ABOUT THIS SERIES
The question “Who is Jesus?” is now connected to another question: “What has God sent him to do?” The Man, Jesus, is now declared by Peter as the Messiah. But what does that mean?
The Myth of the Messiah is revealed when the disciples show that they do not understand what is destined to happen to Jesus. While the first major section of Mark emphasized Jesus’ ministry in and around Galilee as well as his role as the mighty wonder-working Messiah, this second part will stress the suffering role of the servant Messiah.
This is not a role people would have wanted or expected their Messiah to take. Mark slows down the bulk of the narrative in this section as he focuses on Jesus’ private instruction to the disciples.
Now that we have established that Jesus is the Christ, we need to learn what that means. Mark will develop themes related to Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection as well as discipleship and Jesus’ identity as the Son of God.
22 They came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village. Spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people—they look like trees walking.”
25 Again Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes. The man looked intently and his sight was restored and he saw everything clearly. 26 Then he sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”
27 Jesus went out with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the road he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”
28 They answered him, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets.”
29 “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30 And he strictly warned them to tell no one about him.
31 Then he began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of Manto suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. 32 He spoke openly about this. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning around and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.”
34 Calling the crowd along with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the gospel will save it. 36 For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life? 37 What can anyone give in exchange for his life? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
9 Then he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God come in power.”
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transfigured in front of them, 3 and his clothes became dazzling—extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. 4 Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi,it’s good for us to be here. Let us set up three shelters: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— 6 because he did not know what to say,since they were terrified.
7 A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him!”
8 Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.10 They kept this word to themselves, questioning what “rising from the dead” meant.
11 Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
12 “Elijah does come first and restores all things,” he replied. “Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did whatever they pleased to him, just as it is written about him.”
14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes disputing with them. 15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were amazed and ran to greet him. 16 He asked them, “What are you arguing with them about?”
17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.”
19 He replied to them, “You unbelieving generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20 So they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, it immediately threw the boy into convulsions. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 “How long has this been happening to him?”Jesus asked his father.
“From childhood,” he said. 22 “And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’? Everything is possible for the one who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you: Come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 Then it came out, shrieking and throwing him into terrible convulsions.The boy became like a corpse, so that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus, taking him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.
28 After he had gone into the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 And he told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer.”
30 Then they left that place and made their way through Galilee, but he did not want anyone to know it. 31 For he was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after he is killed, he will rise three days later.” 32 But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask him.
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent,because on the way they had been arguing with one another about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, he called the Twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last and servant of all.” 36 He took a child, had him stand among them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me does not welcome me, but him who sent me.”
38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn’t following us.”
39 “Don’t stop him,” said Jesus, “because there is no one who will perform a miracle in my name who can soon afterward speak evil of me. 40 For whoever is not against us is for us. 41 And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ —truly I tell you, he will never lose his reward.
42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall away —it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
43 “And if your hand causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and go to hell, the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to fall away, gouge it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt should lose its flavor, how can you season it? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
1 He set out from there and went to the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Then crowds converged on him again, and as was his custom he taught them again.
2 Some Pharisees came to test him, asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
3 He replied to them, “What did Moses command you?”
4 They said, “Moses permitted us to write divorce papers and send her away.”
5 But Jesus told them, “He wrote this command for you because of the hardness of your hearts. 6 But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. 7 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother 8 and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples questioned him about this matter. 11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 Also, if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 After taking them in his arms, he laid his hands on them and blessed them.
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother.”
20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth.”
21 Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But he was dismayed by this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were astonished at his words. Again Jesus said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 They were even more astonished, saying to one another, “Then who can be saved?”
27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.”
28 Peter began to tell him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundred times more, now at this time —houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions —and eternal life in the age to come. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
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