In Mark, only at his death did the Roman centurion who was present at his execution recognize who Jesus was.
In Mark, all men prove incapable of recognizing who Jesus is, even his disciples. The only exceptions are John the Baptist and the Roman centurion at Golgotha, the very man in charge of his execution. Mark has threaded this theme throughout his gospel to make the point – The Messiah cannot be understood apart from his death on Calvary.
Continue reading THE CENTURION
To be the Messiah means suffering and death, and he summons his disciples to follow the same path – Mark 8:31.
As Jesus approached Jerusalem, he explained exactly what it meant to be the Messiah of Israel, namely, suffering and death, an expectation contrary to popular expectations and those of his disciples. And he also summoned anyone who would become his disciple to take up the cross and follow his self-sacrificial example. And failure to do so would render one an object of shame before the Lord of Glory.
Continue reading EMBRACING THE CROSS
After Jesus healed the blind man, for a fleeting moment, the eyes of Peter 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 is “on the way.” His march to Jerusalem and his inevitable death was in fulfillment of Joh’s proclamation from the words of Isaiah: “I send my messenger before your face who shall prepare your way.”
Continue reading WHOSOEVER WILL FOLLOW ME
The parable of the budding fig tree pointed to the imminent destruction of the Temple that Jesus had predicted – Mark 13:28-29.
The parable of the “budding fig tree” provides a graphic illustration of Christ’s answer to the question – “When will these things come to pass?” The image of a fig tree sprouting foliage is the clue for the “when” of the events predicted by him. Its foliage signals the arrival of “summer,” the time when “all these things” will be fulfilled.
Continue reading BUDDING FIG TREE
The whole earth will observe the “Son of Man” arriving on the clouds to gather his “elect” to himself –Mark 13:21-27.
The ‘Olivet Discourse’ now takes us beyond the destruction of the Temple to the return of the “Son of Man” to gather his saints. How much time will pass between the demise of the Temple and Christ’s arrival in glory is not provided, but during the interim, the church must beware of deceivers that disseminate false information about his coming.
Continue reading COMING ON THE CLOUDS
A brief introduction to, and outline of, the gospel of Mark, its history, contents, and literary structure.
The New Testament includes four gospel accounts, the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The first three are categorized as ‘synoptic’ gospels, meaning “to see together.” The term is a compound of the Greek preposition sun (“together”) and optikos (“to see”), hence – “to see together.”
Continue reading INTRODUCTION TO MARK