The Rest of the Story –

Story 24. No Ordinary Man

Mark 1:21-34
Mark 2:1-12
Mark 4:35-41; 6:1-6
Mark 11:15-19, 27-33
Mark 15:1-12, 8:27-29a

More of The Rest of the Story

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Mark 1:21-34 (3/4/13)

One of the mysteries of the Christian faith is that Jesus was both fully divine and fully human. Even though he was fully human, however, people noticed that he wasn’t ordinary. Mark records three extraordinary characteristics in this episode from early in Jesus’ ministry. First, Jesus was extremely knowledgeable about the scriptures, and he spoke out of his own knowledge and interpretation, rather than relying on the interpretations of previous rabbis, as was the usual practice. Second, he had authority over unclean spirits and could force them to leave their victims.

Finally, Jesus wouldn’t allow the spirits to identify him, even though they recognized who he was. One characteristic of the Gospel of Mark is its emphasis on the “Messianic secret.” Keep your eye out this week for all the times that Jesus tells demons, his followers, and the people he heals not to spread the word.

Mark 2:1-12 (3/5/13)

Are you surprised? Taken aback? Amazed? Astonished? Are you marveling? Is your mind boggled? A week ago Pastor Craig said that he and I ought to do a little word study on “astonished” in Luke 2:28. He has raised a batch of boys, and so have I, and we doubt that our main emotion would be astonishment when we finally located a kid who had been absent for three days without permission.

Like English, Greek has several different words that appear to express varying degrees of surprise, and I’ve always wanted to do a word study on them. But for today, I’ll just draw your attention to how often the people around Jesus were amazed, astonished, or marveling.

Mark 4:35-41; 6:1-6 (3/6/13)

Jesus’ disciples couldn’t figure out who he was that the wind and sea obeyed him, and it filled them with fear. Jesus’ neighbors couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t who they thought he ought to be, and it annoyed them.

I think the problem that we’re reading about this week is that all of us see Jesus through the filter of our own preconceptions. We’ve heard so many sermons and read so many Christmas cards and looked at so many pictures that it’s very difficult to read the scripture about Jesus and see what it says and what it doesn’t say. Read the Bible for yourself. Read slowly. Think about each sentence. Ask yourself, what does this really tell me – or not tell me – about Jesus?

Mark 11:15-19, 27-33 (3/7/13)

“Just who does he think he is?!” is our indignant comment when someone does something – or worse yet, requires us to do something – that is more strict, more lax, new, different, or inconvenient for us. Jesus routinely did or asked people to do things that were more strict, more lax, new, different, or inconvenient. In the temple in Jerusalem, he wouldn’t let the money-changers or dove-sellers pursue their business – more strict. He taught, even though he hadn’t been to rabbinical school – more lax. He attracted crowds of people – new and different. The temple authorities asked him, “Just who do you think you are?!”

Mark 15:1-12, 8:27-29a (3/8/13)

Even at the very end of Jesus’ life, people who encountered him were asking who he was and why he didn’t react in ordinary ways. The important question, however, is the one Jesus asks his disciples: Who do you say I am?

More of The Rest of the Story
Week 1. Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 1. More on the Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Abraham … But Not Lot
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Isaac…But not Ishmael or the sons of Keturah
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Jacob…But not Esau
Week 3. Joseph Preserves Two Nations
Week 4. Deliverance
Week 4. More on Deliverance
Week 5. New Commands and a New Covenant
Week 6. Wandering
Week 6. More on the Wandering
Week 7. The Battle Begins
Week 8. A Few Good Men...and Women
Week 9. The Faith of a Foreign Woman
Week 10. Standing Tall, Falling Hard
Week 11. From Shepherd to King
Week 12. The Trials of a King
Week 13. The King Who Had It All
Week 14. A Kingdom Torn in Two
Weeks 15 and 16. God's Messengers and The Beginning of the End
Week 17. The Kingdoms' Fall
Jeremiah, Prophet of the Exile
Story 19. The Return Home
Apocalyptic writings in the Old Testament
Story 21. Rebuilding the Walls
Story 22. The Birth of the King
Story 23. Jesus’ Ministry Begins
Story 24. No Ordinary Man
Story 25. Jesus, the Son of God
Story 26. The Hour of Darkness
Story 27. The Resurrection
Story 28. New Beginnings
James, Brother of the Lord
John and Jude
Story 31. The End of Time

Copyright 2013 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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