Grant Jenks Logo

“Immediately” Bible Study

As part of Intervarsity’s inductive bible study, I’ve spent a lot of time in the gospel of Mark. And I love it. The gospel of Mark has been a transforming force in my life as I have sunk my teeth deep into it. As part of the inductive process, we focused on a practice broken into four parts: observe, question, interpret, and apply.

The first part, to observe, requires note taking and highlighting of the text. It’s common for people to fill their wide margins with notes and to use eighteen different colors identifying characters and their actions and their motives. As part of this process, it’s important to look for repeated words.

In the beginning of the gospel of Mark, one particular word is constantly repeated: “immediately.” It gives the narrative a sense of urgency and importance. Jesus goes from place to place, immediately. Immediately he talks and immediately he walks and immediately crowds respond.

The last part, to apply, requires reflecting on the group’s interpretation of the passage and figuring out ways to live out our interpretation. This part usually gets the least focus but is the most important. By applying what is learned in the study, the teachings can come to life and bare fruit.

So here’s the idea: “Immediately,” the bible study: read a passage of mark, reflect on it, and do something immediately for a minimum of 30 minutes. This could mean writing a letter or trying to engage someone on the street. On the street, speaking with a homeless man or, even better, taking him to dinner would often be a great way to apply early teachings in Mark. Even if it simply meant praying alone or with others for 30 minutes, it would go a long way toward making a bible study meaningful.

Bonus points for the study leader that actually arranges to serve/visit in a senior home, prison, or skid row.