Saturday, January 24, 2015

NT: Mark 9-12

As pointed out elsewhere, Mark 8:26 is the point at which Jesus’ pre-Judean miracle-performing days are de-emphasized and the possibility of his divinity comes to the fore.

27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?

Chapter 9 begins with a continuation of dialogue with his disciples that began at Mark 8:27, then some very supernatural events including visions of Elias and Moses, then a voice from the clouds, which I presume is God or her executive assistant. He performs what appears to be an exorcism, then begins with some sayings about Hell being a bad thing.

43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Chapter 10 finds our hero in Judea

1 And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

...where he begins referring back to Moses and (I presume) the prevailing Hebrew laws. He continues to imply what will occur in the end times, while performing another healing

Chapter 11 could be the Olivet Discourse - or fragments thereof. Let’s see.

1 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,

...but it doesn’t shape up that way. What we get is His entry into Jerusalem, some hosannas and recognition that He comes in the name of the Lord. We see some colt, some fig tree and some tabernacle action, and eventually a conversation between Jesus and his disciples, ending with a back-and-forth on “by what authority I do these things”. The disciples are being telegraphed pretty strongly that Jesus is acting on God’s behalf. I’ll admit that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is a lot more subdued than it’s depicted elsewhere.

Chapter 12 brings us some parables and more intimations of God’s authority and a mention of resurrection, although not specifically Jesus’, as far as I can tell.


Referring back to the “Gospel Parallels site”, chapters 9-12 fall under the narrative headings “The Way to the Cross”, “The Ministry in Judea” and “The Final Ministry in Jerusalem”. You can see that the end of Mark 8 and all of Mark 9 map to Matthew 16, 17 & 18; Mark 10 maps primarily to Matt 19 & 20; Mark 11 maps to Matt 21, while Mark 12 maps to Matt 21 through 23. This is surprisingly clean.

You can see that Matthew has other pericopes that don’t appear in Mark, and that Luke and John have entire sections that have no parallels in Mark, nor anywhere else. We’ll defer those until later.

Next - Jesus’ Excellent Adventure!

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