Mark 6 – Is Jesus an Introvert

If yesterday’s chapter had two parts that could each be the subject of an entire blog post, then today’s chapter has…several. Jesus returns to his hometown, leaves, sends out the twelve apostles to preach and perform miracles, causes Herod to think Jesus is John the Baptist back from the dead, feeds a crowd with just five loaves and two fish, and walks on water. What ties the chapter together? It’s not some mere philosophical idea or a particular point of doctrine. It’s the same thing that ties all of Mark together: the person and ministry of Jesus Christ.
And what does the chapter tell us about Jesus Christ? Well, among other things, I wonder if it doesn’t tell us that he’s an introvert.

Mark 5 – Jesus Christ, Reluctant Superstar

Today’s chapter could easily be the subject of two entries, as it comprises two events: an exorcism in the wilderness of Gerasa, and a resurrection at the synagogue official Jairus’ house. We could spend two days on them, one after the other as we have with other chapters, but I’m inclined to take them both in a single post, straddling the two and hoping I don’t lose my footing.

Mark 3 – Much Madness Is Divinest Sense

In 2001, I took a year off to work between high school and college. During that time, my mom introduced me to Michael Card via his “best of” album Joy in the Journey. One track, “God’s Own Fool,” begins with Card singing in an impossibly high register about Jesus’ contemporary reputation as a wise teacher, despite the fact that many who actually witnessed his ministry firsthand regarded him as certified looney tunes:
For even his family said he was mad,
And the priests said a demon’s to blame,
But God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane.

And this is precisely what we see happen smack in the middle of today’s chapter of Mark.

Mark 2 – A Succession of Crazy-Town Bananapants Occurrences

Mark’s gospel consists mostly of stuff that appears in the other gospels. You can find about 90% of Mark in Matthew, and about half of Mark in Luke, so you’re not going to find a lot of exclusive premium content here. And while most modern scholars think Mark wrote his gospel first, with the other authors drawing on his account as a resource, many early church traditions viewed it as a kind of condensed version of Matthew, due to their similarities. But in today’s chapter, we’ve got an even where Matthew gives the quick-and-dirty rundown, but Mark digs into the details. And the details are so extraordinary, one has to wonder: why did Matthew leave out the most interesting part?

Mark 1 – The Gospel According to Sonic the Hedgehog

Mark hits the ground running. Unlike Matthew and Luke, he doesn’t concern himself at all with Jesus’ birth or childhood. He jumps right into John the Baptist’s ministry as Jesus’ forerunner, and before the reader has a chance to draw a breath, Jesus has gotten baptized, been tempted in the desert, called his first four disciples, and cast out a demon.

[The Gospel According to…] Mark 16:14-16

In the aftermath of Easter, we’ve reached the last explicit mention of the gospel in Mark. The resurrected Jesus tells his disciples: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (15-16). His command underscores once again the importance of the gospel as seen in Mark 13:10, “The gospel must first be preached to all the nations.” The good news is vital for all of mankind.

[The Gospel According to…] Mark 13:9-13

Today’s passage: Mark 13:9-13. “The gospel must first be preached to all the nations.” That’s Mark 13:10. It comes in the middle of Jesus warning his apostles of upcoming persecution, courtroom trials, floggings, betrayal by family members, and death. It’s similar to a passage we’ve seen before, Matthew 24:9-14, but that passage emphasizes the bigger picture, while here we’re getting a focus on what the apostles will suffer.

[The Gospel According to…] Mark 10:17-31

Today’s passage: Mark 10:17-31 Yesterday, I concluded that investigating the kingdom of God and what it stands for will give us insights into the gospel. Conveniently, today’s passage explicitly mentions both the kingdom of God and the gospel. So, a man with lots of property is unwilling to sell all his possessions, give the proceeds […]