The Credentials, Introduction, and Opposition to the Son of God

Discovery for Students

The Credentials, Introduction, and Opposition to the Son of God


Mark 1:1 through 3:35

“And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: and there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10-11)


John Mark, author of the Book of Mark, was the son of Mary, a devout woman who lived in Jerusalem and in whose home early Christians assembled. Mark was a cousin of Barnabas, and traveled with both Barnabas and Paul. It is possible that Mark was converted to Christ through the ministry of Peter, and later he acted as Peter’s interpreter and helper.

The Book of Mark is considered by many to be the earliest of the Gospels, probably written between A.D. 50 and 67. The book was likely written from Rome for the purpose of reaching the Gentile Christians, to prove unquestionably to them that Jesus Christ was the Messiah.

From the opening words, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God . . .,” Mark established Jesus’ credentials. The book documents the ministry of John the Baptist, then tells of the baptism of Jesus, His temptation, and the call of the disciples. By the third chapter, Jesus is already beginning to face opposition.

Most of the events recounted in these first three chapters took place in the area of Galilee. Capernaum, a city on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, was an economic center and had a military installation. This city became Jesus’ headquarters.

The narrative is fast-paced, and the Greek word eutheos, translated straightway, seems to be a favorite of Mark’s. While various English words are used, the original word was used eight times in the first chapter and thirty-nine times in the other fifteen chapters.


  1. What aspects of John the Baptist’s ministry were identified in Mark 1:3-4? In what way does this message apply to us today?
  2. Jesus’ water baptism was a milestone in His earthly life. Prior to that event, He had been little known. When He came to be baptized by John, He was publicly introduced as the Messiah, and shortly would begin His ministry. Why do you think His personal baptism was necessary? Mark 1:9-11
  3. What does Christ expect us to give up to follow Him, and what can we learn from the disciples’ response to Jesus’ call? Mark 1:16-18
  4. While Jesus was in the synagogue on the Sabbath, one who had an evil spirit spoke out about Jesus. How did Jesus respond to the man possessed by the evil spirit? (Mark 1:23-26) What does this account tell us about evil spirits and Jesus’ power?
  5. When Jesus left the synagogue, He went to the house of Simon Peter and Andrew. As soon as they entered the house, Jesus was told about Simon’s mother-in-law being sick. How did Jesus respond to the problem? (Mark 1:31) What difference should it make in our lives that Jesus has the power to heal the sick and deliver the demon-possessed?
  6. In the second chapter, Jesus came to a house in Capernaum, which became so full that there was no more room to enter. What do the details in Mark 2:3-4 tell about the paralytic man and his friends? What motivated Jesus to respond to the man’s plight? Mark 2:5
  7. Several times Mark referred to an event taking place on the Sabbath day. What did the disciples do that outraged the Pharisees? How were the Pharisees misguided about the Sabbath? Mark 2:23-28 What benefits result from honoring the Lord’s Day?
  8. The religious leaders of Jesus’ time were so desperate to excuse and defend themselves that they resorted to accusing Christ (Mark 3:22). What was their accusation against Him? How did Jesus answer the charge? Mark 3:22-27  
  9. In Mark 3:28-30, Jesus said that all sins, even blasphemy, can be forgiven. God’s love reaches out to all, even those who curse and revile Him. However, He warned of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which is sometimes referred to as “the unpardonable sin.” Because a person can only be saved through the Holy Spirit’s work, the person who rejects the Holy Spirit removes himself from the only One who can lead him to repentance. Who was Jesus talking to in this passage, and why do you suppose He addressed this subject with them? Mark 3:22, 30


Jesus showed Himself to be the Son of God. Many people opposed Him, but He was able to demonstrate His Messiahship by both His words and His miracles.