Mark has been telling us again and again and again,
Jesus is the King.
As King he is bringing a new way of doing things, a new way of running the show.
This is what Mark calls God’s Kingdom.
Last week we reached the turning point of Mark’s gospel.
We have seen in the first half of Mark what it looks like whenever Jesus is doing God’s Kingdom on a kind of wandering, vigilante, guerrilla warfare kind of scale.
The second half of Mark is a different kind of deal.
Jesus makes a beeline to showdown with the religious, political, economic peeps in charge of Israel.
We’re going to see what it looks like when the King comes to town.
But remember! 3 times, not 1, not 2, but 3 times Jesus has anticipated what’s in store for him.
- Because I’m the King and I’m going to my death and will be vindicated by God through resurrection after 3 days (Mark 8:31-33)
- Because I’m the King and I’m going to my death and will be vindicated by God through resurrection after 3 days (Mark 9:30-32)
- Because I’m the King and I’m going to my death and will be vindicated by God through resurrection after 3 days (Mark 10:32-34)
The Disciples reaction each time missed this
- Peter said no shut up “No, shut up!” (Mark 8:32)
- The Disciples argued and Jesus in return said “If you want to be first you have to be last.” (Mark 9:33-37)
- James and John wanted grand positions. Jesus replied “No we don’t hold power like power is normally held under God’s way of doing things.” (Mark: 10:35-45)
None of this computed with the disciples. King’s didn’t act like that. They thought Jesus was suggesting a close fight in which he’d eventually come out on top.
What we’ll find out soon is no… Jesus meant what he said.
Mark 10:32 – Jesus is going to Jerusalem; the disciples are amazed, the people are afraid.
The King is heading for a showdown – right into the heart of power.
Jesus (representing God’s way of doing things) coming face to face with the ways of political, religious, economic, military leaders of Israel and Rome.
If you were planning an insurrection, a revolution how would you do it? What would your scheme be?
(Preferably non-violent, if not peaceful but it can be as public or secret as you like – but you’re looking to undermine and subvert the establish order and way of doing things.)
5 minutes – feeback
Mark 11:7-11 – All of this is King stuff, this is what you do when a King comes to town!!
Jesus arrives and makes a beeline for the temple!
What’s the craic with the Temple?
God’s meant to be there. It’s the heart of religion, sacrifice and economy for the whole of Israel.
It’s a BIG deal… but Mark keeps us in suspense.
Then the next day this happens!
Mark 11:12-25 – Jesus aims for the Temple the heart of Israel’s life, where God is meant to dwell, where sacrifices for sins are made and puts a halt to the whole process!!
This statement says, “The Temple is redundant!” It says, “This place isn’t necessary anymore!”
It’s a place that has been brewing nationalistic, patriotic extremism that wants to hurt and harm enemies and Jesus says “God’s done with here”!
But it also begins to make sense of something Mark has already told us – which is sooo important, Mark 10:45!
Jesus, representing the way of God’s Kingdom and the personal, social and worldwide implications of it, is the only person in a position to sort out the evil and sin that run rampant in the world through people and governments and systems – the cross is where this happens! This is how Jesus does a revolution!
The showdowns continue after this – we’ll not look at any in detail.
11:27-33 – Who does he speak for? Blasphemy trap.
12:13-17 – Get him in trouble with Rome.
12:18-27 – Religious mumbo jumbo.
12:28-34 – Not so much a showdown; an intriguing question with a mind blowing conclusion.
This guy has it – love God/love your neighbor. Keep those, live by those and sacrifices aren’t necessary. This goes back to the Temple thing – Jesus’ way is the route to follow – the way of laying down your life to serve others.
This is the showdown of God’s King, with a new way (God’s way) of doing things and it upsets everything. It’s a revolution and people can’t handle it.
The plot to kill Jesus has thickened because the most highly charged religious festival of the year is here (it’s no mistake that Jesus picked this time!) and they want rid of him before it or something might kick off!
But we stop with this Mark 14:1-11 as the final dice is rolled and Jesus keeps moving toward his death – which he insists is going to open up a way of living in the world; the way of God’s Kingdom which he has been bringing as the King of that Kingdom!
God’s Kingdom revolution has come to town and like all significant revolutions, those in charge have tried to stamp it out!