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The Gospel of Mark is a book in the Bible about the life of Jesus and the
earliest reliable tradition tells us was written by a guy named John Mark.
Now, Mark didn’t just grab a bunch of random stories about Jesus and throw them together.
He’s designed this book to address some really specific questions about whether or not Jesus was the Jewish Messiah.
So let’s stop right there, because that’s a term a lot of people like me are not familiar with.
The Messiah was a royal figure, sometimes called ‘the son of god’,
that Israel was expecting to come and set up a Kingdom here on earth.
Around the time of Jesus, Israel was occupied by Rome
and so many Jews were hoping that the Messiah would come and overthrow the Romans and rule as King.
But Jesus didn’t overthrow the Romans, in fact, he was killed by them.
And that brings us to the very issues Mark is trying to get at in his book.
So in the first half, he focuses on WHO Jesus is, 'is he really the messiah?'
And then in the second half he's addressing HOW Jesus became the Messianic king
and right here in the middle of the book is this pivotal story that brings the two halves together,
and Jesus answers both of these questions.
So lets talk about the first half of the book - Who Jesus is
So Mark, makes his beliefs about Jesus very clear from the first line of the book:
“the beginning of the good news about Jesus, the messiah, the son of God”.
One of the next stories is Jesus getting baptized,
and God’s voice announces from heaven: “This is my Son”.
So it couldn’t really be more clear, they’re presenting Jesus as the Messiah.
Yes, but, as you’re reading through the first half of Mark, you’ll notice something really interesting start to happen.
Jesus is healing all these different people, and constantly telling them to keep quiet about who he is.
This happens so many times in Mark’s account, it’s very strange.
Yeah, why keep it a secret?
Remember, lots of Jews had lots of different expectations about what the messiah would be and do,
so Jesus doesn’t want people to misunderstand what it means for him to be the Messiah.
So, with that in mind, we now get to the pivotal story at the center of the book
where Jesus takes his disciples away and asks, “Who do you all say that I am.”
And Peter says what everyone has been saying “your are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
But then something new happens, Jesus starts explaining to them How he’s going to become the messianic King,
and it’s not what they expected:
he says he’s going to ‘suffer and die’ and rule by being a servant, or in his words,
The Son of Man didn’t come to be served but to become a servant and give his life as a ransom for many.”
Peter’s so startled by this he rebukes Jesus because there is no way he is going to let Jesus die.
And Jesus responds, Get behind me Satan. Which is really intense.
It really is, but it highlights how important it for Jesus that his disciples come to understand who he really is;
so in this pivotal section, Jesus tries 3x to have this conversation with them, and each they respond in confusion, and even fear.
and each they respond in confusion, and even fear.
OK, so this launches us into the second half of the book where Mark addresses the question of how Jesus becomes the messianic king.
this is the last week of Jesus’ life, where Jesus goes to to Jerusalem,
gets into conflict with the religious leaders and gets arrested…
He’s put on trial as someone claiming to be king of the Jews.
He’s even given a crown and purple robe, like a king would get, but it’s all a cruel joke,
then he is mocked and beaten and hung on the cross where he dies.
And at this crucial scene there is a new character
A Roman Soldier
who suddenly gets everything that is going on...
he says “surely this is the Son of God”
which is crazy, it’s an enemy who’s first putting it all together, that Israel’s messianic king is the crucified Jesus.
That is the structure of the book of Mark, but the book doesn’t end with Jesus dead on the cross.
No, on the 3rd day some women go to visit Jesus’ tomb,
only to find that the it’s empty and there’s this angel standing there instructing them
“go and tell” this good news that Jesus is alive from the dead.
But instead they run away, and don’t tell anyone because they are afraid... And that is how the book ends.
Which is a really abrupt ending.
Yeah, so abrupt that later scribes did add an ending that brings more closure to the story,
you’ll find that story in your bible with a footnote that it was added much later.
But Mark’s a brilliant storyteller, and he intentionally ended the book abruptly,
All through the book the disciples have been confused about Jesus’ plan to give up his life,
the story in the middle and now here at the end.
it's like Mark is acknowledging just how startling this claim really is.
and he wants you the reader to wrestle with it for yourself:
is the crucified Jesus really the Messiah they have been waiting for?
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馬可福音說了些什麼? (The Gospel According to Mark)

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PAPAYA 發佈於 2016 年 7 月 27 日
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