The Gospel according to Mark:





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1. Introduction to MarkThe first account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth very probably came from the pen of Mark, who appears to have recorded the memoirs of the Apostle Peter. His fast-paced narrative presents Jesus as a man of action and compassion. Mark highlights the authority of Christ, as he details the events that led inevitably to his arrest, trial, and execution in Jerusalem. For Mark, the story of Jesus is not only intended to give an account of this most remarkable life, but also to encourage the people of God, especially when facing times of trial and persecution. Play Audio Play Video
2. Introduction to the Gospel StoryJohn the Baptist appeared on the stage of history in the year 28 a.d, at time of complex interaction among multiple forces in Israel and its environs. This lecture surveys some of the more important of those forces and factions, and offers insight into the challenges faced by God's people as they anticipated the inauguration of the long awaited kingdom.Play Audio Play Video
3. A Voice in the WildernessJohn the Baptist came on the scene in the spirit and power of Elijah, reflecting both is unusual appearance, and his courageous and provocative style. As Mark presents him, John was highly popular and respected among the masses of Israel, but he himself could only preach that the one that would come after him would utterly dwarf John by comparison. Play Audio Play Video
4. The Baptism of JesusWhen John the Baptist brought Jesus out of the waters of baptism, an event as momentous as the original creation unfolded in the new creation inaugurated in the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. A dove descended, standing for the spirit of the Lord, just as the spirit 'brooded' over the waters in the original creation scene. Mark's brief account of the incident brings to light the great significance of this moment, and offers insight into the reason for Christian baptism which has been practiced in the church for two millennia. Play Audio Play Video
5. The Temptation of JesusAfter his baptism, Jesus was immediately driven into the wilderness to face his most formidable opponent in a one-on-one contest to take back what was lost at Eden. The drama is reported in start and abbreviated detail by Mark, but the brevity of the account does not minimize the weightiness of the stakes. Jesus victory in the desert opens the door to the beginning of his ministry as an iternerate preacher, and his message was as striking as it was simple - the kingdom of God has arrived.Play Audio Play Video
6. Jesus Calls His First DisciplesJesus begins his Galilean ministry in Capernaum, calling his first four disciples from the fishing docks along Capernaum's shore. His powerful "Follow Me" summons the men to leave their profession and join Jesus in an adventure they could not even imagine at the moment. The following Sabbath, Jesus brought them with him to the synagogue, and there began to teach. His words were so weighty, the people were struck and amazed at the authority in his person. In this way, Mark calls our attention to the first of the great themes of his Gospel, the unqualified and unfathomable authority of this one whose reputation began immediately to spread into the surrounding regions.Play Audio Play Video
7. The Demon-Possessed Man (Mark 1:21ff)The story of Jesus' ministry in Galilee begins with a dramatic confrontation between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. In this short narrative, Mark sets forth the fundamental theme that will recur repeatedly throughout his account. Jesus comes as a 'strong man,' who will bind the 'strong man' who has held this world in his grip. Brooking no compromise, Jesus commands a demon to leave the man, and in this preliminary moment, sets in motion the story that will culminate when he commands the prince of this world to depart. Play Audio Play Video
8. Authority of Word and Touch (Mark 1:29ff)The authority of Jesus' word expands in the rest of Mark chapter 1 to the authority of Jesus' touch. He is powerful 'in word and deed.' His reputation draws a crowd, and crowds will appear repeatedly in Mark's account, representing the breadth and depth of human need, and at the same time the depth of the compassion of Jesus as he responds. Play Audio Play Video
9. Healing a Leper (Mark 1:40ff)The authority of Jesus' word expands in the rest of Mark chapter 1 to the authority of Jesus' touch. The theme culminates when Jesus reaches out and touches one of 'untouchables' of Israel, a leper whose unclean state had cut him off from human society. Play Audio Play Video
10. Forgiveness and a Paralytic (Mark 2:1-12)Having established the theme of Jesus' authority in chapter one of his Gospel, Mark now begins to describe that authority on a collision course with the entrenched but corrputed religious authority of the Jerusalem establishment. The healing of the paralytic is the first of five so-called 'conflict stories, which span all of chapter 2, and part of chapter three. In all of them, Jesus lodges his critique of abusive authority, whether in first century Israel, or in any chapter of human history, and especially in the history of the Christian movement.Play Audio Play Video
11. Jesus calls Levi (Mark 2:13-17)When Jesus saw the tax collector Levi at a tax office in Capernaum, those with Jesus expected him to turn away from such a man in disdain. There were undoubtedly gasps in the crowd, however, when Jesus approached the office, fixed his gaze on one of the chief agents of Rome's oppressive tax gatherers, and said, 'Follow me.' In this simple act, Jesus established the principle of genuine Christian conscience, that no person, regardless of social station, is exempt from the reach of grace. Levi heeded the call, and became one of the most prominent and loved of the apostles, so much so that the first book of the New Testament was in all probability written by this unlikely convert.Play Audio Play Video
12. The Question of Fasting (Mark 2:18-22)Following a feast at the home of Levi, the religious leaders challenged with the question of a fast in the life of religious devotion. Jesus meets the question with a remarkable appeal that a fast could not be undertaken in the presence of the bridegroom. He challenged the idea of whether the new wine of the kingdom could be contained in the old wineskins of the law and its traditions. In so doing, Jesus brought into focus and balance a question that was important in his day, and has remained important throughout the history of the Christian movement. Play Audio Play Video
13. Jesus and the Sabbath (2:23-28)The conflict stories of Mark chapter two escalate to a new level of tension and Jesus corrects the mistaken understanding of the Pharisees. While the Sabbath had become an oppressive imposition in the Jewish world, Jesus sets forth the great truth that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. In that short pronouncement, the entire understanding of the Sabbath obligations changed, and established the principle that would eventually give rise to the notion of a Christian Sabbath, and day of renewal and service in the kingdom of Christ.Play Audio Play Video
14. The Man with the Withered Hand (Mark 3:1-6)The religious leaders, stunned by Jesus' claim to be 'Lord of the Sabbath' return the following Sabbath for what they hoped would be their 'knock-out' punch. In a trial of sorts, a set-up certainly, the posture a man with a withered hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath, hoping Jesus would 'take the bait.' He did. But in a remarkable reversal, Jesus the 'defendant' became Jesus the 'prosecutor' asking the religious leaders in anger, which is lawful on theSabbath, to do good or to do evil? They could not answer. In this moment Jesus transformed the ethic of religious devotion from one of limitation to one of action.Play Audio Play Video
15. Crowds Come to Jesus (Mark 3:7-12)As the conflict stories conclude, we find Mark turning his attention to the disciples, and the development of their distinct role as those who will eventually speak and serve in the authority of Christ. At the same time, Mark describes the great multitudes that find their way to Jesus, some coming for healing, some coming for spectacle, some coming for reasons that were at best confused. Although the crowds sometimes bordered on a mob-mentality, Jesus never failed to meet their needs with compassion, and thereby established a paradigm that his echoed through the ages as the great calling card of Christian ministry. Play Audio Play Video
16. Appointing the Twelve (Mark 3:13-19)Jesus called the twelve who would be his closest followers. Here a short bio of each is provided.Play Audio Play Video
17. The True Family of Jesus (Mark 3:20-35)In the third of the discipleship stories, Jesus elevates his closest followers to the status of 'family,' displacing his natural human relatives for those who follow him, doing the will of God. Play Audio Play Video
18. The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20)Jesus gives his well known parable of the sower, to show that the word should be preached broadly, but only those who have 'ears to hear' will in fact accept it, and bring for the fruit of changed lives.Play Audio Play Video
19. Parables of the Kingdom (4:21 - 34)Mark highlights three 'parables of the kingdom' in this 'chapter of parables.' Each of them uses the idea of a seed to illustrate something of the mystery of the Kingdom of God. The first parable, the sower, speaks of the beginnings of the Kingdom. The second, the growing seed, describes the process of growth, and the final parable, the mustard, points of unexpected and dramatic conclusions. Taken together, the three parables give a remarkable and instruction introduction to the great purposes of God in history, and in the lives of those who belong to Him. Play Audio Play Video
20. Jesus Calms the Storm (4:35-41)One of the most beloved of the stories of Jesus, his display of power over the threatening storm as been a source of comfort to Christian people facing their own 'storms' ever since the earliest days of the Christian movement. In this retelling of the episode, the alien and terrifying power of Jesus receives special emphasis, because ironically, it is only when there is proper of fear of Christ, that proper faith in Christ becomes possible.Play Audio Play Video
21. The Gadarene Demoniac (Mark 5:1-20)Mark continues to tell a series of stories that highlight the conflict between faith and competing interests. In this account, known as the Gadarene Demoniac, Jesus frees a man from the ravages of demonic insanity, and frees the community from the dreadful terror of one who could not be bound, in spite of many attempts to do so. Rather than celebrate Jesus as a hero, however, the locals pleaded with Jesus to leave. They preferred the status quo to faith in Christ, in spite of the great contribution he had made to their well-being. Faith often must give way to interest in guarding the status quo, which seems to be a least one point that Mark is trying to make in this account.Play Audio Play Video
22. A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman (5:21-43)Mark ties together two stories that both seem to raise hopeless causes, a women with a twelve-year disease, and a girl who has just died. The stories seem unrelated, except that both require faith that 'goes public.' In the case of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, faith must abandon concern for public status and bow the knee to Jesus. In the case of the woman, faith must come out of the shadows, and tell the 'whole truth.'Play Audio Play Video
23. Rejection in Nazareth (6:1-6)The 'decision stories' of Mark 5, culminate in the final episode, when Jesus returns to his hometown. In this dramatic moment, in which faith is pitted against familiarity, the hometown folks reject Jesus and his claims. It seems that even his family joins in the hostility, galvanizing the effect of Jesus' displacement of them with his own disciples (Mk.3:20ff).Play Audio
24. The Disciples' First Mission (6:7-13)When Jesus was rejected in his hometown, it appears it marked a shift in the focus of his ministry. Mark indicates that Jesus began to preach in other towns of Galilee. Before long, he will also take his ministry outside of Galilee, and even of Israel, as he brings the good news of the kingdom to the surrounding Gentile regions. In this short story, the disciples are sent out two by two, on their own, for their first attempt at ministry without Jesus right beside them. While the specific instructions that he gives are applicable to this short-term setting, the underlying principles apply across the ages to all who are engaged in mininstry on behalf of Christ.Play Audio Play Video
25. The Execution of John the Baptist (6:14-29)In another Markan 'sandwich,' Mark tucks the story of the execution of John the Baptist into his description of the disciples' first mission. He does this to establish again the principle that mission in the cause of Christ will inevitably draw resistance and sometimes persection and sometimes, even martyrdom. For Mark's audience, those facing imperial persecution under Nero, the story of the heroic prophet years earler, undoubtedly sparked renewed courage and stamina in the face of the intense and threatening reprisals of the insane ruler of the Roman world.Play Audio Play Video
26. Feeding the Five Thousand (Mark 6:30-44)The mission of the Twelve seems to have sparked a new interest among the masses, as crowds throng to Jesus, so demanding that he and his disciples cannot even find time to eat. More crowds meet the little band as the put ashore at Bethsaida, and Jesus, moved with compassion for them, teaches and feeds the crowd, bring order to chaos, and nourishment to need. Jesus compelling words to his disciples, 'you give them something to eat,' has reverberated through the ages of Christian history, as the Christian movement as time after time answer the call in practical service for the king.Play Audio Play Video
27. Jesus Calms the Storm, Again (Mark 6:45 - 52) In Mark's second story of Jesus calming a storm, he discloses the inner perspective of experience. In the first account ( (4:35-41), the storm seemed to be diabolical, an attack by evil power. In this account, we discover that even the storm is ultimately fully within the power of Christ. He walks on the water, in the storm, as if it were a dog on a leash. Here we learn that we are not only protected in the storm, but that the stormPlay Audio Play Video
28. Hand-washing and the Pharisees (Mark 6:53 - 7:8)As Jesus prepared to launch a mission into the world of the Gentiles, he was confronted by the Pharisees, who challenged the practice of his disciples with respect to hand-washing rituals. While no one questioned the general value of washing before eating, the Pharisees had brought the practice to an entirely new level of ceremonial and religious complexity, and sought to entangle Jesus in the inter-mural debate that continued to rage in their circles. Jesus, however, would not be drawn in, and offered an entirely new perspective on the character of true religious practice.Play Audio Play Video
29. The Source of Defilement (7:9 - 23)In his confrontation with the religious leaders over the question of hand-washing, Jesus overruled the 'tradition of the elders.' From there he proceeded to raise a more weighty and dramatic matter, the actual content of the law of Moses, especially from the book of Leviticus. Israel had for centuries observed kosher, the dietary regulations of the Hebrew Scriptures, but in a breath-taking sweep of authoritative pronouncement, Jesus declared all foods clean, abrogating the long established rule. His action extended far beyond foods, however, as by implication he also eliminated the distinction between 'clean' and 'unclean' people, opening the door for ministry to the Gentiles, and the excursion to the Gentile world which follows immediately.Play Audio Play Video
30. The Syro-Phoenician Woman (Mark 7:24 – 30)The first encounter recorded by Mark when Jesus launched his mission into Gentile territory was in the region of Phoenicia, when a women of Phoenician and Syrian background came begging Jesus to cast a demon out of her daughter. Jesus response appears somewhat shocking, when he appears to dismiss her with the disparaging comment, it isn't right to take the children of the break and throw it to the dogs (!). In spite of the unexpected response, a great lesson comes out of the story, a lesson that was not only of great benefit to the woman who sought Jesus' help, but for all who coming seeking mercy from him.Play Audio Play Video
31. Healing the deaf and dumb man (Mark 7:31-37)Jesus continues his ministry among the Gentiles when he returns to the Decapolis and heals a man suffering of impairment both of hearing and speech. Mark includes in his telling of the story clues that show his interest in the Gentiles and their status in his community of faith, showing that the saving grace of Christ will liberate humankind from the confusion and chaos of polytheistic paganismPlay Audio Play Video
32. Feeding the Four Thousand (Mark 8:1 - 13)Jesus' ministry among the Gentiles brings him on a return visit to the Decapolis, where earlier he had healed the Gadarene Demoniac. On that occasion, the people of the region had asked Jesus to leave, but now the crowds gather to him. As Jesus prepares to depart, he feeds the crowd of 4000, giving to those who clung to his presence the deepest satisfaction, meeting needs of both body and soul. Play Audio Play Video
33. The Blind Man of Bethsaida (8:22 – 26)This story, which is found only in Mark's Gospel, details the only account of a 'partial healing' found in the Gospels. Jesus asks a man what he sees, and he says he sees men 'like trees' walking. Some have viewed this as an anticipation of the Caesarea Philippi confession, in which Peter and the other apostles see the truth of Christ, but only partially, proven when Peter begins to rebuke Jesus as he explains the true meaning of Peter's Confession.Play Audio Play Video
34. The Caesarea Philippi Confession (Mark 8:27 – 33)The center and heart of Mark's Gospel comes in the event covered in this presentation, commonly called the Caesarea Philippi Confession of Peter. Here for the first time in Mark's narrative, human beings recognize the true identify of Jesus of Nazareth, and Peter puts the insight into a trenchant and profound declaration, 'You are the Christ.' Though his confession is correct, his understanding is faulty, and from this point on Jesus begins to explain to his followers the true meaning of the confession, beginning with the bitter and confusing announcement that the 'Son of Man must suffer.' Play Audio Play Video
35. The Cost of Discipleship (8:34 – 9:1)Following the Caesarea Philippi confession, Jesus begins to explain the true meaning of Peter's confession, focusing initially on the fact that the Messiah must suffer. Jesus adds the corollary that those who follow Christ must also be prepared to suffer, denying themselves, taking up the cross, and following. Play Audio Play Video
36. The Transfiguration (9:2-8)Although Jesus told his disciples clearly enough that his kingdom would required the 'via dolorosa,' he also assured them of the 'via gloria' when he took the inner three up on a mountain and displayed to them his glory. This glimpse of the true dignity of this one, indeed of his deity, would buttress their minds and hearts in the face of the dark days that were to follow as Jesus led them to Jerusalem and the cross.Play Audio Play Video
37. Healing the Boy with Seizures (9:14 – 29)Extending the lessons of the Transfiguration, Mark now tells the story of the boy suffering from demonic siezures. The story is really about the father's faith, however, as Jesus leads the man, who is desperate for the welfare of his son, to exclaim, "I believe...help my unbelief!" The story supplements the themes of suffering and glory, with the related ideas of faith and power. Faith must be exercised during times of suffering, in order to unleash the power of God that results in glory.Play Audio Play Video
38. Who is the Greatest? (Mark 9:30-37)Jesus announces for the second time that he is going to Jerusalem to suffer and die, and rise on the third day. With this announcement, Mark introuduces his next perspective on the kingdom over which Jesus rules, a perspective that emphasizes humility, service, and 'the least of these.' Jesus words are transforming, and the history of the Christian movement has continued to distinguish itself through the centures as the movement that seeks out those who seem to be 'least' for the special mercies of Jesus and his love.Play Audio Play Video
39. Warning Against Being Exclusive (9:38-41)On the journey to Jerusalem, the character of the kingdom to be established by Christ takes shape. It is a place of suffering leading to glory, and it is also a place of humble service mixed with appreciation of the many ways God may work in this world. In a dramatic and unexpected warning, Jesus says, 'he who is not against us is for us!' Thus Christians are prohibited from being overly zealous in criticizing others who are doing good in the name of Jesus, even when we may otherwise disagree with them on lesser matters. Play Audio Play Video
40. Warning about Offenses: Impediments to Faith (9:42 – 50)The rule of latitude to be applied to others, is balanced by a rule of rectitude in a Christian's examination of his or her own heart. Attitudes that are critical or destructive must be excised.Play Audio Play Video
41. Jesus on Marriage and Divorce (Mark 10:1-12)Mark's description of life in the kingdom has highlighted humble service, and no surprisingly, that life of service should begin with those closest to us. For those who are married, that means husband or wife. In this short text, Jesus lays the groundwork for the transformation of this most ancient and original institution of human society.Play Audio Play Video
42. Bring the Children to Me (10:13-16)Jesus' lessons in humble service expand from marriage to children, as Jesus reverses the dismissive attitudes of many by commanding that the children be brought to him. Jesus blessed the children, laying his hands on them in a tender and remarkable display of goodness toward those hardly able to respond or understand what what happening. Many have seen in this a gentle hint in the direction of infant baptism, by which Jesus continues to touch and bless those brought by faithful parents for a blessing, mark, and seal of God's favor.Play Audio Play Video
43. The Rich Young Ruler (10:17-31)Our portrait of the kingdom as a place of humble service reaches its culmination with the well-known account of the so-called rich young ruler. His desire to do something to get the kingdom gives rise to one of the most suprising commands of Jesus, who instructs the young man to liquidate his assets, put them in service of 'the least of these,' come and join Jesus band of disciples, and head for the unknown and perilous prospects awaiting all of them in Jerusalem. The young man is unable to embrace such radical call, and walks away 'sorrowful.' The story is intended to confront all would-be disciples with precisely the same mandate.Play Audio Play Video
44. The Ideal Disciple (Mark 10:32-52)As Jesus closes in on his destination, Jerusalem, Holy Week, the Passion, Mark wraps up his series of descriptions of the kingdom, highlighting the picture of an ideal citizen. His stories contrast the misguided quest of James and John for special seats in glory, with the simplicity of a blind beggar, Bartimaeus, who is given eyes to see. His gift of vision is not restricted just to nature, but is also opened to grace, to the truth of Christ, and with those eyes of faith, Bartemaeus joins the others in the trek to the great events awaiting all of them in the city. Play Audio Play Video
45. The Triumphal EntryJesus' journey from Caesarea Philippi to Jerusalem has reached its destination, and on Sunday, Jesus enters the holy city, the capital of the world, on a donkey, a beast of peace. The next few days, called 'holy week' by Christians throughout history, is filled with drama and apparent defeat, but in the end the greatest event of human history erupts on the scene with the vindication of the life of history's most remarkable and noteworthy character.Play Audio Play Video
46. Jesus Cleanses the Temple (11:12-25)On Monday of Holy Week, Jesus returned to Jerusalem, and went straight to the temple. Finding in the outer court all the vendors and money changers, he disrupted their enterprises with violent objections to the abuse of the holy precincts. His actions represented a trial of sorts, as he gathered evidence that would be used to frame the verdict he would announce the following day.Play Audio Play Video
47. The Parable of the Vineyard (11:27-12:12)On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus returned to the Temple to deliver his sentence and judicial opinion regarding the central place of worship for the Jewish religion. His verdict is expressed without ambiguity in the well-known 'Parable of the Vineyard.' Play Audio Play Video
48. Render unto Caesar (Mark 12:13-27)Jesus has delivered his verdict of 'guilty' against the entrenched and corrupt bureaucracy responsible for the operation of the temple. His sentence requires that the 'vineyard' be taken from them and given to others. He now proceeds to announce his 'judicial opinion,' contrasting the kingdom that he will establish with the one that is now doomed. Play Audio Play Video
49. The Greatest Commandment (12:28-40)A scribe, probably sent by the leaders in a further attempt to discredit Jesus in front of the on-lookers, found himself taken in by the incisiveness of Jesus' responses. In what seems a quite sincere inquiry, he asks Jesus what is the greatest commandment. It had been a matter of debate among the religious scholars, but none had ever given an answer that was as simple as it was profound as Jesus did that day.Play Audio Play Video
50. The Olivet Discourse (Mark 12:31-13:8)When Jesus finished giving his guilty verdict, his judicial opinion he led his disciples to the Mount of Olives where he explained to some in private how the judgments he had pronounced would be accomplished. He promised that the great events he described would all take place within that generation, which indeed they did. Play Audio Play Video
51. The Olivet Discourse (part 2: Mark 13:9-23)Having warned of disruptions in the world of politics and natural disasters, Jesus turns to the disruptions that will hit his followers during the same years, warning of persecutions and hostility from both society and family. He then focuses on the events that would immediately preceed the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, referring to the well-known expression taken from Daniel's prophecy, the 'abomination of desolation.' Play Audio Play Video
52. The Coming of the Son of Man (Mark 14:24-31)When Jesus declared, "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place," he was including his statement, "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in power." Many have pondered the meaning of this statement, and indeed many have concluded that Jesus was wrong, leading to skepticism and cynicism regarding biblical reliability. In this presentation, that problem is directly tackled, not only providing a resolution of the apparently difficulty, but also giving great confidence in the trustworthiness of Jesus and his word.Play Audio Play Video
53. The Anointing at Bethany (13:32 - 14:11)Mark continues his account of Holy Week with the touching story of an unnamed woman who anoints Jesus with a lavish gift anticipating his coming death and burial. Though the onlookers criticized her for the 'waste,' Jesus commended her as giving a gift of devotion that would be heralded throughout the world, as indeed it has been.Play Audio Play Video
54. The Final Passover (Mark 14:12-26)On Thursday evening of Holy Week, Jesus gathered with his disciples and their families to celebrate the Passover, a celebration that dated back centuries to the moment that the nation of Israel was born out of bondage in Egypt. In this Passover, however, the true and final 'paschal lamb' would be slain, and his body and blood offered to those who would receive the gift of life and citizenship in his kingdom. The sacred meal set in sharp contrast the faithlessness of Jesus' followers with the faithfulness of their Lord.Play Audio Play Video
55. The Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:27-42)With the conclusion of the Last Supper, Jesus takes his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane, where in a most profound and mysterious time of agony, Jesus wrestles with the prospect of his coming ordeal. The disciples who had bravely proclaimed their allegiance were unable to stay awake, as Jesus agonized alone, an emblem of the fact that his work of atonement could be accomplished by him alone, with no help of any kind from other human quarters.Play Audio Play Video
56. Jesus Arrested (Mark 14:43-52)The agony of the Garden is followed rapidly by the invasion of forces from the High Priest, who take Jesus into custody, and drag him off to a late night trial intended to find a basis for an execution by the next morning.Play Audio Play Video
57. Caiaphas Affirms; Peter Denies (Mark 14:60-72)In a story dripping with irony, Joseph Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest, declares the true identity of Jesus, while Peter, at the same moment, denies it. Play Audio Play Video
58. Pilate meets Jesus (Mark 15:1-15)The arraignment of Jesus, in the home of Caiaphas, result in a guity plea, in the minds of the prosecutors. Jesus had committed the crime of blasphemy, claiming to be the son of God, and warranting the death penalty under Jewish law. With that, they feel justified in bringing Jesus to the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, who finds himself confronted with this most enigmatic character. Play Audio Play Video
59. The Crucifixion (Mark 15:16-32)Pilate, relenting to the pressure of the religious leaders and the crowds, surrenders Jesus to the Praetorians for a morning crucifixion. Mark highlights throughout the telling of the story the these who are the enemies of Jesus are nevertheless those who enthrone him, unwittingly acknowledging that this one is indeed, the one before whom every knee will bow.Play Audio Play Video
60. The Death of Jesus (Mark 15:33-39)For three hours the cross of Jesus and the surrounding region were flooded in darkness, an emblem of the place of the curse and the wrath of God poured out against sin in Christ. At the end of the ordeal, Jesus gave a victory cry that so astonished his executioner that he was moved to admit and confess, "This man was the son of God."Play Audio
61. The Burial of Jesus (Mark 15:40-47)The burial of Jesus finalized the execution narrative, confirming by multiple witnesses that Jesus actually died, and was buried in a grave that all assumed would be his final resting place. There is deep pathos and confusion in the minds of this devoted followers, but in spite of that, his faithful believers played their role in bringing the sad day to its inevitable conclusion. Play Audio Play Video
62. The Resurrection (Mark 16:1-8)Mark gives a brief but powerful description of the resurrection of Jesus. In doing so, he leaves the reader with the most important choice the reader will ever make...Fear of Christ, or Faith in Christ. The woman who fled in fear would, of course, eventually embrace faith in the risen Lord. Mark hopes that all who read his words will come to the same conviction.Play Audio Play Video
63. Resurrection NarrativesIt has often been noted that the various descriptions of the resurrection found in the Gospels seem difficult to reconcile. Some take the view that the variations prove that the accounts are actually fabrications reflecting the creative imaginations of the various authors, and that any attempt to harmonize them is bound to fail. Others believe the accounts can and should be read together, and by doing so a coherent narrative can be recognized. In this presentation the latter approach taken. Play Audio Play Video
64. The Appendix to Mark's GospelSome years after Mark completed his Gospel, another author added an additional ending, presumably to give a more satisfying conclusion to the resurrection story. Though many discount his text as of little value, it actually provides interesting insight into the times in which the unknown author was writing, and for that reason, the text is worthy of careful attention.Play Audio Play Video