Mark 12 Lesson



It takes courage to be a Christian! 

Jesus understood this and was constantly preparing his disciples for the adversity that they were about to face. 

Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is being afraid and acting anyway.

Google Dictionary defines courage as:

  1. “The ability to do something that frightens one.”
  2. “Strength in the face of pain or grief.”

There are many verses about courage in the Bible.  Today, we will look at four of them.


  1. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9,
  2. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6,
  3. “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” - 2 Timothy 1:7,
  4. “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” - Psalm 27:14.

There is no challenge that we will ever face that we cannot get through with God by our side! 

The above scriptures remind us to be brave in the face of adversity and to glorify God by obeying His commands, even when it is difficult to do so. 


In Mark Chapter 12, Jesus continues to prepare for His crucifixion; while the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes seek to destroy Him.

The Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes saw Jesus as a threat.

The world was listening to Jesus, not them, and they did not like it! 

They were afraid of losing their power, so they threw out a series of ridiculous questions to Jesus, in a futile attempt to trick Him.  

They asked Jesus about taxes and posed outrageous, and hypothetical questions about marriage.  

As the greatest events in the history of the world were about to take place, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes were more concerned about preserving their own power than they were about saving their own souls!

And then, amongst the power-hungry, self-centered leaders of the day, we see one individual who made a courageous and noble choice to follow Jesus no matter the cost. 

The lone scribe!

Mark wrote about this event in the following passage:

  • “One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”  Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-31.  

The lone scribe replied to Jesus:

  • “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” – Mark 12:32-33.

It is the courage of this “lone scribe” that we will focus on for the remainder of today’s lesson. 

Instead of following the crowd down a destructive path that he knew was wrong, he recognized Jesus as the Messiah and tried to learn from Him. 

It took courage for this lone scribe to break away from the crowd and do what was right. 

At some point in our lives, we will find ourselves in a similar situation. 

It is at moments like this that we need to pray for the strength and courage to do what is right, even if it means breaking away from the crowd to carve our own path.  

Jesus was impressed with the courage of the lone scribe, as captured in the following scripture:

  • “When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’” - Mark 12:34.

The courage that this lone scribe displayed is a fitting example for all of us.   What he did was truly exceptional, and Jesus recognized him for it!

The lone scribe had the courage to follow Jesus, not the crowd.  

So should we!


At some point in our lives, we are all going to be tested. 

There will come a time when we must decide between following Jesus and following the crowd. 

Sometimes, we know the right choice to make, but we do not make it. 

The Apostle Paul experienced this himself, and wrote about it in his letter to the Romans:

  • “I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.But if I do the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin that dwells in me.” – Romans 7:18-20.

As we mature in our faith, we should challenge ourselves to follow the example of the lone scribe who followed Jesus and not the crowd.

It is in these defining moments that we need to muster up the courage to put God first, regardless of what others do or say.  

To love God with all our heart, soul, and mind means that God is the highest priority in our lives.  

This should be reflected in what we say, what we do, and just as importantly, what we do not do. 

When we become Christians, we no longer live for ourselves, we live to:

  1. Glorify God,
  2. Serve others.

We will end today’s lesson with the following two scriptures. They highlight the importance of following Jesus, even when it takes courage to do so:

  1. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.’” - Mathew 16:24,
  2. “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’”-John 8:12.


Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


Virtual Bible Study

Who was "The Lone Scribe" and why was he courageous?

Pat Dermody
Virtual Bible Study

After Jesus ascended into heaven he sent the Holy Spirit to give the disciples the grace to go forth and preach and serve others just as He had demonstrated. It is the same for us today. He could have come to earth as royalty and been served as the great savior he was. But he served us and gave his life so that we could be saved. Serving others is easier said than done especially in this busy world and when we are asked to serve someone we do not like.


It's easy to love God with all of our hearts, minds and souls when things are going well. But what about when they are not?


I think it's safe to say that we are all growing in our love for God. As we walk with God and get closer to him we experience more of his love for us and our love for him grows in response. Also, I would say love is more than a feeling. For example, we love God when we obey him even when we don't feel like it.


You still continue to love God with all of your heart and soul.