I recommend Tim McGrew, a Christian apologist and philosopher. Many YouTube videos about the gospels and Acts of topics such as: who wrote them, internal and external evidence of their reliability, alleged contradictions and historic errors.

The gospel of Mark was written by Mark and reflects Peter's teachings.

 The word "immediately"

(Mark 1:1) The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

(Mark 1:2) As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

From Malachi.

(Mark 1:3) The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

(Mark 1:4) John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

(Mark 1:5) And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea [Judea], and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

The ministry of John the baptist illustrates the role of prophets. They highlight an important truth, often by institutionalizing it — with baptism, in this case. They prepare people to encounter Jesus and God. John the baptist was so directly involved with Jesus that he was the greatest prophet.

This is about 25 miles east of Jerusalem, quite a long walk.

(Mark 1:6) And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

(Mark 1:7) And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet [strap] of whose shoes [sandals] I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

Servants untied the straps of the sandals of their masters. John the baptist is saying he is not worthy to be the servant of Jesus the Messiah who is so great.

(Mark 1:8) I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost [Spirit].

(Mark 1:9) And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

The was probably autumn of 29 A.D. when Jesus was about 30 years old (between 26 and 34 years old), in fact, he was 33 years old.

(Mark 1:10) And straightway [immediately] coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:11) And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

(Mark 1:12) And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:13) And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

(Mark 1:14) Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

(Mark 1:15) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Speaking of the 70–7's of Daniel 9.

(Mark 1:16) Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

(Mark 1:17) And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

(Mark 1:18) And straightway [immediately] they forsook their nets, and followed him.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:19) And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.

(Mark 1:20) And straightway [immediately] he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:21) And they went into Capernaum; and straightway [immediately] on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:22) And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

(Mark 1:23) And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

(Mark 1:24) Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

(Mark 1:25) And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

(Mark 1:26) And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

(Mark 1:27) And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

(Mark 1:28) And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:29) And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:30) But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:31) And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

(Mark 1:32) And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils [demons].

(Mark 1:33) And all the city was gathered together at the door.

(Mark 1:34) And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils [demons]; and suffered not the devils [demons] to speak, because they knew him.

(Mark 1:35) And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

(Mark 1:36) And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.

(Mark 1:37) And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.

(Mark 1:38) And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

(Mark 1:39) And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils [demons].

(Mark 1:40) And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

(Mark 1:41) And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

(Mark 1:42) And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:43) And he straitly [strictly] charged him, and forthwith [immediately] sent him away;

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 1:44) And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Jesus honored the Mosaic laws. The laws he objected to were those added after that for no good reason, especially the laws which exploited people. By going to the priest, the former leper would demonstrate certifiably that he was miraculously cured.

(Mark 1:45) But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

Jesus has to balance political and social concerns with spiritual. Likely he would prefer for everyone to shout the gospel from the rooftops, but doing so puts an end to his ability to continue ministering.

On many occasions Jesus performs a miracle and commands the person to keep quiet about it, but they disobey him.

In Capernaum

(Mark 2:1) And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised [heard] that he was in the house.

It appears Jesus used a house in Capernaum as a base. News of Jesus' location travels all around the town and the area.

(Mark 2:2) And straightway [immediately] many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

The crowd is pressing around the door implying there was a courtyard outside the door. This house was not the house of a poor fisherman.

Healing the Paralytic

(Mark 2:3) And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy [paralytic], which was borne [carried] of four.

This paralytic has 4 people willing to carry him to Jesus for healing. Perhaps he was a family member.

(Mark 2:4) And when they could not come nigh [near] unto him for the press [crowd], they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy [paralytic] lay.

They somehow obtained several long ropes and digging tools and were able to get on the roof. Construction of roof: 2 options...

  1. Wood & plaster: Long tree trunks used as load-bearing beams covered by wood and plaster. Strong enough to stand on. They had to chip away the plaster layer then peel up a few of the wood planks. Perhaps it was flat and used as a living space having outside stairs up to it.
  2. Thatch: Long tree trunks used as load-bearing beams covered with smaller wood beams between, these covered with thatch. Thatch is clumps of straw or other plants woven into units and waterproofed. It would be easier to dig through thatch; merely dig through the thatch to expose the openings between the smaller pieces of wood between the beams. Probably not lived on because it would not be strong enough and it would be at a steep angle to allow water to run off.

(Mark 2:5) When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy [paralytic], Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

Notice how Jesus detects their faith: by their works. If someone doesn't have works they don't have faith. Why would Jesus forgive someone's sins based on other people's faith?

People of the day thought misfortune was caused by your sins. It was a way of creating class division; you wouldn't want to be associated with a sinner would you? it might be contagious and rub off on you. Jesus doesn't correct their wrong view, which is common for him (other examples: slavery, eating his flesh, resurrection of the soul at death vs. resurrection of the body). Rather than telling people the man's condition was not caused by his personal sin then healing him, he first forgives him of his sin. Likely this was because the man would certainly have saving faith in Jesus after being healed. It seems Jesus was provoking the Jewish leaders in the way he handled this.

(Mark 2:6) But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

I find it odd that Jewish religious leaders followed Jesus to witness his every word and action. Didn't they have anything better to do? Perhaps they knew Jesus from when he was a boy. Perhaps these were from the local synagogue a short stroll away? Perhaps these were lesser-ranking leaders trying to make a name for themselves as Paul later was doing?

(Mark 2:7) Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

This is the key; only God can redeem us.

(Mark 2:8) And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 2:9) Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy [paralytic], Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

(Mark 2:10) But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy [paralytic],)

(Mark 2:11) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

(Mark 2:12) And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 2:13) And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

(Mark 2:14) And as he passed by, he saw Levi [Matthew] the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom [tax booth], and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

Did Matthew have to close up shop first? Or were there others with him who carried on with the work? Or did this event just happen to occur as Matthew was finishing up for the day anyway?

It seems rather abrupt Matthew was so quickly converted. Probably he had already listened to John the Baptist, perhaps even being baptised. He probably heard Jesus preach previously and perhaps Jesus recognized him.

(Mark 2:15) And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat [meal] in his house, many publicans [tax collectors] and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

Perhaps these sinners referred to are merely common people referred to and considered sinners by the snooty and bigoted religious leaders.

Apparently when Matthew followed Jesus he actually invited him to his home for a meal and probably for lodging. I seems all the crowds following Jesus also attended the meal. Did they spend the night also?

(Mark 2:16) And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans [tax collectors] and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans [tax collectors] and sinners?

These religious leaders seem to think society has classes and that the upper classes should segregate from the lower classes.

(Mark 2:17) When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Taking this verse at face value seems to imply the righteous don't need salvation, that they are already saved. Or perhaps Jesus is merely mocking those who think they are righteous because of their strict religious practices.

(Mark 2:18) And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast [were fasting]: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

John the Baptist is in prison but has not yet been executed.

They probably fasted on several days of the week and perhaps this was one of those days.

(Mark 2:19) And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

(Mark 2:20) But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

Does this mean Christians should be practicing regular fasting? Or merely that the disciples would fast for a period of time after Jesus was executed or after his ascension into heaven?

Parable:unshrunk cloth on old garment

(Mark 2:21) No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

Parable:new wine old wineskins

(Mark 2:22) And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

(Mark 2:23) And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

(Mark 2:24) And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

(Mark 2:25) And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

(Mark 2:26) How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

(Mark 2:27) And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

(Mark 2:28) Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

(Mark 3:1) And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

This synagogue is probably in Capernaum. They keep letting Jesus speak implying they knew him.

(Mark 3:2) And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

(Mark 3:3) And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

(Mark 3:4) And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

(Mark 3:5) And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

(Mark 3:6) And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway [immediately] took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 3:7) But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea [Judea],

(Mark 3:8) And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

(Mark 3:9) And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.

Some of his disciples apparently had access to this small boat and could retrieve it anytime it was needed. It was probably their fishing boat.

(Mark 3:10) For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.

(Mark 3:11) And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

(Mark 3:12) And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.

(Mark 3:13) And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.

(Mark 3:14) And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

(Mark 3:15) And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils [demons]:

(Mark 3:16) And Simon he surnamed Peter;

(Mark 3:17) And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:

(Mark 3:18) And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,

(Mark 3:19) And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

These are a lot of people to fit into one house unless it were a large house, perhaps having multiple rooms with a courtyard.

(Mark 3:20) And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.

(Mark 3:21) And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

(Mark 3:22) And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils [demons] casteth he out devils [demons].

This is quite a long trip for these religious leaders to make. Perhaps they were not the chiefs, not the high-ranking scribes.

(Mark 3:23) And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

(Mark 3:24) And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

(Mark 3:25) And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

(Mark 3:26) And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

(Mark 3:27) No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

(Mark 3:28) Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

(Mark 3:29) But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost [Spirit] hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

(Mark 3:30) Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

(Mark 3:31) There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.

(Mark 3:32) And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

(Mark 3:33) And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?

(Mark 3:34) And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

(Mark 3:35) For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

(Mark 4:1) And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

(Mark 4:2) And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

Parable:sower and four kinds of soil

Jesus interprets this below.

(Mark 4:3) Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

(Mark 4:4) And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

(Mark 4:5) And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 4:6) But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

(Mark 4:7) And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

(Mark 4:8) And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

(Mark 4:9) And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

(Mark 4:10) And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

(Mark 4:11) And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

(Mark 4:12) That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

(Mark 4:13) And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

Parable:sower and four kinds of soil

Jesus gave the parable above.

(Mark 4:14) The sower soweth the word.

(Mark 4:15) And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 4:16) And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 4:17) And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 4:18) And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

(Mark 4:19) And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

(Mark 4:20) And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Parable:lamp on stand

(Mark 4:21) And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

(Mark 4:22) For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

(Mark 4:23) If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

(Mark 4:24) And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

(Mark 4:25) For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

Parable:growing seed

(Mark 4:26) And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

(Mark 4:27) And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

(Mark 4:28) For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

(Mark 4:29) But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

Parable:mustard seed

(Mark 4:30) And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

(Mark 4:31) It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

(Mark 4:32) But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

(Mark 4:33) And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

(Mark 4:34) But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

(Mark 4:35) And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

(Mark 4:36) And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

(Mark 4:37) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

(Mark 4:38) And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

(Mark 4:39) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

(Mark 4:40) And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

(Mark 4:41) And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

(Mark 5:1) And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

(Mark 5:2) And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 5:3) Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

(Mark 5:4) Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

(Mark 5:5) And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

(Mark 5:6) But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

A war rages in this man over who controls him. His soul has enough control that, when recognizing Jesus as Messiah, as God, that he runs over to worship him. It seems this man had a deep perception of spiritual matters; perhaps this is why the demons were able to invade him. I am reminded of that great man of God, Martin Luther, who perceived the horrible abuses in the church and devoted his life to correcting them on behalf of the poor hapless Christians.

(Mark 5:7) And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

There were many thousands of these spirits but only one answers? Or perhaps this voice is a collective voice of them all articulating their collective consensus through the single set of vocal chords of the possessed man?

(Mark 5:8) For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

(Mark 5:9) And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

A Legion of the Roman army had 3,000 to 6,000 infantry and 100 to 200 cavalry. Apparently, any number of spirit beings can inhabit a person.

(Mark 5:10) And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

(Mark 5:11) Now there was there nigh [near] unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

(Mark 5:12) And all the devils [demons] besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

(Mark 5:13) And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

Apparently, between 1 and 3 spirits inhabited each pig. They found this quite distressing and probably in a panic ran violently about haphazardly pushing those in front into the lake.

(Mark 5:14) And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

(Mark 5:15) And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

(Mark 5:16) And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

(Mark 5:17) And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

(Mark 5:18) And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

(Mark 5:19) Howbeit Jesus suffered [allowed] him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

An important aspect of our relationship with Jesus is for us to acknowledge what great things he has done for us; how he has healed us, forgiven us, redeemed us; how he has saved each one of us from our worst.

(Mark 5:20) And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

(Mark 5:21) And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh [near] unto the sea.

(Mark 5:22) And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,

(Mark 5:23) And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

(Mark 5:24) And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

(Mark 5:25) And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

This woman was ritually impure due to her bleeding yet dared to touch a rabbi; no wonder she attempted the act secretly. In touching someone they would become ritually unclean also, yet she had no regard for that. Perhaps in her desperation she thought it OK to ignore Jewish custom and law, or perhaps she believed Jesus to be above all that, immune to it.

Touching the hem of garment was a common practice for miraculous healing; it is unknown whether the woman was the first and everyone copied her or vice versa or whether it was a long-standing Jewish tradition.

(Mark 5:26) And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

(Mark 5:27) When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

(Mark 5:28) For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

(Mark 5:29) And straightway [immediately] the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 5:30) And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 5:31) And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

(Mark 5:32) And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

(Mark 5:33) But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

(Mark 5:34) And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

In what manner did the woman's faith heal her? The progression of events...

  1. She was sick but wanted healing
  2. She heard of Jesus the miracle-healer
  3. She heard about touching his garment to get healed
  4. She found him and touched his garment

Notice that she did not use the power of her faith to draw healing into her body. Power flowed out from Jesus to heal her but only because he was committed to giving this gift to those believing he would do it and asking for it.

Abraham's faith was similar: God told him something and he believed it.

Saving faith takes this one step further: we believe Jesus will save us and he does. But we do not use the power of faith to draw out this grace of redemption, rather, God grants it to those who truly love him and who strive to live holy lives.

(Mark 5:35) While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

(Mark 5:36) As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

(Mark 5:37) And he suffered [allowed] no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

There were at least two statuses of the disciples. I wonder how that made the others feel, those left behind? I wonder whether Jesus told them all to stop then invited the three along, or whether he told the others to stay behind?

(Mark 5:38) And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.

Being a leader of the local Jewish community, the fate of Jairus' young daughter was of much concern. They were already grieving since she had died.

(Mark 5:39) And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado [commotion], and weep? the damsel [young girl] is not dead, but sleepeth.

(Mark 5:40) And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

(Mark 5:41) And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.

(Mark 5:42) And straightway [immediately] the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

Some connect the twelve years with the length of time the woman was ill, as if there is some hidden symbolic meaning. The problem is, determining this meaning is absolutely arbitrary. In other words, if there is meaning at all, it is meaningless meaning, undecipherable.

(Mark 5:43) And he charged them straitly [strictly] that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.

Usually when Jesus told people to keep quiet about his miracle they ignored it. I wonder why he even bothered at all to tell them this. Maybe it was a little joke he was playing to amuse himself, like giving a dog a bone then commanding it to not chew it. Maybe it was his way of highlighting human nature which simply can't be repressed.

(Mark 6:1) And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.

(Mark 6:2) And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

(Mark 6:3) Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

(Mark 6:4) But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

(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.

(Mark 6:6) And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

(Mark 6:7) And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

Just as Jesus sent out the 12, he also sent out 70 others. They were given miraculous powers to drive out wicked spirits and heal people.

(Mark 6:8) And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

(Mark 6:9) But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.

(Mark 6:10) And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

(Mark 6:11) And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

(Mark 6:12) And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

(Mark 6:13) And they cast out many devils [demons], and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

The disciples of Jesus anointed sick people with oil as part of miracle healing. This practice was continued into the early Church. It should continue to be done today.

Herod and John the Baptist

This section interrupts the narrative which continues immediately afterwards.

(Mark 6:14) And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

Herod thinks Jesus is John the Baptist who rose from the dead. Weird considering Jesus and John the Baptist were born 3 months apart. Herod's guilt for killing John the Baptist is so strong he can't think straight. Perhaps he thinks the spirit of John the Baptist attached itself to Jesus after Herod had him killed. But notice that Herod strongly believes in the supernatural. He believes the miracles of Jesus occurred and ascribes a supernatural cause to them. But it's odd he had to ascribe them to John the Baptist; why not directly to Jesus himself as the source of the miracles? Perhaps Herod had heard the teachings of Jesus which he rejected so he rejected his innate power to do miracles also.

(Mark 6:15) Others said, That it [he] is Elias [Elijah]. And others said, That it [he] is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

An interruption of the interruption. Some said Jesus was a prophet like the Old Testament prophets. Some said Jesus was Elijah; they they think Jesus was reincarnated from Elijah?

Notice the prophecy of Malachi was on everybody's mind. They must have been anticipating the day of the Lord to come soon. I wonder why? Perhaps the preaching of John the Baptist got them all fired up about such things?

(Mark 6:16) But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

Back to the interruption of Herod. This verse repeats what was already said to establish the flow of the narrative.

(Mark 6:17) For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.

John the Baptist was imprisoned on the east side of the Dead Sea about 60 miles from Jerusalem.

(Mark 6:18) For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.

(Mark 6:19) Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:

(Mark 6:20) For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

(Mark 6:21) And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;

(Mark 6:22) And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.

(Mark 6:23) And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.

(Mark 6:24) And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

(Mark 6:25) And she came in straightway [immediately] with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger [platter] the head of John the Baptist.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 6:26) And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.

(Mark 6:27) And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,

John the Baptist was imprisoned on the east side of the Dead Sea about 60 miles from Jerusalem. It would take 2 days to make this round trip journey if the rider changed horses several times. Presumably the feast was a days' long event.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 6:28) And brought his head in a charger [platter], and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.

(Mark 6:29) And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.

They buried his headless corpse, retrieved from the executioner in prison.

(Mark 6:30) And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.

The narrative continues from above.

(Mark 6:31) And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

The reason there were many coming and going is because the Passover was near.

(Mark 6:32) And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

(Mark 6:33) And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.

(Mark 6:34) And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

(Mark 6:35) And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:

(Mark 6:36) Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.

(Mark 6:37) He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth [denarii] of bread, and give them to eat?

A denarii was a day's wages. They had enough money with them to employ one person for over six months. One meal cost 25 denarii, one-eighth of a day's wages.

(Mark 6:38) He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.

(Mark 6:39) And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.

(Mark 6:40) And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

(Mark 6:41) And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

These fish were dried and salted so they wouldn't spoil. Jesus miraculously created prepared food just as he did with the wine at the wedding of Cana.

Young-earth creationists might be tempted to use this as evidence God created the universe fully-formed with the appearance of age only a few tens of thousands of years ago but there is a difference. With the bread and wine and fish, Jesus replicated something which already existed, but the universe is one of a kind. I'm not saying this verse disproves the young-earth view, only that it is not very good support for that view.

Liberal or progressive Christians who deny biblical miracles must interpret passages such as this figuratively. Certainly the apostles and early church fathers did not think the miracles were merely fables or myths with a message. And what would the message be? You could imagine and invent messages for these miracle stories endlessly since the text doesn't provide this imagined message for us. But Jesus does provide the meaning of this literal miracle and those like it — the miracles give witness that Jesus is deity and that he loves us.

(Mark 6:42) And they did all eat, and were filled.

(Mark 6:43) And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

In the movies of this scene these baskets are usually portrayed as being large serving trays but it is hard to imagine why the disciples would be carrying these baskets with them if they only had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Perhaps these baskets belonged to some of those who had followed Jesus out into the wilderness. They carried their food in them but ran out. Once they were fed miraculously they gladly gave the disciples their now full baskets. Notice that out of thousands of people there were only 12 baskets.

(Mark 6:44) And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

Some say they only counted the men; that there were in addition women and children present. But there are plenty of examples of the same word referring not specifically to males. Plus, it would be easier to count everybody than to single out only the males. Children are easy to exclude when counting because they are shorter.

(Mark 6:45) And straightway [immediately] he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 6:46) And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

(Mark 6:47) And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

(Mark 6:48) And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

(Mark 6:49) But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

(Mark 6:50) For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 6:51) And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

(Mark 6:52) For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

(Mark 6:53) And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.

(Mark 6:54) And when they were come out of the ship, straightway [immediately] they knew him,

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 6:55) And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.

(Mark 6:56) And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

Perhaps the people did this because it worked for the woman  or maybe it was the other way around. In any case, this became a common practice.

(Mark 7:1) Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

(Mark 7:2) And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

(Mark 7:3) For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

(Mark 7:4) And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

(Mark 7:5) Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

(Mark 7:6) He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias [Isaiah] prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

(Mark 7:7) Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

(Mark 7:8) For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

(Mark 7:9) And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

(Mark 7:10) For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

(Mark 7:11) But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.

(Mark 7:12) And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

(Mark 7:13) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

(Mark 7:14) And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:

(Mark 7:15) There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

(Mark 7:16) If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

(Mark 7:17) And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.

(Mark 7:18) And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

(Mark 7:19) Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

(Mark 7:20) And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

(Mark 7:21) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

(Mark 7:22) Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

(Mark 7:23) All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

(Mark 7:24) And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

(Mark 7:25) For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 7:26) The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

(Mark 7:27) But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet [proper] to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

(Mark 7:28) And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.

A remarkable verse. It implies dogs were household pets.

(Mark 7:29) And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

(Mark 7:30) And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

(Mark 7:31) And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.

(Mark 7:32) And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.

(Mark 7:33) And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

(Mark 7:34) And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

(Mark 7:35) And straightway [immediately] his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

(Mark 7:36) And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;

(Mark 7:37) And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

(Mark 8:1) In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

(Mark 8:2) I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

(Mark 8:3) And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

(Mark 8:4) And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

(Mark 8:5) And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

(Mark 8:6) And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.

(Mark 8:7) And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

No one ever thinks of this (but I do), of whether these created fish were ever living fish? Of course they weren't. There is no soul of fish somewhere corresponding to these. Therefore it is possible to have two unliving bodies, one which had been occupied by a soul and one which never was. This illustrates my view that the physical realm is inert and unliving; life resides only in the spiritual realm.

(Mark 8:8) So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

(Mark 8:9) And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

(Mark 8:10) And straightway [immediately] he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 8:11) And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.

(Mark 8:12) And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

(Mark 8:13) And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

(Mark 8:14) Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.

(Mark 8:15) And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

If leaven refers to false teaching we should wonder what the leaven of Herod refers to.

(Mark 8:16) And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.

(Mark 8:17) And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

(Mark 8:18) Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

(Mark 8:19) When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.

(Mark 8:20) And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.

(Mark 8:21) And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

(Mark 8:22) And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

(Mark 8:23) And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

(Mark 8:24) And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

(Mark 8:25) After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

(Mark 8:26) And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

(Mark 8:27) And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?

(Mark 8:28) And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias [Elijah]; and others, One of the prophets.

(Mark 8:29) And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

(Mark 8:30) And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

(Mark 8:31) And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Jesus rose probably 12–1/2 hours after the third day began. It began at 6 P.M. and he probably rose the following dawn at 6:30 A.M.

(Mark 8:32) And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

(Mark 8:33) But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

(Mark 8:34) And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

(Mark 8:35) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

(Mark 8:36) For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

(Mark 8:37) Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

(Mark 8:38) Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

(Mark 9:1) And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

The Transfiguration 

(Mark 9:2) And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

Luke says 8 days, Matthew and Mark say 6 days. What gives? Perhaps Luke is counting from about the start of a several day long teaching episode? only he mentions it. Or some other counting anomaly, including or excluding the first and last days. What's the distance between 4 and 3? Why, it's 1 of course, except in music where it's 2.

(Mark 9:3) And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

(Mark 9:4) And there appeared unto them Elias [Elijah] with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

Malachi says Elijah will come before the day of the Lord. Technically this occurred at the transfiguration. Malachi also says Elijah will turn the heart of the fathers to the children; it's unclear how exactly he did this by appearing at the transfiguration. Perhaps it's due to his influence from the spiritual realm upon John the Baptist? Catholic teaching allows for Saints in the spiritual realm to intercede in this world.

(Mark 9:5) And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles [tents]; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias [Elijah].

It takes time to construct these tents of branches, the kind constructed on the feast of tabernacles. Peter likely assumed this event would endure for many hours, or at least hoped to prolong it, but it was to be brief.

Peter was always willing to spring into action to help out. Some deride him for this but there must first be action in order for it to be corrected and improved. Those who forever wait to act until they're certain of the right course may have a long lonely wait.

(Mark 9:6) For he wist [knew] not what to say; for they were sore [painfully = very] afraid.

They were all afraid. While in this present world we are vulnerable to spiritual realities and these cause fear. In the new heavens and new earth these kinds of experiences will be commonplace — but without fear.

Peter didn't know what to say but he said something anyway. Those who mock him for this do this themselves frequently. I don't get the motivation for "Peter bashing".

(Mark 9:7) And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

(Mark 9:8) And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

(Mark 9:9) And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.

(Mark 9:10) And they kept that saying [matter] with [to] themselves, questioning [discussing] one with another what the rising from the dead should mean [meant].

Jesus soon clarifies by informing them he would be killed, then rise from the dead.


(Mark 9:11) And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias [Elijah] must first come?

They mention Elijah because they had just seen him at the transfiguration. Notice the prophecy of Malachi was on everybody's mind. They must have been anticipating the day of the Lord to come soon. I wonder why? Perhaps the preaching of John the Baptist and of Jesus got them all fired up about such things?

The reason the scribes say this is because that's what Malachi says, that Elijah will come before the day of the Lord. I wonder if they thought the day of the Lord would occur soon and that's why they taught about Elijah to the people at large? Perhaps that's why they tolerated the Jewish revolutionaries who ultimately took up residence in the temple as they battled against the Romans leading ultimately to the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

(Mark 9:12) And he answered and told them, Elias [Elijah] verily cometh first, and restoreth [restores] all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought [rejected].

From Malachi. He restores all things by turning the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers.

Jesus adds info about his rising from the dead. He would first be killed, then rise from the dead.

Some say Elijah was a type of John the Baptist and that's all there is to it. This implies Jesus knew of typology which I doubt. Often typology is used to resolve logical contradictions.

(Mark 9:13) But I say unto you, That Elias [Elijah] is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed [wished], as it is written of him.

Jezebel tried to kill Elijah. Herod did kill John the Baptist. Jesus treats the spirit of Elijah operating from the spiritual realm as the same thing as John the Baptist. This implies that the spirit of Elijah ceased to function in the world once John the Baptist was killed, and also that the spirit of Elijah only began to function in the world when John the Baptist arrived on the scene. The whole thing with Elijah is spooky weird; it smacks of revisionism, of reading into the Old Testament something that is simply not there.

(Mark 9:14) And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.

(Mark 9:15) And straightway [immediately] all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 9:16) And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?

(Mark 9:17) And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

(Mark 9:18) And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

(Mark 9:19) He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

(Mark 9:20) And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway [immediately] the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 9:21) And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

(Mark 9:22) And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

(Mark 9:23) Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

(Mark 9:24) And straightway [immediately] the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 9:25) When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

(Mark 9:26) And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

(Mark 9:27) But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

(Mark 9:28) And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

(Mark 9:29) And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

(Mark 9:30) And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.

(Mark 9:31) For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

(Mark 9:32) But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

(Mark 9:33) And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?

(Mark 9:34) But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

(Mark 9:35) And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

(Mark 9:36) And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,

(Mark 9:37) Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

(Mark 9:38) And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils [demons] in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.

(Mark 9:39) But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

(Mark 9:40) For he that is not against us is on our part.

Not with me is against me. Not against me is with me.

You don't have to be one of Jesus' apostles to be on Jesus' side. This argues against the notion that a Church such as the Catholic Church is the institutional center of Christianity; rather, anyone who preaches the true gospel, who is holy, and who protects and nourishes the flock spiritually is on Jesus' side.

(Mark 9:41) For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

(Mark 9:42) And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Corrupting young children is one of the worst sins. Causing a young person to lose their faith is a very serious sin. A person committing such sins would be better off dead than to receive what their deeds deserve, which is the judgment of eternal damnation. Jesus loves and honors children and young people. Some churches don't seem to care for them so much.

(Mark 9:43) And if thy hand offend [scandalize] thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

A macabre verse, repulsive to me.

I doubt Jesus was a suggesting people cut off their hands. Your hands are not the source of sin but, rather, your soul is which controls the actions of the hands. We certainly should avoid things which tempt us to sin.

Hell is a place of suffering.

(Mark 9:44) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

(Mark 9:45) And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

(Mark 9:46) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

(Mark 9:47) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

(Mark 9:48) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

(Mark 9:49) For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

(Mark 9:50) Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

(Mark 10:1) And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea [Judea] by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

(Mark 10:2) And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away [divorce] his wife? tempting [testing] him.

Matthew mentions divorcing your wife for any reason, but Mark omits this detail. We shouldn't consider this missing detail when commenting on Mark's version of the story. Different rabbis had different views of what qualified for a man to divorce his wife; some thought it was for the most frivolous of reasons, others requiring something significant (but not adultery which was punishable by death).

The Pharisees perhaps hoped Jesus didn't know the quote from the Old Testament, and would answer whatever the culture of his day believed about it. That was probably the wrong answer, indicating that the Pharisees were not doing their job of instructing the people properly.

If Jesus answered "yes", they could say Moses required something indecent in the woman, and how dare Jesus allow for frivolous divorce. If Jesus answered "no", they could refer to the passage where Moses does allow divorce. Either way, they would discredit Jesus as a false teacher, a fake rabbi, ignorant about the law.

I find it odd that so much of the gospels concerns the religious leaders trying to trick and trap Jesus in his words and Jesus cleverly escaping, even making them look foolish. Is it really important as Christians we be more clever than our enemies to evade capture? Is this really an essential ingredient of the gospel? I suppose these incidents make for interesting stories and provide teaching opportunities.

(Mark 10:3) And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?

Notice Jesus asks what Moses commanded them, the Pharisees.

(Mark 10:4) And they said, Moses suffered [allowed] to write a bill of divorcement [certificate of divorce], and to put [send] her away.

Jesus isn't fooled by the Pharisees. He asks them what Moses taught about this topic. Notice they quoted it wrong, leaving out the key part that the woman was guilty of some indecency (but not adultery which was punishable by death).

(Mark 10:5) And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

This verse implies the aspect of the wife displeasing to the husband is frivolous; or certainly, not a just cause for divorce.

Notice the law of Moses can't be trusted; it has errors and is incomplete. Moses didn't state this law about divorce was because of the hardness of the heart and not of God.

(Mark 10:6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

(Mark 10:7) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

(Mark 10:8) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

(Mark 10:9) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

(Mark 10:10) And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.

(Mark 10:11) And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Notice Jesus doesn't say divorce is not allowed. He is talking about remarriage after divorce, not divorce. In other words, if someone out of the hardness of their heart gets divorced as Moses allowed, they cannot remarry.

(Mark 10:12) And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

(Mark 10:13) And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

This is not the only time the disciples wanted Jesus to send people away. Probably because they were looking to ensure Jesus got enough rest and solitude and because they did not themselves have miraculous powers to help people as Jesus did so they didn't think anything could be done for people in need. It took them a long time to learn this lesson.

(Mark 10:14) But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer [allow] the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

(Mark 10:15) Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

(Mark 10:16) And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

(Mark 10:17) And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

(Mark 10:18) And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

(Mark 10:19) Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

(Mark 10:20) And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

(Mark 10:21) Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Treasure in heaven: Notice the treasure is in heaven while the man is still alive on earth. People assume after he dies he will spend eternity united with his treasure, but what do we do on earth? We acquire treasure we can't use yet so we rent a storage unit; then later when we finally have a place to put it, we go retrieve it. We never move into the storage unit to be with our stuff. Anyway, in the new heavens and new earth we will finally enjoy all our rewards.

Notice the treasure is non-material; heaven is the spiritual realm. The treasure is the good will and blessings from the poor needy people. These prayers reside in the spiritual realm and linger there, in some way blessing us.

Take up your cross: This must have confused everyone. People don't have crosses they can carry around wherever they go. Commonly, people interpret the phrase "take up your cross" allegorically to refer to their daily human struggles. They do this because they don't have a mystical perspective. I'm sure everyone was accustomed to seeing non-Romans carrying crosses to their place of execution, this after being scourged. Jesus began referring to himself carrying a cross long before the time. People would think of this in two ways...

  1. Before Jesus' crucifixion: As they see others carry the cross they would imagine with empathy what it was like, how horrible it was, sharing their pain, as it were, and deeply praying for them.
  2. After Jesus: In our life troubles we can imagine the suffering of Jesus, endured willingly as deity, and unite with him in the human condition. Perhaps this will comfort us in some small way, but certainly it is true worship.

(Mark 10:22) And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

(Mark 10:23) And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

I think Jesus is referring to living while yet alive in a holy godly manner. The rich often became rich by exploiting others, by taking more than their share of the earth's resources and taking it from others. The rich often remain rich by oppressing others and using their extra advantage by purchasing goods and services that enhance their privilege. Jesus seems to think the rich should instead live just as everyone else does. Even though they have far more than they need to live on, they cling to the excess. This does not mean there should be no capital for investing in businesses and other ventures; and competent people manage this for the good of all. But these rich are only concerned with themselves and their own well being.

(Mark 10:24) And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

(Mark 10:25) It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

(Mark 10:26) And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

(Mark 10:27) And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

(Mark 10:28) Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

(Mark 10:29) And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,

(Mark 10:30) But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

(Mark 10:31) But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

(Mark 10:32) And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,

(Mark 10:33) Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:

(Mark 10:34) And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

(Mark 10:35) And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

(Mark 10:36) And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

(Mark 10:37) They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

(Mark 10:38) But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

(Mark 10:39) And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

(Mark 10:40) But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

(Mark 10:41) And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

(Mark 10:42) But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

(Mark 10:43) But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

(Mark 10:44) And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

(Mark 10:45) For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

This verse seems to support the ransom theory of atonement because it uses the word "ransom". I reject this view.

(Mark 10:46) And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

(Mark 10:47) And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

(Mark 10:48) And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

(Mark 10:49) And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

(Mark 10:50) And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

(Mark 10:51) And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

(Mark 10:52) And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 11:1) And when they came nigh [near] to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,

(Mark 11:2) And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 11:3) And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway [immediately] he will send him hither.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 11:4) And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.

(Mark 11:5) And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?

(Mark 11:6) And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.

(Mark 11:7) And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.

(Mark 11:8) And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.

(Mark 11:9) And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:

(Mark 11:10) Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Notice that the everlasting kingdom of David was yet-future. In fact, it is still yet-future since as there is currently no kingdom at all. David's kingdom was a literal material institution; not a figurative allegory. God intended the kingdom of Israel to last forever and it will again literally exist (not merely figuratively in the Church or some such non-literal notion) and will indeed endure forever.

(Mark 11:11) And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide [evening] was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

(Mark 11:12) And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

(Mark 11:13) And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply [by chance] he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

(Mark 11:14) And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

A superficial reading of these three verses give the appearance that Jesus became angry and cursed this tree for no good reason. (And he was still angry when he got to the temple.)

Apparently, Jesus expected this fig tree to have fruit even though it was not the season for figs. In like manner, he expected the nation of Israel to perform the miraculous feat (similar to casting a mountain into the sea) of feeding the people of God in this dark age in which Satan rules. Certainly you can't expect anyone to be able to break free from the powers of the wicked one, but because they were chosen of God (because it was a fig tree) Jesus expected it anyway, and he became angry that they didn't fulfill their divine calling.

(Mark 11:15) And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

(Mark 11:16) And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

(Mark 11:17) And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

(Mark 11:18) And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

(Mark 11:19) And when even was come, he went out of the city.

(Mark 11:20) And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

(Mark 11:21) And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

(Mark 11:22) And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

The disciples are to realize that they have the power of God to judge those who are not living up to their calling. After Pentecost, they are to excommunicate heretics and teach truth in the face of extreme adversity and persecution.

(Mark 11:23) For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

In the new heavens and new earth we will routinely be able to perform feats such as this. Generally we cannot do things such as this (in spite of the word-faith teachers proclaiming otherwise!) Yet at times, especially for the apostles in the apostolic Church, God uses miraculous occurrences to validate the claims of the gospel. (This occurred also in the Old Testament.)

(Mark 11:24) Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

A common interpretation of this is to claim that it is conditional; that if our desires match up with God's will, then our faith is able to manifest them. This is nonsense! This verse doesn't say that, and to interpret it that way is to add to the word of God.

This verse is directed specifically to the apostles. There is no reason for the average Christian to assume that we are to all have the same powers granted to the apostles.

Since the Catholic bishops claim to have apostolic power, they should be able to perform the same miracles as the apostles, but of course they can't, because their overblown opinion of themselves is mistaken.

(Mark 11:25) And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

(Mark 11:26) But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Jesus teaches this same thing in the "Our Father" prayer which he gives for everybody to use.

Notice that we must forgive others in order for God to forgive us. This doesn't match the standard teaching that works have no role in our salvation.

Just because we have forgiven someone doesn't mean we are obligated to become their best friend — in fact, we are to shun habitual sinners. What we are to do is to try to understand the situation from the other person's perspective. This does not mean we should ignore people's habitual sins, just that we should not harbor bitterness in our hearts against those who have wronged us or those we love (or others).

(Mark 11:27) And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

(Mark 11:28) And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

(Mark 11:29) And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

(Mark 11:30) The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

(Mark 11:31) And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?

(Mark 11:32) But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

(Mark 11:33) And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Parable:wicked tenants

(Mark 12:1) And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

(Mark 12:2) And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.

(Mark 12:3) And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.

(Mark 12:4) And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.

(Mark 12:5) And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.

(Mark 12:6) Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.

(Mark 12:7) But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be our's.

(Mark 12:8) And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.

(Mark 12:9) What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

I am uncomfortable with stories such as this in which Jesus describes graphic violence by the protagonist, the main character, the good guy.

(Mark 12:10) And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

(Mark 12:11) This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

(Mark 12:12) And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

(Mark 12:13) And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.

(Mark 12:14) And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

(Mark 12:15) Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

(Mark 12:16) And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.

(Mark 12:17) And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

The Sadducees & Resurrection 

The Sadducees' Question

(Mark 12:18) Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,

The Sadducees did not believe the soul survives death; this is the meaning of the word "resurrection" here, that the soul lives on after death.

They give an absurd example to prove their point.

(Mark 12:19) Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

Levirate Marriage.

(Mark 12:20) Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.

(Mark 12:21) And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.

(Mark 12:22) And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.

(Mark 12:23) In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.

Jesus' Answer

Jesus does not discuss conditions in the new heavens and earth but, rather, merely refutes the Sadducees' wrong view of no life after death using their own terminology (they use the word "resurrection" to mean simply, life after death, not to the bodily resurrection at the end of the world).

Based on Revelation 20:4-6 it is clear the term resurrection refers to both the first resurrection (at the death of a believer) as well as to the second resurrection (the bodily resurrection after the second coming of Christ). It is clear from the context in Jesus' debate with the Sadducees that he uses the term resurrection to refer to the first resurrection. Since they reject the notion of life after death Jesus doesn't need to move on to the topic of the bodily resurrection at his second coming — he wins the debate without even mentioning that aspect of the term "resurrection".

(Mark 12:24) And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

(Mark 12:25) For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

The Sadducees clearly used the word resurrection to refer to what had already occurred to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Sadducees were contrasting two opposing views...

(Mark 12:26) And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

In the gospels, regarding historical events, Jesus only mentions Moses in three places: (1) here about the burning bush, (2) in John regarding the serpent on the pole, and (3) the manna. I am of course ignoring the many references to the law given by Moses.

(Mark 12:27) He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

Jesus uses the term "resurrection" to refer to the first resurrection. Since they reject the notion of life after death Jesus doesn't need to move on to the topic of the bodily resurrection at his second coming — he wins the debate without even mentioning that aspect of the term resurrection.

(Mark 12:28) And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

(Mark 12:29) And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

(Mark 12:30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

(Mark 12:31) And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

(Mark 12:32) And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

(Mark 12:33) And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

(Mark 12:34) And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly [wisely], he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst [dared] ask him any [more] question[s].

The word "far", referring to...

  1. close in distance — entering in or already in; meaning, already part of the kingdom of God, not far from it
  2. close in time — will enter in at a future date, at death

Probably the various religious leaders quit talking with Jesus because he publicly exposes their ignorance and embarrasses them. Only those sincere seekers of truth, such as this scribe, will enjoy interacting with Jesus.

(Mark 12:35) And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?

(Mark 12:36) For David himself said by the Holy Ghost [Spirit], The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Mark explicitly refers to the Holy Spirit while Matthew merely hints at it.

The entire universe is God's footstool.

(Mark 12:37) David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

(Mark 12:38) And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

(Mark 12:39) And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:

(Mark 12:40) Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

Perhaps an example of this is the widow giving all she had as others looked on.

(Mark 12:41) And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld [watched] how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

(Mark 12:42) And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

Jesus gives an example of how the religious leaders exploit the poor and needy. They established a system of giving in which everyone is watched and everyone is expected to give at least a minimum amount. For a poor person such as this widow, she felt tremendous social pressure to give all she had, to be destitute. It should be that the religious leaders were taking care of such as her, but they used social pressure to let her take care of them.

It's not easy understanding measures of money from other time periods. We have the words mite [small copper or brass coin] and farthing [less than a penny] but it's uncertain how much food she could purchase.

(Mark 12:43) And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily [truly] I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

Jesus teaches about economics, about two ways of measuring value...

  1. In absolute terms
  2. By how much it costs the individual, what they have to give up

(Mark 12:44) For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

The donations of the rich reflect less marginal utility because they give up far less in terms of quality of life while the poor exploited widow must give up essential meals.

Olivet Discourse 

(Mark 13:1) And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

(Mark 13:2) And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

This verse provides evidence the gospel of Mark was written before the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. Otherwise we should expect mention of the stones being taken apart by the Romans retrieving the melted gold.

(Mark 13:3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

(Mark 13:4) Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

Preterists and millennialists interpret the events of this chapter as strictly chronological, but this interpretation is impossible; it leads to the most absurd of contradictions.

(Mark 13:5) And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:

(Mark 13:6) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

(Mark 13:7) And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

In the verses following, Jesus lists various categories of events of human history and that these come before the end. He tells them this so they won't be fooled when false prophets use such catastrophic events as evidence of the impending end. This has been a common theme: a time of increased natural or manmade disaster or events triggers the rise of false prophets using these events as proof of their false message. But we are not to think of any of these as signalling the end.

A recent example of this is the rise of the European Union of ten nations used by many fundamentalist evangelical Protestants as a fulfillment of Daniel 7:24 and ushering-in the Antichrist. Of course, the EU didn't cooperate and allowed more than ten nations to become members. I would be embarrassed to have believed this and would wonder what other lies these preachers are promulgating.

(Mark 13:8) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

(Mark 13:9) But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

(Mark 13:10) And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

(Mark 13:11) But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost [Spirit].

Does this verse really say that when Christians are brought to trial for their faith, their words are of the Holy Spirit, presumably as true and trustworthy as scripture is? If so, we should look to the utterances of the martyrs for spiritual direction.

What about people such as Jan Hus who was martyred for his faith, or of Martin Luther who was brought to trial for his faith? Does this verse mean the words they spoke during their trials were of the Holy Spirit?

Perhaps this verse only applies to the apostles. Certainly verse 14 seems to refer to the specific time near the end of the war of the Romans against Jerusalem in which the hearers of these verses fled Jerusalem.

(Mark 13:12) Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.

(Mark 13:13) And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

The phrase "unto the end" refers to each person's death. This is evident with the following considerations...

  1. If it means the end of time, it doesn't apply to most readers and hearers. Once someone dies, they don't have to endure any more; enduring only occurs while alive (unless you consider purgatory as enduring).
  2. If it means the time of the destruction of the temple, it implies all survivors were saved. Most did not survive; those that did were enslaved. This is not a very good kind of salvation.
  3. What other time could it refer to except each person's death? We endure unto death; we keep our faith even when martyred.

(Mark 13:14) But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea [Judea] flee to the mountains:

(Mark 13:15) And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:

(Mark 13:16) And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

(Mark 13:17) But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

(Mark 13:18) And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

(Mark 13:19) For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

(Mark 13:20) And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

(Mark 13:21) And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

(Mark 13:22) For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

(Mark 13:23) But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

(Mark 13:24) But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

(Mark 13:25) And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

(Mark 13:26) And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Jesus comes with clouds.

(Mark 13:27) And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Parable:fig tree

(Mark 13:28) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

(Mark 13:29) So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh [near], even at the doors.

(Mark 13:30) Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

Jesus is referring to those alive at the time he taught this.

(Mark 13:31) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

(Mark 13:32) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

(Mark 13:33) Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

(Mark 13:34) For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Parable:servants watchful

(Mark 13:35) Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

(Mark 13:36) Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

(Mark 13:37) And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

(Mark 14:1) After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.

(Mark 14:2) But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.

At Simon the Leper's House at Bethany 

Apparently a similar event involving anointing Jesus with perfume occurred three times...

  1. While in Galilee
    • At a rude Pharisee's house
    • The Pharisee is named Simon
    • There is no mention of him being a leper
    • A woman known to be a sinner anointed the feet with Jesus and wiped them with her hair while weeping
    • The Pharisee doubts Jesus is a prophet or he would have know the woman was a sinner
    • Jesus forgives the woman's sins
  2. The day before the triumphal entry
    • The presence of Lazarus who had been raised from the dead drew crowds
    • Martha served
    • Mary anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair
    • Judas was annoyed by this
  3. The day before preparations for the last supper
    • At Simon the leper's house (Judas Iscariot's father)
    • A woman poured perfume on Jesus' head
    • Judas betrayed Jesus to the chief priests afterwards

(Mark 14:3) And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat [reclined at the meal], there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

Simon was Judas Iscariot's father.

(Mark 14:4) And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?

(Mark 14:5) For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

(Mark 14:6) And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

(Mark 14:7) For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

(Mark 14:8) She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

(Mark 14:9) Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

(Mark 14:10) And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.

Notice that after this incident Judas made arrangements with the chief priest to betray Jesus.

(Mark 14:11) And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

Preparations for Last Supper 

(Mark 14:12) And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

They killed the Passover lamb starting 3 P.M. Nissan 14 and ate it that night, Nissan 15 (the day begins at 6 P.M.) They would remove leaven from their homes the day before, Nissan 13.

This cannot refer to the day of preparation, the day the Passover lambs are slaughtered because the last supper and arrest of Jesus would then occur that night after the Passover meal. John mentions the last supper was before the Passover.

The Essenes celebrated Passover Tuesday night, so the first day of unleavened bread would be the next day, Nissan 12th in this case. The upper room was in the Essene quarter of the city, at the SW end.

If this was the preparation day of the Jewish Passover, it was too late to be planning for it. By this time Jerusalem would be packed with people and there would not be any available space. Also, since the Passover lamb is slaughtered starting at 3 P.M., there would not be enough time to obtain an animal, prepare the room, and all the other tasks that occur on this day. Therefore, this happened earlier.

(Mark 14:13) And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.

A very peculiar scene. Why was a man carrying water; this was women's work? (The Essenes would do this themselves, not being involved with women). He would have to do it often enough that the disciples would see him doing it; or at least it was commonly known by the people in the vicinity. Did the disciples just wander around the city until they finally spotted this man or did they start in a certain small area and start asking people?

(Mark 14:14) And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber [guest room], where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

Apparently the man carrying water was merely a servant to the owner of the upper room.

Who paid for the use of this room? Presumably it was for rent for weddings or business meetings. Since it was the Passover season, why was this room available at all? Just as at Jesus' birth there were no rooms available we should expect the same now. It's as if Jesus had made previous arrangements with the owner of the upper room when the disciples weren't present.

It almost seems as if Jesus knew this man, perhaps from his childhood. It seems Jesus spent a lot of time in Jerusalem and knew the people in town. Perhaps he knew the owner of the upper room and had made special arrangements with him even years before, some kind of agreement that he could use the room whenever he wanted. Perhaps Jesus had done free construction work for the man and in exchange the man let use the room for free whenever he wanted.

(Mark 14:15) And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.

Perhaps this was the same room the disciples stayed in while awaiting the Holy Spirit. Perhaps Jesus had rented it long term and the disciples were here merely setting it up for the Passover.

Presumably this upper room was large enough for 120 people. Notice they continue to use the upper room until the day of Pentecost several months from then. Perhaps the Apostles continued to live there for years.

About the architecture: The walls of both levels were probably stone with mortar. The floor of the upper room was probably timber beams closely packed and covered in tile or maybe only plaster. The ceiling of the upper room was probably timber beams closely packed, perhaps slanted to let water run off. The lower floor probably consisted of shops or working areas for those of a guild. The area probably had closely-packed buildings with narrow streets.

The upper room was probably in easy walking distance to the temple but not in the upper class area.

There is a tradition that Mary lived in a small room attached to the same building as the upper room.

I wonder if the apostles continued to live in this upper room after the coming of the Holy Spirit. They seemed to be living in the city very near the temple.

(Mark 14:16) And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

The Last Supper 

The key events of the Last Supper in proper chronological sequence (there are differences in the sequences among the 4 gospels for the sake of emphasizing and grouping topics)...

  1. Jesus arrives after the disciples prepare the room (notice there is no Passover lamb)
  2. They eat a meal
  3. Jesus washes their feet
  4. They have a snack
  5. Jesus provokes Judas to betray him
  6. Judas dips his bread in the bowl and leaves to betray him
  7. The Eucharist
  8. Long interactive dialog including Jesus predicting Peter's denial of him
  9. They sing a hymn then leave for the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. After this the mood is somber.

(Mark 14:17) And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.

It appears Jesus waited until the disciples had finished setting things up before arriving.

(Mark 14:18) And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.

(Mark 14:19) And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?

(Mark 14:20) And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.

This happened after supper was over. Notice that the Eucharist occurs after this; it is not part of supper.

(Mark 14:21) The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.


Before the institution of the Eucharist several key events occurred...

  1. they had supper
  2. Jesus washed their feet
  3. they sat down again to have a snack
  4. Jesus repeatedly mentioned the one who would betray him
  5. Judas dipped his bread into the dish
  6. Satan entered him (for the third time) and he left

(Mark 14:22) And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

(Mark 14:23) And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.

(Mark 14:24) And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

(Mark 14:25) Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Jesus did not drink wine after this until on the cross just before he died. Therefore, the kingdom of God began with the death of Jesus.

Off to the Mount of Olives

Luke and John have the correct sequence of events. All the long speeches including reference to Peter's denial of Jesus occur while yet in the upper room. In the Garden of Gethsemane the only events that occur are Jesus' prayers followed by his arrest; it is a somber affair.

(Mark 14:26) And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

The hymn they sang was likely based on an Old Testament psalm.

(Mark 14:27) And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

(Mark 14:28) But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.

(Mark 14:29) But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.

(Mark 14:30) And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.

First Peter would deny he is a disciple of Jesus 3 times, then the rooster would crow the second time. Here's what happened...

  1. Peter denied Jesus the first time
  2. The rooster crowed (but Peter didn't notice it at the time. Later he told the story to his scribe Mark)
  3. Peter denied Jesus 2 more times
  4. The rooster crowed and Peter remembered Jesus' words

(Mark 14:31) But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

(Mark 14:32) And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

(Mark 14:33) And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

(Mark 14:34) And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

(Mark 14:35) And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

(Mark 14:36) And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

(Mark 14:37) And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?

(Mark 14:38) Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

(Mark 14:39) And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.

Even Jesus prayed multiple times for the same thing. The burden of his heart was not lifted by his first prayer. The prayer was answered when the time came for him to go and be arrested, leading to his crucifixion. The prayer was something to do while waiting for events to unfold. And so with us: as we live our lives, we should focus our minds and hearts on God while waiting for the final arrival of eternity in the new heavens and new earth.

(Mark 14:40) And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.

(Mark 14:41) And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Jesus is Arrested

(Mark 14:42) Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.

(Mark 14:43) And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 14:44) And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.

(Mark 14:45) And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway [immediately] to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 14:46) And they laid their hands on him, and took him.

(Mark 14:47) And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

(Mark 14:48) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?

(Mark 14:49) I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.

(Mark 14:50) And they all forsook him, and fled.

(Mark 14:51) And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:

(Mark 14:52) And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

Jesus tried and condemned by the High Priest 

(Mark 14:53) And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.

The high priest was Caiaphas.

They first went to Annas, but only John mentions this. John often adds details not mentioned by the other gospel writers.


(Mark 14:54) And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace [courtyard] of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.

People commonly bash Peter with this verse because he followed from a distance. Presumably, the implication is that Peter should have been closer as John was. But in reality, Peter risked his life in coming as close as he did and, in fact, he could not have come closer. He would not have been allowed in the palace as John was and would likely have been arrested if he tried. When I hear people bash Peter like this I usually lose interest in their church and look elsewhere.

The teaching that goes along with all this is that we should not be like Peter, that man weak in faith but, rather, should stick close to Jesus. A nice and inspiring thought certainly, but this verse doesn't say anything like that.


(Mark 14:55) And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.

(Mark 14:56) For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.

(Mark 14:57) And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,

(Mark 14:58) We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

(Mark 14:59) But neither so did their witness agree together.

(Mark 14:60) And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

(Mark 14:61) But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

Notice the high priest knows of a Messiah and son of God. But calling yourself either one is not considered blasphemy. Only when Jesus says he is the "I am" do they object.

The high priest's question is reported in two other gospels but the wording is different in all three. Therefore, these are not intended as accurate historical quotes but are, rather, fiction. Sorry; you can't harmonize these into a single question by mixing and matching bits and pieces of each account like a jigsaw puzzle. All we can say is the high priest asked something like what is reported in all three.

(Mark 14:62) And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Jesus comes with clouds just as he was taken up in clouds.

We should wonder why it's emphasized so strongly that Jesus sits at the right hand of God, after all, as second person of the Trinity he is God also and has always been so. The only sensible explanation is that he deified human nature.

(Mark 14:63) Then the high priest rent [tore] his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?

The verdict of the high priest: Jesus claims to be God and should be executed.

(Mark 14:64) Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.

(Mark 14:65) And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.


(Mark 14:66) And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:

(Mark 14:67) And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.

(Mark 14:68) But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.

(Mark 14:69) And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.

(Mark 14:70) And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.

(Mark 14:71) But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

(Mark 14:72) And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

Jesus turned around and looked at Peter.


(Mark 15:1) And straightway [immediately] in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.

Immediately, meaning, the next significant event of the story.

(Mark 15:2) And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.

(Mark 15:3) And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.

(Mark 15:4) And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.

(Mark 15:5) But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.

(Mark 15:6) Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.

(Mark 15:7) And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

(Mark 15:8) And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.

(Mark 15:9) But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

(Mark 15:10) For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.

(Mark 15:11) But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.

(Mark 15:12) And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

(Mark 15:13) And they cried out again, Crucify him.

(Mark 15:14) Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

(Mark 15:15) And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

(Mark 15:16) And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.

(Mark 15:17) And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,

(Mark 15:18) And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!

(Mark 15:19) And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.

(Mark 15:20) And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

(Mark 15:21) And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

(Mark 15:22) And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

(Mark 15:23) And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

Jesus was rejecting the wine, not the myrrh. In order to ingest myrrh you have to dissolve it in wine first. Myrrh is a painkiller, offered by the Romans as an act of mercy. If they really wanted to be merciful they would not use torture in the first place. Some say Jesus rejected the painkiller myrrh because he wanted to endure the full extent of the pain. Perhaps so, but this verse doesn't actually say this.

It sounds like Jesus was at first willing to consume whatever it was being offered to him but, for some reason changed his mind once he tasted it. Perhaps so, but it is also possible he was not aware of what was happening, having his eyes closed, and only becoming aware of it once the sponge touched his lips and he smelled it. I suppose they would have been talking about it down below the cross, perhaps even yelling their intentions at him.

(Mark 15:24) And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

(Mark 15:25) And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

(Mark 15:26) And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

(Mark 15:27) And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

(Mark 15:28) And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

(Mark 15:29) And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

(Mark 15:30) Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

(Mark 15:31) Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.

(Mark 15:32) Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

(Mark 15:33) And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

(Mark 15:34) And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

(Mark 15:35) And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias [Elijah].

(Mark 15:36) And one ran and filled a spunge [sponge] full of vinegar [sour wine], and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias [Elijah] will come to take him down.

(Mark 15:37) And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

Jesus was probably 37 years old when he died.

(Mark 15:38) And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

(Mark 15:39) And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

(Mark 15:40) There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

(Mark 15:41) (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

(Mark 15:42) And now when the even [evening] was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

Jesus died on the day of preparation. Evening occurs before 6 P.M. The next day begins at 6 P.M.

(Mark 15:43) Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

(Mark 15:44) And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

(Mark 15:45) And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

(Mark 15:46) And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre [tomb] which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre [tomb].

(Mark 15:47) And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

(Mark 16:1) And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

It sounds like they purchased these spices on Sunday morning, but who would sell them before dawn? Luke clears it up; they purchased the spices Friday evening, meaning, the wording here in Mark is confused and unclear. But again, who would sell them spices Friday evening near dark during the preparations for the feast days since the Sabbath began at sunset?

(Mark 16:2) And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre [tomb] at the rising of the sun.

I wonder how they were able to see when walking when it was still dark outside? I suppose we should assume it was just after sunrise; perhaps they left home with the first hint of light. But John mentions it was still dark.

(Mark 16:3) And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre [tomb]?

An odd story. Why would they wish to add to the preparations made to the body? And why would they think they would encounter a group of people strong enough and willing to roll the heavy stone away and wait for them to do their task? Surely it was very dark inside the tomb. Perhaps the women just wanted an excuse to look as the body of Jesus again, although they would not see much since it was covered in fabric and spices.

(Mark 16:4) And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

(Mark 16:5) And entering into the sepulchre [tomb], they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

(Mark 16:6) And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

(Mark 16:7) But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

(Mark 16:8) And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre [tomb]; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

After hearing this, these women fled from the tomb. Out of fear, they did not tell anyone about it. Presumably, they went off looking for Peter and the other disciples to tell them. And presumably, the found some of them and told them.

Critics are quick to point out that this verse says they didn't tell anybody, yet elsewhere it says they did tell others. In fact, in the previous verse they were commanded to tell others. This objection is idiotic beyond belief. They fled in such fear and agitation that they didn't interact with anyone. After a while when they composed themselves, they proceeded with their mission to tell the others.

Added Later

The following verses are missing from many early manuscripts. Probably they were lost and subsequent scribes added verses 9 through 20 so the ending made more sense. But they added verse 18 mentioning handling poisonous snakes and drinking poison.

(Mark 16:9) Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils [demons].

(Mark 16:10) And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

(Mark 16:11) And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

After having scattered for a while, they collected together as a group again.

(Mark 16:12) After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

(Mark 16:13) And they went and told it unto the residue [others]: neither believed they them.

(Mark 16:14) Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

(Mark 16:15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

(Mark 16:16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

(Mark 16:17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils [demons]; they shall speak with new tongues;

(Mark 16:18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

(Mark 16:19) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

In my view, the physical body does not exist in the spiritual realm. The resurrected body of Jesus and the bodies of resurrected humans in the future, these are physical bodies. Thus, when Jesus ascended into heaven, his body ceased to exist and he sat down at the right hand of God with a spiritual body. No, this view is not blasphemy. We each have a spiritual body (perhaps many, each for a different spiritual plane) and the spiritual body continues to live on after physical death. A resurrected body can live in this current universe because this is the same as in the new heavens and new earth; well, there is an important difference. In the new heavens and new earth sin, evil, wickedness, and death will be gone, judged forever, and therefore nothing bad will ever occur. The spiritual realm will be pure and holy, and God's grace will extend to every aspect of life.

The ascension did not necessarily happen immediately after Jesus spoke these words, but it did happen after.

We should wonder why it's emphasized so strongly that Jesus sits at the right hand of God, after all, as second person of the Trinity he is God also and has always been so. The only sensible explanation is that he deified human nature.

(Mark 16:20) And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

King James Version