St Mark's Gospel and the Nature of Discipleship
Discipleship is a very important theme in Mark's Gospel. It is as very
important for Christians today as it was for the first disciples of
True discipleship is not something that can be one in a half-hearted
way. To Christians, it means giving all that they have in the service
of God and of other people. This is clearly explained the story of the
widow at the treasury.1
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and
watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many
rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in
two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling
his disciple to him, Jesus said, 'I tell you the truth, this poor
widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all out
of wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything all she had
to live on.'
1 = Mark 12: 41- 4
There are many different points to this story which are:
Â· Jesus neither criticized nor praised the rich people who put large
amounts of money onto the offering box, even though it was money they
probably had to spare or just lying around.
Â· The widow is praised because she gave more than anyone else to God.
Her offering was very small, but it was all that she had.
Â· We all have different levels of ability and talents, and in this
story Jesus teaches that a person who commits everything they have to
the service of God, however little that might be, is more precious to
God than someone who has great ability and resources, but less
committed. Real Christian discipleship requires total commitment.
The cost of discipleship
About halfway through his ministry, Jesus began to warn his disciple
that his work of God would result in his suffering and death. He knew
that his teachings and popularity would be seen as a threat by his
enemies. He also realized that life would be made difficult for those
who believed that he was the Messiah sent by God. They to have to be
prepared to suffer to their beliefs and discipleship.
Jesuscalled the crowd to him along with his disciple and said
'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his
cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it,
but whoever less his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What
good is it for a man to gain the whole wide world, yet to forfeit his
Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed
of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful, generation, the Son
of God will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with
the holy angels.2
There are a number of important of ideas in this quotation which need
to be look at I think personal. Well the first point is: