Mark 5–7

“Lesson 12: Mark 5–7,” New Testament Teacher Manual (2018)

Introduction and Timeline

Chapters 5–7 of Mark’s Gospel advance themes that were introduced in Mark 1–4. Mark’s accounts of the Savior’s miracles reveal the Savior’s great compassion and teach eternal truths about the plan of salvation. The opposition toward the Savior (see Mark 2:1–3:7) intensified with the death of John the Baptist at the hands of Herod Antipas (see Mark 6:14–29)—an event that foreshadowed the Savior’s own impending suffering and death, as well as the future martyrdom of many of His disciples (see Mark 8:34–35; 10:38; 13:11–13). As some Pharisees continued to find fault with Jesus Christ and His disciples, the Savior reproved them for placing their traditions above the commandments of God (see Mark 7:1–13).

lesson 12 timeline

Chapter Overviews

Mark 5

Jesus Christ healed a man by casting out devils into a herd of swine. A woman was healed by touching the Savior’s clothes. Jesus raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead.

Mark 6

Jesus Christ encountered unbelief in his home village of Nazareth. He sent forth the Twelve Apostles. Herod Antipas had John the Baptist put to death. The Savior miraculously fed a multitude of five thousand and walked on the Sea of Galilee.

Mark 7

Jesus Christ reproved the Pharisees for giving more devotion to man-made traditions than to God. He healed the daughter of a Gentile woman and a person who was deaf and unable to speak.

Suggestions for Teaching

Mark 5:21–24, 35–43

Jesus Christ Raised Jairus’s Daughter from the Dead

Consider beginning class by asking students how they deal with fear or despair when they feel it. What do they do to overcome it? Ask students to mark the phrase “Be not afraid, only believe” in Mark 5:36.

  • To whom did the Savior say this? (The ruler of the synagogue.) Direct students to Mark 5:22 to learn the ruler’s name. (Jairus.)

To help students appreciate how this scriptural account will be relevant to them, explain that we all face fears, despair, or doubts from time to time. The account of Jairus’s experience with the Savior gives us a chance to learn about how one believer in Jesus Christ faced his fears and despair at a very challenging time in his life. Learning about his experience can help us in our moments of struggle between faith and fear.

Ask students to look for indications of Jairus’s faith in Mark 5:21–23.

  • What details in these verses show us that Jairus had faith in Jesus Christ?

  • What details in these verses reflect the desperation of Jairus’s situation?

Briefly summarize Mark 5:24–34 (these verses will be studied in more detail later in the lesson), and ask:

  • What thoughts and feelings do you imagine Jairus might have had as this interruption and miraculous healing took place?

Ask students to silently read Mark 5:35–40 and Luke 8:49–50, looking for moments when Jairus may have faced fear or doubt. Ask students to identify specific verses and phrases in their answers. (Possible answers: Jairus had to face the fear that his daughter had already died; Mark 5:35. Jairus had to face the laughter and scorn of those at his house who did not believe the Savior’s words; Mark 5:40.) Explain that the people Jesus asked to leave Jairus’s house were not Jairus, his wife, or Peter, James, and John. Rather they were skeptical mourners who were laughing and scorning (see Mark 5:40).

Ask students to look back once more at Mark 5:36 and Luke 8:50, and ask:

  • How do you think the Savior’s words in these verses may have encouraged Jairus?

  • How might it have helped Jairus to hear the Savior’s words to the woman with an issue of blood, as recorded in Mark 5:34? (You might point out that Jesus directed similar words of encouragement to Jairus, as recorded in Luke 8:50.)

After students share their ideas, make sure they understand this principle, perhaps by writing it on the board: Exercising faith in Jesus Christ requires us to continue believing in Him despite fear and uncertainty. By exercising faith in Jesus Christ, we can overcome our fears or doubts.

Help students deepen their understanding of this principle by having them read the statement by Elder Neil L. Andersen in the student manual commentary for Mark 5:35–36.

  • What does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ even when “challenges, difficulties, questions, [and] doubts” are part of our mortal experience?

Ask a student to read aloud the remainder of the account of Jairus’s daughter in Mark 5:41–43.

  • How can our faith in Jesus Christ help us overcome fear or doubt?

  • When has your faith in Jesus Christ enabled you to overcome fear, doubt, or other challenges?

Ask students to silently read the quotation from President Howard W. Hunter in the student manual commentary for Mark 5:22–24, 35–42. Then have a student read aloud the following excerpt from the quotation, and ask several other students to explain what they think it means to them personally.

President Howard W. Hunter

“Whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives. If Jesus lays his hands upon a marriage, it lives. If he is allowed to lay his hands on the family, it lives. … Jesus took the little girl by the hand and raised her from the dead. In like manner, he will lift and raise every man to a new and better life who will permit the Savior to take him by the hand” (“Reading the Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 65).

Take a few moments to have students write private responses to the following questions: What area of your life would you like the Savior to “lay his hands upon” so that it might be healed? How can you exercise greater faith in the Savior so He can lift you to a “new and better life”?

Mark 5:25–34

The Healing of a Woman with an Issue of Blood

Write the following phrase on the board:

“One of the sweetest and most remarkable moments in all of the New Testament.”

Explain that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles used these words to describe the miracle recorded in Mark 5:25–34 (see “Teaching, Preaching, Healing,” Ensign or Liahona, Jan. 2003, 34).

Ask students to study Mark 5:25–34 and the first two paragraphs of the student manual commentary for Mark 5:25–34, looking for details that help them appreciate why this miracle is “one of the sweetest and most remarkable moments in all of the New Testament.” You might ask students to do this in pairs or small groups, reading aloud to each other. Invite them to mark meaningful details in their scriptures. After sufficient time, call on several students to share their findings with the class. As students report, you might refer them back to the statement on the board by asking, “How does that detail make this account one that could be called ‘one of the sweetest and most remarkable moments in all of the New Testament’”?

Have students read the statement by Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander in the student manual commentary for Mark 5:25–34. Ask students:

  • What did the woman do that demonstrated her faith in Jesus Christ? (Possible answers: She came to Jesus, even though He was surrounded by a crowd; she touched Jesus’s robe; she told Jesus “all the truth” even though she was “fearing and trembling.”)

  • What do you think it means that the woman was made “whole”? (Possible answers: She was physically healed; she could once again worship in the synagogue and the temple; she would no longer be treated as an outcast.)

You might invite students to mark “Thy faith hath made thee whole” in Mark 5:34. Ask them to state a gospel principle they learn from the Savior’s miraculous healing of the woman. Make sure they understand these principles: Acting on our faith in Jesus Christ can make us whole. When our faith in Jesus Christ is sufficient to move us to action, we too can receive His healing power, both spiritually and physically, in our lives. You may want to bear testimony of these principles.

As time permits, you might take a few moments to have students consider the two miracles recorded in Mark 5:21–43. You might ask students:

  • What can we learn from the fact that the Savior helped Jairus, a prominent member of society, and a woman who was a social outcast?

After the students have responded, make sure they understand this truth: The Savior’s compassion and power to heal are extended to all people, regardless of social standing. Both Jairus and the woman exercised faith in Jesus Christ, and both were healed.

Ask a student to read the following part of Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander’s statement referred to earlier (found in the student manual commentary for Mark 5:25–34):

Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander

“In all of life’s circumstances let us quietly and resolutely press forward to the Savior, having faith that He cares about us and has the power to heal and save us” (“One among the Crowd,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 103).

Take a few moments to have students write private responses to the following question: What can you do in your own life to “press forward to the Savior” so that you can receive His “power to heal and save us”?

Mark 6:30–44

The Feeding of the Five Thousand

Before class, make a copy of the following chart and cut the chart into seven horizontal strips so that each strip has one scripture and an accompanying question.


Mark 6:35–36

What was the problem the disciples and the multitude were facing?


Mark 6:36

What was the disciples’ proposed solution to the problem?


Mark 6:37

What did the Savior instruct the disciples to do instead? How was this beyond their present ability? (See student manual commentary for Mark 6:32–44.)


Mark 6:38

When the disciples could not do what Jesus initially asked them to do, what did Jesus ask them next?


Mark 6:38

What was the disciples’ response?


Matthew 14:18

Matthew recorded an instruction that the Savior gave next—what was it?


Mark 6:41–44

What was the result when the Savior took the loaves and fish, blessed them, and gave them out?

Prepare students to learn about the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand by asking a few students to briefly share an experience when they have been asked by a Church leader to do something that at the time seemed very difficult or maybe even impossible to do. Then tell students that as they study the miracle, they might consider how what they learn might help them when they are asked to do similar difficult things in the future.

Give the strips of paper to students. Explain that the scripture passages tell the story of the feeding of the five thousand, found in Mark 6:35–44. Ask them either to (1) look up the scripture and share the answer to the question with the class, or (2) lead the class in looking for the answer to the question together. As the answers are shared, make brief notes on the board so the students can see the sequence of key events that were part of this miracle:

The multitude had nothing to eat.

The disciples proposed sending the people away to buy food.

The Savior told the disciples to give the people food, which was a commandment beyond their present ability.

The Savior asked what the disciples could provide.

The disciples said they had five loaves and two fishes.

The Savior asked the disciples to give Him what they had.

The Savior multiplied what the disciples brought, meeting and surpassing what was needed.

To help students state a principle taught in the account of the feeding of the five thousand, ask them to consider the list on the board and answer the following questions:

  • What do you think the disciples and those present could have learned from this miracle?

  • How does the feeding of the five thousand teach that the Savior’s grace is sufficient for us in all the circumstances of our lives?

  • How does this miracle teach the importance of giving our all to the Savior and relying on Him?

As students discuss these questions, you might refer them to the quotations by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder J. Devn Cornish in the student manual commentary for Mark 6:32–44. Then ask students to share the principles they have developed as a result of the discussion. As they share their ideas, make sure they understand this principle: When we offer the Savior all that we have, He accepts it and makes it sufficient to accomplish His purposes.

You may want to bear testimony of this principle. Encourage the students to bear testimony by asking them to share experiences when they gave their best to the Lord, even when their offering felt meager, and their offering was multiplied by the Lord.

You might ask students to explain how this principle applies to (1) growing in our obedience to the commandments and (2) serving in Church callings.

Mark 7:1–23

False Traditions and the Commandments of God

Ask students to provide examples of their favorite family traditions or cultural traditions. Then have students respond briefly to these questions:

  • How can traditions be good for societies or families?

  • How might some traditions be harmful? (Do not let this discussion turn to specific cultural traditions that might offend a student.)

Ask students to turn to Mark 7, and then point out the word tradition in the following scripture references (you might invite students to mark these in their scriptures): “the tradition of the elders” (Mark 7:3, 5); “the tradition of men” (Mark 7:8); “your own tradition” (Mark 7:9); “your tradition, which ye have delivered” (Mark 7:13). Then ask the following questions about these scriptures:

  • As recorded in Mark 7:1–5, what tradition were the Pharisees observing? (Ritual washings. You may need to clarify that these washings were for ritual purity, not for sanitary cleanliness; see the first paragraph of the student manual commentary for Mark 7:1–13.)

  • According to Mark 7:6, what was wrong with the Pharisees’ hearts as they observed this tradition? (Their hearts were far from God.)

Ask students to read Mark 7:9–13 and the first and second paragraphs of the student manual commentary for Mark 7:1–13. As they do, ask them to look for how the Pharisees’ traditions related to their hearts being far from God. Write the following truth on the board: Our actions proceed out of the thoughts and desires of our hearts.

  • How had the law of Moses been changed by the traditions created by the Pharisees?

  • According to Mark 7:9, what can traditions that conflict with the gospel lead people to do? (Such traditions can lead people to reject or neglect the word of God.)

You might want to refer students to the statements by President Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Richard G. Scott in the student manual commentary for Mark 7:1–13. Ask the following questions:

  • What are some traditions in our society today that are in conflict with the gospel?

  • How can a person determine whether a tradition—perhaps a cultural or family tradition—is appropriate?

Ask students to mark the word heart in Mark 7:6, 19, 21. Then ask students to read Mark 7:20–23, looking for what the Savior taught about the importance of what is in our hearts.

  • How can a person’s heart defile him or her, according to these verses?

  • Why is it so important for our hearts to match our actions when we are acting as disciples of Jesus Christ?

  • How can examining our traditions lead us to be more consistent disciples of Jesus Christ?