Summary: Have you seen Jesus lately? Mark’s amazing witness reveals a complex Messiah. Jesus in our world is both comforting and disturbing.
Read or quote Mark 6.
It is tempting in this study to jump to Matthew and Luke for a broader perspective on these events recorded in Mark. I have purposely resisted doing that so far, so that Mark can tell the gospel to us himself and we can see Jesus with his witness.
What happens when we parallel all the accounts of the gospel is that we may miss the impact that each specific author is making. The Holy Spirit has something to say in Mark that we need to hear just as he inspired it, without too much help from other sources.
Of course, once we have done our homework to see what each individual gospel says then a Bible student is better prepared to compare the accounts together.
Don’t you enjoy Mark’s gospel? I love the way he tells each even in short, to the point vignettes. Have you noticed how much Jesus is either by or on the Sea of Galilee in Mark? He starts by calling fishermen in 1:16-20. He teaches by the sea in 2:13. He withdraws to the sea in 3:7 and has a boat prepared for him because of the crowds. He is teaching by the sea in 4:1 when he begins to tell the parables. Then in 4:35 they cross the sea for the first time and face the storm. Jesus sleeps on the stern as they fret about sinking until they wake him and he gets up and commands the wind and waves to hush and be still. That scares them to death! Then they have an adventure with a demon possessed man in Geresa and 2000 pigs end up drowning in the sea. They get back in the boat and cross the sea again in 5:1, they cross over again in 5:21, they try to get away by themselves in the boat in 6:32, and after feeding the 5000 Jesus sends them across again in the boat in 6:45. Finally, Jesus comes walking to them on the sea in verse 48.
Have you noticed how Jesus spend lots of time out doors? Near the water, on the mountains, in the grain fields, in the wilderness, Jesus did much of his teaching and ministry out doors. We need to get outside and worship more! I would dare say, it would be good for us to just hold worship outside from time to time just to remind us of this.
Jesus did go indoors at times. He went to the synagogue faithfully. But he tended to get in trouble there. When he went inside a house crowds would gather and make it harder for he and his disciples to eat or for sick to get near him for healing. Remember the guys who tore off the roof? Maybe Jesus didn’t want people’s property destroyed, so he stayed outside… I don’t know.
What sort of man do you see in Jesus? What has Mark shown to us? What is Jesus like?
He is a man of emotions:
He has compassion toward the leper who seeks him and reaches out to touch him. He has compassion on crowds who need leadership or food. Jesus gets angry and grieved over hard hearted people who resist him and seek to find fault with the works of God through his hands. Jesus marveled at the unbelief of his own country and relatives.
He is a sensitive man:
He shows individual attention to the woman with the issue of blood realizing that someone has touched him for healing when crowds were thronging around him on the way to Jairus’ house. He overhears those who tell Jairus that his daughter is dead and he speaks comfort and encouragement to him. He knows when his opponents are thinking evil thoughts about him and works he is doing.
He is a powerful man:
He can face a legion of demons and case them all out of a man. He can rebuke the weather and the waves of the sea and they obey him. He can walk on the water! He heals all who touch him. He turns 5 loaves and 2 fish into a meal for over 5000 people! He touches the dead girl and speaks a word and she lives again!
He is a man of devotion:
Early in the morning while it is still dark, Jesus got up and went out to pray. He spent the night in prayer. He was faithfully present in the synagogue for teaching and worship.
He is a man of many relationships:
Jesus is at home in the house of a Tax Collector among sinners. Jesus when alone or among the multitudes is clearly in charge. His family thinks he is crazy and his enemies accuse him of being possessed by Beelzebub. Jesus offends his own countrymen but attracts disciples and truth seekers.