After Jesus healed a blind man, for a fleeting moment, the eyes of Peter and the disciples were opened to “see” just who he was – Mark 8:27-38.
Jesus queried his disciples while he was “on the way” to Jerusalem: Who do men say that I am? At least nine times Mark declares that Jesus was “on the way.” His march to Jerusalem, and to his inevitable death, fulfilled the proclamation of John the Baptist from the words of Isaiah: “I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way.”
Continue reading WHOSOEVER WILL FOLLOW ME
Jesus gave his ‘Olivet Discourse’ following his confrontations with Jewish authorities and his final departure from the Temple – Mark 12:41-13:4.
The ‘Olivet Discourse’ is the last recorded block of teachings by Jesus. It was given to the disciples on the Mount of Olives following a series of confrontations between Jesus and the Temple authorities, and his final departure from the Temple complex. His conflicts with the leaders of the Jewish nation set the stage for his trial and execution at the hands of the Romans.
Continue reading TEMPLE SETTING – FINAL DISCOURSE
The cursing of the barren fig tree symbolized the coming destruction of the Temple and the fruitlessness of Israel – Mark 11:12-26.
The Gospel of Mark divides the story of the barren fig tree into two sections, placing the “cleansing” of the Temple between them, and thus, the two events are inextricably linked. The fruitlessness of the fig tree and its subsequent cursing highlighted the spiritual state and destiny of the Temple, and Christ’s actions foreshadowed its destruction.
Continue reading FRUITLESS TEMPLE
SYNOPSIS – Jesus was “on the way” to Jerusalem to suffer arrest, trial, his and execution – Mark 10:32-34.
Once again, the narrative of Mark stresses how Jesus was “on the way,” continuing his journey that would end in Jerusalem with his inevitable arrest, trial, and execution. This theme occurs several times in the gospel of Mark, beginning with the quotation from Isaiah by John the Baptist – “Prepare the way before the Lord.” Now, the text adds the very apt description that they were “going up to Jerusalem.” The city was approximately 1,060 meters above the Jordan River valley – (Mark 1:2-3, 2:23, 8:27).
Continue reading HIS IMMINENT DEATH
To be his disciple means to pursue self-sacrificial service for others, and especially so to the weak and insignificant.
On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus explained to the disciples what it meant to be the Messiah, and not for the first time, for in the city of David, he would face his final confrontation with the Temple authorities and death at the hands of the Romans. Was not that city the appointed place where the prophets were killed, and the Messiah himself must suffer rejection and death?
Continue reading MEANING OF DISCIPLESHIP
SYNOPSIS – The Transfiguration was the divine confirmation of his status as Messiah and of the necessity for Jesus to suffer before he received his glory – Mark 9:2-13.
In Mark, the description of the event known as the “Transfiguration” begins with the clause “after six days.” This not just a temporal reference but a link to the preceding story in which Peter acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah. In response to his confession, he explained the true meaning of discipleship. To follow him, a man must “deny himself, take up his cross” walk the same path as the “Son of Man” – (Mark 8:28-30).
Continue reading TRANSFIGURATION