Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bible Reading Challenge - Week 4 Day 3 Mark 11-16

Our reading challenge for the day is Mark chapters 11-16. I'll hit a few highlights. You make comments too and fill in the gaps. What strikes you as specially significant?

Mark 11 - Here we begin the Passion Week with Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. See the popular support he has but also see that the opposition will start by the end of chapter 11. Consider how much of Mark's Gospel is spent on this period of time surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection.

Mark 12-13 - Jesus' work of teaching and healing in the temple could easily be seen as an affront to the Jewish leaders. He remains popular with many of the people he interacts with, but continues to push the leaders in a way they do not wish to go. Jesus also begins talking about the end times in terms which we find difficult to understand. He is clear that there is a time of persecution to come and that people should rejoice that they are under God's protection. Yet beyond that it is hard to make out many of the specifics of his message.

Mark 14-16 - In the plots to arrest Jesus we have to ask ourselves if we are those who would sit at the table with him and then deny him later. The fact is that we are very likely to be just that kind of people. Does this negate Jesus' mercy and grace? Not at all, for Jesus died for exactly that kind of sinners. Thanks be to God that the story is not over with Jesus hanging dead on a cross. He comes and delivers his commission to his disciples, restoring them and sending them to bring the Gospel to the whole world.

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