These small group studies of the gospel of Mark 1:35-45 contain outlines, commentary, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Mark 10:28-45 Inductive Bible Study Guide And Commentary


I. Making sacrifices for Christ will be rewarded (28-31)
II. Jesus reminded His disciples of the suffering He was going to face (32-34)
III. Be a servant of all (35-45)

Verses 28-31 Discussion Questions

Was Peter accurate when he said they left all for Christ? What had they left for Him? What does this show about them?

How did Jesus respond to this?

What do we need to give up for Christ? Is there anything specific?

What would the disciples’ reward be?

What does verse 30 mean?

What other consequences would there be for following Christ?


On Rewards:

James 1:12- Stand fast under trial to receive the crown of life.

Colossians 3:23-24 – Do your work heartily to receive the inheritance from the Lord.

Matthew 16:27 – When Jesus returns He will repay each according to what he has done.

On Persecution:

2 Timothy 3:12 – All who desire to live a godly life will be persecuted.

John 15:18 – The world hated Christ before it hated us.

Matthew 5:10 – Blessed are you when you are persecuted for Christ’s sake.

2 Corinthians 4:8-12 – Afflicted but not crushed.

Verse by Verse Commentary

We have left everything and followed you – Peter once again spoke up. The rich man had been unwilling to give up his material possessions in order to follow Jesus. While the disciples didn’t have as much, Peter points out they had been willing to give up what they had for him. Notice Peter doesn’t say “I,” but “we.” This shows that he is acting as the spokesman for the disciples, which he often did. Peter was accurate in his statement. They had given up everything for Jesus. They left their jobs as fishermen. They left their homes to travel about the region preaching. They left behind the comforts of their life as they encountered many hardships as traveling preachers/teachers. They gave up the admiration and respect of many people, who now persecuted them for their faith in Jesus and would persecute them muich more later. They gave up their careers and earthly ambitions. While most like the rich man were unwilling to give up everything and follow Jesus, this is exactly what the disciples did. They were willing to follow Jesus wherever it led them. Eventually it led them across much of the known world and into many dangers and persecutions before finally costing their freedom and their lives. This is one of the best qualities of the disciples. Yes, they had many weaknesses. They were sometimes slow to learn. Their faith was often weak. But they followed Jesus when few would. A Chinese idiom says that the first person to eat a crab must have been very brave. As the first people to follow Jesus, the disciples were very brave. See Ephesians 2:19-22. It is largely because of their faith in Jesus and work for Him that the foundation of the church was laid, which allowed us to one day become part of it.
29-30 – Jesus tells Peter that everyone who makes sacrifices in order to follow after Him will be rewarded. These rewards don’t only come after death like we so often think. How would they be rewarded on earth? While they may go against the pressure from their earthly families to follow Christ, causing a family split, Jesus tells them that they will gain a much greater family. Their faith would gain them entrance into the family of God. See Galatians 3:28. This promise is very true. Believers have a link, which is our common faith in Christ. This link means that we have more in common with a stranger from across the world who believes in Christ than we do with our own family member. We have a new and much bigger family who will understand the issues, temptations, and decisions we face. Their spiritual insights will help them to comfort us, encourage us, strengthen us, and serve us when our physical families cannot comprehend how we feel or why we feel that way. See 1 Corinthians 2:9-16. Unbelievers feel “Yi Qiao Bu Tong” (do not understand anything about) believers and in fact they can’t because their eyes haven’t been opened. Applications:

Share the gospel with your families so that they can be part of the family of God and have their spiritual eyes opened.
Act like a family member towards other believers. Do not treat them like strangers. Get to know them. Form closer relationships and friendships. Visit the sick. Help the needy. Care for the elderly. See Galatians 6:10. Do good especially to the household of faith. Do you have close relationships with other believers? If not, don’t wait until others take the initative. Invite someone out for a meal or to an activity. Make an effort to reach out and form these close relationships which can help encourage and strengthen both sides.
God teaches each of us from His Word and through the circumstances and trials which we face. Do not keep what you learn to yourself. Share it with others. Part of a family is educating others with the things which we have learned. See 2 Corinthians 1:4. Use the things which God teaches us to help others in the family of God.

Show special consideration for believers who are being persecuted by their families. Encourage them and sterngthen them. Their physical families have to some extent abandoned or rejected them so the body of Christ needs to make them feel welcome.
Houses and farms – The “family” aspect of the body of Christ is easy to understand. This promise is a bit harder. It seems that Jesus is saying although we might not be welcome on our house/farm after believing in Christ, we will be welcomed onto thousands of others of believes across the world. Not only would believers be hospitable and serve others with what they had been given, but in the early church believers actually sold these houses and farms and shared the proceeds with the church who would then share it with those who were needy. Although in modern times we don’t go quite that far, generally speaking believers are generous and willing to help out other believers who are in a tough spot. After all, you would do this for your physical family, so also we do for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Persecution – Do not think believing in Christ is like a paradise on earth. Yes, there are many very real, very tangible benefits which we receive on earth. But there are also difficulties, even to the point of persecution. Family and friends may turn against you. The government may punish you. Schools and teachers may laugh at you or cast you out. Share about the CEO of Firefox who lost his job for supporting a pro-traditional marriage bill. Share about the brothers who lost their house renovating TV for joing a pro-life rally. Although US Christians may face some persecution in other places around the owlrd it is much worse.

Asia Bibi is a Pakistani mother of five. She has been on death row since 2009. She has filed an appeal and five different hearings have been scheduled. The judges keep failing to show up. What is her crime? She offered water to fellow agricultural laborers. Because she was a Christian her touch was said to defile the water. The Muslims launched a verbal attack on her faith and when she defended her faith in Christ she was accused of blasphemy, which is a crime punishable by death in Pakistan.
Another man, 22, was shot and killed for his faith by a Muslim co-worker.

Silas Rabbani and Amin Khaki are Iranian believers who are currently in prison there. They have been violently beaten and tortured for their faith, which the Iranian government says is “threatening the security of the state.”

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, is eight months pregnant. She is currently being detained with her 20 month old son in Sudan. A court recently upheld her death sentence. Her crime? So-called apostasy because she refused to recant her Christian faith.

Interestingly enough, all of the top results about persecution of Christians were blocked by the Chinese government and needed a VPN to visit. This in itself is a form (albeit a much more mild than above) type of persecution.
In the age to come, eternal life – The persecution may be bad. Many have given their lives for their faith. It has happened in the past. It is happening now. And it is still going to happen, likely with greater and greater frequency. But it is worth it. Jesus saved the best for last. In addition to all the benefits we receive while on earth, salvation means eternal life. See Romans 8:18.

Verses 32-34 Discussion Questions

Where were they going?

Why were some fearful?

What did Jesus want to tell them before they arrived in Jerusalem? Why?


Hebrews 12:3 – Jesus endured much hostility from sinners.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Going up to Jerusalem – Jesus’ time had come. This would be the culmination of His time on earth and His ministry. He knew what He would suffer there. He knew the agony and the pain, the betrayals and the hate. Yet He went anyway. This was His mission. Jesus’ obedience and resolve is highlighted here. He didn’t come to be served but to serve. All of His thoughts were about others, not about Himself. He embodied humility, compassion, and self-sacrifice.

2. Jesus once again told His disciples what was going to happen to Him. This time He went into even more detail including His handover to the Gentiles, mocking, spitting, scourging, and finally His resurrection. This prophecy was amazingly detailed. Jesus Himself knew clearly what was coming. At the same time, He wanted the disciples to know so that they would be prepared. This is much the same reason why the Bible says that all believers will face persecution. If we know it is coming, we are more likely to be prepared and stand up without compromising when it comes. Jesus also knew that the disciples had a hard time grasping what was going to happen. Considering they had seen Jesus as a hero who could perform miracles without breaking a sweat, it is not surprising they still didn’t get it, even this is the fourth time in Mark we have seen Jesus warn them what He would suffer.

II. Verses 32-45 Discussion Questions

What did James and John originally say to Jesus? Did He agree to do it? What did He first find out? Why did He not just agree? What lesson can we learn from this?

What did they ask? Why do you think they wanted to sit on each side? What was their core motivation?

What did it mean to drink the cup which He drank and be baptized with the baptism with which He would be baptized?

Did Jesus agree?

Why were the others upset?

What lesson did Jesus teach them during this teachable moment? Is this a new lesson for them? Why did He have to keep discussing it again and again?


Philippians 2:5-7 – Follow Jesus’ example of service.

Ephesians 5:21 – Submitting to one another…

Ephesians 6:7 – Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to men.

1 Peter 4:11 – Serve by the strength which God supplies.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. James’ and John’s request – If you needed any evidence that the disciples didn’t yet get what Jesus was talking about, here it is. The warnings about Jesus’ sufferings went in one ear and out the other. It seems James and John thought Jesus was going to Jerusalem to take His throne and not to die. James and John made quite a big request of Jesus. They first said “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask you.” Wow! Basically, “Grant us one wish and promise to do it before we even tell you what the wise is!” While they were misguided, they certainly didn’t lack confidence.

What do you want…? – Jesus didn’t make the mistake of agreeing without hearing first the specific favor they were asking. Remember Herod promising Herodias’ daughter to give her anything up to half the kingdom? Rash promises like that come back to bite you. Jesus’ gives us a good blueprint to avoid getting ourselves into similar dilemmas. It’s simple. Ask before agreeing. Get the facts. Do not agree to favors for people without knowing clearly what is involved. If someone asks you to check a paper for them, first see how long it is and how difficult it will be. If someone asks you for an unnamed favor, get them to name it first. If someone asks you to help them with a project, find out what the project is and how long it will take. The list goes on and on. In addition, to protecting ourselves from rash promises, this can help us manage our time well. One of the core problems most people with poor time management have is that they say “yes” to too many things and regret it later on.