“Unit 8, Day 1: Mark 4–5,” New Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2016)
“Unit 8, Day 1,” New Testament Study Guide
Jesus taught using parables on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. While on the sea, the Savior calmed a storm, and His disciples marveled at His power over the elements. 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.
Think about the worst storm you have experienced. Ponder how you would describe your experience to someone who was not there during the storm.
How are certain challenges and difficulties in life like a storm?
Copy the following chart in your scripture study journal. Then, in the space below each category, write examples of physical, spiritual, mental, and social storms youth might experience.
As you study Mark 4–5, look for principles that can help you when you experience life’s storms.
In Mark 4:1–34 we read that while on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus Christ taught several parables to a multitude of people. (This lesson will not cover these verses because you already studied these parables in Matthew 13.)
Read Mark 4:35–38, looking for what problem arose while the Savior and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee.
The Sea of Galilee is located 700 feet below sea level and is surrounded on three sides by mountains. At times, winds rush down the mountain slopes and create sudden, intense storms with large waves on this relatively small body of water. Some of the disciples were experienced fishermen, but because of the storm, which was washing waves over the boat, “they were filled with fear, and were in danger” (Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 8:23 [in Luke 8:23, footnote a]).
If you had been in the ship with Jesus and the disciples in these conditions, what thoughts and feelings might you have had when you turned to the Savior for help and found Him asleep?
Read Mark 4:39–40, looking for the Savior’s response to the disciples’ plea for help. You may want to mark the phrases “Peace, be still” and “a great calm” (Mark 4:39) in your scriptures. You may also want to write the following principle in your scriptures or scripture study journal: If we seek the Savior’s help in times of trouble or fear, He can bring us peace.
Ponder for a moment what it means to seek the Savior’s help in times of trouble or fear. Consider some ways we might do this.
Read Mark 4:41, looking for what the disciples asked about Jesus. Consider highlighting the question in your scriptures.
If you had been there to answer the disciples’ question, what would you have told them about Jesus Christ and His power?
How can remembering that Jesus Christ has power to calm storms and provide peace affect your faith during times of trouble?
Read the words or listen to the hymn “Master, the Tempest Is Raging” (Hymns, no. 105), and ponder the message. Think of a time when you or someone you know turned to the Lord during a storm of life. In what ways did the Savior help calm the storm or provide peace? In your scripture study journal, write what you can do to seek the Savior’s help during challenging times in your life.
Mark 5:1–18 records 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, who then violently ran off a cliff into the sea. After he was healed, the man wanted to remain with Jesus.
Read Mark 5:19–20, looking for what Jesus instructed this man to do.
One principle we can learn from this story is that when we experience the Savior’s power in our lives, we can testify to others of His blessings and compassion. However, if an experience is very sacred, you should not share it unless prompted by the Holy Ghost to share it.
Ponder how or to whom you might testify of the Savior’s blessings and compassion in your life.
Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy told of a painful experience in his family’s life:
“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 [breathed in] 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 might you have thought or felt at that moment?
How could an experience like this test someone’s faith?
Read Mark 5:21–24, looking for how a Jewish ruler named Jairus faced a similar challenge that may have tested his faith.
Read Mark 5:25–26, looking for who was among the crowd that followed Jesus toward Jairus’s home.
Although the New Testament accounts do not define the exact nature of the woman’s “issue of blood” (Mark 5:25), or hemorrhage, 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.
Read Mark 5:27–34, looking for what this woman did to receive the Savior’s help. The phrase “came in the press behind” (Mark 5:27) refers to her struggle to break through the crowd of people so she could touch Jesus’s garment (or robe). The word virtue in verse 30 means “power” or “strength.”
From the account of this woman’s experience, we can learn that if we demonstrate our faith in Jesus Christ through our efforts to come to Him, He can make us whole.
It is important to remember that our 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, as with the woman who touched Jesus’s robe.
Consider that while Jesus Christ stopped to help the woman with the issue of blood, Jairus was likely waiting anxiously for the Savior to come with him and help his daughter.
Read Mark 5:35, looking for the message that was delivered to Jairus while Jesus stopped to help the woman.
If you had been in Jairus’s position, what thoughts or feelings might you have had at that moment?
Read Mark 5:36, looking for what the Savior said to sustain Jairus’s faith. You may want to mark what you find.
From this story we can learn that exercising faith in Jesus Christ requires us to continue believing in Him even in times of uncertainty.
Ponder the following questions: What are some ways we might apply this principle in our lives? Why do you think God tests our faith at times?
Read Mark 5:37–43, looking for what happened to Jairus’s daughter. Note that those who “laughed [Jesus] to scorn” (Mark 5:40) were “the minstrels and the people making a noise” (see Matthew 9:23–24), not Peter, James, John, or the girl’s parents.
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 continue to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, even in times of uncertainty, He will give us peace during our challenges.
Read the following testimony Elder Bowen shared, and consider how we can maintain our faith regardless of the outcomes of our trials:
“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, Ye Shall Live,” 17).
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
When have you or someone you know maintained faith in Jesus Christ during a time of trial and uncertainty?
What blessings came as a result of remaining faithful? (You may want to go back to the chart you drew in your scripture study journal at the beginning of this lesson and write a few sentences describing how the Savior has helped you during trials relating to each catagory—physical, spiritual, mental, and social.)
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Mark 4–5 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, or insights I would like to share with my teacher: