In Jesus’ day, two prominent realities organized Jewish life, the Temple and Torah. At the Temple, sacrifices were made, feasts celebrated, and worship offered. Through the Torah, God instructed His people to live holy lives by keeping His Commandments. Over time, Israel’s religious leaders developed extensive and complicated teachings for how the Law of God…

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The feeding of five thousand is important for understanding who Jesus is, what people need, and the essence of discipleship. The crowd elicits compassion from Jesus, “They are like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus challenges the disciples by saying, “You give them something to eat.” It’s as though He wants His power to work through…

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Jesus’ selects twelve common men—not men trained by religious elites, not scribes or Pharisees. With His chosen followers, Jesus also shows us something about the reign of God—it’s communal. Jesus calls individuals to Himself but also brings them into community with each other. The King’s people could more appropriately be known as the King’s servants.…

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Mark recounts opposition to Jesus ranging from unbelief, to plots, to destroy and kill Him. This comes not only from Herod’s camp and religious elites, but also from Jesus’ own people. Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth and taught in the synagogue. Given His reputation, one would expect Him to receive a hero’s welcome.…

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In the Gospel of Mark, there are eight parables, stories to illustrate a profound, valuable moral lesson. Jesus uses parables to reveal mysteries to His followers and to conceal truth from those opposed to Him.  However, His parables are not always easy to understand. Even His own disciples often asked Jesus to explain the stories…

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The question of Jesus’ identity dominates the first half of Mark’s Gospel. Jesus begins answering this question by revealing His authority and power. He has the authority to teach God’s Word, forgive sins, and call disciples. He has the power to drive out demons, heal diseases, and bring the dead back to life. The ultimate…

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Jesus’ ministry begins and is summarized in His proclamation, “The time promised by God has come at last! The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” The kingdom of God had come near in the person of the King. It is indeed Good News, and it calls for…

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With God, every significant event is preceded by a time of intense preparation. Mark tells us that God sent John the Baptizer to “prepare the way of the Lord.” John proclaimed the need for spiritual cleansing in preparation for the Messiah and His kingdom. Jesus, Himself, is prepared for ministry through baptism and temptation, orienting…

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The lesson of Job mimics the Passion of Christ, who remained faithful to God even as He was being betrayed, mocked, tortured, and crucified.  These seven days are called Holy Week because without the crucifixion, there would have been no Resurrection Sunday. Had Christ not hung on the cross, taken on our sins, and defeated…

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God finally shows up and reminds Job of everything he does not know about Him. Through a series of questions, He reminds Job of the type of God He is— incomprehensible, all-knowing, all-powerful, and the ultimate arbiter of good and righteousness. He is beyond all comprehension, and He deserves our trust and praise. This is…

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