Theological Themes in Mark
The voice from heaven at Jesus’ Jesus was baptized (literally, “dipped”) in the Jordan River by John the Baptizer, at which time he was acclaimed from heaven as God’s Son, the Beloved. Much later baptism became one of the sacraments of the Church, the action by which a person is incorporated… More, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (1:11), ushers readers into the first half of the Gospel. Likewise, the voice from heaven in the The Transfiguration was a mountaintop event in which Jesus was transformed and became dazzling white, in a manner that suggested his future glory. Peter, James, and John witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration; Moses and Elijah appeared on the mountain and talked with Jesus. The event, which is… More, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” (9:7), ushers them into the second half of the Gospel. The A parable is a brief story with a setting, an action, and a result. A prominent aspect of Jesus’ teaching was telling parables to illustrate something about the kingdom, or reign, of God. More of the wicked tenants (12:1-12) expresses the truth of Jesus’ identity as God’s beloved Son.
Jesus teaches about discipleship in the context of references to his death and resurrection. Three times Jesus announces his Passion is the theological term used to describe Jesus’ suffering prior to and including his crucifixion. The Passion Narrative (the portions of the Gospels that tell of the Last Supper, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus) are often read in church during Holy Week. More and resurrection (8:31; 9:30-31; 10:32-34), and three times the disciples misunderstand (8:32-33; 9:32; 10:35-40). In each instance, Jesus responds to the disciples’ misunderstanding by teaching them the way of discipleship.
Holy is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More One of God
The first public act of Jesus’ ministry in the Gospel takes place in the A synagogue is a Jewish house of worship. Jesus often taught in synagogues where he sometimes ran afoul of Jewish leaders. In the book of Acts, Paul and others attend synagogues and teach in them. More at Capernaum (1:21-28), where a man with an In Hebrew law many regulations warned against impurity. Unclean things were numerous and included leprosy, menstruating women, dead bodies, shell fish, and pigs. More spirit names him as “the Holy One of God.” This story sets up the cosmic battle between Jesus and the demonic powers that continues throughout the Gospel and comes to an end in the crucifixion and resurrection.
The Messiah was the one who, it was believed, would come to free the people of Israel from bondage and exile. In Jewish thought the Messiah is the anticipated one who will come, as prophesied by Isaiah. In Christian thought Jesus of Nazareth is identified… More/Christ
The Greek word christos, like the Hebrew Messiah, means the “anointed one.” When Jesus asks his disciples about his identity, Peter confesses, “You are the Messiah” (8:29). Not until the hearing before the The high priest was the most powerful priest in the temple in Jerusalem. The high priest Caiaphas held the office during the trial of Jesus. Later, in the New Testament book of Hebrews, the role of merciful high priest is ascribed to the resurrected Jesus. More is this identity heard again. The high A priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple. More asks: “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” (14:61). The reader of the Gospel knows the answer–that Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one of God, the fulfillment of Jewish messianic expectation.
Son of David
This identity and confession of Jesus is referenced twice in Mark. It is placed on the lips of blind Bartimaeus in the city of Jericho as Jesus travels on his way to Jerusalem, the city of David. Twice Bartimaeus cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have Mercy is a term used to describe leniency or compassion. God’s mercy is frequently referred to or invoked in both the Old and New Testaments. More on me!” (10:47-48). When Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a young donkey, the crowds cry out “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!” (11:9-10).
Son of God
The demons and unclean spirits know Jesus as the Son of God. The only time in Mark that human lips confess Jesus as the Son of God is in the moment following the tearing of the The Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged… More curtain (15:39). The evangelist has drawn us to the cross throughout the Gospel where we too are called, in light of the cross, to make our confession of Jesus as the Son of God.
Son of Man
Jesus is the only one who uses this expression, and he uses it to identify himself. Jesus uses it in three contexts: 1) To assert his authority on earth to forgive sins (2:10), and his status as the lord of the Sabbath is a weekly day of rest, the seventh day, observed on Saturday in Judaism and on Sunday in Christianity. In the book of Genesis, God rested on the seventh day; in the Gospel accounts Jesus and his disciples are criticized by some for not… More (2:28); 2) To explain his suffering, rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection (8:31, 38; 9:9, 12, 31; 10:33, 45; 14:21, 41); and 3) To describe his vindication, when he will return and reign as Lord, seated at the right hand of God, coming in the clouds with great power and glory (13:26; 14:62).
Son of the Most High God
This confession comes from a demon-possessed man who lives among the tombs (5:7) and encounters Jesus.
The temple in Jerusalem is the central focus of Mark’s final section and Passion Narrative (11:1-15:47). Jesus teaches about the temple’s destruction and attending signs of the end when the Son of Man returns (13:3-37). The tearing of the curtain presents the final sign that God cannot be contained in the temple, but instead is manifest in Jesus who will return in great power and glory (15:38).
No distinction between Jew and Greek
From the beginning of the Gospel, Mark points out the universal character of Jesus’ mission. In the first three chapters, he sets up a contrast between John the Baptist, who preaches to people from Judea and Jerusalem and Jesus, who preaches and heals people from everywhere (1:45), including Idumea, beyond the Jordan and the region around Tyre and Sidon, all non-Judean lands (3:8). Jesus and his disciples continually cross over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, visiting the land of the Gerasenes and the Greek cities of the Decapolis. He even interacts with pig-herders (5:1-17). The emphasis on the inclusion of Greek-speaking people continues with the healing of the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman (7:24-30) and of the deaf man in the Decapolis (7:31-37). Mark draws the theme of inclusion to a close by placing the confession “Truly, this man was the Son of God” on the lips of a Roman A centurion was a Roman officer who commanded a military unit made up of one hundred men. Jesus healed a centurion’s servant, and a centurion, at Jesus’ crucifixion, acclaimed him to be God’s Son. More (15:39).
Discipleship in the midst of persecution
Throughout the Gospel of Mark, Jesus reminds his disciples that following him will lead them into persecution. The Parable of the Sower (4:1-20) introduces the theme when Jesus contrasts those who hear his word but fall away on account of persecution and those who endure and bear fruit. The theme is repeated in Jesus’ call for his followers to deny themselves and take up their cross (8:34). Finally, Jesus promises that those who leave their families and possessions for the sake of Jesus’ gospel will receive new families and possessions in the The kingdom (reign) of God is a central theme of Jesus’ teaching and parables. According to Jesus this reign of God is a present reality and at the same time is yet to come. When Christians pray the Lord’s Prayer, they ask that God’s kingdom… More, but not without persecution (Mark 10:29-30).