Jesus Teaches About Relationships The Gospel Of Mark Chapters 9 – 16
Posted by adventbiblestudy on August 28, 2013
Jesus Teaches About Relationships
- The Gospel Of Mark Chapters 9 – 16
Written by Dennis Herman
Copyright © 2013 Dennis Herman
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- Something really bothered me as I studied and wrote about the final chapters of Matthew’s Gospel. I wondered how the disciples failed to support Jesus in His final days and hours. Why couldn’t they understand the prophecies Jesus tried to teach them a number of times? I knew there was something beyond the obvious answer on the surface. It was more than the disciples concern for their greatness.
As soon as I began studying mark chapter 9, I saw a pattern showing a new subject Jesus was teaching. Jesus was teaching one of the most important facets His disciples must have. This lesson was so important, it overwhelmed the last eight chapters of Mark. Jesus taught one lesson after another centering on the profound need for a personal relationship with Him. Jesus taught lessons, told parables, used examples, experiences, and pleaded with His disciple for a personal relationship. Jesus needed their love and support. As the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth drew near, experiences, examples, and pleas intensified, met only by a lack of interest which increased the agony Jesus felt as His time drew near.
How could the disciples live, eat, and minister along side Jesus for three years without developing a close personal relationship with Him? What held them back? What is holding the world back today? The Gospels recorded failures and a lack of concern as Jesus faced His trial, was led away to Golgotha, and hung on the cross. The disciples claimed they loved Jesus, but failed to act out their passion before, during, and after the cross. The same sentiment runs rampant through churches today. The Gospels did not repeat this message four times for nothing. Each Gospel records the lack of love to show the condition of the world today. Gospel writers recorded their mistakes for the world to see, and learn from, so when we see Jesus, we will not feel the same loss experienced by the disciples Jesus walked with.
Mark 9:30-39 Be Like a Little Child
Mark 9:30-39 NLTse Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there, (31) for he wanted to spend more time with his disciplesand teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.” (32) They didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant. (33) After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” (34) But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. (35) He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” (36) Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, (37) “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.” (38) John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.” (39) “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me.
Once again, Jesus is the center of this lesson. Jesus tried teaching the disciples, but it seems they did not learn anything. Jesus tried to teach them about His sacrifice. Did the disciples learn anything? On the road they argued about who was greatest. How could they understand Jesus’ sacrifice if they were concerned about their own glory? It was obvious, the disciples did not understand, so Jesus used a child to illustrate one point of the lesson. Jesus repeated the word, “welcome,” a number of times. What message was Jesus trying to teach? Look at the words. Jesus is talking about welcoming Him and His Father like they would welcome a little child. Jesus is continuing His lesson on relationships.
Waking hours before sunrise, Jesus went a distance from the crowd to pray. He needed time alone from with His Father to sort things out from the past while listening to plans and direction for the future. Again it was time to repeat another lesson, so Jesus separated His disciples from the crowd. An hour before the sun rose, He quietly collected His disciples and began traveling towards Galilee.
God blessed them with a breath taking sunrise. A row of low puffy clouds in the east reflected rays from the sun in hues of red and orange. A sliver of gold highlighted the very bottom of the clouds just above the horizon as if painted by an unseen hand. Jesus paused for a moment to take in the scene. The disciples drew near to admire the view. As the crown of the sun appeared, Jesus began telling them about some of the prophecies He was sent to fulfill. “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.”
The last time Jesus tried to explain His mission on earth, Peter interrupted, took Jesus aside and told Him nothing like that could ever happen to Him. Jesus rebuked Peter, telling him, He had no choice but to fulfill the prophecies, all of them. After weeks of parables, hundreds of people healed, and a host of personal experiences designed to teach them how to understand God’s voice and His Word, it was finally time to share more details about the sacrifice Jesus came to make. This time the reaction was different. No one stepped forward to argue with Jesus. No one wanted to experience the embarrassment Peter endured. The fact of the matter was, they didn’t understand what Jesus was saying and were afraid to ask. Why? What made them afraid of Jesus? Who were they afraid of? Jesus or one another? The disciples revealed the answer. Instead of talking about what Jesus said, questioning one another, praying, waiting for an answer, they changed the subject, showing what was still in their hearts. They argued about who was greatest. The disciples were afraid of one another. They were afraid of how the others viewed themselves.
It makes no sense. Your best friend tells you He is about to die, by giving His life for yours, and you return the favor by worrying about how great you are? What does it mean? How does this apply to Christians after the disciples? What lesson is being taught here? Is there anything more important in the Bible than Jesus? Was there anything more important at that moment than Jesus? Explain what Jesus means to you. What is the most important aspect of Jesus? Most people would answer along the lines of, “He died for me.” How many people can go deeper? How many can explain the prophecies Jesus fulfilled? If a friend died for you, don’t you think it is important to read letters explaining why? Jesus was trying to show His disciples why He was going to give His life, but they did not want to listen. They were more concerned about themselves than their Teacher.
Earlier Jesus took three of His disciples to a mountain to show them the kind of companionship He was looking for, the friendship He needed. Peter, James, and John saw Moses and Elijah talking to Jesus. They left Heaven to comfort their friend and God. Moses and Elijah knew the plan of salvation and how much Jesus needed support. Also how important it was for the disciples, all of Jesus’ disciples to learn everything they can about God’s plan. This is the message Jesus gave His disciples to preach. How was Jesus going to get them to understand?
He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” The last time Jesus tried explaining the prophecies about Himself, He told the disciples, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38 NLTse). Putting the two lessons together shows how patiently Jesus taught His disciples, adding one lesson to another. What was the lesson Jesus warned His disciples not to be ashamed of? It was being a servant like Jesus. The disciples put themselves in the worst position possible. While Jesus was trying to explain exactly how He came to serve the world, His disciples argued about who was greatest. Jesus knew He had to show them how their pride would make them unsuitable to serve.
The long pause told the disciples a lesson was coming. At first they were timid, hoping Jesus wasn’t going to draw attention to them. Each felt a pain in their heart as they began to think of all the times they let Jesus down. For a minute they began to give serious thought to the prophecies Jesus was telling them about. Could they be about Him? Will He have to suffer such horrible things? As they began to think of how these things could be avoided, Jesus sat down and motioned for a small child to come to Him. The little boy ran to Jesus with joy. The disciples could see a sense of pride in the fact Jesus called him. They looked at his eyes. Big round, dark eyes anyone could quickly fall in love with. Looking into the child’s eyes reminded some of the disciples of the future they saw in the eyes of their own child. They also remembered the love, suddenly seeing this is what Jesus wanted them to understand as He told them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”
A little child naturally relies on parents for food, clothing, love and care. They are trusting, loyal, dedicated and only know how to return unconditional love. Children have nothing more to give in return than their love. There is a common and natural bond between children and their parents. A mutual sense of pride. No matter what race, creed, religion, or social status a parent comes from, they all want a better life for their children than the life they led. Parents, especially mothers are gifted with a natural tendency to protect their children from harm and sin. They want to give the best to their children, often more than they are capable of providing. Children love them whether they receive the riches of the world, or nothing more than time. Love between parents and children cannot be expressed on paper. It cannot be created in a laboratory, marketed in a package, taught in a classroom or book. It must be experienced, lived, loved, cherished, nourished, cultivated, protected, and treasured.
The disciples were beginning to see the obvious connection Jesus was teaching. The connection between Him and His Father was the same as them and their children, wives, fathers and mothers. They began to see how love for the family was always meant to be extended beyond the family circle. They not only had to learn to love Jesus more than those they those loved in this world, that love also extended to His Father. By the way Jesus was holding the child, they could see the love from the child was being returned. They began to feel a warmth and peace deep within they had not felt before. Jesus paused again, looking at each face, reading their hearts through their eyes that showed the Spirit was working within each one, bringing to mind a number of lessons they experienced over the past weeks. Jesus held the child closer as the warmth spread throughout the group. God was very near.
No one knows why. Maybe it was because John was still convinced he was the greatest. Maybe he turned the great love he felt for Jesus into an excuse to place himself above the others. John broke the serenity of the moment by asking Jesus a question. “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.” John could tell he said something wrong when we saw the look on Jesus’ face change. Jesus also let the little child go. Jesus still paused after the child ran to his mother’s side. He looked down at the ground, wondering how the disciples missed one of the most important lessons. They crossed the lake time after time for a reason. Jesus began preaching near John’s home town. From there they traveled across the lake where Jesus cast thousands of demons from a single man into a herd of pigs. After the pigs drowned, the herders asked Jesus to leave. Returning near John’s home, they were met me a rich, young ruler from the synagogue. Jesus went to his home where He raised his little girl back to life. They saw Jesus rejected in His own home town. When they crossed the lake again, they saw Jesus feed over 4000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish. Crossing back over the lake the disciples were attacked by the Pharisees for not washing their hands before eating. Jesus tried turning them back to the scriptures for an answer. Did they bother to look? Then Jesus traveled to Tyre, where a woman, a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia pleaded for her daughter. Jesus cast a demon out of the little girl.
Jesus looked down at the dust on the ground wondering if any of the disciples saw the lesson He was teaching. Hearing John’s question showed Jesus it was going to take more time for them to see He treated everyone alike. Jesus did not put one value on a Jew, another on a Gentile. Jesus never asked a person’s political or religious views before helping them. Jesus never held anyone to the doctrines of His time. Jesus just helped them, prayed for them, and left them in the capable hands of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew John would one day understand as He answered. “Don’t stop him! No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me.” One day John would look up and see the answer.
Will the disciples learn to love and trust Jesus like a little child looks up to their parents? What impressed you in this lesson? Could you see the little child sitting in Jesus’ lap, looking out at the disciples? Do you think the little child wanted to grow up to be like the disciples, or do you like the child set his heart on growing up to be like Jesus?
Mark 11:15-19 Jesus Cleanses The Temple
Mark 11:15-19 NLTse When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, (16) and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. (17) He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (18) When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so amazed at his teaching. (19) That eveningJesus and the disciples left the city.
Since Jesus’ final journey to the temple in Jerusalem, He had been fulfilling a number of prophecies. His disciples didn’t notice because they had not yet learned to look back comparing events, and consult the scriptures with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Many lessons in the Bible are also taught through the rule of repetition. In these verses we see Jesus is once again the main character. Jesus enters the temple which is described as a marketplace and den of thieves. The author focuses additional evidence on selling animals and doves. Does the combination of key words point to a deeper spiritual meaning?
Jesus arrived at the temple long before the gates were opened. As they waited near the gate, Jesus sat, weaving a set of ropes into a whip. As soon as the doors opened, Jesus entered, followed by His disciples and dozens of other people gathered at the gate. Some came to see Jesus, others to offer sacrifices.
Everyone split into three groups. The disciples and others gathered near pens holding the sacrificial lambs. Another group hurried along to be first in line to exchange their money for temple shekels. A third carried their lambs to another line forming in front of priests assigned to inspect the animals. Jesus and the disciples could tell by the disgruntled looks on the faces of the people, they stood in those lines before. They know their lambs would be rejected and exchanged for others at a price they could hardly afford to pay. Jesus wondered if the disciples understood the lesson in front of them, or the one about to be exposed.
Jesus walked up the steps past the line forming in front of the tables set up for the money changers. Without saying a word, Jesus picked up the corner of the table, flinging it down the steps in a single movement. Money changers as well as guards stood awestruck, as if frozen in time. No one moved. It was as if an unseen force held them in place. Guards reached for their swords, but could not draw them. Jesus flung out his whip, cracking it on the next table. The money changers seated at the table drew back in fear. Jesus flipped over a second table. A priest inspecting sacrificial lambs ran into the temple.
Jesus hurled his whip, cracking it on another table, sending change in every direction. People on the steps scrambled to their hands and knees to pick up every coin they could grab. Once the last table was turned over, Jesus turned His attention to the pens filled with waiting lambs.
As Jesus crossed the courtyard, the disciples stood in shock. On their way to Jerusalem they expected to see much more than one man turning the temple court into a shambles. Why the temple? Shouldn’t Jesus overthrow Herod in the palace? Shouldn’t Jesus take David’s throne. For the moment nothing seemed to make sense. What did Jesus hope to achieve by over throwing the temple?
The crowd parted as Jesus made His way to the pens. He immediately began opening cages holding birds, sending them flying in all directions. Jesus next opened pens containing sacrificial lambs. They ran directly for the open gate as if guided by an unseen hand. Soon streets were filled with lambs as well as people spreading news about the event in the temple courtyard. People flocked to the temple, quickly occupying the space where the lambs were kept.
Finally the high priest and a contingency of followers entered the court. Viewing the damage their only thought was how to kill Jesus and put an end to His ministry. Jesus turned and said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” The disciples never saw such a look on Jesus’ face, or heard the tone of voice He used. When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so amazed at his teaching.
Jesus moved from one method of teaching to another. Since telling the parable of the sower and his seed, Jesus had been teaching His disciples how to understand all parables and scripture. He also taught them about relationships. The type of relationship He wanted with them, the relationship He wanted them to form with God, and the relationships they needed to form with others to effectively continue the message they were chosen to take to the world. Now Jesus was teaching, exhibiting and living the written prophecies about Himself. Jesus pointed this out in the temple when He said, “The Scriptures declare.” Jesus began this new sequence by riding a donkey into Jerusalem. Next Jesus cursed a fig tree. Now Jesus cleansed the temple. Each of these were designed to test the disciples as well as give them the opportunity to sharpen the skills they have been developing. Each of these events is well know prophecy. Jesus was sending His disciples as well as the priests and other religious leaders back to the scriptures. There was a reason Jesus did not say long on the first day at the temple. Actions speak louder than words, and God’s Word is eternal, always fulfilled to the letter, and on time.
This is what the LORD says: “Be just and fair to all. Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you and to display my righteousness among you. Blessed are all those who are careful to do this. Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest and keep themselves from doing wrong. “Don’t let foreigners who commit themselves to the LORD say, ‘The LORD will never let me be part of his people.’ And don’t let the eunuchs say, ‘I’m a dried-up tree with no children and no future.’ For this is what the LORD says: I will bless those eunuchs who keep my Sabbath days holy and who choose to do what pleases me and commit their lives to me. I will give them–within the walls of my house— a memorial and a name far greater than sons and daughters could give. For the name I give them is an everlasting one. It will never disappear! “I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the LORD, who serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who hold fast to my covenant. I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because myTemple will be called a house of prayer for all nations. For the Sovereign LORD, who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says: I will bring others, too, besides my people Israel.” Come, wild animals of the field! Come, wild animals of the forest! Come and devour my people! For the leaders of my people– the LORD’s watchmen, his shepherds— are blind and ignorant. They are like silent watchdogs that give no warning when danger comes. They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming. Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied. They are ignorant shepherds, all following their own path and intent on personal gain. “Come,” they say, “let’s get some wine and have a party. Let’s all get drunk. Then tomorrow we’ll do it again and have an even bigger party!” (Isaiah 56:1-12 NLTse).
Reading Isaiah would have identified the prophecy Jesus fulfilled as well as remind the disciples of crisscrossing the lake. On one side Jesus taught Jews, raised the daughter of a synagogue leader, healed a woman from an issue of blood, and healed countless others. On the other side of the lake Jesus cast out a legion of demons from a man who evangelized a number of cities. He also cast out demons, healed many, fed 4000 and 5000. One side of the lake Jesus ministered to Jews. On the other He taught and ministered to Gentiles. Isaiah described how one day Jesus will call all of them to His Temple.
“‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie! Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”–only to go right back to all those evils again? Don’t you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves? Surely I see all the evil going on there. I, the LORD, have spoken! (Jeremiah 7:8-11 NLTse).
Jeremiah points out how far religious leaders will turn away from God. They put their trust in a stone temple and their own beliefs instead of God. There is no doubt they lied, cheated, stole, and planned to murder more people than Jesus. Not only was Jesus threatening their beliefs, but their income and lavish life style.
So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him. But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales– they love to cheat. Israel boasts, “I am rich! I’ve made a fortune all by myself! No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!” (Hosea 12:6-8 NLTse).
Everyone knew how the money changers used dishonest scales. People accepted the fact they were cheated. They knew it was happening, but what could they do? The priests and religious leaders invented a system making it impossible to oppose the priests. The endless set of rules and regulations were designed to make it appear that opposing the priests was opposing God. Jesus came not to expose the system, everyone knew it existed. Jesus came to replace it with a system of worship God always intended His people to follow. Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. (Exodus 19:5 NLTse).
What about the aspect of a relationship with Jesus and God? What lessons are taught here? We see how religious leaders replaced their trust and love for God for wealth, prestige, and power. Not only were the disciples witnessing fulfillment of prophecy, they were given the opportunity to see where a halfhearted relationship with God will lead. “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24 NLTse).
As Jesus left the city with His disciples, He wondered how deep the lessons would reach? He wondered if they were able to apply them to life in this world. Not only were religious leaders overly concerned with wealth, many other relationships are fractured by the love of money. There was a reason Jesus sent His disciples out to minister without money. Jesus didn’t rely on money to form a relationship. It was never a factor in His ministry. Jesus never based any relationship on money. He only wanted to offer the love He received from Heaven, and expected nothing in return. Love should always be given by total freedom of will. Jesus also wanted His disciples to see how relationships based only on riches, power, glory, the things of this world are only temporary like the rewards they chase. Jesus hoped the disciples looked back on all the events of the past years, including the death of His cousin John, murdered by Herodias. She married for worldly reasons. Power and fame meant more to her than human life. The same guilt engulfs all those marrying for worldly gain. They have no idea what love really is. They never experienced God’s love because they never established a relationship with Him. They also never establish a relationship with the person they marry. They are always looking for something better. Looking for excuses to leave. Like religious leaders, establishing their own beliefs, doctrines and traditions to suit their needs which will never be satisfied. They live in a search for happiness as temporary as the wind. Did Jesus end His relationship with the Jews the same way many marriages end, with money being the main, last, and final concern for the unfaithful party?
Mark 15:21-39 Jesus Is Crucified
Mark 15:21-39 NLTse A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus‘ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) (22) And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). (23) They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it. (24) Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. (25) It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. (26) A sign was fastened to the cross, announcing the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” (27) Two revolutionaries werecrucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. (29) The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. (30) Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!” (31) The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! (32) Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him. (33) At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. (34) Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (35) Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. (36) One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!” (37) Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. (38) And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (39) When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!“
When the Roman guard dressed Jesus, He was thankful for the little relief it brought, but knew the worst lay ahead. Wounds on His back and legs gushed blood as nerves screamed out in pain. Repeated blows to His head left Him with such a concussion, pain from the thorns was secondary to the throbbing caused by His swelling brain. The combination of blood loss and concussion made it difficult to concentrate as Jesus drifted in and out of consciousness.
The Roman commander shouted orders as soldiers placed the cross across the back of each prisoner. The long uphill trek began. The weight of the cross opened wounds on the backs and shoulders of the prisoners. The two criminals with Jesus moaned, groaned, begged, and cursed. Hearing only two voices, the Roman commander turned to check the condition of his prisoners. One glance told him all three were present and accounted for. After a distance the commander heard the distinctive sound of a heavy wooden cross hitting the pavement followed by the sound of a prisoner being whipped. He turned, rode back and watched for a minute before ordering the whipping to stop. “Stop that! If you disable the prisoner, you’ll be carrying that cross.”
Jesus tried to keep His concentration. His mind as well as His sight kept going in and out of focus. Although His eyes were covered in blood and sweat, His vision was better than anyone in Jerusalem. Devils gathered around Jesus, Roman guards, and people along the road. Prisoners were subject to random whippings, being treated like a disobedient animal under a load. Devils entered into guards and bystanders, shouting out jeers, curses, and throwing anything available at guards and prisoners alike. Guards beat back the crowd with spears and whips. They could not remember ever seeing such a scene.
Satan himself was observing the scene both on the ground and above. Looking up Satan saw thousands upon thousands of God’s loyal angels watching every detail of the event unfold. Jesus staggered and fell again. Satan saw his opening and approached Jesus. A brilliant flash served as a warning for Satan to keep his distance. Satan knew he could not enter Jesus, as long as He remained sinless. Satan looked for every opportunity to make Jesus fall. Only inches from Jesus. Satan asked Him if the pain was worth it. “Look at the people you are suffering for. Are they worth it? Do they care anything about you?” Satan promised to take the pain away. He also accused God of abandoning Jesus. Satan walked along side Jesus, reminding Him about sights in Heaven, encouraging Jesus to join him to rebuild a piece of Heaven on earth. Satan had a long list of deceptions and didn’t miss a point.
Jesus knew temptation well and also how to fight it. Jesus also knew all Heaven looked down, poised to come to His aid with a single word. Jesus prayed for the strength to make it up the hill as Golgotha came into view. Scripture from Isaiah came to mind. Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick. You are battered from head to foot– covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds– without any soothing ointments or bandages. Your country lies in ruins, and your towns are burned. Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes and destroy everything they see. Beautiful Jerusalem stands abandoned like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard, like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest, like a helpless city under siege. If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of us, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:5-9 NLTse).
Satan and his devils couldn’t get to Jesus, but the guards were putty in their hands. One of the guards jabbed Jesus in the back with the butt of his spear. Once again Jesus fell to the ground. Again the sound of the cross striking the ground reached the commander’s ears. He rode back to assess the scene. The commander ordered one of the guards to take the cross off Jesus’ back. With the weight off, Jesus rolled to one side, looking up to the sky. A woman darted out from the crowd, lifting Jesus’ head, placing it in her lap. Thrones stuck in her leg as she wiped blood from Jesus’ face. Looking over the crowd, the commander pointed out a passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiersforced him to carry Jesus‘ cross. Simon hesitated, until the guards threatened him. As soon as Simon lifted the cross, one of the guards lifted Jesus by one arm. Thrones tore through the thigh of the woman helping Him. The commander shouted out orders to proceed as quickly as possible. The situation was deteriorating quickly. He wanted to get the execution over with before matters got completely out of hand. They proceeded up the hill at a hurried pace with Simon carrying the cross and Jesus following close behind. The woman stood in the street watching Jesus climb the hill. There was nothing she could do. Jesus turned His head for a moment. Looking back at her gave Him the strength to walk a few steps closer to the execution site.
As they neared the top of the hill the smell was over powering. Seagulls, vultures and other scavenging birds sounded an alarm as the crowd drew near the execution site. Priests covered their mouths and noses with their long sleeves as they gathered near the front of the crowd, their own guards moving people behind them. This was the first time the Roman guard saw such a crowd. At first they were thankful for help from the temple guard. Soon their mistrust for the temple guard and priests returned as they looked down the hill at the swelling crowd. Nothing could have prepared them for such a demonstration. Other soldiers went about their business as they offered the prisoners wine drugged with myrrh, but Jesus refused it. Then the soldiers nailed Jesus and the others to their crosses. Once again the commander noticed Jesus’ silence as the guards drove nails through His hands and feet then lifted the cross in place.
Something was different about this prisoner. He heard stories about Jesus and heard Him talk a number of times. Looking up at Jesus on the cross brought back some of things Jesus taught. He remembered seeing Jesus on his way to Jerusalem when a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.'” “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:17-21 NLTse). The Roman commander thought to himself, “where would this man follow Him? To the cross? What kind of life is that?”
Other soldiers divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. The commander looked out over the crowd observing the different groups. He saw another soldier coming up the hill, making his way through the crowd. The commander thought Pilate dispatched a solder to report on the situation. He thought Pilate must have heard about the crowd gathering at the execution. Instead of reporting, the soldier went straight to Jesus’ cross in the middle, placed a ladder against it, climbed and fastened a sign reading, “King of the Jews.” Instantly the high priest demanded the sign be removed. The commander listened to Caiaphas’ complaint, turned to look for the solder who placed the sign on the cross only to find he was gone. Thinking over the situation, the commander told Caiaphas he needed a direct order from Pilate to remove the sign. He knew there was little chance Caiaphas would go to Pilate, and if he did, it reduced the chance of a riot.
It didn’t take long for the hot sun to begin taking its toll on the prisoners hanging from their crosses. Jesus drifted in and out of consciousness. Passing out for a moment was the only relief He could hope for. He was constantly awakened by people passing by shouting abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!” Jesus looked up at the sky knowing all Heaven was gathered above watching the plan of salvation unfold. Satan and his devils were busy hurling every insult, promise, and doubt at Jesus in an attempt to break Him. Demons danced with joy as if victory was in their grasp. Satan looked on, quiet for a moment, trying to hide his fear from the devils who followed him. Satan was busy reviewing scripture in his mind. Something seemed wrong. He planned for resistance, but God’s angels didn’t put up the expected fight. How could he accuse God if He didn’t interfere with the plans he laid out? Satan quickly gathered his forces, dispatching them with new orders.
The leading priests and teachers of religious law mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him. All madness broke loose in front of the cross. Satan wanted Jesus to see a world who hated and rejected Him. There was little Satan could do as Jesus looked over the crowd from high up on the cross. Jesus saw groups of His disciples, the people He taught how to love and what a relationship was about as He prepared them for their ministry ahead. Jesus looked at Mary who spend her life savings and more to anoint Him. Then Jesus saw His mother, the one who carried Him, gave birth to Him and loved Him unconditionally. The shock and grief in their eyes showed Jesus the love He was dying for. Blood from wounds on His head once again began to blur His vision.
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The darkness shocked a lot of people and quieted the crowd. Priests ran through the crowd trying to offer a logical explanation, but could not find one, so they claimed it was a sign of God’s approval, the beginning of a new day bringing blessings for the faithful ones of Israel. Some began to scream which reminded them of the first Passover when God’s avenging angel took the life of all the first born in Egypt. Many ran down the hill to their homes and families, falling over one another in the dark.
The Roman guard lite torches and gathered close to the crosses, not knowing what to expect. They waved their torches from side to side with little effect. The darkness was like a wall around them as they listened to shouts and screams from the crowd on the other side. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!” Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. The earth shook as if it had fallen off its foundation. When the earthquake stopped, the Roman commander looked up at the crosses. It was a miracle they were still standing. Silence fall over the entire city of Jerusalem. At the same moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!“
Only a few people at the cross declared Jesus, “the Son of God” and, “The King of the Jews.” It was Pilate and his solders. Why did Pilate and his solders, who represented the government, use Jesus’ title but no one else? The religious leaders denied Jesus’ title. The high priest protested against Jesus’ title when Pilate posted it in writing on the cross. What does that mean? Does it have any bearing on the world today?
Table of Contents
Jesus Teaches About Relationships
The Gospel Of Mark Chapters 9 – 16
Mark 9:1-13 Some Will Not Die Before They See The Kingdom of Heaven
Mark 9:14-29 Jesus Cast a Demon Out of a Small Boy
Mark 9:30-39 Be Like a Little Child
Mark 9:41-50 It Is Better If
Mark 10:1-12 Divorce
Mark 10:13-16 Kingdom of God Belongs to These Children
Mark 10:17-31 Inherit Eternal Life
Mark 10:32-45 Jesus Tries to Explain Prophecies Again
Mark 10:46-52 Jesus Heals A Blind Man
Mark 11:1-11 Jesus on a Donkey
Mark 11:12-14 Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
Mark 11:15-19 Jesus Cleanses The Temple
Mark 11:19-25 Have Faith In God
Mark 11:27-33 By What Authority
Mark 12:1-12 Ungrateful Tenants
Mark 12:13-17 Give To Caesar
Mark 12:18-27 Whose Wife Is She
Mark 12:28-34 Greatest Commandment
Mark 12:35-44 Messiah is the son of David
Mark 13:1-6 Not One Stone Will Be Left Upon Another
Mark 13:7-10 Beginning of Birth Pains
Mark 13:11-14 Desecration Standing Where It Should Not Be
Mark 13:15-23 Unless The Lord Shortens That Time
Mark 13:24-27 Sun Will Be Darkened
Mark 13:28-31 Lesson From A Fig Tree
Mark 13:32-37 Watch
Mark 14:1-11 Anointed Jesus For Burial
Mark 14:12-16 Prepare The Passover Meal
Mark 14:18-26 One Of You Shall Betray Me
Mark 14:27-42 Watch With Me
Mark 14:43-52 Jesus Arrested
Mark 14:53-65 Jesus’ First Trail
Mark 14:66-72 Peter Denies Jesus
Mark 15:1-15 Jesus Before Pilate
Mark 15:16-20 Jesus Mocked By The Soldiers
Mark 15:21-39 Jesus Is Crucified
Mark 15:40-47 Jesus Is Buried
Mark 16:1-8 Mary Gathers Spices For Jesus
Mark 16:9-20 The Disciples See Jesus
This entry was posted on August 28, 2013 at 10:30 am and is filed under Christian Books, Gospel Messages Mark. Tagged: Anyone who welcomes a little child, den of thieves, destroy the Temple, dried-up tree, experiences, five loaves of bread and two fish, forced him to carry Jesus' cross, Golgotha, how far religious leaders will turn away from God, If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, Jesus cast a demon out of the little girl, Jesus feed over 4000 people, Jesus hurled his whip, Jesus needed their love, Jesus taught lessons, Jesus teaches about relationships, Jesus Teaches About Relationships The Gospel Of Mark Chapters 9 - 16, Jesus' final journey to the temple, Mark 11:15-19 Jesus Cleanses The Temple, Mark 15:21-39 Jesus Is Crucified, Mark 9:30-39 Be Like a Little Child, mocked Jesus, my God, Parables, personal relationship, Place of the Skull, rebuild it in three days, relationship with Jesus and God, Son of Man is going to be betrayed, Son of Man will be ashamed of that person, understand the prophecies Jesus tried to teach them, used examples, why have you abandoned me, Written by Dennis Herman. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.