by James and Lynn Kroonblawd
Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Epiphany 3B Gospel.
Text: Mark 1:14-20 for the Third Sunday after Epiphany, Lectionary Series B
Participants will understand Jesus has brought the kingdom of God near to them.
A globe or world map
If possible, information on several countries, states, cities and towns from a local travel agent (pictures, brochures, cost of living, etc.)
Pins or tape
Bible atlas, Bible encyclopedia or Bible dictionary
Reproduce the “If Money Were No Object” chart (below)
Before participants arrive, place information on different locations and several maps of different states and countries on tables in your meeting area. Post a world map on a bulletin board, or place a globe in a central location.
- As participants arrive ask, “If money were no object, where would you like to live?” use the maps and information provided to help you decide. Using the materials provided, mark your dream location on the world map or globe.
- Form small groups of 6-8 by grouping those who would live nearest each other (example: those east of the Mississippi River). The person who would like to live furthest north in your small group is the leader.
The task of the leader is to allow all members of the group an opportunity to participate while keeping the discussion moving.
- Complete the following chart individually to show the type of community in which you would prefer to live (mark an x under either column).
If money were no object, I would live near…
(Yes) (No) (Yes) (No)
a beach ____ ____ a crack house ____ ____
a farm ____ ____ a freeway ____ ____
a small town ____ ____ a toxic waste site ____ ____
a mountain ____ ____ a quality school ____ ____
a cemetery ____ ____ a basketball stadium ____ ____
a foreign country ____ ____ a forest ____ ____
a landfill ____ ____ a church ____ ____
a downtown ____ ____ a hospital ____ ____
a river ____ ____ a shopping mall ____ ____
- Beginning with the leader, ask each person to share three choices from the “Yes” column and three from the “No” column from the activity above. When all have had an opportunity to participate, finish the sentences below.
- The thing I like most about where I live now is…
- The thing I like least about where I live now is…
LOOKING AT GOD’S WORD
- Read Mark 1:14-20.
- From these verses, where did Jesus begin His ministry?
- Use a Bible atlas, Bible encyclopedia or Bible dictionary to discover how this community was similar or different from your community.
- Mark 1:14-15 shows Jesus’ choice to live near people. Name the people who live near you and respond to the following statements.
- Which is more important, where you live or the people who live near you? Why?
- The thing I like most about the people living near me…
- I have negative attitudes about the people living near me when…
- At the right time, God sent His Son to bring the kingdom of God near to you.
- Share a time when you felt God was near.
- Share a time when you felt God was far away from you.
- What frightens you when you hear Jesus say, “The kingdom of God is near; repent and believe the good news”?
- What brings you joy when you hear these words?
- Read Mark 1:16-20. If Jesus’ words, “Come, follow me,” were said to you…
- How might your response affect where you live?
- How might your response affect the people near you?
REINFORCING WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED
In five minutes, complete as many endings to the words, “Through this study I learned…”
Pray this prayer together in your small group: Lord Jesus, thank You for coming near to me and bringing me into Your kingdom.
Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 19, 1996.
Updated for youthESource in January 2014