Mapping Mark

Explore Mark’s Gospel through this unique set of bible study 'maps'; perfect for small groups or individual reflection.

In this pack are five maps:

  • Jesus is baptised

  • Jesus heals the sick

  • Jesus feeds the hungry

  • Jesus rides into Jerusalem

  • Jesus dies on the cross

Each 'map' takes you on a reflective journey through a key episode of the Gospel with the help of art, poetry and music and invites an interactive response. No prior knowledge is required, yet even for those who know the gospel well there’s something new to discover.


Map 1: Jesus is baptised

In Mark’s gospel our first glimpse of Jesus is at the Jordan where he joins the crowds being baptised by his cousin John. And it is here, as he demonstrates his solidarity with the human condition that he receives nothing less than his divine commissioning. ‘Torn apart’, the heavens and the earth are open to each other at this moment of revelation, of God’s glory in a murky river.

Map 2: Jesus heals the sick

In this double healing (of the woman with the haemorrhage and of Jairus’ daughter) the theme of touch is very important. Through this theme, Mark reveals to his readers much about the nature of Jesus, and therefore of God. But in order to hear what Mark is saying, we first need to know something about the culture of touch in the ancient Jewish world.

Map 3: Jesus feeds the hungry

The episode from Mark’s gospel under the spotlight here is the feeding of the five thousand and comes in chapter 6. What are we to make of this very familiar passage? What is Mark telling us? If we are going to map Mark’s mind and stand in his shoes for a while trying to hear what he wanted us to hear in these verses, then we need to be attuned to the way he viewed both the past and the future…

Map 4: Jesus rides into Jerusalem

The journey to the cross is well on its way for Jesus has reached the outskirts of Jerusalem. In the crowd’s ecstatic welcome – the spreading of cloaks and leafy branches, the shouting of very particular words – and in the manner of Jesus’ carefully planned entry into this most royal, most holy of cities, Mark boldly proclaims the kingship of the itinerant preacher from Galilee. But what a king!

Map 5: Jesus dies on the cross

Our focus in this fifth map is Jesus’ dying cry of dereliction: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? These are the only words from the cross Mark gives. As we begin to enter into them, we must first return to the Jewish Scriptures. Theologians and artists will then offer us insights into that terrible cry. What does it tell us about the Father? About Jesus and his death? About our own living and dying?