Saturday, 30 May 2009

Mark 8-9

Covered this material with a UCCF team this week. Insights that struck me during the prep are as follows - for your edification:
  1. Jesus feed the 4000 when moved by compassion (8v2). A reminder that God feels compassion toward even sinners in their physical as well as spiritual needs.
  2. This second feeding shows a Gentile concern, and that even they may pick up the crumbs from all that was destined for the Jews (cf. 7v27f).
  3. 8v18 quotes Jeremiah 5v21 which are words of judgement. This is therefore a crux point for the disciples, they face potential judgement for their hardness.
  4. The disciples gain the sight that saves them from the potential judgement only because Jesus opens their eyes as he does the man in the miracle (8v22-26).
  5. The model of evangelism in the people in 8v22 is of bringing people to hear from Jesus and begging him to open their eyes.
  6. Peter sees only patrially when acknowledging Jesus as the Christ. The rest of the book gives him the greater clarity (8v30ff cf. 22-26).
  7. To question the need for Jesus to suffer on the cross as a sacrifice for sin is Satanic in influence (8v33).
  8. The call to be ready to face crucifixion ourselves for Jesus is one that is required of every disciple (8v34).
  9. Not to be ready to do this suggests a lack of saving faith and so makes us liable to Jesus' judgement and the perishing of our souls (8v35-38).
  10. Daniel 7 lies behind much of what Jesus says in these chapters. The Son of Man is given all dominion and glory, yet the saints are destined to suffer persecution before the SoM gives judgement in their favour and establishes his everlasting kingdom.
  11. 9v1 seems best fulfilled in 9v2.
  12. The purpose of 9v2ff is to affirm we must take 8v29-38 very seriously. Jesus is proved as the SoM (a) by his appearance, (b) by Elijah and Moses, (c) by the Father's declaration.
  13. The result of Jesus' accreditation is that we should "listen to him" (v7). The entire event stops abruptly after this is said.
  14. The first thing Jesus speaks of after this is the cross (9v12-13).
  15. The lesson throughout is that "those who would be glorified must be prepared to be crucified."
  16. Against the prosperity proponents, the transfiguration above all else shows that just as Jesus came down the mountain to his sufferings, so must we.
  17. Jesus' glory is secondly seen in the exorcism (9v14ff).
  18. The point here seems to be that we should trust him in overcoming evil through the cross.
  19. We see evil destroys people and reacts against Christ.
  20. We see Jesus has ability and authority, and that he gives resurrection life to those made dead through evil (9v25-27).
  21. The call to take up the cross is applied more broadly than persecution in 9v33ff, where the focus is a life of service.
  22. The lessons are: To care for those most despised (v36-37); care for Christains of all persuasions (v38-41); ensure we do nothing to cause other believers to stumble - especially by sinning ourselves (v42-50).
  23. The seriousness of v43ff therefore comes because of the implication of sin in leading others astray or causing disunity.