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
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
SYNOPSIS – The Spirit of God drove Jesus into the Wilderness to be tested; he succeeded where Israel had failed – Mark 1:9-13.
The first appearance of Jesus in the gospel of Mark is at his baptism in the River Jordan. The passage identifies him with his hometown, Nazareth, a small village in Galilee and one of no significance. However, its very insignificance plays an important role in the narrative – Jesus is a Messiah who does not fit any of the popular messianic expectations. (Photo by Dekeister Leopold on Unsplash).
Continue reading WILDERNESS, TEMPTATION, SPIRIT
SYNOPSIS – John the Baptist arrived to prepare the way for the Messiah and to herald the Good News of the Kingdom of God – Mark 1:4-8.
All four gospel accounts apply the same prophecy from the book of Isaiah to John the Baptist. His ministry to baptize in water and summon all Israel to repent was in preparation for the arrival of the promised Messiah and his Kingdom. All this was in fulfillment of the promises from the Hebrew Bible – (Mark 1:4-8, Matthew 3:3, Luke 1:76, John 1:23).
Continue reading VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS
SYNOPSIS: Jesus taught that to be a true member of the kingdom of God necessitates a life of self-sacrificial service to others, not power over them – Mark 10:34-45.
As in Mark 9:31-37, once again after predicting his upcoming suffering and death, the disciples of Jesus jockeyed for rank and power in the coming messianic kingdom. As before, Jesus taught them that to be a true member of the kingdom necessitates a life of self-sacrificial service to others rather than power over them. Continue reading Greatness in the Kingdom of God