Wildly tempting

Our first weekly Lent Group of 2015 takes place this morning - here are the notes from the group to help us all reflect on Mark's telling of the temptation of Christ.

Catholic Bible School : Lent Group 2015 : Week 1 : Mark 1:12-15

A bit of context:

Mark’s Gospel was written approximately AD 66-70.  Mark wrote to a gentile (non-Jewish) audience.  There is a persistent theory that, although the Gospel is anonymous, that the writer is the Mark who is found mentioned in the New Testament (sometimes as Mark, sometimes as John Mark, sometimes as John).  He was a companion of Peter and did some missionary travel with Barnabas and Paul.  This is not accepted by all Biblical scholars.


About the passage:

  1. The Spirit drove Jesus

    1. As Mark tells it, Jesus’ temptation takes place after his baptism.  His encounter with the Holy Spirit in both stories is significant.

    2. What does it mean to be “driven” by the Spirit?

    3. Have you had any experiences of being “driven” by the Spirit to do something you didn’t want to do because you knew it would be hard?

  2. into the wilderness

    1. What is the nature of wilderness?  

    2. What does a contemporary wilderness look like to us?

  3. Tempted by Satan

    1. Mark is very aware of spiritual powers and spiritual battle.

    2. Mark often presents Jesus as confrontational and combative when facing evil spirits - what do we read in the text here?

    3. What do we understand by temptation?  What things tempt us into sinful behaviour and thoughts?

  4. with the wild beasts

    1. What is the nature of the dynamic between Christ and the wild beasts?  Are they a dynamic for threat and danger to Christ or is it more the “lion lying down with the lamb”?

  5. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news.”

    1. Mark uses Jesus words to announce him as the fulfilment of prophecy and to summarise the message of his Gospel.

    2. Lent is a season of repentance and turning back to God full of joy in the knowledge of his mercy.  

  6. Let’s have a look at Luke’s version - Luke 4:1-15

    1. The differences are worth having a look at …


Some articles you may find useful/interesting:

These articles offer further commentary on the text

This secular article offers some useful ideas and tips on dealing with temptation (although we would want to add 'prayer' to their suggestions)

Some videos on Lent

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