Lesson 36: Mark 4–5

“Lesson 36: Mark 4–5,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2016)

“Lesson 36,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual

Lesson 36

Mark 4–5


On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus taught His disciples using parables. While on the sea, the Savior calmed a storm. Jesus demonstrated His superiority over devils by casting them out of a man. While ministering in Capernaum, He healed a woman with an issue of blood and raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead.

Suggestions for Teaching

Mark 4

Jesus uses parables to teach about the kingdom of God and then calms a storm

Invite students to consider the worst storm they have been in. Ask a few students to briefly describe their experiences.

  • How are life’s challenges like a storm?

Write the following words on the board (leaving space under each word): Physical, Spiritual, Mental, Social. Ask the following question as it applies to each word on the board:

  • What are some examples of physical (or spiritual, mental, or social) storms youth experience? (List students’ responses under the corresponding words on the board.)

Invite students as they study Mark 4–5 to look for principles that can help them when they experience life’s storms.

Summarize Mark 4:1–34 by explaining that while on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the Savior taught several parables to a multitude.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Mark 4:35–38. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the challenge the disciples experienced as they crossed the Sea of Galilee.

  • What problem arose while the Savior and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee?

Explain that the Sea of Galilee is 700 feet below sea level and is surrounded on three sides by mountains. At times, cool, dry winds rush down the mountains and collide with warm, moist air over the Sea of Galilee, creating sudden, intense storms—sometimes in a matter of minutes—with large waves on this relatively small body of water.


The Sea of Galilee and Mount Arbel

  • What effect did the storm have on the ship?

  • If you were in a ship in these conditions, what thoughts and feelings might you have?

  • Whom did the disciples seek help from at this fearful time? What did they ask the Savior?

  • In what ways might we be tempted to respond as Jesus’s disciples did during our own storms of life?

Invite a student to read Mark 4:39 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the Savior responded to the disciples’ plea for help. Ask them to report what they find. You may want to suggest that students mark the phrases “Peace, be still” and “great calm” (verse 39).

  • If we seek the Lord’s help in times of trouble or fear, what can He do for us? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: If we seek the Lord’s help in times of trouble or fear, He can bring us peace.)

  • In what ways can we seek the Lord’s help in times of trouble or fear? (We can pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Our prayers may not be answered in the ways we expect. However, we will be blessed with peace as we seek the Lord’s help.)

Invite a student to read Mark 4:40–41 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the disciples asked about Jesus.

  • If you had been with the disciples, how might you have answered their question in verse 41?

  • How can understanding “what manner of man” (verse 41) Jesus is strengthen our faith and move us to seek His help in times of trouble or fear?

If possible, invite students to read the words of the hymn “Master, the Tempest Is Raging” (Hymns, no. 105). Emphasize that Jesus Christ has the power to calm not only physical storms but also personal storms within our hearts.

Invite a few students to share about a time when they sought the Lord’s peace during a storm of life and He alleviated their fears and comforted them.

Consider inviting students to write in their class notebooks or scripture study journals what they can do to seek the Lord’s help during their challenges.

Mark 5:1–20

Jesus heals a man by casting devils out of him

Summarize Mark 5:1–18 by explaining that Jesus healed a man full of “unclean,” or evil, spirits. After these unclean spirits had been cast out of the man, they entered a herd of swine, which then violently ran off a cliff into the sea. The man then sought to enter the ship where Jesus was.

Invite a student to read Mark 5:19–20 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for what the Savior instructed this man to do.

  • What did the Savior instruct this man to do?

  • How did the man respond?

  • What principle can we learn from this story about what we can do when we experience the Savior’s power in our lives? (Help students identify the following principle: When we experience the Savior’s power in our lives, we can testify to others of His blessings and compassion.)

Invite students to consider ways in which they could help others by testifying of the Savior’s blessings and compassion.

Mark 5:21–43

Jesus heals a woman with an issue of blood and raises Jairus’s daughter from the dead

Ask a student to read aloud the following account told by Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy:

Bowen, Shayne M.

“On February 4 of 1990, our third son and sixth child was born. We named him Tyson. …

“When Tyson was eight months old, he aspirated a piece of chalk that he had found on the carpet. The chalk lodged in Tyson’s throat, and he quit breathing. His older brother brought Tyson upstairs, frantically calling, ‘The baby won’t breathe. The baby won’t breathe.’ We began to administer CPR and called 911.

“The paramedics arrived and rushed Tyson to the hospital. In the waiting room we continued in fervent prayer as we pled to God for a miracle. After what seemed a lifetime, the doctor came into the room and said, ‘I am so sorry. There is nothing more we can do. Take all the time you need.’ She then left” (“Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 16).

  • If Tyson had been your brother, what would you think or do at that moment?

  • How might an experience like this test someone’s faith?

Invite a student to read Mark 5:21–24 aloud. Invite students to follow along, looking for how a ruler named Jairus faced a similar challenge that may have tested his faith.

  • Why did Jairus seek the Savior’s help?

Invite a student to read Mark 5:25–26 aloud, and ask the class to look for who else needed the Savior’s help.

Explain that although the New Testament accounts do not define the nature of the woman’s “issue of blood” (verse 25), we know it was personally troubling to her. Furthermore, under the law of Moses, someone with an issue of blood was considered ritually unclean (see Leviticus 15:19–33). This likely meant that this woman was ostracized and excluded during the 12 years of her ailment. The desperation she felt about her situation is evident in the fact that she “had spent all that she had” (Mark 5:26) seeking a cure from physicians.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Mark 5:27–34. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what this woman did to receive the Savior’s help.

  • What did this woman do that demonstrated her faith in Jesus Christ? (You might explain that the phrase “came in the press behind” [verse 27] refers to her struggle to break through the crowd of people who surrounded the Savior.)

  • What can we learn from this account about what we must do if we desire to be made whole? (Help students identify the following principle: If we demonstrate our faith in Jesus Christ through our efforts to come to Him, He can make us whole.)

Point out that becoming whole from any infirmity through faith in Jesus Christ depends not only on our efforts to come to Him but also on God’s timing and will.

Invite students to read Mark 5:35 silently, looking for the message that was brought to Jairus as the Savior stopped to help this woman.

  • What news did Jairus receive?

  • If you had been in Jairus’s position, what thoughts or feelings might you have had at that moment?

Ask a student to read Mark 5:36 aloud, and invite the class to look for what the Savior said to Jairus.

  • What did the Savior say that may have sustained Jairus’s faith?

To emphasize what we learn about faith from this story, write the following truth on the board: Exercising faith in Jesus Christ requires us to continue believing in Him even in times of uncertainty.

  • In what ways can we apply this principle in our lives?

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Mark 5:37–43. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened to Jairus’s daughter.

  • What miracle did the Savior perform?

You may want to testify of the Savior’s power to bless and heal us. Point out that sometimes the Savior calms the storms in our lives by removing the difficulty or fear we experience. At other times, He might not remove our trial, as illustrated in Elder Bowen’s account of the death of his son. However, as we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, He will give us peace during our challenges.

To help students understand how we can maintain faith regardless of the outcomes of our personal storms, read the following testimony of Elder Bowen. Invite students to listen for how he was able to maintain his faith even after his son died.

Bowen, Shayne M.

“As I felt the guilt, anger, and self-pity trying to consume me, I prayed that my heart could change. Through very personal sacred experiences, the Lord gave me a new heart, and even though it was still lonely and painful, my whole outlook changed. I was given to know that I had not been robbed but rather that there was a great blessing awaiting me if I would prove faithful. …

“I testify that … ‘as we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ’ [Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2004), 52]” (“Because I Live,” 17).

  • Like Jairus, when have you or someone you know maintained faith in Jesus Christ during a time of uncertainty? What blessings came as a result?

Consider inviting students to testify of the truths taught in this lesson.

Commentary and Background Information

Mark 4:35–41. Jesus Christ calmed a storm

President Howard W. Hunter discussed important truths about Mark’s account of the Savior calming a storm on the Sea of Galilee:

“All of us have seen some sudden storms in our lives. A few of them, though temporary like these on the Sea of Galilee, can be violent and frightening and potentially destructive. As individuals, as families, as communities, as nations, even as a church, we have had sudden squalls arise which have made us ask one way or another, ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ And one way or another we always hear in the stillness after the storm, ‘Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?’

“None of us would like to think we have no faith, but I suppose the Lord’s gentle rebuke here is largely deserved. This great Jehovah, in whom we say we trust and whose name we have taken upon us, is he who said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’ (Gen. 1:6.) And he is also the one who said, ‘Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.’ (Gen. 1:9.) Furthermore, it was he who parted the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to pass through on dry ground. (See Ex. 14:21–22.) Certainly it should be no surprise that he could command a few elements acting up on the Sea of Galilee. And our faith should remind us that he can calm the troubled waters of our lives” (“Master, the Tempest Is Raging,” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 33).

Mark 5:30. “Virtue had gone out of him”

Some translations of Mark 5:30 state that “virtue” went out of Jesus Christ when the woman was healed. In the original Greek text of the New Testament, the word corresponding to virtue is dynamis, which means “power” or “strength.”

Mark 5:36. “Be not afraid, only believe”

One truth taught in Mark 4–5 is that faith and fear are incompatible. In both Mark 4:40 and Mark 5:36, the Savior admonished those He taught to replace their fear with faith in Him. These accounts leave us with a powerful lesson to have faith in Jesus Christ and not take counsel from our fears.

In an address to Church Educational System religious educators, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked students and teachers to “be not afraid, only believe.” He encouraged us to have complete confidence in God and to speak with conviction that the gospel of Jesus Christ is “the most certain, the most secure, the most reliable, and the most rewarding truth on earth and in heaven, in time and in eternity.” He testified that fears, doubts, and anxieties can be overcome as we focus on the “majestic, eternal, first-level truths [that are] central to the grandeur of the whole gospel message”—such as the plan of salvation, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the First Vision, the restoration of the priesthood, and the Book of Mormon—and not set aside or dismiss the whole truth by “obsessing over second- or third- or fourth-level pieces of that whole.” (See “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe” [an evening with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Feb. 6, 2015],

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also taught about overcoming our fear through faith in the Lord:

“Challenges, difficulties, questions, doubts—these are part of our mortality. But we are not alone. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have enormous spiritual reservoirs of light and truth available to us. Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time. In our days of difficulty, we choose the road of faith. Jesus said, ‘Be not afraid, only believe’ [Mark 5:36]” (“You Know Enough,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 14).