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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   Disciples Ask Questions (9:10-13)

INTRODUCTION

1. After being told not to reveal what occurred on the mount of
   transfiguration, Peter, James, and John had questions about what
   Jesus said... - Mk 9:10
   a. They weren't sure what rising from the dead meant
   b. Though believing in the future resurrection, they were perplexed
      by announcements of Jesus' own death and resurrection - cf. Mk
      9:31-32

2. They then asked a question about what scribes taught concerning
   Elijah...
   a. Why Elijah must come first, that is, precede the Messiah - Mk 9:11
   b. Jesus confirms the scribes were correct, Elijah must come first
      - Mk 9:12; cf. Mal 4:5
   c. But that Elijah had already come, in the person of John the
      Baptist - Mk 9:13; cf. Mt 17:12-13

[Note that in the first case, the disciples had a question but did not
ask, thus remaining in ignorance (cf. Mk 9:31-32); in the second case,
they had a question, asked and received their answer.  Important to
discipleship is asking questions! To appreciate why, let's first
review...]

I. THE CONCEPT OF DISCIPLESHIP

   A. THE WORD "DISCIPLE"...
      1. The Greek word is mathetes - a learner, pupil - Thayer
      2. It denotes "one who follows another's teaching" - Vine's
         Expository Dictionary

   B. WHAT JESUS EXPECTS OF DISCIPLES...
      1. To learn from Him - Mt 11:28-30
      2. To be taught things He commanded - Mt 28:19-20

   C. WHAT THE APOSTLES EXPECT OF DISCIPLES...
      1. To grow in knowledge - 2Pe 3:18
      2. To increase in the knowledge of God and Christ - Col 1:10; Php
         3:8

[A disciple of Christ, then, is to be life-long learner, growing in the
knowledge of God and those things which He taught Himself and through
His apostles.  Important to such learning is...]

II. THE ROLE OF QUESTIONS

   A. JESUS TAUGHT BY ASKING QUESTIONS...
      1. In regards to healing on the Sabbath - Mt 12:10-12
      2. In regards to His identity - Mt 16:13-15; 22:42-45
      3. In regards to divorce - Mk 10:3
      3. In regards to paying taxes - Lk 20:22-25
      4. In regards to having authority - Mt 21:24-25
      -- Asking questions can be a useful teaching tool

   B. DISCIPLES LEARNED BY ASKING QUESTIONS...
      1. They asked about His parables - Mk 4:10; 7:17
      2. They asked about Elijah - Mk 9:11
      3. They asked about their inability to cast out a demon - Mk 9:28
      4. They asked about His teaching on divorce - Mk 10:10
      5. They asked about the man born blind - Jn 9:2
      6. They asked about the destruction of Jerusalem - Mk 13:1-4
      -- Asking questions is a great way to learn

   C. WE SHOULD LEARN BY ASKING QUESTIONS...
      1. Do not hesitate to ask questions
         a. In Bible classes
         b. After the sermons
         c. At any time (in person, via email, by phone)
      2. Do not be afraid to ask questions
         a. Some fear they will appear ignorant
         b. Which is better:
            1) To appear ignorant temporarily?
            2) To remain ignorant permanently?
      3. Besides learning, asking questions is a great way:
         a. To make Bible classes more interesting
         b. To help teachers and preachers be more useful (they love
            questions!)
      4. I had a student who came to class prepared with questions
         a. He wrote them down prior to class on 3x5 index cards
         b. His questions encouraged others to ask their own questions
         c. It provided a great learning experience for all
      -- Never underestimate the importance of asking questions!

CONCLUSION

1. Remember, a disciple is a life-long learner...
   a. As disciples of Christ, we must always be learning
   b. Growing in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom

2. There is no better way to learn than to ask questions...
   a. Ask a brother, a sister, a teacher, a preacher
   b. Keep asking until you get a Biblical answer

And you certainly do not have to wait until you are a disciple of Jesus
to ask questions.  Consider the example of the Ethiopian eunuch:

   So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does
   the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?" Then
   Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached
   Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some
   water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me
   from being baptized?" - Ac 8:34-36

He asked two questions:  one that began his learning about Jesus, the
other that led to his being saved by Jesus!  Are you willing to ask
questions in order to learn and be saved...?
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