Mark 4:35–5:20 Study Guide

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This weekend, we continued our study through the Gospel of Mark as Pastor Doug Sauder taught from Mark 4:35–5:20. In this message, we examined the moment Jesus calms the storm, how the truth behind this amazing miracle impacts us today, and how it speaks volumes about who Jesus is. 

In this week’s group study, Boca campus Worship Pastor Andrew Wooddell expands on our examination of Mark 4:35–5:20.



Below, you’ll find some key questions to reflect on and consider in your group, with your family, or in your circle of friends, some action points for the week, and a look ahead. 

Ice Breaker: What’s the craziest trip you’ve ever been on?

Getting the Conversation Going: This week’s passage takes us through a wild road trip for Jesus and the disciples. When we pick up in Mark 4, we see the disciples crossing the lake by boat toward a region called the Gerasenes. While Jesus was taking a nap, a storm hit. According to Aristotle, lailaps (the Greek word used in this passage which is translated as a furious squall) describes “a storm breaking forth from black thunder clouds in furious gusts, with floods of rain, and throwing everything topsy-turvy.” This is what hit them. So, in a panic, the disciples wake Jesus and ask Him if He cares if they drown. One Bible commentator addressed this moment saying, “Unbelief and fear made them sadly forget their place.” Isn’t that such a familiar place for us? The place where fear and faithlessness cause us to forget who Jesus is?

“Fear becomes a factor when we endeavor to face the present and future without God.”

Discussion Question 1: Why do you think the disciples—after all they’d seen and heard from Jesus—were so fearful?

Discussion Question 2: What causes you fear? In what ways can we seek Jesus in this area? 

“With a word, the chaos turns to calm.”

Still in the Storm: Upon being awoken in a panic by the disciples, Jesus gets up and rebukes the storm, saying, “Quiet! Be still!” Other translations say, “Peace.” Now, while this verse seems to simply refer to Jesus rebuking the storm alone and speaking peace and stillness over it, a deeper examination shows us a duality in His words. His command here is being directed at both the storm and the disciples! He was awoken by panic, fear, and faithlessness, so He spoke stillness and peace over the storm raging in the sky and the storm raging in their hearts and minds. This is further cemented when He says, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”—1 John 4:18 (NIV)

Key Definition: Perfect (teleia) love doesn’t mean one must love perfectly. The word used in the Greek for perfect here is more accurately translated as that which has reached maturity. It implies something that has gone through the necessary stages and steps to reach the end goal; something that has developed to maturity after having undergone a process or journey. Basically, it’s not a love that’s perfect, but one that is well worn, intimate, mature, and has been deeply developed and intentionally grown through all the experiences of one’s life with Jesus.

Discussion Question 3: How does perfect/mature love drive our fear? What becomes the key factor in this?

“When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.”—Mark 5:15 (NIV)

God’s Plan: Continuing the unique road trip, now on the other side of the lake in the Gerasenes, Jesus is confronted by a man possessed by a legion of demons. After casting the demons out of the man and into a herd of pigs, the people become extremely fearful and ask Him to leave the region. The man who was healed then begs Jesus to go with them, but Jesus says, “No,” and instead instructs him to “go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19 NIV).

God’s will and plan, His purposes, and what He desires to accomplish in and through us doesn’t always line up with the way we think things should go. But we can be certain that His way is better and will lead to truly wonderful things, beyond what we could ever ask, think, or imagine.  

Discussion Question 4: When Jesus says no to your plan, are you still open to His? How have you seen His plan worked out in your life?

Discussion Question 5: In what ways can you seek to align your life more with His plans and purposes over our own?

This Week: Do like the man who was healed of demon possession and tell someone “how much the Lord has done for you.”

Pray It Out: Share prayer requests in your group. Write down the requests of your group members, spend time praying over these requests, and keep praying individually over them throughout the week.


Looking for more info on the Gospel of Mark? Check out this page with all sorts of resources, a weekly breakdown, message takeaways and group studies, devotionals, articles, and much more!

Mark Resource Page


This weekend, we’ll continue our study through the Gospel of Mark as Pastor Doug teaches from Mark 5:21–43. In this message, we’ll look at two amazing miracles as Jesus heals a woman with a bleeding condition and raises a dead girl to life!

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About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.