He Marveled

mhsGraphics.LinesSqueezedFromALemmonsHE MARVELED is something Jesus did two times in the New Testament. Words are precious; words are interesting;  words instruct; words are valuable; words bless our lives (cf., Treasure in the Heart). Actually, words are indispensable for learning and receiving the will of the Lord and obeying it. We find the Greek word that is translated marvel used 46 times in the New Testament. A large number of those usages of the word are due to something Jesus did or said causing others to marvel. However, if I have correctly examined these 46 verses, there are two occasions in which Jesus, Himself, marveled at something. It is especially interesting to observe what a contrast these two occurrences provide.

He Marveled because of UNBELIEF…

First in one passage, Jesus is said to marvel at the unbelief of a group of people—Mark 6.6… And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. This incident takes place in the locale of Jesus’ growing up years, the small village of Nazareth. The people of Nazareth knew His trade, His mother, and the members of His earthly family (Mark 6.3).The unbelief of these Nazareth natives caused a sad result—Mark 6.5… And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. What a disappointment these people were to Jesus!

The word marvel comes from the Greek word, thaumazo. It is defined as follows: “to wonder or marvel at some event or object—‘to wonder, to be amazed, to marvel’ (whether the reaction is favorable or unfavorable depends on the context)” [Louw Nida]. The context clearly tells us here that Jesus’ marveling at the faith of the Nazareth folks was not in the category of favorable.

He Marveled because of GREAT Faith…

Second, there is the passage in Luke 7.1-10, where we find Jesus marveling at the GREAT FAITH of the centurion of Capernaum. Luke uses the word marvel here and in the parallel account Matthew also uses it (Mt 8.5-13). Since these are parallels, I count these two verses as one occasion of Jesus marveling.

What caused Jesus to be amazed were words from the mouth of the centurion. The words spoken by this Gentile officer in the forces of Herod Antipas were unlike any Jesus had heard, even among the Jews—Luke 7.9… When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. The words of the centurion which caused Jesus to marvel are recorded in verse 7… Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. This Gentile soldier believed that Jesus had the ability to heal his servant simply by speaking the word. If Jesus would just say he was healed, he would be healed! That caused our Lord to marvel!

Great faith in one instance and great unbelief in the other caused Jesus to marvel. Have you ever thought about causing Jesus to MARVEL at your own faith?

Those souls at Nazareth had been greatly blessed in many ways to have Jesus as a resident. Mark 6.5 tells us that He did heal some sick people in Nazareth. Yet, at one point, they were ready to throw him off a cliff (Luke 4.28-30). How sad!

What could happen to the Lord’s church at Maple Hill if you and I develop within our hearts the kind of faith which would cause it to be said of Jesus: He Marveled?

Properly Observing

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What an important chapter Mark 15 is! We need often to read it and the parallels. We need often to go to the cross. It will help us to be better people. Below we are placing an outline of the chapter which also gives the parallels from the other three accounts of the life of Christ (taken from NKJV headings)…

  1. Pilate Tries Jesus (Mark 15.1-14; Matthew 27.1-2; Matthew 27.11-23; Luke 23.1-5; Luke 23.13-23; John 18.28—19.15).
  2. Jesus is Beaten (Mark 15.15-23; Matthew 27.26-34; Luke 23.24-32; John 19.16-22).
  3. Jesus is Crucified (Mark 15.24-41; Matthew 27. 35-56; Luke 23.33-39; John 19.18; John 19.23-30).
  4. Jesus is Buried (Mark 15.42-47; Matthew 27.57-61; Luke 23.50-55; John 19.38-42).

I have pasted in my Bible a clipping from some bulletin somewhere. I have seen it many places over the years. I do not know who originated it. I first remember seeing it back in the early 1980s. It is designed as a HELP IN PROPERLY OBSERVING THE LORD’s SUPPER. It focuses on numbers related to the cross, thus it is related to the material recorded in Mark 15 and the parallel renderings listed above. I hope it may be of help in some way to focusing the mind in the proper direction to observe properly the simple memorial Jesus has included in the worship of the church.

THE LORD’S SUPPER…

  1. There is ONE Lord (John 14.6). Who is the Lord of YOUR life?
  2. There were TWO thieves (Luke 23.39-43). Which might you have been?
  3. There were THREE crosses. One thief a REBELLER (Luke 23.39). One thief a REPENTER (Luke 23.40). And there was Christ, the REDEEMER (1 Peter 1.18-19).
  4. There were FOUR parts of Jesus’ garment, and a prophecy  (John 19.23-24).
  5. There were FIVE wounds (John 19.34). Remember the pain.
  6. There were SIX hours (our time) of crucifixion (Mark 15.25-37). Remember the suffering.
  7. There were SEVEN sayings on the cross
    1. Luke 23.34… Forgiveness
    2. Luke 23.43… Salvation
    3. John 19.26-27… Compassion
    4. John 19.28… Suffering
    5. Matthew 27.46… Loneliness
    6. John 19.30… Victory
    7. Luke 23.46… Tremendous Trust

What is a Pericope?

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I was looking around in some files on my computer and found one that contained the phrase: “Pericopes in Mark” in the title. This is a word that non-Bible-scholars might have difficulty recognizing. Since I wanted to post the file that I found because I thought it would be useful to those who might be studying the Book of Mark, I thought I might first search around to see if I could find a good definition of PERICOPE. I think Adam Thomas did a pretty good job with the word in a rather humorous way…

Biblical scholars have an especially silly sounding word they use for “passage from the Bible.” It is pericope, and if you type this into Microsoft Word, Bill Gates will try to change the word into periscope, because (apparently) the latter is much more frequently used. ‘Pericope’ may look like a three-syllable word (like periscope without the ‘s’), but it has four syllables and rhymes with calliope.* If you are at a Bible study and drop the word ‘pericope’ your companions will probably stare at you and wonder how you got your hands on the Anchor Bible Commentary.

Pericopes are important because they define the amount of text you are going to study. The word is a mash-up of two Greek words meaning “to cut around,” so when you pick a pericope you are figuring out how much text you want to swallow at one go. If you pick too little, you may be in danger of ignoring the context of the bit you pericopized.** If you pick too much, getting your head around it all may be a difficult task.

If you want to impress someone, you will surely want to learn how to pronounce PERICOPE. That can be accomplished by clicking H-E-R-E.

The file that I found is a listing of all of the pericopes of the New Testament Book of Mark as seen in the New King James Bible. These are especially helpful because they also include references to parallel accounts in the other three accounts of the life of Christ. If you are studying the Book of Mark, this file should be a big help. You can find it by clicking H-E-R-E.

Study Guide on Mark

SGHeaderForWebsite.MkThings Emphasized in Mark [NIV First Century Study Bible, with notes by Kent Dobson, 2014, Zondervan, an Olive Tree Bible Study App Module].

  • The Cross. Both the human cause (12.12; 14.1-21; 5.10) and the divine necessity (8.31; 9.31; 10.33-34) of the cross are emphasized by Mark.
  • Discipleship. Special attention should be paid to the passages on discipleship that arise from Jesus’ predictions of his passion (8.34—9.10; 9.35—10.31; 10.42-45).
  • The Teachings of Jesus. Although Mark records far fewer actual teachings of Jesus than the other Gospel writers, there is a remarkable emphasis on Jesus as teacher. The words ‘teacher,’ ‘teach’ or ‘teaching’ and ‘Rabbi’ are applied to Jesus in Mark 39 times.
  • The Messianic Secret. On several occasions Jesus warns his disciples or others to keep silent about who he is or what he has done (1.34, 44; 3.12; 5.43; 7.36; 8.30; 9.9).
  • Son of God. Although Mark emphasizes the humanity of Jesus (see 3.5; 6.6, 31, 34; 7.34; 8.12; 10.14; 11.12), he does not neglect his deity (see 1.1, 11; 3.11; 5.7; 9.7; 12.1-11; 13.32; 15.39).

Click below for study guides on each chapter, or for one single study guide on the entire Book of Mark. If you find them helpful, please tell others where you found them.

The Book of Mark… 4100sg

Mark Chapter 1… 4101sg

Mark Chapter 2… 4102sg

Mark Chapter 3… 4103sg

Mark Chapter 4… 4104sg

Mark Chapter 5… 4105sg

Mark Chapter 6… 4106sg

Mark Chapter 7… 4107sg

Mark Chapter 8… 4108sg

Mark Chapter 9… 4109sg

Mark Chapter 10… 4110sg

Mark Chapter 11… 4111sg

Mark Chapter 12… 4112sg

Mark Chapter 13… 4113sg

Mark Chapter 14… 4114sg

Mark Chapter 15…  4115sg

Mark Chapter 16… 4116sg