Journeying through Matthew

A Traditional Bible Study


Format for the Bible Study:

Materials: Serendipity Bible (a few are available), spiral notebook or note pad, pen or pencil

The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday nights from 7 PM till 8 PM in the Library.  Meetings will last one hour.  Coffee and tea are available in Houghton Hall.

Each section includes some pages with questions for personal reflection and study.  Participants are invited to use these questions in their preparation and bring comments or questions to class.  Focus passages for group reflection are identified in this syllabus, however as the group evolves the focus might very well shift with the prayer and discernment shared in the group.





  1. WOpen with prayer (Responsibility shared by participants)
  2. W15 minutes – check in and reading observations and/or questions
  3. W20 minutes – looking at particular passages from varying perspectives, where might the scripture intersect with our lives – or not?
  4. W20 minutes – What is God telling me through this scripture?  Where is God calling me to act?  After studying these passages how might I respond to God’s call?
  5. W5 minutes – Wrap up and final comments.
  6. WClose with prayer (Responsibility shared by participants)

Notes on the Gospel of Mark

Some of the recurring themes:  Mark is the shortest of the canonical Gospels and it is the oldest.  Both Matthew and Luke pull stories and themes from the Gospel of Mark as well as from other sources.  In style it is a series of rapid fire episodes in the life of Jesus usually connected with “and immediately”.  Another recurring theme is “don’t tell anyone” and then the followers of course tell everyone.  There is little time for napping in Mark.  Likely it was compiled from many oral traditions.  It begins with Jesus’ baptism and the proclamation of the coming Kingdom or God and steadily builds to the crucifixion, the empty tomb and the women’s fear.  An alternate ending was added later.


For Mark Jesus’ teachings were exciting developments in Israel’s history.  Mark calls out the established government for injustice and calls for each individual to act in ways that will bring about the Kingdom of God.  It adds a social and economic aspect to the proclamation of the Gospel.  Clearly in Mark the disciples expected Jesus to obtain political power but instead Jesus leads them to a new understanding of discipleship.



September 13,  7 – 8 PM Library

Reading to be done prior to group –  1:1-3:6

Focus for reflection:  Baptism, Temptation, and the beginnings of ministry.


September 27,    7 -8 PM Library

Reading – 3:7-4:34

Focus for reflection:  Parables and the Kingdom of God


October 11,    7 -8 PM Library

Reading: 4:35-6:30

Focus for reflection:   Teaching from village to village




October 25    7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  6:31-8:30

Focus for reflection:  Follow me


November 8,  7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  8:31-10:45

Focus for reflection:  Transfiguration


November 22,  7 – 8 PM Library

Reading to be done prior to group – 10:46-13:37

Focus for reflection:  The coming Kingdom


December 13,    7 -8 PM Library

Reading – 14:1-16:8

Focus for reflection:  Fear overcomes the women.


December 20 is an option should we have to cancel one of the meetings.  This is a pretty ambitious set of readings, but each week we will pick one or two foci so as not to be overwhelmed with content.



Much of the material for this study will come from the Serendipity Bible, however, any good study Bible will be adequate and in fact in some ways better than the small print of the Serendipity Bible!!


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