Mark 12:24 – similar to Question #45 – Matthew 22:31-32 – Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” NIV
This question is similar to the last question because in Matthew’s Gospel (Matt. 22:29). It was recorded as a statement, and Mark records it as a rhetorical question. I did deal with Jesus’ follow-up question #45 (Matt. 22-31-32). But this is a great question for all of us to ask ourselves.
Many times we find ourselves making mistakes or missing opportunities because we do not know what the Scriptures say about something and /or we underestimate the power (and possibly the love) of God. We neglect the guidance given to us in the Scriptures because we are not regularly reading, studying, and meditating on them. Then we expect God to give us some special guidance in our situation when He has already done so in the Bible. Because He is gracious, merciful, and loving; He sometimes gives us that guidance; but I think that as the Holy Spirit, He would rather bring it to our recall from His Word. Continue reading
Mark 11:15-17 – On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written:” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'” NIV
This incident of Jesus cleansing the Temple after the Triumphal Entry is also recorded in Matthew 21; but in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus states that “it is written.” In Mark’s Gospel it is asked as a rhetorical question “Is it not written,” with a quotation from Isaiah 56:7 where Yahweh is speaking that “my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?”
We are dealing here with the primary purpose of the Temple. It was a place to approach God to be able to express needs and hear from Him. The Temple sacrificial system was designed that through the substitutionary sacrifice of an unblemished animal atone for the sins of the worshiper and allow him/her to approach Yahweh in a forgiven state. After offering sacrifice, the worshiper could then approach closer to the Holy of Holies which represented the Presence of Yahweh. Continue reading
Mark 9:50 – see Matthew 5:13 (I missed it in Matthew) – “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” NIV
Jesus initially used this question in the Sermon on the Mount after He had told His listeners that they were “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). Here in Mark’s Gospel He asks the same question but with a slightly different emphasis. Salt is a common necessary commodity that we take for granted in our day, but it was just as necessary but not quite as common in Jesus’ day. Salt was used to flavor and preserve food and as a healing and sterilizing agent. It influenced what it touched in a positive way, unless it was too contaminated with other ingredients to do its job. Continue reading
Mark 9:33-34 – (similar to Question #70) They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. NIV
Once again Jesus asks His disciples about their arguing. This time they were not arguing with the Pharisee, Sadducees, or teachers of the law. They were arguing among themselves about who was the greatest. This is a discussion that still continues among many of Jesus’ followers today. We should be concerned about increasing the Kingdom of God; but many times we are more concerned about who has the largest numbers or whose ministry is considered most successful. Unfortunately, many times it is not about giving God the credit, but making sure other disciples notice. Continue reading
Mark 9:23-24 – “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” NIV
Jesus is still dealing the boy who is demon possessed and his father. The father has just answered Jesus’ previous question as to how long the boy has been this way, and he adds, “…But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22 – NIV) This remark elicits Jesus’ rhetorical question and following statement.
Jesus was asserting that He certainly could, but seeking to know if the father believed that He could heal his son. The father’s reply is a reply that many followers of Jesus have uttered over the years. In theory we believe that Jesus is capable of anything, but we sometimes doubt if He is able to work in our specific situation. Continue reading