Handbook of Mark
Jesus the Wonderful
The special emphasis of Mark is the Superhuman Power of Jesus, demonstrating His Deity by His Miracles. Omits most of Jesus' Discourses. Narrates things Jesus Did rather than things Jesus Said. Seems to have had Gentile readers in mind.
From the beginning, and by unbroken tradition, this Gospel has been regarded as the work of Mark, containing, substantially, the Story of Jesus as told by Peter.
John Mark was son of a Mary,, whose home in Jerusalem was a meeting place for the disciples of Jesus (Acts 12:12). Being a cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10), he may have been a Levite (Acts 4:16). It has been surmised that he was the young man who fled naked on the night of Jesus' arrest (Mark 14:51-52). The language of I Peter 5:13 may mean that he was a convert of Peter's.
Mark's Mother must have been quite an influential leader in the Jerusalem Church. It was to her home that Peter went when the Angel released him from prison (Acts 12:12).
About A.D. 44 Mark went with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch (Acts 12:25), and started with them on their First Missionary Journey, but turned back (Acts 13:13).
Later, about A.D. 50, Mark wanted to go with Paul on his Second Missionary Journey, but Paul refused to take him. This occasioned the separation of Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:36-39). Then Mark went with Barnabas to Cyprus.
Some 12 years later, about A.D. 62, Mark appears in Rome with Paul (Colossians 4: 10; Philemon 24). 4 or 5 years still later, Paul, just before martyrdom, is asking for Mark to come to him (II Timothy 4:11). Thus, it seems that Mark, in his later years, became one of Paul's intimate and beloved helpers.
Early Christian tradition has it that Mark was, in the main, a companion
of Peter. He was with Peter in "Babylon" (Rome?) when Peter wrote his First Epistle (I Peter 5:13). Mark's Gospel is thought to have been written and published in Rome between A.D. 60 and 70.
What Papias Said about Mark
Papias, A.D. 70-155, a pupil of the Apostle John, wrote, in his "Explanation of the Lord's Discourses," that he had made it his business to inquire of the Elders and followers of the Elders, and "The Elder said this also: Mark, having become the Interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately all that hi remembered-not, however, in order of the Words and Deeds of Christ. For neither did he hear the Lord, nor was he a follower of His, but later on, as I said, he attached himself to Peter, who would adapt his instruction to the need of the occasion! but not teach as though he were composing
a connected account of the Lord's Oracles; so that Mark made no mistake in thus writing down some things as he remembered them. For one object was in his thoughts -to omit nothing that he had heard, and to make no false statements."
The Four Gospels
For Whom Written. The Four Gospels, ultimately intended for All Mankind, originally were written for, or addressed to, certain Churches or individuals. Matthew's original, it is thought, may have been made for the Church at Jerusalem. From it other Churches secured copies. Mark, it is thought, may have intended his book for the Church in Rome. Copies, no doubt, were sent to other Churches. Luke wrote his Gospel for an individual named Theophilus, a high official in the Roman Government. John's Gospel is thought to have been intended originally for the Church in Ephesus. While God inspired these men to write Exactly He wanted them to write, for the use of All Mankind of all generation, yet they themselves must have in mind the background of their immediate readers; which may have influenced their choice of material.
The Writers' Individualities. While they had their Readers in mind, yet each, in his writing, must have reflected his own personality. They had the Same Story to tell, the Story of a MAN. How He Lived, and What He Dis and Said. But each told the Story in his own way, mentioning that which especially appealed to himself; which accounts for differences in the books.
"Contradictions" in the Gospels. It is surprising with what utter abandon the statement is made in many present-day scholarly works that the Four Gospels are "full of contradictions." Then when we see what the things are that they call "contradictions," we are almost tempted to lose respect for some of the so-called "scholarship." The fact that there are different details and slight variations in describing the same incident makes the testimony of the various writers all the more trustworthy, for it precludes the possibility of pre-arranged collusion among them.
Time of Writing. Present-day tendency is to regard Mark as the first to be written. However, the universal early tradition was that Matthew wrote first. In the early codices the Four Gospels, generally, stood in the same order in which they now stand, which indicates the early tradition as to the order in which they were written. Occasionally John stood first, but never Mark.
This is told in all Four Gospels. (See note under Luke 3:1-20.) Mark starts his book with a quotation from the Old Testament. Passing over the story of Jesus Birth, he launches at once into the crowded memoirs of his public life.
Chapter 1:9-11. Jesus is Baptized. (See on Matthew 3:13-17.)
Chapter 1:12-13. Forty Days' Temptation' (See on Matthew 4:1-10.)
Duration and Chronology of Jesus' Public Life
Jesus was about 30 years old in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1, 23). He was still a young child at the death of Herod (Matthew 2:19-20). This fixes Jesus' place in the Roman calendar, which was later replaced by the Christian calendar (see under Luke 2:39).
Shortly after his baptism he visited Jerusalem at Passover time (John 2:13). Passover, most of the time, was in April.
Intervening between his Baptism and this visit to Jerusalem are the events of John 1:29-2:12, and the Forty Days' Temptation (Matthew 4:1-11).
The Temptation was immediately after his Baptism, and lasted forty days (Mark 1:12-13).
After the Temptation he re-appeared at the Jordan where John was preaching (John 1:26) and was there for three successive "morrows" John 1:29, 35, 43). The "third day" thereafter he arrived in Cana, where he turned the water into wine (John 2:1).
Then he went to Capernaum, for "not many days" (John 2:12), before he went to Jerusalem to Cleanse the Temple.
Thus, the 40 days, the three "morrows," the "third day" thereafter, and the "not many days," constitute the time between his Baptism and Passover, which, in all, probably, was somewhere between three and five months.
So, his Baptism, which marks the beginning of his Public Life, must have been in the fall or early winter.
As for the Duration of his Public Life: three Passovers are mentioned: when he Cleansed the Temple (John 2:13); when he Fed the 5,000 (John 6:4); and when he was Crucified (Luke 22:15).
If the "Feast" in John 5:1 was a Passover, as is commonly supposed, that would make four Passovers, with three full years between the first and fourth. If it was some other feast, coming in between Passovers, then there were only three Passovers, with two years between the first and third.
Thus the duration of Jesus' Public Ministry was either about 3 1/2 years or about 2 1/2 years. Prevailing opinion favors 3 1/2.
Outline of Jesus' Public Life
With its probable chronology
The Galilean Ministry 1:14 to 10:1
The Galilean Ministry occupies about one-haft of Mark.
For outline see Comparative Table under Matthew 4:12
For Chronological Table see under Matthew 4:13-25
Between verses 13 and 14, that is, between Jesus' Temptation and the Beginning of his Galilean Ministry, are to be placed the events of John 1:19 to 4:54, covering about a year:
This is told also in Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11. Three of these had believed on Jesus a year before, at John's baptism (Jon 1:35-42). They are now called to become his companions in travel. (See further under Matthew 10 and Mark 3:13-19.)
Told also in Luke 4:31-37. This is Jesus' first recorded miracle in Capernaum, after making it his headquarters. Shortly before he had healed the Nobleman' Son in Capernaum merely by an act of will from Cana, 15 miles distant (John 4:46-54. For note on the nature of Demon possession see under Mark 5:1-20)
On his arrival in Galilee, after an 8 months' absence in his Early Judean Ministry (John 2:13 to 4:43), Jesus came to Cana, where, nearly year before, he had turned Water into Wine. Then, after healing the Nobleman' Son, he went to Nazareth, but they rejected him (see on Luke 4:16-30). Then he established himself in Capernaum as the center from which to carry on his ministry of Preaching, Teaching and Healing.
From Capernaum he made many journeys around over Galilee, occasionally going to Jerusalem, and occasionally to the regions north of Galilee. He traveled on foot, usually with, group of his disciples, often accompanied by great multitudes.
Capernaum is now identified with the ruins called Tel Hum, 3 miles southwest from the Jordan entrance to the Sea of Galilee. (See further under Luke 7:1-10, and Map under Mark 6:45-52.)
Told also in Matthew 8:14-15; Luke 4:38-19. So Peter had a wife. Jesus' first miracle was a Blessing on Marriage. Here he heals the mother-in-law of his leading Apostle.
Told also in Matthew 8:16-17; Luke 4:40-41. This was after sunset, because sunset marked the close of Sabbath. The news about the demoniac and Peter's mother-in-law had spread all over the city, and great crowds, with their sick, gathered around the house. And Jesus healed them. It was his Miracles that attracted the multitudes. The light of Divine Compassion for Suffering Humanity had begun to shine. It was a great day in Capernaum.
Told also in Luke 4:42-43. It had been a busy day. Jesus had healed, possibly, hundreds of people. He was now in the full swing of his public. work. He often slipped away from the multitudes, seeking, in solitude, to keep in touch with 'God. (See note on his prayer life under Luke 11:1-13.)
Jesus made many journeys, returning ever and anon to Capernaum (Matthew 4:23-25., 9:35-38; Luke 4:44). Galilee was crossed by famous international highways between the Euphrates and the Nile. And there were many side roads.
Told also in Matthew 8:2-4; Luke 5:12-16. Leprosy was a loathsome and pitiful disease. Jesus told him to show himself to the priest, because that was requirement of the Law (Leviticus 13, 14). He told him to say nothing about it, lest the popular movement to make Jesus king might get beyond control.
Told also in Matthew 9:2-8 and Luke 5:18-26. The paralytic was lying on a bed carried by four men. Their Faith in Jesus' Power to Heal, and their Determination to get to Him pleased Jesus.
Jesus' fame had spread so widely that Pharisees and Scribes from Jerusalem and all over the land (Luke 5:17), had come to investigate. Before their critical, hostile eyes Jesus boldly asserted his Deity by offering to forgive the man's sins, and worked the miracle to prove it.This is one miracle that Jesus himself said he wrought expressly to
demonstrate his Deity. It had an amazing effect on the people. but only further irritated the Pharisees and Scribes, religious custodians of the nation.
Jesus had recently chosen four Fishermen to be his associates in the establishment of his kingdom. Now he adds a Publican. (For note on Matthew see Introduction to Matthew, and on Matthew 10.)
Narrated also in Matthew 9:14-17; Luke 5:33-38. It was probably occasioned by Jesus' participation in Matthew's feast, which greatly surprised John's disciples, and the Pharisees, and probably also some of Jesus' own disciples. Feasting was so different from the way John the Baptist had lived. There may be times of crisis when Fasting may be a proper expression of humility and penitence and religious devotion. There was special significance in it in the case of John the Baptist (see under Luke 3:1-20). But the religionists of Jesus'day greatly overdid it. Jesus did not attach a great deal of importance to Fasting, as generally practiced (Matthew 6:16-18). Moses, Elijah and
Jesus, each, fasted forty days. But it was in a period of great strain. The three metaphors, the bridegroom, the rent garment, the old wine-skins (bottles made from goat skins), seem to mean that there are occasions when Fasting is proper, but that it is out of place in ordinary life, specially as a regular practice to advertise one's holiness
(Matthew 6:16-18), just to make a show of religion.
This incident is mentioned also in Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 6:1-5. The Old Testament had strict laws about Sabbath observance, but Jewish tradition had added restrictions to such extremes that it had voided God's original intent. Jesus' assertion that he was Lord of the Sabbath was equivalent to a claim of Deity.
This incident is mentioned also in Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11. The healing of the man who had a withered hand on the Sabbath so irritated the Pharisees and Herodians that they laid plans to kill Jesus. To these hard-hearted, depraved professional religionists a common deed of kindness on the Sabbath was a terrible crime. There are seven recorded healings by Jesus on the Sabbath (see under John 5).
The multitudes that came to Jesus were motivated by two reasons: one, to have their sick healed; the other, the popular expectation that he was the Messiah.
Jesus' Public Life
Was spent mostly in Galilee. He made five recorded visits to Jerusalem. Three recorded retirements from publicity: to the region of Tyre and Sidon; to Caesarea-Philippi; and to the wilderness of Ephraim to await his death.
Their names are listed in four places. Some of them had two names; either a surname, or a name given otherwise. Why Jesus chose Twelve we do not know. Of these, three were an inner group. Besides the 12, he sent 70 on a special errand. 3, 12 and 70 figure largely in Scripture symbolism. 12 tribes of Israel were the foundation of the nation. l2 Apostles laid the foundation of the Church (Revelation 21:12-14). Moses had 70 elders. Sanhedrin had 70 members. These numbers may have some mystic meaning unknown to us.
Of the Twelve four were fishermen. One a publican. One a zealot. We do not know what the others were. All were Galileans, except Judas the betrayer. There was not one professional religionist in the group, not one who advertised his piety by the kind of clothes he wore.
Peter. First mentioned at John's Baptism (John 1:40-42). At this first recorded meeting with Jesus, Jesus re-named him, as if Jesus had already decided to make him an Apostle. -"Simon" was his natural name. His new name was "Peter" (Greek), "Cephas" (Aramaic), both meaning "Rock." It was reaffirmed three years later, at his
confession (Matthew 16: l8).
Peter had a wife (Matthew 8:14; Mark 1:30; Luke 4:38). She went about with him in his work as an Apostle (I Corinthians 9:5). He was a native of Bethsaida (John 1:44). Had a home in Capernaum (Mark 1:29). Either he had two homes, or had moved from Bethsaida to Capernaum.
He was a partner in the fishing business with James and John (Luke 5:10). Evidently a very well-to-do business man.
He was energetic, enthusiastic, impulsive, impetuous, a natural born leader, with a good deal of human nature. Generally the spokesman of the Twelve.
The name which Jesus gave him, "Rock", was indicative of his real character, which Jesus well understood: strength of conviction, courage, boldness, though he did once deny his" Master, and once "dissimulated" at Antioch. He was absolutely fearless under persecution. He laid the foundations of the Judean Church, and led it on ward with such momentum that the rulers stood aghast. (See further under Introduction to I Peter.)
John, (See Introductory Note to John.)
Matthew. (See Introductory Note to Matthew.)
James. Older brother of John. Jesus named the two, "Boanerges." Sons of Thunder. Doesn't it indicate that possibly Jesus had a playful sense of humor? Not much is known of 'James. He was the first of the Twelve to die; killed by Herod, A.D. 44. Traditions are that most of the Twelve died as martyrs.
Two, families were partners in the fishing business: brothers and James John, with Zebedee their father; and brothers Simon and Andrew. They had hired servants. It must have been a fairly large business. All four became apostles. Three of them, the inner circle friends of Jesus. The Twelve as a whole must have been men of the very highest grade, for Jesus knew men. These three, What magnificent men they must have been!
Andrew. Of Bethsaida. He and John were Jesus, first converts. He brought his brother Peter to Christ. Tradition says he preached in Asia Minor, Greece and Scythia (Russia).
Philip, Of Bethsaida. Fellow-townsman of peter and Andrew. Brought Nathaniel to Christ. Matter-of-fact turn of mind. According to tradition, he preached in Phrygia, and in Hierapolis.
Bartholomew. Thought to be the surname of Nathaniel, who was of Cana. Perhaps it was through him that Jesus came to the wedding feast. Tradition: he preached in Parthia.
Thomas. A twin. Cautious, thoughtful, skeptical, gloomy. The traditions make him labor in Syria, Parthia, Persia and India.
James. Son of Alphaeus. Called "The Little," probably because of his stature. Tradition: he preached in Palestine ,and Egypt.
Thaddaeus: Thought to be same as Judas son of James, also called Lebbaeus. Tradition: he was sent to Abgarus, king of Edessa; and to Syria, Arabia and Mesopotamia.
Simon. The Zealot (Greek), or Cananaean (Aramaic). Nothing is known of him. The Zealots were an intensely nationalistic sect, the direct opposite of the Publicans. Jesus chose a Zealot and a Publican, from bitterly rival factions.
Judas Iscariot. The betrayer. Of Kerioth, a town of Judah. The only non-Galilean apostle. Avaricious, dishonest. Expected rich reward when his Master was seared on the throne of David. Disappointed when he saw his worldly dream fade. After his hideous crime, hanged himself, fell from the scaffold, and burst asunder.
Chapter 3:20-30. The Unpardonable Sin. (See on Matthew 12:24-37.)
Chapter 3:31-35. His Mother and Brothers. (See on Matthew 12:46-50.)
Chapter 4:1-25. Parable of the Sower. (See on Matthew 13:1-23.)
Chapter 4:30-34. The Mustard Seed. (See on Matthew 13:31-32.)
It was generally expected that the Messianic Kingdom would be inaugurated in a flare of glory and power that would shake the world. This parable means that it would be a matter of a very small beginning, and slow long growth, quietly, secretly, imperceptibly, and irresistibly moving on to the day of harvest.
Told also in Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25.In the tossing boat, the disciples were frightened, but Jesus was calmly sleeping. How we would love to know the inner processes and powers by which his word stilled the raging waters! What a rebuke to the disciples. "Why are you afraid? Where is your faith?"
Told also in Matthew 8:28-34; Luke 8:26-37. Matthew says Gedarenes. Mark and Luke, Gerasenes. Gerasa is identified with the ruins now called "Kerza" (Kersa, Gergesa). It is about five miles from the Jordan entrance. Just south of it is the only place where the steep hills come close to the water (Matthew 8:32).
Matthew says there were two demoniacs. Mark and Luke mention only one, probably because he was the more violent of the two, and spokesman. A dangerous, wild lunatic, of immense muscular strength, dwelling naked among the tombs and in the desert, mutilating himself, and screaming in pain.
There were many demons, "legion," in the two men, probably most of them in the more violent man. There were 2,000 swine, probably at least that many demons.
They recognized the authority of Jesus immediately.
Notice that the demons would rather live in swine than go to their own place. But they soon went anyhow.
They could control the men, but not the swine. They did not drive the swine into the sea. Neither the swine nor the demons wanted to go into the sea. The swine got panic-stricken, with the demons inside, and lost control of themselves on the precipitous hillside. Once on the move they could not stop.
Notice, too, that the natives wanted Jesus to get our of their country, for, though he had healed their insane, he had, in the act, destroyed their swine. They thought more of their swine than they did of their people. Such folks are not all dead yet.
Jesus told the man to go out and tell about his cure (19). He had commanded the leper to say nothing about his (Matthew 8:4). The reason for the difference was that in Gerasa he was not as vet widely known, whereas in Galilee his publicity was already out of hand with movements budding to proclaim him a political king.
A considerable number of those whom Jesus healed were "possessed with demons" (or "devils," AV: Matthew 4:24; 8:16, 9:32; 12:24, 26, 43; Mark 1:24, 32, 34; 3:11, 12; Luke 4:41; 6:18; etc).
What were demons? were they a reality? Or did Jesus and the New Testament writers speak that way because it was commonly believed that the afflicted were under the control of evil spirits, making no effort to correct the popular error?
In the Gospels, demons are represented as knowing that Jesus was the Son of God, as belonging to the kingdom of Satan, as passing through waterless places, awaiting torment in the abyss, as preferring to dwell in swine rather than go to their own place. Many could dwell in one person. They spoke, recognizing that they had a separate
personality and consciousness from the person in whom they dwelt, plainly distinct from the person. They looked forward with trembling to the judgment. Jesus was not interested in them, but only those who suffer by them.
Only in some cases were the diseases attributed to demon possession. In one case they made the man crazy; another dumb; another blind and dumb; another, epileptic. These were the effects of demon possession, but not identical with it.
It seems that there are "evil spirits," "unclean spirits," "seducing spirits," "fallen angels," "the devil's angels"; and that they are organized as "principalities," "powers," "rules of darkness," "spiritual hosts of wickedness"; against whom humans have to struggle (Matthew 12 43, 45; 25:41; ll Peter 2:4; Ephesians 6:12).
The rather plain implication of Scripture is that "demoniacs" were not mere lunatics, but cases of "invaded personality"; and that demons, whatever their origin or nature, were evil spirits that did actually enter and afflict, one way or another, certain persons.
It is thought to have been a special exhibition of the devil against Jesus, permitted of God, during Jesus' stay on earth, to demonstrate that Jesus' power extended even into the unseen realm. Faith in Him is protection from whatever evil they might be able to do.
From what sometimes goes on in the world, one could almost think that even now men are actually demon-possessed.
Paul says the Christian's struggle is against evil personalities of the unseen world (Ephesians 6: 1:12) But Jesus is our strength in the struggle. Satan and his evil spirits are helpless against the Name and Power of Jesus.
Chapter 5:21-43. Jairus' Daughter Raised. (See on Luke 8:40-56.)
The Miracles of Jesus
Aside from supernatural manifestations, such as angelic announcements, virgin birth, the star that guided the wise-men, Jesus passing through hostile mobs, cleansing the temple, his transfiguration, soldiers falling, darkness at the crucifixion, the veil rent, the tombs opened, the earthquake, Jesus' resurrection, angel appearances, there are recorded 35 miracles which Jesus wrought.
17 BODILY CURES
9 MIRACLES OVER FORCES OF NATURE
6 CURES OF DEMONIACS
3 RAISED FROM THE DEAD
Beside the 35 that are named and described, Jesus did innumerable other miracles, indicated thus:
METHOD OF THE MIRACLES
They were usually wrought by the act of Jesus' will' or by his word; sometime by his hands. Occasionally he used saliva.
PURPOSE OF THE MIRACLES
Jesus' miracles imply an exercise of creative power. They were a part of God's way of authenticating Jesus' mission. Jesus said that if he had not done works that no other ever did, they would not have had sin (John 15:24), thus indicating that he regarded his miracles as proofs that he was from God. Then, too, his miracles were the natural expression of his sympathy for suffering humanity.
Told also in Matthew 13:54-58. This seems to have been his second visit to Nazareth after he began his public ministry, about a year after the visit recorded in Luke 4:16-30. Note that Jesus had four brothers, and "sister" (more than one). They did not at that time believe on him (John 7:5). They did afterward, and according to common opinion, two of them, James and Jude, were authors of the two Epistles called by their names. The other two were Joseph and Simon.
Chapter 6:7-13. The Twelve Sent Out. (See on Matthew 10.)
Chapter 6:14-29. John Beheaded. (See on Luke 3:1-20.)
Chapter 6:30-44. the 5,000 Fed (See on John 6:1-14.)
Chapter 6:45-52. Jesus Walks on the Water. (See on John 6:15-21.)
Period from Feeding 5,000 to Transfiguration
Mark 6:53 to 8:26 Matthew 14:34 to 16:12
This was a period in Jesus' life, of probably, about eight months, April to November, of which we have only slight knowledge. It is told only by Matthew and Mark, Luke passes directly from the Feeding of the 5,000 to the Transfiguration incidents (Luke 9:17, l8). John goes immediately from the Feeding of the 5,000 to Jesus' Tabernacle
Visit to Jerusalem, six months later (John 6:71;7:1).
Part of this eight months was spent in the regions of Tyre and Sidon, Decapolis, and Caesarea-Philippi, largely Gentile populations. Decapolis was the region east of the Sea of Galilee extending northward to Damascus. It was under the rule of Philip, who was a very good and just ruler, and who had no special reason for antagonism to Jesus. Herod was ruler over Galilee. He had recently murdered John the Baptist, and was beginning to eye Jesus with suspicion, especially since some of the people had turned against Jesus after the feeding of the 5,000.
Told also in Matthew 14:34-36. Gennesaret was the plain along the shore south of Capernaum. It appears that the day after Jesus fed the 5,000 he explained to the crowd in Capernaum the nature of his mission, and many fell away from him (John 6:66). Then he went southward to Gennesaret, where great crowds gathered, and he healed multitudes.
Told also in Matthew 15:1-20. The rulers at Jerusalem had already determined to kill Jesus (John 5:18). No doubt they had heard of his waning popularity in Galilee (John 6:66), and sent this delegation of Pharisees to push their propaganda campaign. hoping to make him more unpopular with his own disciples, for it is likely that many of
them held the same traditions as the Pharisees. The washing of hands that is here referred to was not for sanitary purposes, but purely a religious ceremonial, not of the Law, but an invention of the Scribes. Jesus told them that such ceremonials were of no value, that real defilement is of the heart, and then denounced them roundly for
voiding the Word of God by some of their Traditions of human origin. His words apply directly to many of the practices that through the centuries have crept into the Church. It is amazing with what cunning and ingenuity many church leaders strive to make their forms and practices. known to be of purely human origin, conform to God's Word. Slavish bondage to Tradition. Slight regard for God's word.
Told also in Matthew 15:21-28. In Matthew she is called a "Canaanitish" woman.
Phoenicians were of Canaanite descent. This was about 50 miles north of Capernaum, outside of Jewish territory, in a region of Gentiles, same section in which Elijah had been sent to the woman of Serepta (I Kings 17:9). Jesus did not mean to call her a "dog" (27). He was, only echoing what was in the disciples' minds. Her persistence, humility and faith won her request.
Jesus returned from the region of Tyre and Sidon, whither he had gone for a temporary retirement from publicity, eastward and southward through Decapolis to the east side of the Sea of Galilee. He was now back in the region where a few weeks before they had tried to make him king. So he cautioned the man to keep quiet, to avoid publicity.
Told also in Matthew 15:29-39. This probably was near where he had fed the 5,000 a few weeks before. Matthew adds that it was at a time when he was healing great multitudes. The people in Galilee must have heard that Jesus had returned to their borders.
Told also in Matthew 16:1-12. This incident was in Dalmanutha (10). Matthew 15:39 says Magdala, or Magadan (RV)' the home of Mary Magdalene, which was a city in a region called Dalmanutha, on the central west coast of the lake. No sooner had Jesus arrived back in Galilee than his enemies were on hand resorting to every conceivable scheme to discredit him in the eyes of the people. They wanted a "sign." For two years he had been healing vast multitudes of people sick with every kind of disease, in uninterrupted succession. And had fed the 5,000 and the 4,000. Still they wanted a "sign." And Jesus was troubled by the slowness of the disciples to understand the significance of his Miracles, and rebuked them for their Worry about Food while they were With Him (7-12).
This was at Bethsaida, where Jesus had done many miracles (Matthew 11:21), and near which he had fed the 5,000. Hence his caution to the man to avoid any unnecessary publicity.
Chapter 8:27-30. Peter's Confession. (See on Matthew 16:13-20.)
Chapter 8:31-33. Passion Foretold. (See on Mark 9:30-32.)
Chapter 8:34-9:1. Cost of Discipleship. (See on Luke 14:25-35.)
Told also in Matthew 17:1-13 and Luke 9:28-36. Thought to have occurred in Mt. Hermon, shortly before Jesus' Final Departure from Galilee, about four months before his death. One of the purposes of the Transfiguration was to confirm the Faith of the disciples in the Divine Nature of Christ's Person against the shock of the troublous days ahead. Peter never forgot it. It gave him a sense of Surety as he was facing his own martyrdom (2 Peter 1:14-18). Also, it was a sort of grand climactic testimony direct from heaven that Jesus was THE ONE in whom all Old Testament prophecies converged and found their fulfilment.
Told also in Matthew 17:14-19; Luke 9:37-42. It was a bad case of demon possession, that baffled the disciples. (See on Mark 5:1-20.)
Up to this time Jesus had not talked much about His coming Crucifixion. But from here on He wanted them to understand plainly what was going to happen to Him. Between Peter's confession, and their arrival in Jerusalem, He told them five recorded times that He would be Killed and Rise from the Dead:
Chapter 9:33-37. Who is the Greatest? (See on Luke 9:46-48.)
Chapter 9:38-40. Unknown Wonder Worker. (See on Luke 9:49- 50.)
Chapter 9:41-50. Occasions of Stumbling. A supreme Christian motive is that we conduct ourselves that no one else may be lost on account of our example. Jesus said this a number of times, in different connections (Matthew 18:7-14; Luke 17:1-10).
The Perean Ministry. Chapter 10. (See on Luke 9:51)
Chapter 10:1. Departure from Galilee. (See on Luke 9:51.)
Chapter 10:2-12. Question about Divorce. (See on Matthew 19 3-12.)
Chapter 10:13-16. little Children. (See on Luke 18:15-17.)
Chapter 10:17-31. Rich Young Ruler. (See on Luke 18:18-30.)
Chapter 10:31-34. Passion again Foretold. (See on Mark 9:30-32.).
Chapter 10:35-45. Request of James, John. (See on Matthew 20:20-28.)
Chapter 1-:46-52. Blind Martimaeus. (See on Luke 18:35-43.)
Jesus' Last Week. Chapters 11 to 16
Chapter 11:1-11. Triumphal Entry. (See on Matthew 21:1-11.)
Chapter 11:15-18. Temple Cleansed. (See on Matthew 21:12-17.)
Chapter 11:12-14; 19-25. Fig Tree. (See on Matthew 21:18-22.)
Chapter 11:27-33. "By What Authority"? (See on Matthew 21:23-27.)
Chapter 12:1-12. Parable of Vineyard. (See on Matthew 21:33-46.)
Recorded also in Matthew 22:15-22; Luke 20:20-26. This was an effort to trap Jesus into a statement of some kind on which they could base a charge of disloyalty to the Roman government, and so hand him over to Pilate. Jesus, with a master stroke, proclaimed Separation of Church and State. Christians must be obedient to their government. But the government has no right to dictate the religion of its subjects.
Recorded also in Matthew 22:23-33; Luke 20:27-40. Sadducees were the materialists of that day. They were not numerous, but educated, wealthy and influential. They did not believe in the resurrection. The question by which they tried to baffle Jesus involved a case that would require polygamy in heaven. Jesus settled the matter instantly: there will be no marrying in heaven.
Recorded also in Matthew 22:34-40. What Jesus gave as the First commandment he quoted from Deuteronomy 6:4-5; the second, from Leviticus 19:18. Notice that Jesus put God first, our neighbor second. The one most important thing in life is our attitude toward God. Everything depends on that. Jesus is God incarnate. The one thing that He wants is that we love Him more than we love even our own life. The one last thing that Jesus wanted to know of Peter-he asked him three times over-"Do you love Me?" (John 21:15, 16, 17).
Recorded also in Matthew 22:41-46; Luke 20:41-44. The point in the question is, How could a man call his own son Lord? Simple as the answer seems to us, it silenced them (Matthew 22:46).
Chapter 12:18-40. Scribes Denounced. (See on Matthew 23.)
Recorded also in Luke 21: 1-4. This was just after his denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees. It was his last act in the Temple, after a day of controversy. He took time to pay this glowing tribute to the dear old widow who gave all she had. Then he left the Temple, never again to enter.
Chapter 13. Discourse on His Coming. (See on Matthew 24.)
Recorded also in Matthew 26:1-5; Luke 22: 1-2. This u'as on Tuesday evening. About a month before this, after Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, the Sanhedrin had definitely decided that Jesus must be put to death (John 11:53). But Jesus' popularity made it difficult (Luke 22:2). Even in Jerusalem the multitudes hung upon him (Mark 12:37; Luke 19:48). The opportunity came, the second night after this, through the treachery of Judas, who, in a surprise move, delivered Jesus to them in the night, while the city was asleep. They, hurried to get him condemned before day, and in the morning, ere the city's multitudes were awake, they had him on the cross.
Recorded also in Matthew 26:6-13; John 12:1-8. This seems to have occurred on Saturday evening before the Triumphal Entry (John 12:2, 12). But Matthew and Mark narrate it in connection with the plot of the priests as a setting for Judas' bargain. (See further under John 12:1-8.)
Recorded also in Matthew 26:14-16 Luke 22:3-6. His part was to deliver Jesus to them in the absence of the multitudes. They did not dare arrest him openly, lest they be stoned by the people. Judas led them to Him after the city had gone to sleep.
Jesus "knew from the beginning" that Judas would betray him. Why he was chosen is one of the mysteries of God's ways. Judas may have thought that Jesus would use his miraculous power to deliver himself. Yet, in God's eyes his deed was dastardly, for Jesus said it would have been better for him if he had never been born (Matthew 26:24). The whole performance was amazingly forecast (Zechariah 11: 12-13 ). "Jeremiah" (Matthew 27:9-10), is either a copyist's error, or because the whole group of Prophetical books was sometimes called by Jeremiah's name.
Chapter 14:12-25. Last Supper. (See on Matthew 26:17-29.)
Chapter 14:26-31, 66-72. Peter's Denial. (See on John 18:15-27.)
Chapter 14:32-42. Agony in Gethsemane. (See on Luke 22:39-46.)
Chapter 14:43-52. Betrayal and Arrest. (See on John 18:1-12.)
Told also in Matthew 26:57-27:31; Luke 22:54-23:25; John 18:12-19:16. There were two trials: before the Sanhedrin, and before Pilate the Roman governor. Judea was subject to Rome. The Sanhedrin could not execute a death sentence without the Roman governor's consent. There were three stages in each trial, six in all.
1. Before Annas (John 18:12-24). About midnight. Caiaphas was high priest. But his father-in-law, Anuas, who had been deposed A.D. 16, still retained the influence of the office, The family had grown immensely wealthy through the trading booths in the Temple. On the High Priest of the Hebrew nation rests primary responsibility for the death of Jesus.
2. Before the Sanhedrin, in the house of Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57; Mark 14:53; Luke 22:54; John 18:24). Between midnight and daybreak. This was the main Jewish trial. They condemned him on the charge of blasphemy, from his own acknowledgement that he was the Son of God (Mark 14:61-62). Then, while waiting for daylight, they mocked him. This was when Peter denied him. This session, being in the night, was, by their own law, illegal.
3. At Daylight, the Sanhedrin officially ratified its midnight decision ( Matthew 27: 1 ; Mark 15: 1; Luke 22:66-7 1) , to give it appearance of Legality. The charge was "blasphemy." Bur with Pilate that would have little weight. So, for him, they concocted the charge of sedition against the Roman government. Their real reason was their envy of Jesus' popularity (Matthew 27:18).
4. Before Pilate (Matthew 27:2, 11-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-38), shortly after daylight. Jesus made no reply to their accusations. Then Pilate took him within the palace, for a private interview, which further satisfied him of Jesus' innocence. Learning that Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate sent him to Herod, who had
jurisdiction over Galilee. (See on Matthew 27:11-25.)
5. Before Herod (Luke 23:6-12). This was the Herod who had killed John the Baptist, and whose father had murdered the children of Bethlehem. Jesus refused to answer any of his questions. Herod mocked Jesus, and sent him back to Pilate.
6. Before Pilate again (Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:39-19:16). Pilate attempted to go over the head of the rulers to the people. But the packed court chose Barabbas. Then Pilate ordered Jesus to be scourged, hoping that would satisfy the multitude. His wife sends words of her dream. Pilate is amazed at the calm majesty of Jesus under the crown of thorns. But there are rumblings of a rising riot, and threats to report to Caesar, and Pilate gives sentence.
(See on Matthew 27:32-40; Luke 23:26-49 and John 19.17-30.)
Chapter 15:42-47. Burial of Jesus. (See on John 19:38-42.)
The Site of the Crucifixion
Jesus was crucified "outside the city" (John 19:17, 20; Hebrews 13:12). At a place called "The Skull" (Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; Luke 23:33; John 19:17). "Calvary" is Latin, "Golgotha" is Hebrew, for "skull." There is only one place around Jerusalem which has borne, and still bears, the name "Skull Hill." It is just outside the North wall, near the Damascus gate. It is a rock ledge, some 30 feet high, just above "Jeremiah's Grotto," with a striking resemblance to a human skull.
The traditional place of the Crucifixion is the Church of the Holy, Sepulchre. It is inside the wall. Prevailing archaeological opinion is that the wall is now just where it was in Jesus'day, and that the actual place of Jesus' Crucifixion was the "Skull Hill."
(See note on Matthew 28:1-8.) "And Peter" (7). Peter, in bitter humiliation over his denial of the Lord, no doubt felt that he had been disowned, and needed this special message. How gracious of Jesus to send it to him. Later in the day Jesus appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34). What took place at that meeting we can only imagine. Hot tears, burning shame, loving forgiveness. It sealed a devotion that never again was broken, even unto Peter's martyrdom. (See further on John 2l:15-19.)
The women run to tell the disciples. Peter and John run to the Tomb (John 20:3-10.)
These are not in the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts, but were early accepted as a genuine part of Mark's Gospel. It is thought likely that the last page of the original copy was lost, and added later. It does not seem that verse 8 could have been a proper ending for the book.
(See John 20: 11-18.) And to the Other Women (Matthew 28:9-10). And to the Two (Mark 16:12-13. See on Luke 24:13-32).
Told also in Luke 24:)341 and John 20:19-25. (See on these passages.) The final commission to go into all the world (15-16), seems to have been uttered at this appearance. It may, however, have been a summary of final instructions which Jesus repeated over and over during his 40-days post-resurrection ministry. In substance it is recorded four times.
The power to work miracles (17-18), was a divine attestation to their mission in founding the Church. (See on Acts 3.)
Between verses 18 and 19 there elapses 40 days, in which Jesus Appears to the Eleven, a week later (John 20:26-31).
And to the Seven, by the Sea of Galilee (John 21).
And to the Eleven, in Galilee, with 500? (Matthew 28:16-20).
And to James (I Corinthians 15:7). Time and Place unknown. It is not known which James, but it is commonly supposed to have been James the Lord's brother, who afterwards became the main leader in the Judean Church, and wrote the Epistle of James.
And the Final Appearance in Jerusalem (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:3-8).
Chapter 16:19-20. Jesus' Ascension. (See on Luke 24:44-53.)
Order of Events of the Resurrection Morning
It is not easy to harmonize into a connected consecutive story the fragmentary records of the four Gospels about the Resurrection of Jesus. In a few sentences there are generalizations of many details. We are told all the incidents in the precise order of their occurrence.
Let it be remembered that there were different groups of disciples, lodging at various places, going to the tomb, in different companies, and that they were not expecting Jesus to rise, but were visiting the tomb to complete the embalming of his body for permanent burial.
The first sight of the empty tomb, and the angel announcement that Jesus had risen, threw them into wild excitement.
They ran to tell the others, hurrying back and forth in alternate joy, fear, anxiety, wonder and bewilderment.
Many things happened that are not recorded. Of what is recorded, one writer tells one thing; another, another thing. One gives in a sentence what another describes in detail. Some, in a general statement, cover various incidents. No one gives a complete account.
There are a number of ways in which the accounts may be harmonized. The following, only provisional, is generally accepted.
1. At the first break of dawn, two or more groups of women, from their abodes in Jerusalem or Bethany, probably, a mile or two distant, start groping their way toward the tomb.
2. It was probably about that time that Jesus. was emerging from the tomb, accompanied by angels who rolled away the stone and neatly folded the shroud.
3. The guards, meantime, frightened and dazed, fled to tell the priests who had placed them there.
4. About sunrise, as the women approach the tomb, Mary Magdalene, ahead of her group, seeing the tomb empty, but not seeing the angel, nor hearing his announcement that Jesus had risen (John 20:13, 15), turns and runs to tell Peter and John.
5. The other women draw near. See and hear the angels. Hurry away, by another route, to tell the main group of disciples.
6. By this time, Peter and John reach the tomb. Go in. See the empty shroud. Depart, John believing, Peter wondering.
7. Mary Magdalene, meantime, following hard after Peter and John, returns to the tomb, and remains, alone, weeping. Then she sees the angels. And Jesus Himself appears to her.
8. Shortly thereafter, Jesus appears to the other u omen, as they were on their way to tell the disciples, or, as, having told the disciples, they were returning to the tomb.
This all happened in probably less than an hour's time.