An outline of Mark’s references to Jesus’ self awareness of the nature and purpose of his death

  • 2:5-7. Jesus forgave sins. Only God can do that. The Old Testament presents a model of forgiveness of sins associated with a sacrifice. I think Jesus here is foreshadowing the sacrifice of himself for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 7:27).
  • 2:20. Jesus expects to be taken away from his disciples, in circumstances causing fasting/grief.
  • 8:31, 9:31, 10:33. Jesus expects that he will die and rise again.
  • 8:33. 14:36. Jesus taught that the path he was on towards death and resurrection was God’s will.
  • 8:34-38. He taught that his act of sacrifice and losing his life was a pattern/path for believers to follow
  • 9:1, 14:25, 14:62. Jesus expects that through/after his resurrection that he would come into the kingdom of God in some kind of fuller/more powerful way
  • 10:33. Jesus expected to be betrayed by his own, condemned by Jews and killed by Gentiles.
  • 10:45. Jesus taught that giving his life would be an act of service and function as means of a random.
  • 14:8. Jesus told them that is good to prepare for his burial.
  • 14:22-25. Jesus taught that his life would be ‘poured out’ for many.

Mark 13 summary

In verses 1-23 Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple and describes the signs of the end of the age. The disciples ask the obvious question – when will this happen, and what will be the signs beforehand so that we can be prepared? In a parallel passage in Matt 24, the disciples ask more specifically regarding the sign of Jesus’ coming and the end of the age. It may be that the disciples considered these things closely related. In Jesus’ response, he indicates that the destruction of the temple will be one of the signs of the end times, along with natural disasters and political events such as wars. Continue reading “Mark 13 summary” »

God’s kingdom

When does the kingdom come?

I understand the kingdom to be God’s activity in the world, and so I think God’s kingdom came with creation. God reigns as king over all (Ps 97:1). However God’s kingship was rejected in the fall and the ongoing sinfulness of humanity ever since. God re-established his kingship with the people of Israel (Is 43:15) and installed human kings (or ‘regents’) to act as leaders of God’s kingdom on God’s behalf (1 Samuel 10:1). However God always had a better kingship planned. Daniel (7:13-14) looks forward to a better eternal kingdom with a king reigning with all power and authority. Continue reading “God’s kingdom” »

Following Jesus based on Mark 8:22–10:52

There are two main categories of Jesus’ disciples:

  1. those from the 1st century who physically followed Jesus during his earthly ministry; and
  2. all other Christians.

Within the first category, we might distinguish between the 12 disciples specifically called by Jesus to be leaders of other disciples (Mark 3:13). However there is very little in Mark’s gospel to suggest any further distinctions.

All would-be disciples, whether physical followers or not, must meet 2 requirements, according to Mark’s gospel: give up their old lives; and follow Jesus (8:34). (1)

Jesus’ teaching on discipleship used broad inclusive language (See uses of ‘whoever’ e.g. 8:34f.; 9:35, 37, 41, 42). (2) The early church in Acts considered all those who confessed Jesus as the Messiah to be a disciple (Acts 11:26), so we can consider the words disciple and Christian (‘follower of Jesus’) as synonymous.

Some further observations on discipleship from Mark’s gospel: Continue reading “Following Jesus based on Mark 8:22–10:52” »

The title ‘Son of God’ in Mark’s gospel

The title and concept of ‘Son of God’ can have different meanings depending on the context – it can refer to exalted men (Gen. 6:2), angels (Job 1:6), all of Israel (Ex 4:22-23), or a unique descendant of David who would reign forever as God’s king (2 Sam. 7:12-14). In intertestamental times, the title came to anticipate a messianic eschatological redeemer of God (1).

Continue reading “The title ‘Son of God’ in Mark’s gospel” »