Previously in the gospel of Mark we see that Jesus healed many, even on the Sabbath. He declares that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Jesus in this gospel seems to be always on the go, but even in an action-packed gospel, several times it’s mentioned that Jesus took time to pray/ He went away alone/ He prayed to His Father. Continuing on………..
In chapter 9: This chapter starts with Jesus’ transfiguration in front of Peter, James and John. For a brief moment, they see who Jesus really is, and 7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Jesus warns them not to tell anyone until the Son of Man rises from the dead. Jesus *heals a child possessed by an impure spirit whom the disciples couldn’t heal. Jesus says these kind of spirits can be driven out only by prayer (and fasting in some manuscripts). Jesus predicts His death again.35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Jesus tells them anyone not against them is for them and anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. Jesus also says that those who cause others to stumble, it would be better for them to drown in the sea.
In chapter 10: Jesus talks about divorce. It wasn’t in His plan but because of the hardness of the hearts of people it had been permitted. ’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Jesus blessed the little children that the disciples tried to keep away from Him. Jesus sees a *rich man, and loves him, and then tells him what to do. The rich man goes away sorrowful. 28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Jesus predicts His death again. *James and John ask to be seated at the right and left of Jesus in heaven. The disciples are offended. Jesus again reiteirates that they must serve others and not be like the gentiles. *Bartimaeus who is blind receives his sight.
In chapter 11: Jesus sends 2 disciples to untie a colt and bring it to Him at Bethpage and Bethany before He enters Jerusalem. People spread cloaks on the donkey and the road and Jesus rides in to shouts of Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”. Jesus curses a fig tree because He is hungry and it had no fruit (another gospel mentions it wasn’t the season), the tree withers. Jesus cleanses the temple court of the merchandise and the selling going on. Jesus quotes Isaiah 56: 7. Jesus’ authority is questioned by the priests. He tells them He’ll answer if they can tell Him if John (the Baptist)’s anointing came from God or from man. The priests don’t want to answer “God” (because they don’t believe it) and they don’t want to answer “man” because of fear of the people who believed John was a prophet. So Jesus doesn’t answer to them either.
In chapter 12: Jesus tells a parable about the *vineyard. Jesus then quotes Psalm 118: 22-23. The Pharisees and the Herodians try to trick Jesus about paying taxes to Caesar. Jesus says ” Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s”. The Sadducees try to trick Jesus with a frivolous question about marriage at the resurrection( the Sadducees did not believe in resurrection), Jesus answers When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. When questioned about the greatest commandments 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Jesus asks the people “whose son is the Messiah” and quotes Psalm 110:1. The crowd is *delighted. Jesus warns about the teachers of the law saying that These men will be punished most severely.”. Jesus sees a widow put all she had in the temple treasury and He calls special attention to what she gave..” All that she had to live on”.
In chapter 13 : Jesus talks about the signs of His coming again. It’s really extensive.28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Jesus says that only the Father knows the day and time, no one else. Jesus tells His disciples to keep watch, as He told them , He tells us all to “keep watch, be alert, be on the lookout and not be deceived”.
In chapter 14: Jesus is anointed by an unnamed woman at Bethany. Judas agrees to betray Jesus. Jesus sends 2 disciples to find the furnished, upstairs room, which has been set apart for Jesus and His disciples to celebrate the Passover. Jesus institutes the *new covenant. Jesus predicts His disciples running away and Peter denying Him. Jesus and His disciples to the garden of Gethsemane and taking Peter, James and John aside, Jesus is sorrowful and pleads with the Father to take the cup away from Him, but also says “not His (Jesus’) will be done but the Father’s”. 3 times they fall asleep and then Jesus wakes them up to see His betrayer. Jesus is arrested and the ear of the servant of the priest is cut off by a disciple. 51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind. Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin and the chief priests and teachers of the law try to find false witnesses but even their testimonies don’t agree. Finally the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One? 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” They use Jesus’ declaration of Himself to convict Him. Peter denies Jesus 3 times.
In chapter 15: Jesus is brought before Pilate. 2 “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied. The crowd demands Jesus’ crucifixion. The soldiers mock Jesus and put a crown of thorns on His head. 21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. Jesus is crucified around 9 in the morning with a charge against Him that read “King of the Jews” ( in another gospel it mentions that this was written in 3 languages). The soldiers divide Jesus’ clothes by casting lots. 2 criminals are crucified with Jesus. The people passing by mock Him and tell Him to save Himself. At noon darkness covered the land until 3 when Jesus *died. The temple curtain is torn in two from top to bottom 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”. Some *women watched from a distance. Joseph of Arimathea who was waiting for the kingdom of God himself, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Pilate is surprised because Jesus died in a few hours (when crucifixion takes days), after confirming with a centurion, Pilate gives Joseph the body. Joseph rolls Jesus in a linen cloth and puts the body in a tomb, and Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus see where He is laid.
In chapter 16: On the first day of the week after Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. They worry about who will roll away the stone. They look up and see the tomb is already open. They go in and see a young man dressed in white on the right side who tells them “Jesus has risen, He is not here, go and tell His disciples and Peter that He is going to Galilee , you will see Him there just as He told you”. The women run away terrified.
This is the end of the gospel of Mark in the earliest manuscripts.
Some other manuscripts have this portion added.9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
*21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
*Jesus meets a rich man who wants to know what he has to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, which the young man had kept from his childhood. Jesus then sees him and loves him and then tells him to sell all he has and give it to the poor. The rich man goes away sorrowful and the disciples marvel and wonder who can enter the kingdom of God. Jesus then replies, “with man it is impossible but not with God”.
*In the gospel of Matthew, it mentions that it is the mother of James and John who makes this request. Here it mentions the brothers themselves. This is not a contradiction. Remember each book was written by different people, and different people remember an exact event differently.
*Bartimaeus shouts out :Son of David, have mercy on me” he is rebuked, and shouts out all the louder. Jesus hears him, and sends someone for him. Jesus asks Bartimaeus what he wants, he replies “I want to see” and Jesus says his faith ahs healed him, and Bartimaeus gains his sight.
*The parable of the Vineyard is directed at the priests. It’s about a Master who planted a vineyard and gave it to tenants and then moved away. When He sent servants to collect what the Master was owed, some were beaten, some were killed, some were treated shamefully. Then the Master sent His Son and His Heir assuming they would treat Him with respect. The tenants kill the Son. Then Jesus mentions that The Master will come and kill the tenants and give it to someone else to maintain. Here Jesus prophesies using a parable.
*I think the crowd is delighted because Jesus stumped the priests. They may have been a few people who truly believed, but I think the majority of them did not care about what Jesus was teaching or saying. Remember within a week of this happening, the crowd turns on Jesus (stirred up by the priests) and demand His crucifixion.
*Many scholars believe this unnamed woman was Mary ( the sister of Martha and Lazarus of Bethany). But even though she is not named in the Bible, she and what she did are mentioned. She had an expensive alabaster jar of nard, she broke it and poured it over Jesus’ head. When rebuked by the people gathered (that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor), Jesus tells them to “leave her alone. She has done a beautiful thing. She anointed Him for His burial. The poor we will always have with us”.
*The New covenant. Jesus tells the disciples to eat bread and remember His body broken for them. They are to drink wine and remember His blood poured out for them, for the forgiveness of sins. This is what we do when we take communion. We remember His death and His atonement for us. And we rejoice in His resurrection. And we await His coming again.
*Some scholars that this is Mark, the author of the gospel, who wrote himself into the narrative in Mark 14: 51-52.
*When Jesus died, 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. 37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
*Women who are mentioned here, Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
Whew!!!! Mark is the shortest gospel, but writing a summary of it sure did not feel like it! It’s so full of action and details that I felt important, I honestly could not choose which to include and which to leave out 🙂 I’m going to take the advice of a few friends (Liv Campbell and Vanessa Grace, both writers as well) and further condense the summaries of these books of the Bible, with links to the original. Since I’ve finished four books of the Bible now, I’ll going to write condensed versions next and then pick up with Leviticus from the Old Testament. Hopefully you’ll join along with me and continue to be amazed at God’s thoughtfulness, His attention to detail and His faithfulness. I’d love to hear from you about your favourite verse/ chapter/ book in the Bible. Till next week,