Friday, October 12, 2007


I’ve been reading through the book of Mark lately. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never noticed Mark’s tone throughout this book. Everything is so quick. Most new paragraphs or stories start with “Then,” “How,” “Immediately,” “When,” “So they went,” “Now,” “And,” etc. The story moves along so well, and while these aren’t necessarily transitional phrases, they bond the whole book together. Mark wrote to Gentiles, so that also gives his writing a different tone—they were welcome, they could believe the Messiah of the Jews and be saved.

I am not ashamed to admit that I am learning more as I read through this and am picking up on this I may not have connected before. For instance, Mark highlights many of Jesus’ healing miracles. After nearly all of them, Jesus tells the one healed not to tell anyone what he had done and who He was. (See 1:34, 43; 3:13; 5:34; 7:36; 8:26, 30; 9:9; and 11:33.)

His fame, however, spread, and He had to stay basically in hiding for a time because He was being pursued by so many. (See 1:28, 35, 45; 2:13; 3:7; 6:32; 7:24; 8:9–10, 13, 30; 14:32.)

And then, the climax. When directly questioned by the high priest, He answered clearly. “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am.” Short. Sweet. TRUE. And the high priest accused Him of blasphemy.

Jesus continues His silence during the beatings and mockings, although He had the power to call on the angels to save Him. But as He had said, He must endure to fulfill the prophecy. After another direct question, this time from Pilate, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answers, “It is as you say.” Again, the truth. And it led, ultimately, to His death on the cross.

If He had remained silent, they may not have killed Him. Yes, men testified against Him, but their testimonies did not agree. Yet He told the truth and paid the price of death.

The amazing thing is that He paid that price for you and me, if only we believe who He says He is and obey His commands. He loves His children and wants to have a personal relationship with those who trust Him. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” But don’t stop there. James 2:19–20 warns and encourages: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” Note here, however, that “James is not contrasting two methods of salvations (faith versus works). Instead, he contrasts two kinds of faith: living faith that saves and dead faith that does not.” (John MacArthur, the MacArthur Study Bible, NKJV)

I am continually amazed at how, through numerous writers and hundreds of years, the 66 books of the Bible tie together through the Spirit’s work in the writers. As I said, I am not ashamed to say I am still learning as I read and grow. In everything I do, I’ve found that the more you think you know, the more you realize you have so much more to learn.
Isaiah 40:28–31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

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