Mark 16:1-8 — The Ministry of Jesus Begins Anew

August 20, 2012

The ending of Mark has long been a controversial subject among scholars even though the present general consensus is that the long ending (Mark 16:9-20) is not original to the Gospel. I will not rehearse that evidence here except to say that 9-20 is absent from the earliest manuscripts, patristic evidence is scanty and confirms […]

Mark 15:39-47 — The Powers Recognize the Reality of the Kingdom of God in Jesus

August 15, 2012

Six hours on the cross are followed by an assortment of events which bridge Mark’s story from  the cross to the empty tomb. The body of Jesus is moved from the cross to a tomb. The Romans permit it, a Sanhedrin member does it, and some female disciples witness it. But is this text simply […]

Mark 15:33-38: The Last Three Hours of the Execution of Jesus

August 14, 2012

During the first three hours of his execution, Jesus was beaten and then despoiled by Roman soldiers as they cast lots for his clothes, mocked by Jewish bystanders and the Temple authorities for his apparent inability to destroy the Temple or save himself, and scorned by those crucified with him as a naive pretender to […]

Mark 15:21-32 – The First Three Hours of the Cross

August 1, 2012

The movement of Jesus from Praetorium to the cross is known as the Via Dolorosa among the pious. But for the Romans, and in Mark’s story, it is something quite different. It is not only the depths of Christ’s sorrow and humiliation, but it is also imperial triumphalism and an imperial assertion of power. Crucifixion […]

Lipscomb on Giving Caesar His Due (Mark 12:13-17)

May 8, 2012

Yesterday I posted on Mark 12:13-17 where jesus encounters the “Caesar tax” question as part of my regular blogging on my Sunday morning Bible Class.  It was not an agenda piece but rather part of working through the text of Mark as I understand it. My views, however, are generally similar to those of David […]

Mark 11:12-26 — The King Comes in Judgment

April 2, 2012

King Jesus, riding on a donkey, triumphantly entered Jerusalem hailed as the one who would usher in the kingdom of David. Surrounded by an expectant crowd, he entered the temple, looked at everything, and went home for the evening. What did Jesus see? The next morning, Monday of Passion Week, Jesus tells us. The King […]

Mark 11:1-11 – The Coming of the King

March 30, 2012

As Jesus enters Jerusalem, we enter the last week of Jesus’ life—the passion week. The Triumphal entry on Palm Sunday leads to a cross on Good Friday which is reversed by resurrection on Easter Sunday. Mark 11-16, practically one-third of the Gospel, is devoted to the last week of Jesus’ life. The messianic entourage approached […]

Mark 10:32-45 — True Greatness

March 28, 2012

Leaving Perea and nearing Jericho, Jesus led the way towards Jerusalem. This is a determined, focused step in Mark’s description; Jesus is headed to Jerusalem. The disciples are alarmed (amazed) and others accompanying them are afraid. Apparently, they were astonished and concerned that Jesus was headed to Jerusalem where his enemies were numerous and powerful. […]

Mark 9:14-29 – Faith Releases Kingdom Power

February 17, 2012

Moving from a glorious mountain-top ecstasy to the despairing valley of his disciples’ faithlessness, Jesus experiences a range of emotions. To experience bodily transfiguration, conversation with Elijah and Moses, and hear the voice of his delighted Father was a great delight (Mark 9:2-8), but to come down the mountain to hear his disciples arguing with […]

Passion Predictions in the Gospel of Mark

February 16, 2012

The Gospel of Mark identifies three separate occasions when Jesus foretold his passion, death and resurrection to his disciples. Each prediction was limited to the twelve. His future was part of the Messianic secret. They were told to tell no one. The first occasion was Mark 8:31-32. This immediately followed Peter’s confession that Jesus is […]