Mark 7:1-23 — The Ministry of Jesus Questioned

January 10, 2012

Jesus is now rising to the height of his popularity. People from the Galilean hills, around the lake, and from the Decapolis are flocking to him. The ministry of the apostles in the hills resulted in 5000 men, not counting women and children, following him into a deserted region. Jewish Galilee is electric with enthusiasm […]

Mark 6:45-56 — Divine Presence

December 18, 2011

The Galilean hills were evangelized through heralding and enacting the kingdom. 5,000 males were fed with five loaves and two fish actualizing table fellowship within the kingdom. And now, apparently, the healded and fed expected something more. Perhaps they intended to crown Jesus king (cf. John 6:14-15) and inaugurate a rebellion against Roman authority. “Immediately,” signaling the critical nature […]

Mark 6:30-44 — A Missional Table

December 12, 2011

Jesus sent (apostellein) his disciples with authority over demons and diseases (6:7). The apostles (apostoloi) returned reporting what “they had done and taught.” They followed Jesus into the practice of the kingdom of God—announcing the coming reign of God and demonstrating that reign by wondrous acts of mercy. The twelve had become apostles (cf. 3:14—they […]

Mark 6:14-29 — A Martyr for the Kingdom of God

November 30, 2011

Jesus’ renown has grown. As he moved his ministry into the Galilean hills rather than simply around the Galilean lake and he sent his disciples in six teams throughout the villages in those hills, his fame increased. Even some political leaders were beginning to take notice. Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee in the north […]

Mark 6:1-13 — Hometown Rejection and Missional Action

November 22, 2011

Jesus leaves the shores of the Galilean lake and enters the Galilean hills east of the lake. Numerous Jewish villages, as well as a few Greco-Roman cities (like Sepphoris), dotted the hills of Galilee. One of those villages was Jesus’ own home town of Nazareth (Mark 1:9, 24). This is not necessarily the first time […]

Mark 4:35-41 – “Who is this?”

November 8, 2011

Mark’s action-oriented story paused for a few kingdom parables. Those parables painted a dramatic picture of the kingdom of God. They offer some perspective on the ministry of Jesus. The kingdom ministry of Jesus is sowing seed of the kingdom for an assured future harvest. As Mark returns to the dramatic acts of Jesus and […]

Mark 4:21-34 — Kingdom Parables

November 7, 2011

“The kingdom of God has drawn near” is the basic message of Jesus (Mark 1:14,15). His parables offer a vision that assures us that the kingdom of God is a wondrous and wild reality. The kingdom of God cannot be hidden or silenced; it cannot be hindered or manipulated. The kingdom of God will fill the […]

Mark 4:1-20 — The Parable of the Sower as Kingdom Theology

October 31, 2011

The Gospel of Mark is rightly characterized as an action-oriented telling of the story of Jesus. So, it is important to pay particular attention when the Gospel slows down to focus on the teaching of Jesus as it does in Mark 4. Mark offers a kind of synopsis of Jesus’s parabolic teaching. The Gospel stresses that […]

Mark 3:20-35 — Blaspheming the Holy Spirit

October 24, 2011

Having chosen his twelve, Jesus resumes his ministry in Galilee, and he finds both popularity and opposition. He is so popular that people crowd him in such a way that Jesus and his disciples are not able to “eat bread,” that is, to eat anything. At the same time opposition intensifies with accusations of demon […]

Mark 3:7-19 — The Twelve are Chosen

October 17, 2011

Mark’s Gospel now enters a new phase.  In the first part of Mark, Jesus has gained popularity among the people but opposition has emerged among the religious (Pharisees) and political (Herodians) leaders. His popularity sky-rocketed through his healing ministry among Galilean villages but opposition grew as he crossed traditional boundaries and assumed the role of […]