Bible Journal

Bible Journal - Mark

Hey to everyone taking our journey through the Bible. I've been swamped today so I'll post my thoughts tomorrow or Sunday. Sorry to be a little behind. Anyway, hope you are enjoying Mark!

Bible Journey - Mark 1-3

Hey guys. With all my sermon prep, etc. I think I got a little aggressive by asking you to read so many chapters in Mark. Actually, reading is not that big a deal, commenting on it is. Here's chapters 1-3. I'll do chapters 4-6 about mid-week.

The Gospel of Mark

I love this Gospel the most. Let me give you a couple reasons why…

(1) Jesus is the most human in this Gospel. Jesus is both God and man but while the other Gospels really focus on Jesus’ divinity, John Mark focuses on His humanity. The reason I like that is because I can identify him the most in Mark’s Gospel. An example would be when Jesus (out of anger – a human emotion) turns out the money changes in the Temple. I get angry occasionally.

(2) Mark’s Gospel is written to Gentiles. Just in case you don’t know what that means, to the Jews (the people of God) there are two groups of people: The Jews and then everyone else. Everyone else is Gentiles. Here’s why I like that fact. Mark is written to non-religious people. It’s written to people who don’t know Jewish customs and so Mark gives us a kind of “stripped down” picture of Jesus. Hope that makes sense.

Let me give you some fast facts about Mark’s Gospel:
1. Mark was written by a man named John Mark. He was a close friend of Peter. His Gospel is a collection of Peter’s sermons.

2. The Gospels are passion narratives that answer the questions, “Who is that man hanging on the cross?” When you read the Gospels think that way. At the end of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus will be identified as the Savior. Everything that comes before that is a description of Who the Savior is.

3. Here’s something important about Mark’s Gospel unlike the other three. There is what theologians call “The Messianic Secret” in Mark. Remember when Jesus cast out the demons in the man in the synagogue in Mark 1. The demons said, “We know who You are.” And Jesus said, “Be quiet. Don’t tell anyone.” And that happens a number of times in Mark. The reason is that Jesus is not an exorcist per se; He is not a healer per se. He is a Savior. And you don’t really know who He is until you see Him hanging on the cross.

4. Keep this in mind as you read Mark. Jesus is called the “suffering Servant” in Mark. When Mark’s Gospel was discovered the church was under Nero’s persecution. Literally Nero was dipping Christians in lighter fluid and burning them alive – as lights – at his garden party’s. The church was suffering. This book encouraged God’s people by helping us realize that although we too suffer in life, we have a Savior (and Lord) Who understands our hurts because He too suffered.

My thoughts on chapters 1-9…

The “new” Exodus has begun. Except this time it is not the Hebrews escaping from Egyptian slavery, it is all of humanity escaping from the slavery of sin. Jesus is seen as the second coming of Moses. He is the complete picture of everything God has been trying to say to human beings for thousands of years.

Jesus is baptized. He is then tested in the desert. Once He passed the test Him ministry begins – the call to faith and repentance.

Mark 1:16-45
The disciples spend this section in the background of Jesus’ ministry. They are amazed that Jesus has such compassion on people – regular people. I suppose they expected Him to be like the other religious leaders who didn’t really like people. At least they showed very little compassion for people. Jesus spent time with them. He loved them. He healed them. He took care of them. He turned “religion upside down.

Mark 2 – 3:6
Jesus made the religious leaders look bad. They were also jealous that for so long people only listened to them because they had to. NOW, people are standing in line to see Jesus. They love Him! The religious leaders also hate the fact that Jesus doesn’t keep up their protocols. He eats with sinners. He breaks the Sabbath laws.

Don’t miss that in 3:6 both religion and politics join together to plot Jesus’ demise. Normally, these two groups would have never gotten together. It’s the old “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” thing.

Mark 3:31-35
This is the story where Jesus asks, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Re-read this part. Jesus is really turning things upside down. Mark has already said that “all of Judea” is coming out to see Jesus. He’d become like a rock star in Palestine. Everybody wanted to be with him. In the past, the families of religious leaders received special privileges, as did the leaders. Jesus is saying that in His Kingdom there is no special privilege and perks. Everyone is equal. Everyone is important. Pedigree doesn’t matter.

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