In this passage we see humility, extraordinary love, and two great inversions. The humility is seen in the way the leper approaches Jesus. Not only does this man fall at the feet of Jesus, but also this man says something to show the humility of his heart.
a. Introduction The death of Jesus does not have the final word. There is resurrection. This point is essential. Death alone would be an act of love and certainly an incredible demonstration of sacrifice, but in the end it would lack eternal meaning and power.
a. Introduction This chapter is filled with great irony. Jesus the judge of all is judged, Jesus the king is mocked as a king with garments of purple and a crown of thorns, and the one who gives life breathes out his last.
a. Introduction Mark records the last days of Jesus. He offers five stories in quick succession: (1) the anointing of Jesus feet at Bethany, (2) the Last Supper, (3) Jesus’ agony at the Garden of Gethsemane, (4) the arrest of Jesus, and (5) finally Peter’s actual.
a. Introduction In this chapter, two themes converge – the future death and resurrection of Jesus, and the persistent blindness of people. We see this blindness is the confusion over marriage, the lack of concern of children, the love of money, and the desire for “worldly power.” It is no wonder that the story ends [...]
a. Introduction Interestingly the story of the boy plagued by demons ends with a statement on the passion of Jesus. The passion will be the dominant motif for the rest of the book. However, before the passion proper, there are several episodes with various teachings of Jesus.
a. Introduction When Jesus asks Peter, “who do people say that I am?” Peter offers a number of answers. This gamut of opinions underlines the confusion surrounding Jesus’ identity. But when Jesus asks Peter his opinion, Peter for the first time in the gospel gets it right.
a. Introduction In this short section, Mark comments on blindness at least three times. The Pharisees asks for a sign, after Jesus just miraculously fed an enormous crowd (unbelievable)! The disciples are dull to the teachings of Jesus and still do not understand him. Finally, Jesus heals a blind man in Bethsaida.
a. Introduction In this section, we encounter two healings and a feeding. A major theme that emerges is the compassion of Jesus. This may be hard to see in the first story, since it appears that Jesus is speaking in a condescending way to the Syprophenician woman.
a. Introduction In chapter 3, Jesus’ ministry expands. He appoints apostles and the crowds around him grow. Conflict also grows apace. Some of this conflict is to be expected, but some of the conflict comes from the most unlikely places such as Jesus’ own family. Moreover, the criticism towards Jesus intensifies. His family says that [...]
a. Introduction According to Mark’s gospel, misunderstanding quickly turns into conflict. Episode after episode, there is some sort of conflict. It would not be entirely wrong to state that the conflict surrounds three issues: theology (forgiving sins), sociology (eating with tax collectors), and tradition (fasting and Sabbath rules).
a. Introduction As Mark’s narrative moves along, new characters are introduced. Some follow him (disciples), others are healed (the leper), and still others oppose him (religious leaders). One commonality ties most of these stories together; these characters do not understand who Jesus is and what he has come to do. Ironically, the only characters that [...]
a. Introduction Mark is a fast moving gospel; the author moves from scene to scene. The Greek word for “immediately” is one of his favorite words. For this reason, Mark may seem incoherent, but a close examination will show an artfully constructed narrative. Therefore, following the narrative with an eye to literary details will prove [...]
1. Background Information a. Authorship Rather than delving into an issue that will prove to be guesswork at best, humility should posit no certainty when it comes to the author. The gospel of Mark does not claim to be written by a person named Mark. In fact, it is anonymous. Also there is very little [...]
A. Introduction These two parables offer different insights on the kingdom of God. However, before we examine what these insights are, we need to explore briefly what the kingdom of God is. The most common assumption is that the kingdom of God is the church, but in the New Testament the kingdom of God is [...]