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 6:14-29 — 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 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 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 […]

Mark 2:23-3:6 — Son of Man, Sabbath and Opposition

October 6, 2011

Though Jesus was a popular teacher and healer at the end of Mark 1, opposition to his ministry emerges throughout Mark 2 and culminates in plans to kill him in Mark 3:6. Mark 2:1-3:6 contains five “controversy” stories which highlight this emerging opposition. Jesus forgives sin (thereby committing blasphemy). Jesus eats with sinners (and thus […]

Mark 2:13-22 — The Kingdom of God as a New Way of Living in the World

October 3, 2011

By the seashore and at the table, Jesus continues his teaching ministry. This story begins beside the Sea of Galilee among the crowds—which seems to be a regular habit on the part of Jesus (“again,” Mark writes)—but ends at a table filled with “tax collectors and sinners.” And Jesus does not teach with words alone. […]

Mark 1:40-45 — “Lepers Healed, the Kingdom of God is Here”

September 22, 2011

Lepers were outsiders. They were not only excluded from normal social interaction but they were excluded from the assembly of God.  The disease did not elicit sympathy but revulsion and exclusion.  They were unclean, contagious, and judged. The kingdom of God reverses this situation. Lepers are healed, included, and redeemed. It is evidence that the […]

Mark 1:29-39 — Heralding and Healing

September 17, 2011

The last line of this section describes the ministry of Jesus in Galilee:  “he went into the synagogues everywhere in Galilee, heralding and casting out demons.” I call this “practicing the kingdom of God.” That is, Jesus announces that the kingdom of God has drawn near and demonstrates its presence through redemptive acts.  This is the […]