One day, John complained because someone who was not from among Christ’s inner circle of disciples was casting out demons in his name. And if this outsider was casting out demons, then it was God who was doing so through him. John’s complaint is rich in irony since just a few verses earlier the disciples found themselves unable to exorcise demons because of their unbelief.Continue reading
Servant of the Kingdom
After predicting his death, two of Christ’s disciples began jockeying for positions of high status in his coming kingdom. Thinking according to the ways of this world and its concepts of political power, they did not yet comprehend what kind of Messiah Jesus was, and therefore, what it meant to be his disciple. But he would soon demonstrate graphically just how anyone achieves “greatness” in the kingdom of God.Continue reading
This is My Son!
In Mark, Jesus first appears when he is baptized by John the Baptist. The passage identifies him with his hometown, Nazareth, a small village of no consequence, though its very insignificance plays a part in the larger narrative.
Jesus is the Messiah who does not fit popular expectations even as he is anointed Messiah at the Jordan River in fulfillment of Scripture.Continue reading
SERVANT OF THE KING
His disciples are called to lives of self-sacrificial service for others, just as Jesus gave his life a ransom for many – Mark 10:35-45.
After predicting his trial and execution, the disciples jockeyed for position in Christ’s reign over his kingdom. In words and deeds, he taught them previously that kingdom citizenship means a life of self-sacrificial service to others. But as he approached Jerusalem, even his closest followers demonstrated a very different vision of what it meant to “rule” over others in his domain.Continue reading
IN THE BEGINNING
In the ministry of Jesus, the kingdom of God arrived as announced by John the Baptist – Mark 1:1-3.
The gospel of Mark begins with a declaration from the Hebrew Bible that sets the stage for the messianic mission of Jesus Christ. Thus, it opens on a distinct note of fulfillment. Jesus is the promised Messiah of Israel, and with the appearance of John, the long-awaited “season of fulfillment” has begun.Continue reading