Reading Mark: Each week a set of readings is provided to help us read consecutively through Mark and the middle section of Isaiah (40-55). Connected Readings are also provided each week that relate to the readings in Mark. These are usually the other readings at the Sunday service.  The main readings are provided in a check list on the back page of these notes so that you can mark off each section as you read it. Why not read through Mark in one sitting to start with?

The Isaiah Readings form a carefully crafted block in the middle of Isaiah. The exile to Babylon overshadows the section and raises the question as to whether God’s people and David’s throne have finally come to an end. Or, to say it another way, whether God’s purpose has failed and or whether he is still able to redeem his people. The themes in this part of Isaiah have strong connections with Mark and with the ministry of Jesus. Enjoy the readings!

The For Thought and Talk sections relate to the Mark passage for the week and can be used to help you in your private thinking or can be used in small group discussions.

However you are urged to read the text first and as the highest priority. This also applies to Study Bibles and other study books. Please read the text over and over again before you look for someone else’s explanation (although you may find it helpful to look up some of the cross-references in the passage). If you are part of a Bible study group, you are urged to come to the groups having only read the text of Mark, not explanations of it. If there are matters you want to find out more about it is suggested you follow these up after the group.

Some things Mark mentions are only clarified as the story unfolds or reaches its climax. The are many things in Mark  that could absorb our attention—a good thing—but the aim of these studies is to see Mark’s big picture—and thus his gospel. And to allow God’s Spirit to speak to us as we take time to read and listen to his word.