’s seeds fell into good soil. Those seeds began to grow well, and they produced plenty of grain. Some heads of grain produced 30 grains. Some heads produced 60 grains and some produced a hundred grains.’ v9 Then Jesus said, ‘If you want to understand this story, you should think carefully about it.’

v10 Later, the *disciples asked Jesus about the *parables. Only the 12 *disciples and a few other people were there with Jesus. v11 ‘The new *Message tells us how God wants to rule people’s lives’, Jesus said. ‘People have not understood this *Message before. But I am explaining all this to you now. However, I also tell this *Message to other people. But I have to use stories to tell those people. v12 So, what a certain *prophet has written is true: “They see the same things that I see. But they do not know the meaning of these things. They hear what I say. But they do not understand what I mean. So they do not turn away from their *sin, and God cannot forgive them.” ’ v13 Jesus also said to them, ‘You do not seem to understand what this story means. So you will not be able to understand any other stories that I tell you. However, I will explain this story to you:

v14 The grain is like God’s *Message, and the farmer sows it. Therefore the farmer is like a person who speaks God’s *Message in public. v15 Some people hear God’s *Message. And they are like the seed that falls on the hard path. Those people do hear the *Message. But *Satan comes at once and he takes it away. This is like the birds that picked up seed from the path. *Satan causes the people to forget what they have heard. v16 Other people hear God’s *Message and at first they are very happy to receive it. But those people are like the rocky ground. The soil there was not very deep, and the plants did not have deep roots. v17 In the same way, those people do not believe God’s *Message deeply. They believe it for only a short time. Soon other people cause such people to suffer. And people make them suffer because they believe God’s *Message. So those people stop believing.

v18-19 Other people hear God’s *Message. But they really want to be rich, and to own lots of things. So they think only about what belongs to this world. They are like the ground that contained roots of thorny weeds[5]. And so they forget God’s *Message. They do not do the things that please God. v20 But other people are like the good soil. They hear God’s *Message and they accept it completely. They do the things that please God. They are like the good heads of grain that produced 30, 60 or 100 grains.’

v21 Jesus also told them another story. ‘People do not light an oil lamp and then put it under a bowl. Nor do they put the lamp under a bed in a house’, Jesus said. ‘Instead, they light the lamp. Then they put it in a place where it gives light to the whole house. v22 In the same way, there are some parts of God’s *Message that people do not know. At this time, these things are like hidden secrets to them. But God wants people to understand all of his *Message. v23 If you want to understand God’s *Message, you should think carefully about it.’

v24 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Think carefully about what I say. God will help you to understand it. God will do to you as you do to other people. And maybe God will have to act in a more severe way towards you. v25 God will help anyone who thinks carefully about my words. Such people will be able to understand even more. But it will be different for a person who does not think at all about my words. Such people will forget even what they already know.’

MARK 4:26-34

The farmer who planted seed, and the smallest seed of all

v26 Jesus also said, ‘God changes people who let him rule their lives. I will tell you a story about how this can happen. A farmer planted seed in a field. v27 Then he slept each night and he got up each day as usual. He did not need to worry about the seeds. During that time the seeds began to grow. The farmer did not understand how they grew. The soil by itself caused the plants to grow and to produce grain. v28 First the stems came up. Then heads appeared on the stems. Then the heads of grain became bigger. v29 As soon as the grain was ripe, it was time to harvest the grain. So the farmer sent people to harvest it.’

v30 Jesus also told this story. ‘There will be many more people whom God rules in this new way. Their number will continue to grow’, he said. ‘It is like this: v31 You know how a grain of mustard seed grows. This seed is the smallest of all the seeds in the world. v32 But after someone plants it, it grows huge. It becomes the largest of the garden plants. Big branches grow on it so that birds are able to nest in its shade.’

v33 Whenever Jesus talked to the people about God, he told many such stories as pictures. If the people were able to understand the pictures a little, he would tell them more. v34 He only spoke to them in the form of stories. But later, when they were alone, he spoke to his own *disciples. Then he explained all the stories to them.

MARK 4:35-41

Jesus orders a great storm to be calm

v35 It was sunset that same day. Jesus spoke to his *disciples, ‘Let us take the boat. Let us cross over to the other side of the lake’, he said. v36 So they left the crowd and they got into the boat. Jesus was already in the boat. Then they left the shore. Other people went with them in other boats. v37 But a strong wind started, and the waves started to come into the boat! The boat was soon nearly full of water! v38 Jesus was in the back part of the boat. He was sleeping, with his head on a cushion. So the *disciples woke him up and they said to him, ‘Teacher! Are you not at all worried that we will drown?’ v39 So Jesus got up and he ordered the wind to stop. Then he spoke to the lake, ‘Be quiet! Be still!’ The wind stopped blowing and the lake became very calm. v40 Then Jesus said to the *disciples, ‘You did not need to be afraid like that! Do you not yet believe that I can protect you?’ v41 They were even more afraid. They said to each other, ‘This man is really astonishing! Even the wind and the waves obey him!’

MARK 5:1-20

The man from Gerasa with the *evil spirits

v1 Jesus and his *disciples arrived on the east side of Lake Galilee. They landed near Gerasa town. v2-4 A certain man in that region had an *evil spirit in him. That man tried to attack people, and people were afraid of him. They had tied him up with *ropes many times. But as he grew more fierce, no one was able to tie him up any longer. He was so strong that he broke the *ropes. Then they tried to put chains on him, but he would just break the chains. He would also break into small pieces the iron bands that they fastened on his feet. v5 He lived in one of the caves where they buried dead people. All night and all day he wandered in the caves and the hills and he screamed. He also used to cut himself with sharp stones.

v6 When Jesus and his *disciples got out of the boat, this man left the caves. He saw Jesus from a distance. Immediately, the man ran to Jesus, and then he kneeled down in front of Jesus. v7-8 Jesus said to the *evil spirit, ‘You *evil spirit, come out of this man!’ But the *evil spirit did not leave quickly. The *evil spirit made a loud cry, ‘Jesus, I know that you are the *Son of God. So leave me alone! I know that God is listening. So I ask you to promise that you will not hurt me now!’ v9 Then Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ The man with the *evil spirit replied, ‘My name is Crowd, because I have so many *evil spirits in me.’

v10 Then the man urged Jesus not to send the *evil spirits out of the region. v11 At that moment, there were a large number of pigs near Jesus and the man. They were eating food on the side of the hill. v12 So the *evil spirits asked Jesus, ‘Please allow us to go and enter the bodies of those pigs!’ v13 Jesus permitted them to do that. So the *evil spirits left the man and they entered the pigs. There were about two thousand pigs in that large group. They all rushed over the edge of the cliff. Then they fell into the lake. And so they drowned in the lake.

v14 The men who were looking after the pigs ran away. They went to the town and to the country villages. They told everybody about this. Many people then went out with the pig keepers to see what had happened. v15 They came to the place where Jesus was. And they saw the man who earlier had many *evil spirits. The man was sitting quietly. He was wearing all his clothes and his mind was normal again. The village people became extremely afraid. v16 The pig keepers then described what had happened. They told about the man who earlier had the *evil spirits. They also described what had happened to the pigs. v17 So the people were even more afraid and they immediately asked Jesus to leave their region.

v18 Jesus was getting ready to leave in the boat. Then the man who earlier had the *evil spirits spoke to Jesus. He asked Jesus to let him go with him and the *disciples. v19 But Jesus did not let him go with them. This is what Jesus said to him, ‘Now, go home! Tell your family there how much the *Lord has done for you’, Jesus said. ‘Tell them how kind God was to you.’ v20 The man went and travelled round the whole Ten Towns district. He told people how much Jesus had done for him. All the people who heard what the man said were astonished.

MARK 5:21-43

A woman who has been suffering for a long time, and a young girl who has died

v21 Jesus and his *disciples went back in the boat across Lake Galilee. They went to the place where they had been before. They came to the shore of the lake, and a large crowd gathered round Jesus. v22 A man called Jairus was there. Jairus was a president of the *synagogue in that town. When he saw Jesus he threw himself down at Jesus’ feet. v23 Then he asked Jesus desperately, ‘My daughter is ill and she is nearly dead! Please come to my house and put your hands on her. Then you will cure her, and she will not die!’ v24 So Jesus and the *disciples went with him.

A large crowd followed Jesus and many people pushed close to him. v25 There was a woman in the crowd. She had suffered from an illness for 12 years. She was bleeding constantly. v26 She had suffered much, and many doctors had tried to cure her. She had spent all her money on doctors’ fees. None of the doctors or curers had helped her. Instead, she had become worse. v27 She had heard that Jesus cured people. So she came to the place where he was. She pushed close behind Jesus in the crowd. v28 She was thinking, ‘I want to touch him, or maybe I can just touch the edge of his clothes. Then he will cure me with his power.’ So she touched the edge of Jesus’ clothes. v29 At once her body stopped bleeding. And she realised that Jesus had cured her illness.

v30 Jesus also knew immediately that he had cured someone by his power. So he turned round in the crowd and he asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’

v31 His *disciples replied, ‘You see that many people are crowding close to you! So why do you even ask, “Who touched me?” ’ v32 But Jesus kept looking round to see the person who had touched him. v33 The woman was very afraid that Jesus might be angry. But she knew that Jesus had cured her. So she threw herself on the ground in front of him. Then she told him the truth about what she had done. v34 ‘Young woman, I have now cured you because you believed in me’, Jesus said to her. ‘Go home in peace now. I promise you that you will not suffer any more from this illness.’

v35 Jesus was still speaking to that woman, when some other people arrived. They had come from Jairus’s house. ‘Your daughter is now dead’, they said to Jairus. ‘So, it will not help you now to urge the teacher to come to your house.’

v36 But Jesus heard what those people were saying. He said to Jairus, ‘Do not be afraid! Just believe that I can cure her!’ v37 Jesus only allowed his three closest *disciples, Peter, James, and John, to go with him to Jairus’s house. He did not allow any other people to go with him.

v38 As they got near the house, Jesus heard the noise of the people. They were weeping and crying out loudly. v39 Jesus went into the house. ‘Do not make such a noise!’ he said to all the people. ‘Stop crying! The child is not dead! She is only sleeping!’ v40 The people knew that she was dead. So they laughed at him.

But Jesus sent everyone out of the house. Then he took the child’s father and mother and the three *disciples who were with him. They all went into the room where the child was lying. She was 12 years old. v41 He took hold of the child’s hand and he said to her in her own language, ‘Talitha Koum!’ That means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ v42 At once, the girl got up and she walked about a bit. The people who saw this *miracle were completely astonished. v43 Jesus gave them strict orders, ‘Do not tell anyone what I have done!’ Then he told them to bring some food to the child.

MARK 6:1-6a

Many people in Nazareth town refuse to listen to Jesus

v1 Jesus left Capernaum town and he went to his home town, Nazareth. His *disciples went with him. v2 On the *Sabbath day, he went into the *synagogue. He taught God’s *Message to the people there. Many of those people listened to what he said. They were astonished. They began to say, [6] ‘We cannot believe that God has made this man so very wise. We cannot believe the *miracles that he is doing! v3 We know that he is just an ordinary person! He earns money by making things with wood! We know him and his family! We know Mary his mother! We know his younger brothers James, Joseph, Judas and Simon. His younger sisters live here in this town with us.’ So they hated him. v4 Jesus knew that they refused to believe him. So this is what he said to them. ‘It is certainly true that people give honour to *prophets in many places’, Jesus said. ‘But people in the *prophets’ home towns do not give them honour! Even their relatives and the people who live in the *prophets’ own houses do not give them honour. And you also, like them, do not give me honour!’

v5 Jesus was not able to do many *miracles in Nazareth. The people there did not believe him. But he did touch a few sick people there and he cured them. v6 Jesus was astonished that people in Nazareth did not believe him.

MARK 6:6b-13

Jesus begins to send his *disciples out in pairs

Jesus and his *disciples went from town to town in that region. Everywhere he taught God’s *Message to the people. v7 One day Jesus asked the 12 *disciples to come to where he was sitting. Then he told them that he would send them out to various other towns. He told them to always go in pairs. They must teach God’s *Message to people. Jesus gave them power to make *evil spirits come out of people. v8-9 He told the *disciples to wear *sandals. He said that they could take a stick with them. This might help them walk when they were travelling. But he told them not to take any food with them. They should not take a bag to carry anything, nor any money. Also he did not allow them to take extra clothes.[7]

v10 Jesus also told them this: ‘When you arrive in a town, someone may invite you to stay in their house. This is all right. Go into that house. Eat and sleep there. Stay in that house until you leave the town. v11 But you must leave any place where people do not welcome you. And you must leave any place where people do not listen to you. You must leave such places. And as you leave, shake the dust off your feet. Like that, you will warn the people there that God will blame them. They have refused to listen to God’s *Message.’ v12 So the *apostles went out to various towns, and they told the *Message to the people there. They told the people that they should be sorry for their *sins. They should stop constantly *sinning. v13 They also made many *evil spirits come out of people. And they put oil on many sick people and cured them.

MARK 6:14-29

King *Herod tells his soldiers to kill John the *Baptiser

v14 Many people were talking about what Jesus was doing. So King *Herod Antipas heard about Jesus. Some people were saying about Jesus, ‘God has made John the *Baptiser alive again! John has returned here! God has given him power to do those astonishing things!’ v15 Other people were saying about Jesus, ‘He is the former *prophet Elijah. God promised to send Elijah back to this world again.’ Other people were saying about Jesus, ‘No, he is a different *prophet. He is like one of the other *prophets who lived long ago.’ v16 King *Herod Antipas heard that the people were saying all these things. But he kept saying to himself, ‘That man who is doing those astonishing things is John! I ordered my soldiers to cut off his head, but he has become alive again. He wants to kill me in turn because I killed him!’

v17-18 Some time before this, King *Herod had married Herodias. But she was still the wife of his younger brother, Philip. So John told *Herod many times, ‘God’s *law does not permit you to marry your brother’s wife. Philip is still alive.’ Herodias, Philip’s wife, kept telling *Herod that he should put John in prison. So *Herod sent soldiers to John. They arrested John and they put him in prison. v19 Herodias wanted to do still more bad things to John because of what he had said about her. She wanted someone to kill him. But she was not able to find anyone to do this. King *Herod Antipas was keeping John in prison, and she could not hurt him there. v20 *Herod kept John in safety because he respected him. He knew that John obeyed God’s rules. He knew that John was completely God’s man. The king liked to listen to what John said. But his mind was confused.

v21 However, Herodias had an opportunity to hurt John later. It was *Herod’s birthday, and there was a party in his honour. *Herod had invited the main government officials and the main army leaders to a special dinner with him. He had also invited the most important men in Galilee district.

v22 They were all eating. Then Herodias’s daughter came into the room to dance. King *Herod and his guests liked the way that she danced. So the king said to her, ‘Ask me to give you whatever you want. Whatever you want, I will give it to you!’ v23 ‘I will give you whatever you ask me for!’ The king also said, ‘This what I will give you. I will give you as much as half of everything that I rule. Just ask me for it. I ask God now to punish me if I do not keep this promise!’ he said.

v24 The girl left the room and she went to her mother. She told her what the king had said. Then she asked her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ Her mother replied, ‘Ask the king to give you John the *Baptiser’s head!’ v25 The girl immediately went back again to the room where the king was. She went to the king. This is what she asked him, ‘I want you to cut off John the *Baptiser’s head at once! I want you to give his head to me now, on a tray!’ v26 The king became very sad when he heard this. But he could not refuse to give John’s head to her. He had made a promise. His guests had heard him make this promise. He had promised to give Herodias’s daughter whatever she asked for.

v27 So the king at once ordered one of his soldiers to go and cut off John’s head. He ordered the soldier to bring it to him on a tray. The soldier went to the prison and he cut off John’s head. v28 He put the head on a tray and he brought it back to Herodias’s daughter. He gave it to the girl. And the girl took it to her mother. v29 John’s *disciples heard that *Herod had killed John. So they came and took John’s body away to bury it. That was what had happened. And now King *Herod was afraid of what John might do.

MARK 6:30-34

Jesus and the *disciples go away to a quiet place

v30 The 12 *apostles returned to Jesus from the places where they had gone. They reported to Jesus what they had done. They reported what they had taught the people. v31 But many other people kept coming there. They left and other people came. And Jesus and his *apostles did not have time to eat. And they did not have time to do anything else. So Jesus said to them, ‘Let us go somewhere where we can be completely alone. We will be able to rest there!’ v32 So they went away by themselves. They went in a boat to a quiet place. v33 Many people saw them leave. They recognised Jesus and his *disciples. They guessed where they were going. So they came out from all the towns near them. And they ran ahead round the lake to the place where Jesus and the *disciples were going. They arrived there before Jesus and his *disciples. v34 As Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd. He felt sorry for the people because they were so confused. They looked like sheep that did not have anyone to look after them. So he began to teach them many things about God.

MARK 6:35-44

Jesus provides food for more than five thousand people in an astonishing way

v35 Later in the afternoon, the *disciples came to Jesus. ‘Nobody lives here and it is very late in the day’, they said. v36 ‘So, send the people away to the surrounding villages and places where people live. Then they can buy something to eat for themselves!’ v37 However, Jesus replied, ‘You yourselves give them something to eat!’ Then the *disciples said, ‘There is no way that we can buy enough bread to feed all these people. Even if we spent a man’s wages for two hundred days’ work we could not buy enough!’ v38 Jesus’ reply to those words was, ‘How many loaves of bread do you have? Go and look!’ They looked, and then they told him, ‘We have only five loaves of bread and two fishes!’

v39 Jesus told the *disciples to make the people sit down on the green grass.

v40 So the people sat down in groups. There were 50 people in some groups and 100 people in other groups. v41 Jesus took the five loaves of bread and the two fish. He looked up towards *heaven. He then thanked God for the food. Jesus broke the loaves into pieces. He gave the bread and the fish to the *disciples. He told them to distribute the food to the people. v42 And everyone ate this food until they had all had enough! v43 The *disciples then collected all the pieces of bread and fish that the people had left. There were 12 large baskets full of pieces. v44 Nearly five thousand men ate the bread and fish. They did not count the women and children.

MARK 6:45-52

The *disciples have a difficult time on the lake

v45 Jesus immediately ordered his *disciples to get back into the boat. He told them to go ahead of him to Bethsaida town. Bethsaida was further round the side of Lake Galilee. Jesus himself stayed and sent away the large crowd of people. v46 He said goodbye to the people. Then he went up into the hills to pray. v47 By the evening, the *disciples’ boat was in the middle of the lake. But Jesus was still there on the land by himself. v48 The *disciples were rowing the boat. (This means that they were using oars to move the boat.) Jesus saw that the wind was blowing against the *disciples. It is very difficult to row a boat against a strong wind.

So, early in the morning, when it was still dark, Jesus went to help them. He went towards them, walking on the water. He was about to pass by them. v49 But the *disciples saw him as he was walking on the water. They thought that he was a *spirit. And they screamed when they saw him. v50 They screamed because they were all very afraid. But Jesus talked to them. ‘Be calm!’ he said. ‘Do not be afraid! It is just me, Jesus!’ v51 Then Jesus got into the boat with the *disciples. Suddenly the wind stopped. They were completely astonished at what he had done. v52 It was true that Jesus had multiplied the loaves of bread and the fish. They had seen this themselves. But they did not understand why Jesus did it. They were very confused by everything.

MARK 6:53-56

People bring more sick people to Jesus

v53 After that, Jesus and the *disciples went further round Lake Galilee in the boat. They came to the shore at Gennesaret town. They tied up the boat there. v54 As soon as they got out of the boat, the people there recognised Jesus. v55 These people ran all over the district to tell other people that Jesus was there. And people put those who were sick onto *stretchers. They carried them on the *stretchers to Jesus. They heard that Jesus was in a certain place. Then they took the sick people to that place. v56 Jesus went to the places where there were markets. These were in the villages, the towns and in the country. The sick people asked Jesus to let them touch him. They wanted to touch just the edge of his clothes. And all those who touched Jesus or his clothes were cured.

MARK 7:1-23

What spoils a person, and what makes a person suitable for God

v1 One day some *Pharisees and some men who teach the *Jewish *laws gathered round Jesus. They had come from Jerusalem city to see what Jesus was doing. v2-4 Many years before, the *Jewish leaders had taught the people various customs. For example, *Jews refuse to eat until they have washed their hands in a special way. They also wash all the food that they buy in a special way. They think that otherwise God will be angry with them.[8] The *Jews also have many other such customs that they try to obey. They wash their cups, plates, pots, kettles, and beds in a special way, so that they will please God. The *Pharisees and many other *Jews obeyed these old customs completely.

v5 Well, those *Pharisees and *scribes saw that Jesus’ *disciples had not washed their hands in this special way. And now they were eating food with their hands. So they asked Jesus why the *disciples were eating like this. ‘Your *disciples do not obey the customs that our *Jewish people have obeyed for many years!’ they said. ‘They have not washed their hands in the special way. So, you should not let them eat food!’ v6 Jesus said to them, ‘You people only pretend to be good!’ he said. ‘Long ago, Isaiah wrote these words that came from God: He told these words to your *ancestors, and his words describe you very well:

“These people speak as if they are giving me honour. But really they do not give me any honour at all. v7 They teach people to do what their leaders long ago told them to do. They teach as if I myself had told them to do those things. And so it is in vain that they *worship me.”

v8 Like your *ancestors, you refuse to do what God has told you to do. Instead you only respect the customs that other people have taught you.’ v9 Jesus continued to talk to the *Pharisees and *scribes. ‘You obey your own customs. You refuse to do what God told you to do. And you think that you are clever!’ Jesus said.

v10 ‘For example, our *ancestor *Moses wrote down that God said, “Give honour to your fathers and your mothers”. *Moses also wrote, “The authorities must punish a person who says evil things about his father or mother. They must kill him” ’, Jesus said.

v11-12 ‘But you teach people to do something different. You say that people can give things to God instead of helping their parents. You allow them to say to their fathers and mothers, “I intended to give these things to you, but I have now promised to give them to God. So I cannot help you any longer!” ’ Jesus said. v13 ‘In this way, you take no notice of what God told you to do! Instead, you teach other people to obey your own customs! And you do many other things as bad as that’, Jesus said.

v14 Jesus called the crowd to come closer to him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you! Try to understand this example that I am giving you now. v15-16 Nothing that goes into a person’s mouth from outside can make God angry with that person. But what comes from inside a person makes God angry with them. Think carefully about what I am saying!’

v17 Jesus left the crowd. He and his *disciples went into the house. The *disciples asked Jesus questions about what he had just said. v18 This was Jesus’ reply to them: ‘I am disappointed with you. You do not understand what this example means. You ought to understand this: A person may put food into their mouth. But this alone cannot make God angry with that person. v19 This food does not enter and ruin his mind. Instead, it goes into his stomach. Afterwards, it passes out of his body.’

Jesus meant that people could eat anything. And God would not be angry with them. v20 But Jesus also said, ‘What is important to God is this. The way that people think deep inside themselves is important. And the things that they do as a result are important. That is what makes God angry with them. v21 What people think deep inside themselves causes them to do wrong things. They act in ways which go against God’s *laws. They steal things and they murder people. v22 They have bad sex with other people and they are greedy. They act in an evil way towards other people and they lie to them. They do wrong things with their bodies. They are jealous of other people and they say evil things about them. They are proud and they act like fools. v23 People think wrong thoughts and then they do wrong things. That is what makes God angry with them.’

MARK 7:24-30

A *Greek woman comes to Jesus. She wants him to force an *evil spirit out of her daughter.

v24 Jesus and his *disciples left Galilee district. They went to the region near Tyre city and Sidon city. He stayed at a certain house. He did not want anyone to know where he was staying. But people soon found out that he was there. v25 A certain woman had heard about Jesus. She had a daughter who had an *evil spirit in her. So the woman came to Jesus and she threw herself down at his feet. v26 This woman’s *ancestors came from the country called Greece. And she was born near a *Phoenician town in Syria district. She was not a *Jew. She asked Jesus to force the *evil spirit out of her daughter. v27 But Jesus answered her with a sort of *parable.

‘First, let the children eat all the food that they want’, he said. ‘The mother has prepared it for her children. So it is not right for someone to take their food and throw it to the family’s dogs.’ v28 But the woman answered Jesus, ‘Sir, the dogs lie under the family’s table. And they are allowed to eat the bits of food that the children drop.’ v29 Jesus said to her, ‘What you say is the absolute truth. All right, you may go home now. I have caused the *evil spirit to come out of your daughter.’ v30 The woman returned to her home. She saw that her daughter was lying quietly on the bed. The *evil spirit had left the child.

MARK 7:31-37

Jesus cures a deaf man who can hardly talk

v31 Jesus and his *disciples left the region round Tyre city. They went north through Sidon city. Then they went east through the district of Ten Towns. Finally they went south to the towns near Lake Galilee. v32 When they arrived there, some people brought a deaf man to him. This man was completely deaf and he could only talk a little. They were very humble. And they asked Jesus to touch and cure him.

v33 Jesus took him away from the crowd. Then Jesus put a finger into each of the man’s ears. He *spat on his fingers and he touched the man’s tongue. v34 Then, Jesus looked up towards *heaven and he sighed deeply. He said in the man’s own language: ‘Ephphatha’. This means ‘Open up!’ v35 At once, the man could hear well, because Jesus had cured him. v36 Jesus ordered the people not to tell anyone what he had done. And he repeated this command many times. But they kept talking about it in spite of this. v37 People who heard about it were really astonished. They said to each other, ‘Everything that Jesus does is wonderful! As well as all the other things that he does, he makes deaf people hear! He even helps those who cannot speak to speak!’

MARK 8:1-10

Jesus feeds four thousand people

v1 Another day, a large crowd of people gathered again to listen to Jesus. The people had already been there for two days and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called the *disciples together and he said to them, v2 ‘I feel very sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days. They have nothing left to eat. v3 Some of them have come a long distance, and now they are very hungry. I cannot send them home like this. They are weak and they may fall down on the road.’ v4 Jesus’ *disciples replied, ‘We cannot find enough food here to satisfy this crowd. Nobody lives out here!’ v5 Jesus asked them, ‘How many loaves of bread do you have?’ ‘We have seven loaves’, they replied. v6 Then Jesus told the crowd, ‘Sit down on the ground!’

They sat down. Jesus then took the seven loaves and he thanked God. He broke the loaves into pieces. Then he gave the pieces of bread to his *disciples. He told them to distribute the pieces to the people. v7 The *disciples found that they also had a few small fish. So Jesus also thanked God for these fish. And he told the *disciples, ‘Hand out these fish to the people also.’ v8 The whole crowd ate this food, and they had plenty to eat. The *disciples collected all the pieces of food that the people had not eaten. They filled seven large baskets full of those pieces. v9 They estimated that about four thousand people ate the food that day. v10 Then Jesus sent the people back to their homes. And immediately after that, Jesus and his *disciples got into the boat together. Then they went on round Lake Galilee to Dalmanutha district.

MARK 8:11-21

Bread from *heaven, and the wrong kind of *yeast

v11 Soon after that, some *Pharisees came to Jesus. These *Pharisees started to argue with Jesus. They wanted to convince the people that God had never really sent Jesus. So they set up a test. They asked Jesus to do something big for them. They asked him to do something that only God could do. v12 Jesus sighed deeply. Then he said, ‘You people have been watching how I cured sick people. And you still want God to do some other big thing that you can see! Note this: I will certainly not do something from God just for you people to see!’ v13 Then Jesus left them.

Jesus got into the boat again with his *disciples. They went further on round Lake Galilee. v14 The *disciples had forgotten to bring enough food with them. They had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat. v15 And, as they were going, Jesus warned them about the *Pharisees and King *Herod Antipas. Those leaders thought and did many wrong things. Their evil attitudes affected other people. This is what Jesus said. ‘Be careful! Look out for the *yeast of the *Pharisees and King *Herod!’ v16 The *disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying. So they said to each other, ‘He must have said those words because we have no bread.’ v17 Jesus knew what they were talking about among themselves. So he said to them, ‘All you are thinking about is that you do not have enough bread! If you need food, God can provide it for you. You do not yet understand this. v18 You do not understand what you see with your eyes!’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘You must remember what happened before! v19 I fed five thousand people. I only had five loaves of bread to break into pieces. But everyone was satisfied. There was plenty more food that the people did not eat! You collected the pieces of bread that the people left. How many baskets of pieces did you collect?’ They replied, ‘We collected 12 baskets full.’

v20 Jesus also asked the *disciples, ‘Remember that other time when I fed four thousand people. I broke seven loaves of bread for the people to eat. Again everyone was satisfied. There was more food than the people needed! You collected the pieces of bread that were left over. How many baskets full did you collect?’ They replied, ‘We collected seven large baskets full.’ v21 So Jesus said to the *disciples, ‘All right then, you ought to understand what I am talking about now.’

MARK 8:22-26

Jesus cures a blind man

v22 They arrived at Bethsaida town in the boat. Some people brought a blind man to Jesus. And they asked Jesus to touch him and cure him. v23 Jesus took the blind man by his hand. He led him out of the town. Jesus *spat some water from his mouth onto the man’s eyes. Then he put his hands on the man’s shoulders and asked him, ‘Can you see anything?’ v24 The man looked up. ‘Yes, I can see people!’ he said. ‘They are walking about, but they are not very distinct. They look like trees!’ v25 Then Jesus touched the blind man’s eyes again. The man looked a second time, and at that moment he was completely cured. He could see everything clearly. v26 Jesus spoke to him again. ‘Do not go into the town!’ he said. ‘First, go straight home. Tell the people there what has happened to you!’

MARK 8:27-30

Jesus asks the *disciples an important question

v27 Then Jesus and the *disciples left Bethsaida town. They went to the villages near Caesarea Philippi town. On the way, Jesus asked his *disciples a question: ‘Who do people say that I am?’ v28 The *disciples replied, ‘Some people say that you are John the *Baptiser. They say that he has come back to life’, they said. ‘Other people say that you are the *prophet Elijah. They think that Elijah has returned from *heaven. Other people say that a former *prophet has come back to life again. And they think that you are that *prophet’, they said. v29 Then Jesus asked them, ‘Who do you yourselves say that I am?’ Peter replied to him, ‘We believe that you are the *Messiah!’ v30 Then Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone yet that he was the *Messiah.

MARK 8:31-33

Jesus says clearly that people will kill him. But afterwards he will become alive again.

v31 Then Jesus began to teach the *disciples about his death. ‘I am the man who came from *heaven. But I must suffer very much’, he said. ‘All the important people in Jerusalem will say that I did not come from God. The wise old men and the chief priests will say this. Also the men who teach the *laws of Moses will say this. And they will kill me. But three [OR, two] days later I will become alive again.’ v32 Jesus told this to them very clearly. But Peter led Jesus aside and told him to stop talking like that. Peter thought that the *Messiah could never die. v33 Jesus turned round and he looked at his *disciples. Then he spoke in a strong voice to Peter, ‘Stop talking like this! *Satan is causing you to think like this! You do not want me to do what God wants. Instead you want me to do only what people expect me to do.’

MARK 8:34-9:1

Living like Jesus wants is not an easy thing

v34 Then Jesus called the crowd, and also the *disciples, together, because he wanted to speak to them. ‘It is good to learn to do what I do’, Jesus said. ‘But then you will have to stop living like you used to live. Soldiers make people carry a heavy wooden *cross and then kill them on it. So, if you learn my words, you must be willing to suffer for these words. v35 Some people try to keep their old life. They do not want to suffer. Then people make them suffer. So they deny that they are my people. Those people who try to keep their old life will not have *life that never ends. But other people are willing to lose their lives, and even to die. They tell people God’s good *Message. And they say that they are his people. Those people will have *life that never ends. v36 People may get everything that they want in this world. But they will lose everything when they die. They will not have *life that never ends.

v37 There is nothing that a person can give to God in order to live a bit longer! v38 In these days, many people have turned away from God and they are very *sinful. And some people will be ashamed to be my people and to speak my *Message. But I, the man who came from *heaven, am coming back with my perfect and pure *angels. Then I will be extremely powerful like my *Father is! And I will refuse to say that those people are my people.’ Chapter 9 v1 Jesus also said to his *disciples, ‘You can be sure about this: Some of you here with me now will see God’s powerful rule in many ways. You will even see this before you die!’

MARK 9:2-8

Jesus’ appearance becomes very different on the mountain

v2 A week later, Jesus went out with Peter, James and James’s brother John. He led them up a high mountain, and they were alone up there with Jesus. Suddenly they saw that the whole of Jesus’ body and clothes was changed. v3 His clothes became extremely white. They were whiter than any human being could make them. v4 Now, *Moses and Elijah were two *prophets who had lived long before. Next moment, the three *disciples saw *Moses and Elijah. They were standing there with them. The two *prophets began to talk with Jesus.

v5 After a short time, Peter interrupted them. ‘Teacher, it is wonderful to be here!’ he said. ‘But let us make three shelters for you to stand under. One will be for you, one will be for *Moses, and one will be for Elijah!’ v6 Peter said this just because he wanted to say something. But he and the other two *disciples were very frightened. And he did not know what else to say. v7 Then a shining cloud passed over and covered them. And God spoke to them from the cloud. ‘This is my one and only *Son’, he said. ‘I really love him. You must listen to him!’ v8 The three *disciples looked round. And right then they saw that they were alone with Jesus. There was no longer anyone else there.

MARK 9:9-13

The three *disciples ask Jesus about Elijah

v9 They were coming down the mountain, and Jesus said this to them: ‘You must not tell anyone yet what has just happened to me’, he said. ‘You may tell them later, after I die. But first I, the man who came from *heaven, must become alive again.’ v10 So they did not tell other people about it for a long time. But they discussed among themselves what Jesus’ words meant. Jesus had said that he would die and then he would become alive again.

v11 The *disciples then asked Jesus, ‘The men who teach the *Jewish *laws talk about Elijah. They say that Elijah must come back to the world. This must happen before the *Messiah comes to the world.’ v12-13 This was Jesus’ reply: ‘It is true. God did promise that Elijah would come first’, Jesus said. ‘He would tell people to change their lives. Then they would be ready when I came. And this man who would do Elijah’s work has already come. Our leaders did many bad things to him, absolutely as they wanted to do. The *prophets said long ago that this would happen to him. But the *prophets said that also about me, the man who came from *heaven. They wrote that I would suffer greatly. They also said that many people would refuse to listen to me.’

MARK 9:14-29

Anything is possible for someone who really believes God

v14 Jesus and the three *disciples returned to where the other *disciples were. They saw a large crowd round the other *disciples. Some men who taught the *Jewish *laws were arguing with them. v15 As soon as the crowd saw Jesus, they were very surprised and happy. So they ran to him and they greeted him. v16 He asked them, ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ v17 A man in the crowd answered him, ‘Teacher, I brought my son here so that you would heal him. He has an *evil spirit in him that makes him unable to talk. v18 Whenever the *spirit attacks him, it throws him down on the ground. White bubbles come out of his mouth. His teeth make a noise as they rub together. Then his body becomes stiff. You were not here, so I went to your *disciples. I asked them to force the *evil spirit to leave him. But they were not able to do it.’ v19 Jesus spoke to the whole crowd in reply, ‘I do not think that you people believe that I am able to do anything! I will have to be with you for a long time before you will believe me! Bring the boy to me!’

v20 So they brought the boy who had the *evil spirit to Jesus. When the *evil spirit saw Jesus, it shook the boy hard. The boy fell on the ground. He rolled about, and white bubbles came out of his mouth. v21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?’ The father replied, ‘This started to happen when he was a child. v22 The *evil spirit often tries to kill him. It causes him to fall into the fire or into the water. But please have pity on us. Please help us, if you can!’ v23 ‘Do not say, “If you can” ’, Jesus answered the man. ‘God can do anything for people who believe me!’ v24 Immediately, the boy’s father cried out, ‘I believe that God can help me. But I do not believe well. Help me to believe better!’

v25 Jesus saw that the crowd was getting bigger. So he was severe when he spoke to the *evil spirit. ‘You *evil spirit, stop causing this boy to be deaf and unable to talk! I command you to come out of him right now and never enter him again!’ v26 The *evil spirit cried out and it shook the boy hard. Then it left the boy. The boy did not move. He seemed like a dead body. So, many of the people there said that he was dead. v27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up. Then the boy stood up. Jesus had cured him! v28 Later Jesus and his *disciples were alone in the house. The *disciples asked him, ‘Why were we not able to make the *evil spirit leave the boy?’ v29 Jesus told them, ‘You can make this kind of *evil spirit leave only after praying to God about it. There is no other way that you can get such a *spirit out of a person.’

MARK 9:30-32

Again Jesus talks to his *disciples about his death

v30 Jesus and his *disciples then left that district and they travelled all through Galilee district. Jesus was teaching his *disciples. So he did not want anyone else to know where they were. v31 He did not want people to interrupt him as he taught the *disciples. He was telling them, ‘One day, someone will hand me over to my enemies. And my enemies will arrest me, the man who came from *heaven. They will take me to those people from another country who govern us. Then they will kill me. But two days after they kill me, I will become alive again!’ v32 The *disciples did not understand what Jesus was telling them. And also, they were afraid to ask him about it.

MARK 9:33-37

The kind of person that God considers important

v33 Jesus and his *disciples returned to Capernaum town. When they were in the house, Jesus asked them, ‘What were you discussing while we were travelling on the road?’ v34 They did not reply. They had been arguing with each other as they were walking. Each one of them thought that he himself was the most important *disciple. That is why they were ashamed to reply. v35 Jesus sat down and he called the 12 *disciples to come close to him. Then he said to them, ‘Suppose that one of you wants God to consider him to be the most important of all of you. First, that person must consider himself to be the least important of all. And also he must serve everyone else.’ v36 Then Jesus took a child by the hand and made him stand next to him. He put his arm round the child’s shoulders. Then Jesus said to them, v37 ‘Suppose that you accept a little child like this one. You accept him because you love me. Then you are really welcoming me. And when you welcome me, you are also welcoming my *Father.’

MARK 9:38-41

People who really are on the side of Jesus

v38 John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone who was forcing *evil spirits out of people. He tells them that you have told him to do it. But he was not one of your *disciples, like we are. So we commanded him to stop doing it.’ v39 Jesus said, ‘No one will say bad things about me just after they have done a *miracle on my behalf.  So do not tell people like him to stop doing such things. Perhaps they will say that I have told them to do it. If they say this, they will not then say bad things about me. v40 In fact, someone who is not actually opposing us is helping us. v41 This is true also about anyone who helps you in any way. Perhaps they will give you a cup of water to drink, because you follow me, the *Messiah. God will certainly reward them!’

MARK 9:42-48

People who cause other people to do wrong things have a terrible future

v42 Jesus also said, ‘Some people may cause very young *believers to do wrong things. Perhaps such a person only teaches one young person to *sin. But God will give them a very severe punishment. It would be better if someone tied a heavy stone round that evil person’s neck. Then they should throw that evil person into the sea, so that they sink and drown. v43-44 Perhaps you are touching something that makes you do wrong things. Then you should cut that hand off. It would be better to live with just one hand than to do wrong things with both hands. If you do wrong things, God will throw you into *hell. And *hell’s fire never goes out.

v45-46 Perhaps you are going somewhere where you will do wrong things. Then you should chop off your foot! It would be better to live with just one foot than to do wrong things with both feet. God would then throw you into *hell. v47 Perhaps you are looking at something that makes you do wrong things. Then you should take out an eye! It would be better to let God rule your life with just one eye. You do not want to do wrong things with both eyes. Then God would throw you into *hell. v48 In *hell, there are small animals that never stop eating people’s bodies. And the fire there in *hell never stops burning.’

MARK 9:49-50

Difficulties can put something special into our lives

v49 ‘People bring their live animals as *sacrifices to the *Temple. There they burn these animals with fire. But first they put salt on the dead *sacrifice meat, so that God will accept it. Everyone who believes me will have difficulties. And these are like the salt that people put on their burnt *sacrifices. v50 Salt is useful to put on food, but it must be salty. You cannot make salt taste salty again if it loses its flavour. In a similar way, you are like God’s salt as you live among people. And you must also live at peace with each other.’

MARK 10:1-12

Jesus teaches about divorce

v1 Jesus left Capernaum with his *disciples. They went on through Judea district and across the Jordan River. Crowds gathered round Jesus again, and he taught them. This was what he usually did. v2 Some *Pharisees approached him while he was teaching the people. They asked him a question: ‘Does our *Jewish *law allow a man to divorce his wife?’ They wanted to see whether he would answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Then they could accuse him of being wrong. v3 This was Jesus’ answer, ‘What did *Moses command your people who lived long ago? What did Moses say about a man who wants to divorce his wife?’ v4 One of the *Pharisees replied, ‘*Moses allowed a man to write on paper his reason for divorcing his wife. Then the man could give this paper to his wife and send her away.’

v5 So Jesus said to them, ‘Your people from long ago always insisted on doing only what they themselves wanted. That is why *Moses wrote that *law long ago for your people. You also want your own way as much as they did! v6 But that is not what God wants’, Jesus said. ‘God intended that one man and one woman should become one married couple. He intended this when he first created people. v7-8 God also intended that every married couple should live together. They should be separate from their fathers and mothers. They will then become united so closely that they are like one person’, Jesus said. ‘Before their marriage, the man and woman were two separate persons. But after their marriage God sees them as one person. So he wants them to remain married. v9 That is why the husband must not separate himself from his wife. It is God who has joined them together!’

v10 Later, Jesus and his *disciples were alone in the house. And the *disciples asked him again about the same matter. v11 So Jesus said this to them, ‘So, a man divorces his first wife and marries another woman. But God considers that such a man is doing something wrong to his first wife. v12 So a woman divorces her first husband and marries another man. But God considers that such a woman is doing something wrong to her first husband.’

MARK 10:13-16

Jesus blesses little children

v13 One day, people brought some children to Jesus. They wanted him to touch and to bless the children. But the *disciples were quite severe with them. They told the people not to bring their children. v14 Jesus saw this and he became angry. He said to the *disciples, ‘You must allow the children to come to me! Do not try to stop them coming to me! Little children trust their parents and older people. Because of this they know how God cares for them. v15 Everyone must trust God as a child trusts him. Then they will really know how God can look after them.’ v16 Then Jesus took the children in his arms. And he asked God to bless them as he placed his hands on their heads.

MARK 10:17-31

What we need to do in order to live with God for all time

v17 Jesus was starting out on his journey again with his *disciples. Then a man ran to Jesus and kneeled down in front of him. The man asked Jesus, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to have *life that never ends?’ v18 This is what Jesus said to him: ‘You should not say that I, Jesus am good. Only God is good! No other person is good. v19 But you know God’s rules that *Moses wrote down. God commanded things such as these: “Do not murder anyone, and do not cheat your wife or husband. Do not steal, and do not tell lies. Do not cheat anyone, and give honour to your father and mother”.’ v20 The man said to him, ‘Teacher, I have obeyed all these rules ever since I was a young man.’

v21 Jesus looked at the man and he liked him. ‘There is one thing that you have not yet done’, Jesus said to him. ‘You must go and sell all your possessions. Then give the money to poor people. If you do that, your real wealth will be with God in *heaven. Then you can come with me and you can be my *disciple!’ v22 The man was very disappointed when he heard that. He went away sad, because he was very rich. He did not want to give away everything. v23 Jesus looked round at the people. Then he spoke to his *disciples, ‘God wants to rule our lives But this is very difficult for rich people!’ v24 The *disciples had a real shock at what Jesus said. So Jesus spoke to them again, ‘My dear friends, it is very difficult for anyone to allow God to rule their life. v25 It is very difficult for a camel to go through the small hole at the end of a needle. It is even more difficult for a rich person to allow God to rule their life.’

v26 The *disciples were astonished when they heard this. So they said to each other, ‘If God will not save rich people, then he will not save anyone!’ v27 Jesus looked at them, and then he said, ‘Yes, it is impossible for people to save themselves! But God certainly can save them, because God can do anything!’ v28 Then Peter spoke out, ‘We have left everything behind to become your *disciples. Will God reward us because we did that?’

v29 This was Jesus’ reply: ‘Listen carefully to what I will tell you now: It is hard to be one of my *disciples. It is hard to go and tell people the good news. People who do this may have to leave many things behind them. They may have to leave their house. They may have to leave brothers, or sisters, or their father or mother, or their own children. v30 But I promise you that I will give back all these things. I will give them back even while they are still alive. I will give them a hundred times more than they left behind. They will have many houses. They will have very many brothers, sisters, mothers and children. They will also have plenty of land. But people will do bad things to them here on earth. However, they will have *life that never ends with me. That will be when I rule as king for all time.

v31 But I warn you all: Many of you who now consider yourselves to be very important will be unimportant then. And many of you who now consider yourselves to be unimportant will be very important then!’

MARK 10:32–34

Jesus again talks to his *disciples about his death

v32 They continued on their journey. Some days later, Jesus and those *disciples who were with him were walking up the road to Jerusalem city. Jesus was walking ahead of them. The *disciples did not know what to think. And the other people with them were afraid about what would happen to Jesus in Jerusalem. So, along the way Jesus took the 12 *disciples aside. And again he began to tell them more about what would happen to him in Jerusalem. v33 ‘Listen well to what I shall say!’ Jesus said to them. ‘We are going to Jerusalem. There someone will help the chief priests and those who teach our *Jewish *laws to seize me. They will decide to kill me, although I am the man from *heaven. Then they will take me to the *Roman authorities. v34 Those people will laugh at me. They will *spit at me. They will whip me, and then they will kill me. But two days later I will become alive again!’

MARK 10:35–45

James and John have the wrong ambitions

v35 Along the way, James and John approached Jesus. They said to him, ‘Teacher, there is something that we want you to do for us!’ v36 ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked them. v37 They replied, ‘When you rule in your *glory, let us rule with you. Let one of us sit at your right side and the other sit at your left side. We will sit close to you. We will be your most important helpers when you rule.’ v38 But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not understand what you are asking. You will never be able to drink the cup that I must drink. God will not *baptise you like he will *baptise me.’ v39 They replied, ‘Yes, we can!’ Jesus continued to talk. ‘It is true that you will have to suffer like me. And people will kill you as they will kill me. v40 But I will not choose the people who will sit close to me. Only God can choose the people to whom he will give those places.’

v41 The other ten *disciples heard later about James and John’s request. And they were very angry with James and John. v42 So Jesus called them all together again, and he said this to them: ‘Rulers everywhere in the world like to show that they are powerful. People who consider themselves to be important like to give orders to other people. You know these things. v43 But you should not be like them! The opposite is true. If you want God to consider you to be great, you must serve other people. v44 And if you want God to consider you to be the most important person, you must serve other people. You must serve them like a slave. v45 I am the person who has come from *heaven. But I did not come for other people to serve me. Quite the opposite, I came in order to serve other people. I came to allow people to kill me, so that God will set many people free.’

MARK 10:46-52

Jesus feels pity for a blind man and cures him

v46 On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus and the *disciples came to Jericho town. Later, they were leaving Jericho together with a large crowd. And a blind man was sitting by the side of the road. He was always asking people for money. His name was Bartimaeus, and his father’s name was Timaeus. v47 He heard people say that Jesus from Nazareth was passing by. So he shouted, ‘Jesus! You are the *Messiah, the king like David! Please have pity and help me!’ v48 Many people told the man to stop shouting and to be quiet. But he shouted even more. ‘You are the *Messiah, so please have pity. And please help me!’

v49 Jesus stopped in the middle of the road and he said, ‘Call him to come over here!’ They called out to the blind man and said, ‘Jesus is calling for you! So do not be afraid now. Get up and come over here!’ v50 He threw off his coat and he jumped up. He came to Jesus, v51 and Jesus asked him: ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man replied, ‘Sir, I want to be able to see again!’ v52 Jesus said to him, ‘You believe that I can cure you. Because you believe, I will cure you. So, you may go home now!’ The blind man could see immediately. And he went along the road with Jesus.

MARK 11:1-11

Jesus enters Jerusalem city on a *donkey

v1 Jesus and his *disciples came near the edge of Jerusalem city. They had arrived at Bethphage and Bethany villages near *Olive Tree Hill. Then Jesus sent two of his *disciples into Bethphage. v2 ‘Go to that village just ahead of you’, he told them. ‘Just inside the village, you will find a young *donkey that no one has ridden yet. The *donkey’s owner has tied it up by the edge of the road. Untie the *donkey, and then bring it to me. v3 Someone will probably ask you, “Why are you doing that?” You must say to them, “Our *Lord needs to use it. He will send it back here with someone as soon as he no longer needs it.” ’

v4 So the two *disciples went, and they found the young *donkey. The owner had tied it up near the door of a house. So they untied it. v5 Some people were standing there. They asked the two *disciples, ‘Why are you untying that *donkey?’ v6 The *disciples told them what Jesus had said. So the people allowed them to take the *donkey. v7 They brought it to Jesus. The *disciples put their coats on the *donkey’s back for Jesus to sit on. v8 Many people spread their coats on the road to give him honour as a king. Other people cut branches from trees in the fields. And they spread these branches along the road to give him honour also. v9 There were people in front of him and other people behind him. They were all shouting, ‘Welcome, you great person! God will bless you, as you come with his authority. v10 We pray that God will bless you. You will rule as King David, our former king, ruled! Praise God who is in *heaven!’

v11 So Jesus entered Jerusalem city with all the people. He went straight into the *Temple area and he looked round at everything there. Then Jesus left the city for the night, because it was already late in the afternoon. He and the 12 *disciples went back to Bethany village, and they slept there.

MARK 11:12-14

Jesus orders a *fig tree to stop producing *figs

v12 The next day, Jesus and his *disciples were leaving Bethany, and Jesus was hungry. v13 Jesus saw from a distance a *fig tree with many leaves. He went over to the tree. He wanted to see if he could find any *figs on it. But when he came to the tree, he found only leaves on it. It was not yet the normal time when *fig trees have ripe *figs. That was why there were only leaves on the tree. v14 Then Jesus said to the tree, ‘No *figs will ever grow on you again. Nobody will eat your *figs.’ And the *disciples heard what Jesus said.

MARK 11:15-19

Jesus clears the market out of the *Temple

v15 On the next day, Jesus and his *disciples went back to Jerusalem. Jesus entered the *Temple area. He saw people there. They were selling and buying animals for *sacrifices. Those merchants were spoiling the place of *worship. Jesus chased them out of the *Temple area. *Worshippers had to pay a tax to the people who took care of the *Temple. So, other merchants were exchanging *Roman coins for the *Temple coins that people had to pay. Jesus turned over the tables of these money changers. There were also people who were selling birds for *sacrifice. Jesus turned over those people’s seats. v16 Jesus would not allow anyone to carry any loads through the *Temple area.

v17 Then Jesus sat down and he taught the people. ‘The *Scriptures tell us what God said to the *prophets long ago’, he said. ‘This is what one of the *prophets wrote: “I want people to call my house a place where people from all nations can pray”, God said. But you thieves have made it like a cave where you hide!’ v18 Later the chief priests and the men who taught the *Jewish *laws heard about this. So, they planned how they might kill Jesus. They realised that the words of Jesus impressed the crowds. So they were afraid of what the people might do to them. v19 And that evening, Jesus and his *disciples again left the city and they slept in Bethany.

MARK 11:20-26

The *fig tree is dead

v20 The next morning, Jesus and the *disciples were going along the road towards Jerusalem. They walked past the *fig tree that Jesus had spoken to. And they saw that it was quite dry. And it was completely dead. v21 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said to that *fig tree. He called out to Jesus, ‘Teacher, look! This *fig tree that you spoke to is quite dry! It has completely died!’ v22 Jesus replied to him, ‘God did what I asked! You should not be surprised about that. You must trust God. He will do whatever you ask him to do!

v23 Hear this also: Perhaps someone may say to this mountain, “Get up and throw yourself into the lake!” But that person must have no doubt that God will answer their prayer. They must really believe that he will carry out their request. God will do what they ask. v24 And so, you must believe God every time that you pray. You must believe that you will receive your request. And, if you believe, God will do it for you. v25 And I will also tell you this about prayer. Perhaps you feel that someone has behaved badly towards you. Then you must forgive them, so that your *Father in *heaven will forgive your *sins.’ [v26 ‘But if you do not forgive them, neither will your *Father in *heaven forgive your *sins.’][9]

MARK 11:27-33

The chief priests ask who gave Jesus his authority

v27 Jesus and his *disciples returned to the *Temple area in Jerusalem. And Jesus was walking about there. Then a group of *Jewish leaders came up to him. They were the chief priests, some men who taught the *Jewish *laws and other *Jewish wise old men. And they said to him, v28 ‘We did not give you authority to do things like those that you did here yesterday! Who gave you authority to act like this?’ v29 Jesus replied to them, ‘I want to ask you something. You answer me first. Then I will tell you who gave me authority to do those things. v30 Think about John the *Baptiser. Did God give John his authority to *baptise people? Or was it a human person who gave him this authority? Answer me!’

v31 They discussed among themselves what they should answer. ‘We could say that God gave him his authority’, they said. ‘But then Jesus will say to us, “You should have believed what John said!” v32 On the other hand, we could say that a human person gave John his authority. Then what will happen?’ They did not want to say that it was a human person. They were afraid that the ordinary people would be very angry with them. All the people believed that John was a *prophet. They believed that God had sent him. The priests and the men who taught *Jewish *laws knew this. v33 So the *Jewish leaders answered Jesus, ‘We do not know who gave John his authority.’ So Jesus said to them, ‘You do not want to answer me. All right then, I will not tell you who gave me authority to do those things here yesterday.’

MARK 12:1-12

Jesus tells a story about the people who look after the *vine bushes

v1 Then Jesus told a story to those *Jewish leaders.[10] ‘A certain man planted some *vine bushes in a piece of land’, Jesus said. ‘The man built a stone wall round the land. He made a stone bath. This bath would collect the juice that they would press out of the *grapes. He also built a high building where someone would guard his *vine bushes. Then the owner made a contract with some men to look after his *vine bushes. They agreed to give him some of the *grapes. Then he went away to a distant place.

v2 The time came to harvest the *grapes. So the owner sent a servant to the men who were looking after the *vine bushes. The owner wanted those men to give him his share of the *grape harvest. v3 The servant arrived at the farm. But the workers seized the man’s servant and they hit him. Then they sent him away with empty hands. v4 Later the owner of the *vine bushes sent another servant to the farm. But the workers hit that servant hard on the head, and they insulted him. v5 Still later the owner sent another servant. The workers actually killed this one. They hit some of the many servants whom the owner sent. And they killed other servants.

v6 The owner still had one other person with him. He had his son with him whom he loved very much. So, finally he sent his son to the farm. He thought that the workers would respect his son. v7 But when the son arrived, those evil men said to each other, “Look! Here comes the man who will some day own his father’s land! So let us kill the son and this property will be ours!” v8 So, they seized him and they killed him. Then they threw his body out beyond the *vine bushes. v9 So think about that! Think about what the owner of the *vine bushes will do. He will be sure to come. And he will kill those evil men who were looking after his *vine bushes. Then he will arrange for other people to look after the bushes. v10 Now think about this *scripture, which you have read:

“The men who were building the *Temple threw out one stone. They would not use it. But someone else put that same stone in its proper place in the building. And now it has become the most important stone of the *Temple! v11 The *Lord did this, and it is wonderful for us to see it.” ’

v12 Jesus used this story to talk about the wrong things that the *Jewish leaders did. And they realised that Jesus was accusing them. So the *Jewish leaders wanted to arrest Jesus. But they were afraid of what the crowds would do to protect him. So they left him and they went away.

MARK 12:13-17

Jesus answers the *Pharisees about taxes

v13 The *Jewish leaders sent some more people to talk to Jesus. These were some *Pharisees and some people who had authority from King *Herod Antipas. They wanted Jesus to say something wrong so that the *Roman government could arrest him. v14 So these *Pharisees and their friends came there. They began to talk to Jesus in a lying way: ‘Teacher, we know that you always teach the truth. You are not worried about what people will say about you. Instead, you tell the truth. An important person may not like what you say. But you still tell the truth. You teach the truth about what God wants us to do. So tell us what you think about this matter: Is it right that we pay taxes to the *Roman government? Or is it not right to pay these taxes? Should we pay the taxes or should we not pay them?’

v15 Jesus knew that they did not really want to know. It did not matter to them what God wanted them to do. So this was how he answered them, ‘I know that you want to make me say something wrong. And then you can arrest me. But I will answer your question anyway. Bring me a *Roman coin. I want to ask you something about it.’ v16 So they brought him a coin, and he asked them, ‘Whose picture do you see on this coin? Whose name is on it?’ The *Pharisees replied, ‘It is a picture of Caesar, the man who rules the *Roman government. And it is his name that is on it’. v17 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give the *Roman government what they demand. And give God what he demands.’ The *Pharisees were very surprised at how Jesus answered them.

MARK 12:18-27

What it will be like in *heaven in the future

v18 Some men from the *Sadducee party came to Jesus. The *Sadducees believed that people could not come alive again after death. They wanted to prove that Jesus was wrong. So they asked him: v19 ‘Teacher, *Moses wrote down this instruction for us *Jews. It is about a man who dies without children. If the man’s brother does not have a wife, he should marry his brother’s widow. Their first son will be born. Then people can say that this first child is the son of the dead brother. *Moses said this. v20 Well, there were seven brothers. The oldest brother married a woman, but he and his wife did not have any children. Later on, he died. v21 The second brother followed this *law and he married that woman. He, too, did not have any children. Then he died. The third brother did the same as his other brothers. And this brother also did not have any children. Later he died. v22 So all seven brothers married that woman one at a time. But they had no children, and finally they all died. Afterwards the woman died, too. v23 Now, what do you think? Whose wife will that woman be in *heaven when people become alive again? (We do not know if they become alive again.) She was married to all seven brothers, one at a time!’ v24 This was Jesus’ reply to the *Sadducees: ‘You are completely wrong. You do not seem to know what God says about this in the *Scriptures. And also you do not understand God’s power to make people alive again. v25 When people become alive again, they will be like the *angels in *heaven. They will not marry. Then men will not need to have wives nor women to have husbands. v26 But *Moses did write something about people who die. They become alive again after they die. *Moses was looking at the bush that was burning. Then God spoke to him, “I am the God whom Abraham *worshipped. I am the God whom Isaac *worshipped. And I am the God whom Jacob *worshipped.” v27 God is certainly not the God whom dead people *worship! He is the God whom living people *worship. You *Sadducees are all wrong.’

MARK 12:28-34

A man asks Jesus what God’s most important command is

v28 A man who taught the *Jewish *laws was there. He heard Jesus’ discussion with the *Sadducees. And he knew that Jesus had answered the *Sadducees’ question well. So he stepped forward and he asked Jesus, ‘Which of all God’s commands is the most important one for us to obey?’ v29 Jesus answered, ‘God’s most important command is this: “Listen to what I am saying, you people in *Israel! You must *worship the *Lord, our God. He is your only *Lord. And you must show God that you love him by this! v30 You can show him this by the way that you live. You can show him this by all that you want. You can show this by how you feel. You can show God that you love him in other ways too. You can show this by all that you think. You can show this by all that you do!” v31 The next most important command is: “You must love people whom you meet in your daily life. You must love them in quite the same way as you love yourself.” No other command is more important than these two commands!’

v32 ‘Teacher, you have answered well’, the man said to Jesus. ‘You said that he is the only God. You were correct when you said that. It is true that there is no other God. And we must *worship and obey him only. v33 You said how we must love God. What you said was right. We should love God by all that we are. We should love him with all our thoughts and with all our life. And you were correct in what you said. We must love people whom we meet in our daily life. We must love them in quite the same way that we love ourselves. If we do these things, this pleases God more than anything else. We may offer animals to God. And we may burn other *sacrifices to please him. But these things will please God more.’ v34 Jesus realised that this man had answered wisely. So he said to the man, ‘I think that you will soon allow God to rule your life.’ After that, none of the *Jewish leaders wanted to ask him any more questions. They had become afraid of him.

MARK 12:35-37

The *Messiah is God. He is not just a human person.

v35 Later, Jesus was teaching again in the *Temple area. And Jesus said this to the people: ‘The teachers of the *Jewish *laws say that the *Messiah is merely a man. They say that he will be a king from the same family of people as King David’s people long ago. Those teachers must be wrong when they say this. v36 The *Holy Spirit caused David himself to say this: “God said to my *Lord: ‘Sit down here next to me. Sit at the place where I will give you great honour! Sit here until I completely defeat your enemies!’ ” v37 David himself calls the *Messiah his *Lord. So the *Messiah cannot just be a human person from King David’s people.’ Many people listened to Jesus as he taught these things. They were very happy to hear him speak.

MARK 12:38-40

Jesus warns the *disciples: the *Jewish teachers teach one thing but they do another thing

v38 Again, Jesus was teaching the people. ‘Take care that you do not act like the teachers of the *Jewish *laws’, Jesus said. ‘Those teachers like people to give them honour. So they put on long coats and they walk about. They want people to see how important they are. They also like people to greet them with respect in the market places. v39 They like to sit in the most important seats at the places where people meet. At public dinners, they like to sit in the seats where people will give them honour. v40 They cheat widows and they steal their houses and property. Then they say long prayers in public. And they pretend that they are good. God will certainly give a severe punishment to those people!’

MARK 12:41-44

A poor widow gives all that she has to God

v41 Jesus sat down in the *Temple near the boxes in which people put money for God. Jesus watched people put money in the boxes. Many rich people put in large amounts of money. v42 Then a poor widow came and she put in two small coins. These only had a very small value. v43-44 So he called his *disciples together and he spoke to them: ‘Look at that widow! Those other people have a lot of money, but they gave only a small part of it. But this very poor woman has put in all the money that she had. She needed to buy food with that. So God considers that this poor widow has put more money in the box than all the other people!’

MARK 13:1-2

Jesus warns that enemies will completely destroy the *Temple

v1 Jesus was leaving the *Temple area, and one of his *disciples said to him, ‘Teacher, look at how beautiful these stones are! Look how wonderful these buildings are!’ v2 Jesus said to him, ‘Yes, these buildings that you are looking at are wonderful. But I want to tell you something about them. Foreigners will destroy them completely! And not one of these *Temple stones will be left on top of another one!’

MARK 13:3-37

Trouble is coming!

v3 They came to *Olive Tree Hill, across the valley from the *Temple. Jesus sat down there. And Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him by themselves to ask him about what he had said. v4 ‘Tell us when that future trouble will happen. You say that God has plans for the future. You say that he will soon finish all these plans. He will do a big thing when his time has come. Tell us what this big thing will be.’ v5 ‘Be careful! Many people will tell you lies about what will happen!’ Jesus replied. v6 These people will tell you that I sent them. They will say that they are the *Messiah! They will tell such big lies that many people will believe them.

v7 People will tell you about near wars or wars far away. But do not be upset by what they say. God has said that this must happen first. But when it does happen, be careful! God will not finish all that he has planned at that time! v8 People who live in various countries will fight each other. Various governments will fight each other. There will also be *earthquakes in various places. And people will die because they have no food. But when these things happen, people will have only just begun to suffer. They will suffer much more after that.

v9 Be ready for what people will do to you at that time. They will arrest you because you believe my words. And they will take you to court in front of the *councils of religion. Other people will come to the places where you are *worshipping God. They will hit you there. People will take you in front of important government authorities. And you will be able to tell these officials the good *Message. v10 But first, you must announce my good *Message to all groups of people everywhere.

Then God will finish all that he has planned to do. v11 People will arrest you because you believe my words. But do not worry now about what you will say in the court. Instead, just say what God puts into your mind at that time. Then it will not be just you who will be speaking. It will be the *Holy Spirit who causes you to speak. v12 Other evil things will happen: People will accuse you to the government because you believe. People will even accuse their own brothers and sisters. And the government will kill them because they believe my words. Parents will accuse their own children, and children will accuse their own parents. And the government will kill their parents. v13 In fact, almost everybody will hate you because you believe my words. But you must continue to have a strong trust in me until your life is finished. Then God will rescue all of you who believe me.’

v14 Jesus continued to speak. ‘During that time the disgusting person will enter the *Temple. That person will not respect the *Temple at all. It will be so bad that people will not be able to *worship God there. This person will stand there where he should not be standing. (Everyone who is reading this should listen carefully. Jesus is warning you all!) At that time, those people who are in Judea district must run away to the mountains. v15 People outside their own houses must not re-enter their houses. They must not take anything out of their houses before they escape. v16 Those people who are working in the fields must not return to their houses. They must not go back to their houses to get more clothes before they run away. v17 But I feel very sorry for women who will be expecting a child in those days. I feel sorry also for women who will be feeding their children from their breasts at that time. It will be very difficult for them to run away!

v18-19 In those days, your enemies will make you *Jews suffer terribly. It is a very long time since God first created the world. People have never suffered this much before. And they will not suffer like this again. So pray that this painful time will not happen in winter or the rainy season. It is much harder to travel then. v20 But not everyone will die. God has decided that people will not have to suffer so long. He has chosen you. He thinks that you are very special people. v21-22 At that time many other people will come to the places where you live. They will all say that they are the *Messiah. But they will be lying. Other *prophets will also appear. They will do many kinds of *miracles. They will even try to lie to you people whom God has chosen. But they will not be able to do that. So, do not believe just anyone who says things to you. They may say, “Look, this man is the *Messiah!” Or they may say, “Look, the *Messiah is that man over there.” Do not believe them! v23 Be wide awake! I am warning you about all this before it happens! You must remember my words!’

v24-25 ‘People will first have to suffer like this. Then God will cause everything in the sky to shake. The sun will become dark, and the moon will not shine. The stars will fall from the sky. v26 Then people will see me again. They will see again the man who came from *heaven. I will be powerful and magnificent when I come through the clouds. v27 Then I will send out the *angels. They will gather together God’s people from all over the world. That includes all the most distant places on earth.

v28 Now think about the way that *fig trees grow. We can learn much from this. Their branches become soft and their young leaves begin to grow. Then you know that summer is near. v29 And you yourselves, you will see these terrible things happen. Then you will know that the time for me to return is very near. v30 Note this: You have seen the things that I have done. You have heard the things that I have said. But all of those events will happen before all of this [OR that] *generation die. v31 The world and what is in the sky will disappear completely after some time. But what I say will never disappear. The things that I say will happen. They will certainly happen. v32 But no one knows the exact time when I will return. The *angels in *heaven also do not know. Even I, God’s only *Son, do not know. Only my *Father knows.

v33 Therefore, be prepared for all these events to happen. You must always be ready, like people who are waiting for an important man to come. They do not know when he will come! Neither do you know when I will return. v34 You should be like the servants of a man who will soon leave his house. This man will travel to a distant place. So he tells his servants that they should manage the house. He tells each one what he should do. Then he gives a special command to the person who watches his outer door. This man must be ready to open it. He must be ready for him when he comes back. v35 This servant must be ready, because his master may return at any time. He may return in the evening, or at midnight. He may return at dawn or even long before dawn. You are like this servant. You also do not know when I will return. Therefore you must be always ready like this servant. v36-37 I do not want to find you asleep when I return! I am saying this to you, my *disciples. But I am also saying this to everyone who believes my words: Be ready!’

MARK 14:1-2

The *Jewish leaders plan to arrest Jesus in secret

v1 After two days, the people would have an important ceremony[11]. This was the *Passover supper. The *Passover itself lasted for one whole week. All that time they ate bread that had no *yeast in it. The chief priests and the men who taught the *Jewish *laws were making plans. They wanted to arrest Jesus secretly. They wanted to accuse him in front of the *Roman authorities. They hoped that the *Romans would then kill him. v2 But they were saying to each other, ‘It is not wise to accuse Jesus during these special days. If we arrest Jesus then, his *disciples will cause the people to be very angry with us.’

MARK 14:3-11

A woman pours *ointment which smells sweet on Jesus’ head

v3 Jesus was in Bethany town, in Simon’s house. Some time before, Jesus had cured Simon of *leprosy. They were eating supper, and a certain woman came in. She was carrying a small stone jar that was full of *ointment. This was an expensive *ointment which smelt sweet. It was called ‘nard’. The woman opened the jar and she poured the *ointment on Jesus’ head. v4 Some of the people there became angry. They said to each other, ‘She should not have wasted that *ointment! v5 We could have sold it for a large amount of money. Then we could have given the money to poor people!’ So they told her that she was wrong to have done that.

v6 But Jesus said, ‘Stop being angry with her! Stop bothering her! She has only done a very right and lovely thing for me. v7 There will always be poor people in your towns. So, whenever you want to help the poor, you can help them. But I will not be here with you much longer. v8 She has done what she was able to do. And what she has done is right. It is as if she put the *ointment on my body ready for people to bury me. v9 I will tell you this: Later on, people will talk about the good *Message all over the world. And then people will also tell other people what this woman did for me. And so, many people will remember her.’

v10 Then Judas from Karioth town went to talk with the chief priests. He wanted to help the *Jews to arrest Jesus. And he did that although he was one of the 12 *disciples! v11 Those *Jewish leaders heard that Judas was willing to help them. So they were very happy. They promised to give Judas a large amount of money because he was helping them. So he began to plan a convenient way to help Jesus’ enemies. He would help them to arrest Jesus.

MARK 14:12-17

Two *disciples go to prepare the *Passover meal

v12 Two days later, it was the first day of the week, when people ate bread without *yeast. This was the day when they killed the *lambs for the *Passover supper. Jesus’ *disciples said to him, ‘Where should we go to prepare the *Passover supper? Then we can eat it together.’ v13 So Jesus sent two of his *disciples ahead to prepare everything. ‘Go into the city’, Jesus said to them. ‘You will meet a man who is carrying a large jar full of water. Follow him. v14 When the man enters a house, say this to the owner of the house: “The teacher wants us to prepare the *Passover supper. He wants to eat it with us, his *disciples. Do you have a room that we can use?” v15 The owner of the house will show you a large room that is on the upper floor. It will have a table and seats and it will be ready for us to eat the meal. Then prepare the supper there for us.’ v16 So the two *disciples left. They went into the city. Everything there was absolutely as Jesus had told them. They prepared the *Passover supper. v17 And when it was evening, Jesus arrived at the house with the rest of the *disciples.

MARK 14:18-26

Jesus eats his last *Passover supper with his *disciples

v18 Jesus and the *disciples were sitting and eating in that upper room. Then Jesus spoke. ‘Listen to me: One of you will help my enemies to arrest me. It will be one of you who is eating with me right now!’ v19 The *disciples became very sad. They said to Jesus one at a time, ‘You cannot mean me, can you!’ v20 ‘It is one of you 12 *disciples’, Jesus said to them. ‘It is the *disciple who puts his bread into the soup dish with me’, he said. v21 ‘It is certain that I, the man from *heaven, will die. That is what the *prophets wrote about me. But the man who helps my enemies to arrest me will have a terrible future! In fact, that man would be happier if he had not been born!’

v22 They were still eating. Then Jesus took a loaf of bread in his hands. He thanked God for the bread. He broke the bread into pieces. Then he gave the pieces to the *disciples to eat. Jesus said to them, ‘Think of this bread as my body. Take a piece of it and eat it.’ v23 When they were finishing the meal, Jesus took a cup of wine. He thanked God for the wine. He gave the *disciples the cup, and they all drank from it. v24 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Think of this wine as my blood. I will lose blood when my enemies kill me. But my blood will be a sign. This sign will show the agreement that God has made with his people. My death will cancel the *sins of many people. v25 And note this: I will not drink any more wine in this way now. But later, the time will come when I will drink wine with a new meaning. This will be the time when I begin to rule.’ v26 After they had sung a *psalm together, they went out towards *Olive Tree Hill.

MARK 14:27-31

Peter will say three times that he does not know Jesus

v27 Jesus said something else to them while they were walking along the road. ‘The *prophets have written in the *Scriptures what God said about me: “I will kill the *shepherd and his sheep will run away in every direction.” And these words will come true’, said Jesus. ‘Evil people will be ready to arrest me. Then all of you will leave me and you will run away. v28 But God will make me alive again. Then I will go ahead of you to Galilee district. I will meet you there.’ v29 Then Peter spoke: ‘Perhaps all the other *disciples will leave you, but not me! I will never leave you!’ v30 Jesus replied to him: ‘Listen to me! You will do this tonight, even before the *cock *crows a second time’, Jesus said. ‘You yourself will say three times that you do not know me!’ v31 But Peter replied with a strong voice: ‘Perhaps they will kill me too. But I will never say that I do not know you!’ And all the other *disciples said the same thing.

MARK 14:32-42

Jesus prays in Gethsemane while the *disciples sleep

v32 Jesus and the *disciples came to the place that people call Gethsemane. Then Jesus said to some of his *disciples, ‘Stay here while I pray.’ v33 He took Peter, James and John with him. Jesus then became extremely anxious. v34 ‘I feel very sad’, he said to them. ‘It is as if I were going to die. You men stay here and keep awake!’ v35 Jesus went a bit further and threw himself on the ground. Then he asked God not to make him suffer, if it were possible. v36 ‘Oh my *Father’, he said, ‘you are able to do everything. You can rescue me so that I do not have to suffer now! But, do not do what I want. Instead, do what you want!’

v37 Then he came back to the place where the three *disciples were. They were asleep. He woke them up and he said, ‘Simon! I am disappointed that you are asleep. I thought that you would be able to stay awake for an hour at least!’ v38 Then Jesus said to all of them, ‘You want to do what I say. I know this. But you are not strong enough. So keep awake and pray. Then you will be able to continue trying when things become difficult!’ v39 Jesus went away again. Again he prayed as he had prayed the first time. v40 He came back to the three *disciples. Again they were asleep, because they were very tired. And Jesus woke them up. Then they did not know what to say to him. v41 A third time he went away to pray. And, when he returned, again he found them asleep. This time he said to them, ‘You have slept and rested enough now. But for me my time of suffering will soon begin. Look! Someone is coming to help *sinful men to arrest me, the man from *heaven. v42 So, get up! Let us go and meet him! The man who will hand me over to my enemies has come.’

MARK 14:43-49

Judas hands Jesus over to the crowd

v43 While Jesus was still speaking, Judas arrived. And Judas was one of Jesus’ own 12 *disciples! A crowd of people who were carrying swords and sticks was with Judas. The leaders of the *Jewish *Council had sent them. v44 Judas was helping Jesus’ enemies to arrest Jesus. Before this, Judas had told them which person to arrest. ‘The man whom I shall kiss’, Judas said, ‘is Jesus. When I kiss him, seize him. Take him away and guard him very carefully.’ v45 So, when Judas arrived, he immediately went up to Jesus. ‘My teacher!’ he said, and he kissed Jesus on his cheek. v46 Then the crowd seized Jesus. v47 But one of Jesus’ *disciples, who was standing near, pulled out his sword. He tried to kill the high priest’s servant with it, but he only cut off his ear. v48-49 Jesus said to them, ‘Day after day I was teaching people in the *Temple. You were there and you did not seize me! So you did not have to come here with swords and sticks to arrest me. I am not a dangerous thief! But this is happening because of what the *prophets wrote in the *Scriptures about me. The *prophets said it would happen like this.’

MARK 14:50-52

Mark runs away

v50 All the *disciples at once left him and they ran away. v51 I (Mark) was following Jesus just then. I was wearing only a thin cloth round me. The crowd seized me. v52 But, I left the thin cloth in their hands and I was able to run away naked.

MARK 14:53-65

The *Jewish *Council ask Jesus some questions

v53 The people who had arrested Jesus led him away to the high priest’s house. All of the *Jewish *Council had gathered there. v54 Peter followed far behind Jesus. He went into the yard of the high priest’s house and he sat down there with the guards. He was warming himself next to a fire. v55 The chief priests and the *Jewish *Council wanted someone who would accuse Jesus to the *Roman authorities. They wanted the *Romans to kill him. But they could not find anyone who would tell lies about Jesus. v56 Many people spoke falsely about him, but they did not agree with each other. v57 Finally, some people stood up and accused Jesus. They said, v58 ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this *Temple that was built by people’s hands. Then after three days I will build another *Temple that human hands cannot build”.’ v59 But these men could not even agree about these words.

v60 Then the high priest himself stood up in front of the *Council. ‘Will you not reply?’ he said to Jesus. ‘What do you say about all these things that they are accusing you of?’ v61 But Jesus was silent. He did not reply, although he was not guilty. Then the high priest tried again. He asked Jesus, ‘Are you the *Messiah? Are you the man who is also God? Do you say this?’ v62 ‘I am’, Jesus said. ‘And later you will see me, the man from *heaven, ruling next to the all-powerful God. You will also see me come down through the clouds!’

v63 The high priest was very angry when he heard that. He tore his outer coat. Jesus had seemed to say that he was equal to God. Then the high priest said, ‘We certainly do not need any more people who will speak against this man. v64 You have heard what he said against God! He says that he is equal with God! So then, what is your opinion?’ The people all accused Jesus of *sin against God. They cried out that they should kill him. v65 Some of them began to *spit at Jesus. They tied a cloth over his eyes and they began to strike him with their fists. ‘Tell us who hit you!’ they said to Jesus. ‘Then we will know that you are a real *prophet.’ And those who were guarding Jesus also hit him with their hands.

MARK 14:66-72

Peter says three times that he does not know Jesus

v66 Peter was still outside the house in the yard. A girl who worked for the high priest came near Peter. v67 She saw him as he was warming himself next to the fire. And she looked at him carefully. Then she said, ‘You also were with Jesus, that man from Nazareth town!’ v68 But Peter said that this was not true. ‘I do not understand what you are talking about!’ And he moved away from there to the gate. A *cock *crowed once. v69 The servant girl saw him again as he was standing by the gate. So she said to the people who were standing near, ‘You know that man whom they arrested. This man is one of those people who were with him.’ v70 But Peter again said that he was not with Jesus.

After a short time, the people who were standing there talked to Peter again. ‘Your accent shows that you are also from Galilee district’, they said. ‘So you certainly are one of those who went about with Jesus!’ v71 In answer to that, Peter began to speak in a loud and strong voice: ‘I do not know the man whom you are talking about! God knows that I am telling the truth. I want him to punish me if it is not so!’ v72 Immediately, the *cock *crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said to him that same night. ‘The *cock will *crow a second time. By then you will have said three times that you do not know me.’ Peter realised what he had done. And then he started to cry.

MARK 15:1-5

Jesus refuses to answer when the ruler Pilate accuses him

v1 Very early in the morning, the chief priests met together with the *Jewish *Council. They met to decide how to accuse Jesus in front of the *Roman ruler. Their guards tied Jesus’ arms and they took him to Pilate’s house. Pilate was the *Roman man who ruled Judea *province. Then they started to accuse him in front of Pilate. They said: ‘Jesus is saying in public that he is a king!’ v2 Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you saying that you are a king? Are you saying that you will rule the *Jews?’ Jesus answered him, ‘You yourself have said this.’ v3 Then the chief priests accused Jesus of doing many bad things. v4 Pilate asked him again, ‘Do you not have anything to say? Listen to them. They are saying that you have done many bad things!’ v5 But Jesus did not say anything more. Pilate was very much surprised at Jesus’ silence.

MARK 15:6-15

Pilate orders his soldiers to kill Jesus by putting him on a *cross

v6 Each year during the time of the *Jewish *Passover ceremonies, Pilate had a custom. He would free one person whom the *Romans had put in prison. He freed whomever the people requested. v7 Well, at that time a man called Barabbas was in prison. Pilate’s soldiers had put him in prison with some other men. Those men had started to fight against the *Roman government and they had murdered some *Roman soldiers. v8 A crowd now went to Pilate. They asked him to free a prisoner for them as he usually did during the *Passover week. v9 Pilate answered them, ‘Would you like me to free the man whom some of you *Jewish people call your king?’ v10 Pilate understood what the chief priests wanted to do. That is why he asked the people this. The priests were accusing Jesus because they were jealous of him. Too many people were becoming his *disciples.

v11 So the chief priests urged the crowd to ask Pilate to free Barabbas for them instead of Jesus. v12 Pilate said to them again, ‘So I will free Barabbas for you. But what do you want me to do with your king? Some of you *Jews say that Jesus is your king.’ v13 Then the crowd shouted again, ‘Command your soldiers to put him up on a *cross!’ v14 Pilate replied, ‘Why? He is not guilty of any crime.’ But the crowd shouted even louder: ‘Command your soldiers to put him up on a *cross!’ v15 Pilate did not want the crowd to get angry with him. So he freed Barabbas from prison for them. Then, Pilate’s soldiers whipped Jesus with thick leather strings. They had fastened pieces of metal into those strings. And Pilate told the soldiers to take Jesus away and put him up on a *cross. He told them to fix Jesus to the *cross with nails.

MARK 15:16-20

The soldiers laugh at Jesus as a king

v16 Then the soldiers took Jesus into the yard of Pilate’s palace. That palace was also the place where the leaders of the *Roman government worked. The soldiers called together all the other soldiers in their whole unit. v17 Then the soldiers put a purple coat on Jesus like the coat that kings wear. They placed a crown of short branches on Jesus’ head. These branches had small, sharp pieces on them. The soldiers wanted to hurt Jesus. They laughed at him. And they pretended that he was a king. v18 Then they greeted him as they would greet a king. ‘Welcome to the King who rules the *Jews!’ v19 They hit his head again and again with a thin stick and they *spat at him. They kneeled down and they pretended to give him honour. v20 When they had finished laughing at him, they pulled off his purple coat. They put his own clothes back on him. And then they led him outside of the city to put him up on a wooden *cross.

MARK 15:21-24

Jesus is put up on a wooden *cross

v21 Jesus was only able to carry his wooden *cross for a short distance. A man called Simon from Cyrene city was going by. He was the father of Alexander and Rufus. Simon was returning home from outside the city. He met the soldiers who were bringing Jesus. The soldiers forced Simon to carry Jesus’ *cross. v22 They brought Jesus to a place that people call Golgotha. That name means, ‘a place like the hard bone of a head’. v23 Then, the soldiers tried to give Jesus some wine to drink. They had mixed the wine with a medicine called myrrh so that Jesus would suffer less pain. But he would not drink it. v24 Then they put Jesus up on the *cross. They fixed his hands and feet to the *cross with nails. The soldiers took his clothes. Then they played a game about who would have each of Jesus’ clothes. They used something like dice[12] to share Jesus’ clothes among themselves.

MARK 15:25-32

People say terrible things to make Jesus look foolish

v25 The soldiers put Jesus up on the *cross at nine in the morning. v26 The soldiers also put a notice on the *cross above Jesus’ head. The notice had the words, ‘This is the king who rules the *Jews.’ The *Jewish leaders had accused Jesus of this. v27 They also put two other men up on crosses next to Jesus. These men were thieves. They had taken by force things that belonged to other people. One *cross stood at the right side of Jesus. The other *cross stood at his left side. [v28 And the *Scripture came true that said, ‘They counted him among *sinners.’][9] v29 People who were passing by laughed at Jesus. They shook their heads as if he was an evil man. ‘Oh!’ they said. ‘You said, “I will destroy the *Temple, and then I will build it again after three days.” v30 If you could do that, then rescue yourself. Come down from the *cross!’

v31 The chief priests and the men who taught the *Jewish laws, also wanted to laugh at of Jesus. So they said to each other, ‘They say that he rescued other people. But he cannot rescue himself! v32 This Jesus said, “I am the *Messiah. I am the king who rules the people of *Israel.” If his words are true, he should come down now from the *cross! Then we will believe him!’ Those two men who were on crosses next to him also laughed at him.

MARK 15:33-41

Many people are witnesses of how Jesus dies

v33 At midday the whole land became dark until three in the afternoon. v34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus called out aloud, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ This means, ‘My God, My God, why have you gone away from me?’ v35 Some of the people who were standing there heard Jesus say that. ‘Listen! He is calling for the *prophet Elijah!’ they said. v36 One of them ran and he put some sour wine on a cloth. He placed this on the end of a stick. Then he held the cloth up so that Jesus could drink the wine in it. ‘Wait!’ he said. ‘Let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down from the *cross!’ v37 Jesus gave a loud shout and then he died. v38 [There was a big curtain in the *Temple. It hung in front of the most holy part of the *Temple. It prevented ordinary people from going into the most holy place.] At the very moment that Jesus died, this curtain split. It split into two pieces. It split from top to bottom.

v39 The man in command of the soldiers was standing in front of the *cross. When he saw how Jesus died, he said, ‘This man really was the man who was also God!’ v40-41 There were some women too. These women had gone with Jesus everywhere when he was in Galilee district. They helped Jesus in practical ways. Among these women was Mary from the town called Magdala. There was another Mary also. She was the mother of the younger James and of Joses. And there was Salome too. Some other women also had come with Jesus to Jerusalem. They were all watching these events from a distance.

MARK 15:42-47

Joseph and other people bury Jesus’ body in a cave

v42-43 It was now evening. The *Sabbath would start when the sun set. There was a man named Joseph from Arimathea town. He was a member of the *Jewish *Council, and everyone respected him. He believed that God would soon send his *Messiah king. And he had been waiting for many years. He had been expecting *Christ to come at any time. So he bravely went to Pilate. He asked Pilate to allow him to take the body of Jesus down from the *cross immediately. The *Jews needed to bury the body before the *Sabbath began.

v44 Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead. So he called for the man in command of the soldiers who had put Jesus up on the *cross. He asked him if Jesus had already died. v45 The officer told Pilate that Jesus was dead. So Pilate allowed Joseph to take the body. v46 Joseph first bought a clean white cloth. Then he and other people took Jesus’ body down from the *cross. People had already cut a special cave in the side of the cliff. So they wrapped Jesus’ body in the clean white cloth and they laid it in this cave. Then they rolled a huge flat stone in front of the cave’s entrance. v47 Mary from Magdala town and Mary the mother of Joses were both there. They were watching the place where they put Jesus’ body.

MARK 16:1-8

Three women go to the cave where they put Jesus

v1 On Saturday evening the *Jewish *Sabbath day ended. Then Mary from Magdala town, Mary the mother of the younger James, and Salome bought sweet smelling *ointment. The *Jewish custom was to put *ointment on bodies when they buried them. v2 So, early on Sunday morning, just after the sun rose, the women went to the cave. They took the *ointment that smelt sweet with them. v3 On their way to the grave, they were talking to each other. ‘Who will roll away for us the stone that closes the cave?’ they said. v4 But they got there. And then they saw that the cave was already open. Someone had rolled away the stone.

They were surprised because it was a huge stone. v5 They went into the cave and they saw an *angel. This *angel looked like a young man. He was sitting at the right side of the cave. He was wearing a shining white dress. They were frightened and astonished. v6 The young man said to them, ‘Do not be so frightened! I know that you are looking for Jesus, the man from Nazareth town. The *Romans killed him on a *cross, but he has become alive again! He is not here now! Look! Here is the place where they placed his body. v7 Do not stay here now. Go. And tell his *disciples that he has become alive again. Be sure that you also tell Peter. Tell them, “Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee district. You will see him there, as he told you earlier!” ’ v8 The women left the cave and they started to run. They were trembling because they were so frightened and astonished. And they were too frightened to tell anyone about this while they were on their way to the *disciples.

MARK 16:9-14

[People lost the end of Mark’s *Gospel long ago. Or perhaps other people destroyed it. Then someone wrote verses 9-20 from what he remembered about those events. Then also, someone else wrote another ending which is called the Short Ending. The Short Ending is not here in this account.]

The disciples do not believe that Jesus has become alive again. Jesus says that the *disciples are wrong not to believe it.

v9 Jesus became alive again early on Sunday, the first day of the week. He showed himself first to Mary from Magdala town. Some time before, Jesus had forced seven *evil spirits out of her. v10 She went to those who had been with Jesus. They were still crying and sad because Jesus had died. She told them what she had seen. v11 But they refused to believe her. They heard that Jesus was alive again. They heard that Mary had seen him. But they would not believe. v12 Later that day, two men were walking back from Jerusalem. They were going to their homes in the country near there. And Jesus showed himself to them in another form. The two men did not recognise him immediately because he looked very different. v13 But later, the men did recognise Jesus, and they rushed back to Jerusalem. They quickly went to the other people who had been with Jesus. They told them what had happened. But those people still did not believe it. v14 Even later, Jesus showed himself again to the 11 *disciples while they were eating. And Jesus told them that they were wrong. This was because they had refused to believe, again and again. Other people also had seen Jesus after he had become alive again. But those *disciples had refused to believe that Jesus was alive.

MARK 16:15-20

Jesus sends his *disciples to tell the good news everywhere, by God’s power

v15 Later Jesus said this to the *disciples: ‘Go out to every part of the world and tell everyone the good *Message! v16 God will save everyone who believes the *Message about me. Then you can *baptise them. But God will *condemn everyone who does not believe my good *Message. v17 Those people who believe my *Message will do many wonderful things. They will do things that only God can do. By my power they will force out *evil spirits. They will speak languages that they have not learned. v18 They may pick up snakes by accident. They may drink some poisonous liquid by accident. But these things will not hurt them. And God will cure sick people on whom they put their hands.’

v19 After the *Lord Jesus had said this to the *disciples, God took him back up into *heaven. Then Jesus sat down on his seat of authority next to God, to rule with him. v20 The *disciples went out from Jerusalem, and they told the good news of Jesus *Christ everywhere. And wherever they went, the *Lord helped them to do astonishing things. These were things that only God himself can do. People were able to know that God’s *Message is true. They knew this because they saw all those wonderful things.

Word List

ancestors ~ the people in our families who lived long ago; our grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on.

angels ~ *spirits who live with God in *heaven. They carry messages to people in this world. And they do anything that God tells them to do.

apostle ~ someone whom God sends. In the beginning, Jesus chose 12 men. They were with him during his life. They heard what he said. They saw what he did. Then Jesus made them his *apostles. The word means that he had sent them. He told them to take his *message to other towns and countries. They should go there after he left this world. They also led the groups of *believers in the first years after Jesus left them.

baptise, baptism, baptiser ~ to put water on or over someone. Before Jesus started to teach, another man called John baptised people. He told them to stop their *sins. Then he put river water on or over them. This showed that they were clean for God. Jesus also asked John to baptise him. People heard the *Holy Spirit speak at that time.

being ~ a person or animal that is alive.

believers ~ people who believe *Christ. They hear and believe Jesus’ *Message. They also meet together often to *worship God. They were not called ‘Christians’ until later.

Christ ~ God chose Jesus and God sent him. That is what this name means. This refers to the work that Jesus came to do in this world. Christ is a word in the Greek language. *Messiah means the same in the Hebrew language.

cock crow, cock crowed ~ or, ‘male chicken sang’. Before dawn every day cocks ‘crow’, or sing very loudly. This time of day is called ‘cock crow’. Sometimes cocks crow several times in one night.

condemn, condemns, condemned ~ to say that something is wrong; to say that someone is guilty.

council, Jewish Council ~ a group of people who rule; or a group of people who give advice; the most important people in Jerusalem city. This included the chief priests, teachers of the *Law of Moses, *Pharisees and *Sadducees.

cross ~ a piece of wood that someone has fastened across another piece. People put Jesus on a cross to kill him.

crow ~ when a male chicken sings very loudly (see ‘cock crow’).

demons ~ see ‘evil spirits’.

devil, the devil ~ the chief evil *spirit. He rules all the evil things in the world. He is evil. He fights against all that is true. It is another name for *Satan.

disciples ~ students or learners. They watch their teacher as he travels. And they learn what he says. Or they learn from what he does. This is how the 12 disciples learned from Jesus.

donkey ~ a small animal that everyone rode and used in Palestine. Donkeys did much domestic and farm work. Donkeys are strong. They can carry heavy loads. They eat much less than horses, so their food costs less.

dove ~ a large bird. It does not fight other birds, and it has a gentle nature. So, people use the dove as a picture of peace. And, as in Mark 1:10, it is also a picture of the *Holy Spirit.

earthquake ~ when the ground shakes and buildings fall down.

empire, emperor ~ an empire is a large group of countries that one powerful person called the emperor rules. Usually, he has seized many of those countries by war. These countries were then called *provinces of the empire. The *Roman emperor was called a ‘Caesar’, and he lived in Rome city. He sent a ruler to each *province, to rule on his behalf.

evil spirits ~ a spirit is alive but we cannot see it. We can feel that evil spirits are present. But we cannot see them. They come from the devil (look below at note on ‘spirits’).

fast, fasting ~ sometimes people very much want God to hear or to speak to them. They do not eat anything for one day or several days, so that they can pray to God better. They just drink a little water.

Father, God our Father ~ a description that tells us how God relates to Jesus *Christ. This does not mean that God the *Father was married. God did not give birth to a son, as people do in this world. It means that *Christ is one person of the 3 persons who are God. *Christ relates in the closest way to the *Father. *Christ is closer to God than a human child can be to its parents.

fig ~ a soft, sweet fruit full of seeds. Figs grow in hot countries. People eat them fresh or dried.

generation ~ all the people who are alive at a particular time.

glory, glorious, glorify ~ the power and greatness of God; his great honour or authority; the place in *heaven where people can see God’s greatness; a bright light that comes from God or Jesus.

gospel ~ (1) The good news about Jesus; (2) the record of Jesus’ life in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

grape ~ a sweet, round fruit. The fruit hangs in large groups from *vines. People make a strong drink called wine with grape juice. The field or garden where grape *vines grow is called a *vineyard.

Greek ~ a person from Greece, or the language that Greek people speak.

heaven ~ God’s place that is wonderfully bright. From there, all of God rules everything that exists on earth or the sky and the sun and stars. As ‘the heavens’, people also use this word for the sky above.

hell ~ a terrible fire that never ends. There, God will destroy Satan (God’s enemy) and all evil people when the world ends.

Herod ~ Herod Antipas, or Herod of the Antipater family. It is the name of the king (or ‘herod’) of Galilee and Perea districts while Jesus was on earth. This Herod was king, but he had to obey the *Romans. He ordered the death of John the *Baptiser. He also helped to make the decision about Jesus before the soldiers killed Jesus on a *cross. He was a son of Herod the Great.

Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit ~ one person of the three persons who are the one God. He is a *spirit that we cannot see. But we know that he is here. He lives deep inside all people who believe Jesus. He continues the work that Jesus began in this world. So he is also called the ‘Spirit of Jesus’.

Israel, Israeli, Israelites ~ the *Jewish nation and people. They are called this name because of Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. God had promised him that he would be the father of a great nation of many people.

Jews, Jewish ~ the people who live in *Israel and speak the Hebrew language. The *Jews began with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God chose them as his special people (in the first part of the Bible). Jesus was a Jew.

lamb ~ a young sheep. People *sacrificed lambs at the *Temple. *Sacrificial lambs could not have any marks or spots on them. They had to be perfect and healthy. Jesus was called ‘the Lamb of God’ because he is the only complete and perfect *sacrifice. He offered himself to God for our *sin.

law, Law ~ the laws that God gave to Moses, who wrote them down. The Law begins with the Ten Rules in Exodus chapter 20. And it continues to the end of the book called Deuteronomy. The *Jewish priests, *Pharisees and teachers added other laws to those that *Moses wrote. And they thought of thousands of other meanings for these rules. But Jesus did not agree with these laws that they had added.

leper, leprosy ~ a skin disease that many people fear; spots on the skin that finally destroy parts of the body. Such body parts are the nose, the ears, fingers or toes. These spots make the skin white, as if it was dead. In Bible times, they did not allow lepers to live in villages with other people. If they recovered from the disease, they had to go to the *Temple. The priest examined them. Then he told them what *sacrifice to give. And he told other people in the village that it was now safe. That person could now come back to live in the village.

life, this life (that never ends) ~ those people who have this life will live with God for all time. Jesus has made a promise to any person who believes him. Jesus says that such a person will always live with God. Also, God will live with them here in this world. And they will live with God after their bodies die. It is a new life, and it is a much better life.

locust ~ an insect that is brown and about 5-8 centimetres long. It can fly in groups of many hundreds. It eats the leaves and so destroys many crops. This is why farmers are afraid of them.

Lord ~ the boss or owner of something or of a work. The Bible uses ‘Lord’ for God, because he controls everything. But the *apostles also called Jesus *Christ ‘Lord’, or ‘the Lord’.

Message, true Message ~ the Good News about Jesus *Christ.

Messiah ~ the word for ‘Christ’ in the Hebrew language. (See note above on ‘Christ’.)

miracle, miraculous ~ something great or wonderful that only God can do; something that God does to show people his power; or he does it to tell people something about himself.

Moses ~ the *Jewish man who rescued the *Israelites from Egypt. He became their leader when they escaped. The *Israelites had been *slaves in Egypt for 400 years. Moses was *Israel’s leader for 40 years after that. God spoke personally to Moses several times, and Moses wrote God’s *laws down. Then the people could read the *laws and not forget them.

ointment ~ a soft or oily medicine that people put on injuries; or, a substance to put on the skin to make a person more beautiful.

olive ~ a tree with small fruits (or the fruits themselves) that people use to make oil. They use the oil to cook food.

parable ~ a story that has a second meaning. Jesus often used such stories when he taught people. Sometimes parables had hidden meanings. Then only people who wanted to believe *Christ could understand the meaning.

paralysis, paralysed ~ when someone absolutely cannot move an arm or a leg; or, when someone cannot move their whole body.

paralytic ~ someone who absolutely cannot move an arm or a leg; or, someone who cannot move their whole body.

Passover ~ the first major holy day in the *Jewish year. *Jews ate a special meal on this day every year of lamb (young sheep) and bread. They made the bread without *yeast. This was to remember the night when God freed them from being slaves in Egypt. The *angel of death passed over all *Jewish homes and God saved them. In Jesus’ time, all *Jewish families came to Jerusalem for this special day.

Pharisee ~ a group or party of *Jewish leaders, often rich people. They were very proud. They thought that they, and only they, obeyed all God’s rules. They did not like the things that Jesus taught. They opposed him strongly. But some Pharisees believed Jesus, like Nicodemus.

Phoenician ~ a person who came from a place called Phoenicia.

prophet ~ someone who speaks God’s word about a person, thing or event; or they speak about what will happen in the future.

province ~ a region or part of a nation or of an *empire with its own local government.

psalm ~ a song that people sing to God. One of the 150 psalms that David and other *Jewish musicians wrote down. They are in the Book of Psalms in the first part of the Bible.

Roman ~ people from the city called Rome; or people who had the same rights as Roman citizens even if they lived elsewhere. A powerful *emperor or ‘Caesar’, who lived in Rome, ruled them. Romans did not *worship the one, true God. They had many gods of their own, and the ‘caesar’ was the head god. The Romans seized land from many European and Asian countries to make their *empire. And they had seized *Israeli land, before Jesus was born. They called that land, Palestine *province. The *Jews hated the Romans and all their laws and taxes, and they often fought against them.

rope ~ thick, strong string. People use rope to pull things with. They also use it to tie up people or things.

sabbath ~ the last day of the *Jewish week, and a day of rest. No one in *Israel could do any work on that day. But they could do things that pleased God. Sabbath began at sunset on Friday. It finished at sunset on Saturday.

sacrifice, sacrificial ~ when a priest killed a special or pure animal as a gift to God. By this, people asked God to excuse them for their *sins, or they gave special *worship to him. God told Moses and the *Jews to make several sacrifices. They did this to ask God to forgive their *sins, or to thank and praise him. Or they did it to get good harvests. Also, a sacrifice is something that a person gives up for a special purpose. The greatest sacrifice was when *Christ died on a *cross to save us from our *sin.

Sadducees ~ a *Jewish party. Many members of the *Council and other rich people belonged to this party. They did not believe that a person continued to live on after he had died. They only believed *Moses’ laws, from Exodus chapter 20 to Deuteronomy. They did not agree with the way that the *Pharisees understood the *law. And they opposed Jesus as the *Messiah or *Christ.

sandal ~ a type of open shoe. A piece of leather covers the bottom of the foot, and leather string holds it on the foot.

Satan ~ the ruler of all *evil spirits; he starts all the lies and false things in the world; another name for the devil.

scribes ~ teachers of the *Law of Moses. They said that they always knew what the *Jewish *Scriptures said. So they thought that they were very important.

Scripture ~ God’s *message that various people had written down over many years. In the Scriptures, God showed people, little by little, what he is like. And he showed people what he wants. The Bible that the early *believers had was mainly the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible). Jews thought that the books of *Moses, the *Law, were especially the *Scriptures.

shepherd ~ a person who looks after sheep. The *Lord is often called ‘the shepherd’ because he loves and looks after his people.

sin, sins ~ the wrong things that we do. God says that they are wrong.

sinful, sinner ~ someone who does wrong things. Sinners do not do what God wants.

slave ~ a person that someone else owns; a slave has to work hard for the owner, without pay; someone who is under the control of another force, like debt or like *sin.

Son of God ~ a name similar to ‘Son of Man’. Some *Gospel writers use one name, some use the other name. ‘Son’ means that God did send Jesus. And it means that he came from God. But the word ‘son’ does not mean that Jesus was less important than God. (See ‘Father’.) Many times the *Gospels record stories that show how Jesus is God. We read that he had all the power and honour of God. Jesus is called ‘Son of God’ because he never lost his relationship with God. And he is God in himself. Also, Jesus showed us God perfectly, in his life, and in all that he said. And in all that he did.

Son of Man ~ Jesus called himself the ‘Son of Man’. He also called himself the ‘man that came down from *heaven’. He is God, but he was born as a human person.

Spirit ~ see Holy Spirit.

spirit, evil spirit ~ a spirit is alive but we cannot see it. It does not have a body. But we know that it is there. It is like the wind. People’s spirits are inside them while they are alive. And their spirits continue to live after they die. There are spirits that do good things. And there are spirits that do evil things. They come from the devil. People can feel when evil spirits or demons are present. (For God’s Spirit, see *Holy Spirit.)

spit, spat ~ mouth water; to send liquid out of the mouth; to throw out saliva (water) from the mouth. This often signalled an insult. But Jesus sometimes used spit to heal people.

stretcher ~ a temporary bed which people made from a mat or blanket and wooden poles. Two or four people could carry a sick person on it along a footpath.

synagogue ~ a house in every town or village where *Jews gather to pray. They also use this house to study the *Scriptures and for other public meetings.

temple ~ a special house that people built to meet in and to *worship God. A place that people keep ‘clean’ as their religion demands. Then it is ready for God to come and meet his people. It is a place where people keep special furniture for these purposes. The *Jews only had one temple – the temple that was in Jerusalem city.

testament, Old Testament, New Testament ~ a testament is a written record of someone’s wishes when they die. The Old Testament is the part of the Bible that people wrote before Jesus *Christ came to earth. The New Testament is the part that people wrote after Jesus *Christ was born. Together they are called the *Scriptures.

vine, vine bushes, vineyard ~ a low tree with long, spreading branches, which produces groups of sweet fruit (called *grapes). The field or garden where grape vines grow is called a vineyard.

wine ~ an drink that contains alcohol; people make it from *grapes.

wine-skins ~ sheep or goat stomachs. People used these to carry liquids like water or wine.

worship ~ when we think about God. We think about what he is doing. And then we tell him how wonderful he is. We can worship him by ourselves. Or we can meet with other *believers to worship him. Then we all together say or sing about how great God is.

yeast ~ a live substance which people mix with wheat flour to make the flour mixture rise. There was one season every year, when *Jews only ate unleavened bread. This is bread that has no yeast in it. The word can also mean the bad effect that something evil can have on us.

zealot ~ a member of a *Jewish political party. Zealots helped and encouraged other *Jews to fight against the *Roman government.


[1] Jesus told people these stories to teach them something. He wanted them to know how to live in God’s new way. He also said that people should not always try to obey the old traditions. To go without food was an example of such a tradition.

[2] The *law of *Moses permitted people to do this kind of work if they were hungry.

[3] Thunder is the noise that we hear in the sky during a bad storm.

[4] Jesus used this story exactly as he used other *parables. There is a clear meaning from everyday life. And there is a secondary meaning. Only people who believed Jesus could understand this secondary meaning. Jesus explained why he spoke like this, in Mark 4:11, 12.

[5] ‘thorny weeds’ are plants with sharp points on the stems.

[6] It might be necessary to add here: ‘This man is an ordinary person absolutely like we are. He should not be teaching us these things.’

[7] People would hear their *Message. And Jesus wanted these people to give them the things that they needed.

[8] The *Jews thought this: if some person or thing had touched the food, God would not accept it.

[9] Many Bibles do not include this verse.

[10] This is what God would do to those who rejected the former prophets and himself.

[11] They remembered the days long ago when God saved their people from the Egyptian people. They called that meal *Passover.

[12] Dice are small square blocks with numbers on the sides. People use them to bet with. They shake the dice and throw them out onto the ground or a table. One number remains on top of the dice. The person who has that number wins the game.


© 1997-2005, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

September 2005

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