The Gospel of Mark Bible Study for Youth – Lesson 1: Mark 1

Bible Study

A Bible study on the Gospel of Mark for youth based on the Yale Bible Study series.

Lesson Developed by

Jill Olds and Victoria Crook


Pointing the Way to Jesus

Tips to Prepare

  • If in person, set the room with chairs or around a table for a small group conversation
  • If virtually, schedule in your preferred video platform

Materials Checklist

  • Bibles or copies of the scripture
  • Paper and pens/pencils for the group
  • Laptop or media device with the clip from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (The scene where Neville Longbottom inspires others to continue for good. YouTube Clip)

Setting the Atmosphere

  • If in person, set the room with chairs or around a table for a small group conversation
  • Consider centering the space with a lit candle (unscented for those with sensitivities), or with a simple symbol, such as a cross
  • Consider having a ball or stuffed animal to throw around the circle, for the person speaking to hold when it is their turn
  • If virtually, schedule in your preferred video platform

Scripture Focus

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; 3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’” 4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 

Further Study

Introduction for Leaders

We hope you enjoy our curriculum on the Gospel of Mark. Each session focuses on a few chapters of the book, and contains within it: a theme that encapsulates the chapters; a specific Scripture passage, which highlights the theme; at least two activities (one hands-on, and one media-based); and some concluding discussion questions.

Our hope is that you will use these pieces to craft your session and contextualize it for your group. Some groups might start with reading Scripture; others might start with a movie clip, or a hands-on activity. You might use some of these pieces, or all of them. May the Spirit lead you as you customize your sessions!


  • Begin with a check in with members
  • Open with prayer
  • Read the scripture together


Select the option that best suits your group’s needs:

Exercise Option 1:

  • Have the youth write down a short list of people they look up to; celebrities, people in the community, family etc.
  • Once they do this, have them write down a reason why they look up to the person/a positive trait that person displays.
  • Discuss your role models together, compare if there is any overlap in choices or character traits.
  • If you want to push boundaries with your youth, also have them write down a negative trait of this person.
  • Discuss the importance of not idolizing others and point out that we are all human – even our role models.
  • Compare the negative traits, and question why we may not want to be exactly like our role models, but that they can still be positive influences in our lives.

Exercise Option 2:

Watch the video clip from the final Harry Potter film when Neville Longbottom inspires others to continue for good. (YouTube clip)


Reflect together on the following questions:

  1. Who points the way to Jesus for you? How tempting is it to want to be like that person? What are the positives and negatives to this?
  2. Who might you be a John the Baptist for? What would that look like?

Send Forth

  • Close the lesson in prayer (either the leader or a group member)
  • Or, consider utilizing a check-out exercise

Yale Youth Ministry Institute