I don’t intend these posts to be commercials for a particular study Bible or anything like that, but more of an opportunity to share what I’ve been learning as I read through the New Testament and the commentary notes of the Gospel Transformation Bible. Today I completed Mark and here are a few of the highlights that came from Hans Bayer’s notes in Mark.
One thing I will remark about regarding Mark’s gospel is that there is a distinct thematic difference between Matthew and Mark. A lot of people wonder why there are four collections of stories about Jesus’ life in the Bible. As you read through the New Testament (at least I am finding) those disctintions are helpful. What Matthew emphasized as a major theme in his gospel (the Kingship of Christ) isn’t necessarily the focus of Mark’s work. Mark instead causes us to wrestle with the daily implications of discipleship in relationship to the King over all things. I have found the distinction helpful.
So here are a few highlighted remarks that Bayer makes about the text of Mark’s Gospel.
True followers of Christ are called to reflect Christ’s compassion and holiness to other human beings, irrespective of their race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other mark of distinction. For Christ has shown such grace to us. (Mark 2:13–17, page 1322)
We who follow a crucified Savior should not be surprised by the cruciform life that is thrust upon us as we seek to be faithful to him. And through it all, we walk as one who is “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29). We have a mighty Friend. (Mark 6:1–6, page 1328)
Without radical, personal transformation by the gospel of grace, beginning with Jesus’ exposure of our own hearts, followers of Christ have nothing of substance to convey to others (cf. Eph. 1:8). God has spoken grace to us; we speak in grace to others. Loved, we love. This is the pattern of gospel life. (Mark 8:11–21. page 1332)
Nothing can come to God’s children out of divine wrath, for God’s wrath has been exhausted on the cross. All that happens to disciples is from God’s great heart of love for his own. (Mark 14:1–11, page 1345)
In Barabbas we see a sobering depiction of ourselves: guilty, released from judgment as Jesus is judged in our place. (Mark 15:1–20, page 1348).