Aug 29, 2014

An Ironic Ending

Mark 16:1-8
The ending of the Gospel of Mark presents multiple mysteries. Most English Bibles print several options for the concluding verses of Mark 16, usually with notes that explain the curious manuscript evidence. The oldest manuscripts of Mark end with verse 8, the last words being: “because they were too frightened”...Read more +
Aug 28, 2014

Joseph of Arimathea

Mark 15:42-47
Mark 15:43 introduces a man named Joseph, who was from Arimathea, a small town northwest of Jerusalem. He is identified as “an honored member of the high council” (15:43). We know this council by another name, the Sanhedrin. This body, composed of the most prominent Jewish leaders, exercised considerable authority...Read more +
Aug 27, 2014

Faithful Together

Mark 15:1-41
In my last reflection, I focused on the women who were faithful to Jesus even as he was crucified. Their example stood in contrast to that of the male disciples who deserted Jesus. What enabled the women to remain faithful even at the risk of their own well-being? Why did...Read more +
Aug 26, 2014

Those Who Did Not Desert Jesus

Mark 15:1-41
Before Christ died, Peter did the “unthinkable.” He rejected Jesus. He denied any personal association with "this man." Peter was not alone, of course, because all of his disciples deserted him, just as Jesus had predicted (14:27, 50). Well, not quite all. Yes, the twelve who had followed him most...Read more +
Aug 25, 2014

God Forsaking God?

Mark 15:1-34
As Jesus was dying on the cross, he echoed the beginning of Psalm 22, which reads: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every...Read more +
Aug 22, 2014

Jesus Takes Up His Cross

Mark 15:20
Jesus had said this would happen. For quite some time, he had predicted his suffering and death. The first time came right after Peter confessed him to be the Messiah. Jesus responded: “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes,...Read more +
Aug 21, 2014

Doing the Unthinkable

Mark 14:66-72
Only a few verses earlier in Mark 14, Jesus told his disciples that they would desert him (14:27). When Peter emphatically denied that he would do this, Jesus told him that “this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” In...Read more +
Aug 20, 2014

Jesus Answered the High Priest

Mark 14:41-65
After Jesus was arrested, he was taken to the home of the high priest in Jerusalem. There, many accused him, but Jesus remained silent. Finally, the high priest asked him directly: “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” (14:61). Jesus finally spoke, saying, “I AM. And you...Read more +
Aug 19, 2014

A Time to Be Quiet and a Time to Speak

Mark 14:41-65
After Jesus was arrested, he was taken to the home of the high priest, where he was interrogated by Jewish leaders from Jerusalem. Many witnesses offered testimony against Jesus, but their stories were not sufficient to condemn him. As he was being accused, Jesus remained silent. After a while, the...Read more +
Aug 18, 2014

The Most Unexpected Prayer

Mark 14:27-42
Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is, in my opinion, the most unexpected prayer . . . ever. There is no prayer in Scripture that surprises us more than this one. And no prayer ever prayed startles us more than this one. Throughout the latter half of Mark’s Gospel,...Read more +