Jesus loves the little children. His love and concern for even the littlest ones of society is demonstrated in the fact that people were eager to bring their children to him. It’s obvious that they saw Jesus, powerful a figure as he was, as someone who would receive babies and toddlers into his arms. And Jesus encouraged them to come.Continue reading “Do Not Hinder Them”
Mark begins his gospel by telling us exactly who Jesus is: Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. As Mark unfolds the story, the identity of Jesus remains a central focus. The pressing question throughout the book is: who will recognize Jesus for who he truly is?
John the Baptist appears first on the scene and announces that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah who brings salvation for the people of God. John was given a special insight into who Jesus is, yet he did not see the whole picture and at one point even starts to have doubts that Jesus really is the Messiah.Continue reading “Who Do You Say I Am?”
When we think about the anger of Jesus we usually are thinking about Jesus flipping tables in the temple. This episode is, of course, not the only time we catch a glimpse of the anger (the good and right anger might we add) of Jesus. For example, we might turn our bibles to the beginning of Mark 3.Continue reading “When Jesus Got Angry”
The teachers of the law couldn’t believe it. As they were passing by Levi’s house, they noticed a crowd had gathered inside and were sharing a meal together. It was a crowd of “those people” – tax collectors, thieves, prostitutes and the like. Habitual sinners who had abandoned loyalty to the nation of Israel and were ignorant of the religious laws. The teachers of the law shook their heads in disapproval and were about to continue on their way when they noticed some of Jesus’ disciples mixed in among those crowded around Levi’s table. When they did a double take, they caught sight of Jesus himself, sitting next to the tax collector. Their eyes grew as wide as dinner plates and they looked at one another in disbelief. What was Rabbi Jesus doing in the company of sinners? Didn’t he care about his reputation? Didn’t he realize these people were spiritually unclean?Continue reading “At the Sinners Table”
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that he would release Barabbas to them instead.
As the sun slowly crept over the horizon on the morning after Jesus’ trial, Barabbas was bound as a prisoner with a bleak future in front of him. Perhaps he was hoping against hope that he would benefit from the governors custom of releasing a prisoner at the Feast. Or maybe he had given up hope and was trembling at the thought of being hung on a wooden cross. Whatever was going through his mind, surely he was not expecting to find freedom at the expense of his Messiah. Continue reading “Barabbas and the Great Exchange”