Series - Trinity Gospel of Mark

The Man Who Would be King

"The Miracle of the Loaves and the Fish," by Lambert Lombard (ca. 16th century)

Read the rest of the series

After he fed the 5000, why did Jesus make the disciples leave the area so abruptly?

Why the Hasty Retreat?

Mark tells us, “immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd,” (Mk 6:45). Mark doesn’t tell us why, and neither does Matthew (14:22-23). However, John does give us some insight:

When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!” (Jn 6:14).

At least some people connected the dots, and understood the significance of what had happened. Jesus is the true shepherd of Israel (Mk 6:34). Because the nominal Jewish political leader in this region had abdicated his responsibilities (cf. Mk 6:14-29), Jesus stepped in to fill the gap “and he began to teach them many things,” (Mk 6:34). He also “healed their sick,” (Mt 14:14) and “spoke to them of the kingdom of God,” (Lk 9:11). Likewise, their religious leaders were apostates who’d fenced the law so much they’d lost all sight of it, and had perverted the grace of the Old Covenant into a system of works righteousness (cf. Mk 7:1-13).

978 reads

Jesus Feeds the 5,000

"Miracle of the Bread and Fish," by Giovanni Lanfranco (ca. 1620)

A person can know who Jesus really is by looking at what He said about Himself, and what He did. His actions tells us who He is.1 Here, in this miracle account, Jesus’ actions show He is both divine and yet distinct from the Father. And, in doing so, Mark shows us the doctrine of the Trinity.

This miracle is mentioned in all the Gospel accounts. It clearly occurred in an isolated location (Mk 6:31); likely in the hill country north of Capernaum and west of Bethsaida.2 Mark has already identified Jesus as the shepherd who leads and teaches Israel (Mk 6:34); a metaphor of royal power and military might, not pastoral tenderness.3 Jesus is often compared to Moses, especially by Peter (cf. Acts 3:22f), who tradition tells us was Mark’s mentor.4 Now, Mark gives us another parallel. Just as Moses led the Israelites into the wilderness and relied on God to supply their needs in the desert, Jesus led His people into a “lonely place” and He, too, must find a way to feed them.

Moses was angry at the people, and preferred to die rather than continue to endure their treachery (Num 11:15). Earlier, immediately after the miracle at the Red Sea and their divine rescue from the Egyptian armies, the people had begun their grumbling;

588 reads

Against Cardboard Shepherds

"The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes," by Lambert Lombard

Trinitarian heresies usually stumble over who Christ is. Without fail, these heretical groups, sects and movements brand themselves as “renewal movements.” God gave us the Scriptures but, alas, things went haywire after the apostles died. The church lurched into heresy bit by bit. These groups warn us that the Greeks influenced Christian thinking, and eventually this pagan philosophy corrupted our doctrine of God, and the church was in darkness. Until … (cue theme music) … someone read the Bible for himself and discovered The Truth (insert heresy now).

For example, Anthony Buzzard, a conservative Unitarian, writes,

Though I believe with a passion the extraordinary and yet eminently sane claims of the New Testament writers, I have the strongest reservation about what the Church, claiming to be followers of Jesus, later did with the faith of those original Christians. I believe that history shows an enormous difference between what has through the centuries come to be known as the Christian faith and what we find reported as first-century Christianity.1

The truth is that these cults are reading the Bible in a very flat, sterile way. The Gospels are thoroughly Trinitarian, and the cults cannot find their doctrine through a systematic exposition of Scripture. Here, in our text this morning, we see Jesus as the shepherd over Israel:

484 reads

Jesus Sends the Apostles (Mark 6:7-13)

"The Appearance of Christ on the Mountain in Galilee," by Duccio di Buoninsegna (14th century)

This is a series about the Trinity. It explores this doctrine by brief expositions of different passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching and assumption of Scripture.

After the chilly reception He received in his hometown synagogue, the Bible tells us Jesus “went about among the villages teaching,” (Mk 6:6). Mark continues the story:

And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.

And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” 

So they went out and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them (Mark 6:7-13).

384 reads

Jesus & the Angry Nazarenes (Mark 6:1-6)

Christ Preaching in the Nazarene Synagogue (ca. 14th century), Visoki Decani Monastery, Kosovo

This is a series about the Trinity. It explores this doctrine by brief expositions of different passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching and assumption of Scripture.

Throughout his letter, Mark has told us who Jesus is and, by extension, who God is. People have to believe in the real Jesus and the real God; you know — the triune One. If you don’t believe in the real Jesus, then you don’t have union with Christ, you don’t have salvation, you don’t know the Gospel, you aren’t reconciled to the Father and you don’t have the Holy Spirit. This means people have to actually understand and accept who He is.

They have to accept that He’s the eternal Son of God, sinless and holy. They have to believe He added a human nature to His divine nature, in the incarnation. They have to believe He and the Father are One, and that He and the Father are also distinct, in some way. They have to believe Jesus is equal to the Father in power and glory. They have to believe Jesus is co-eternal; He has no beginning or end. They have to believe Jesus is Lord of all, that He’s the rightful King over God’s creation, and that they must bow their knee to Him in submission like loyal subjects.

368 reads

The Sick Woman & the Dead Girl (Mark 5:21-43)

"Christ and the Woman with the Issue of Blood" (ca. 1565) by Paolo Veronese

This is a series about the Trinity. It explores this doctrine by brief expositions of different passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching and assumption of Scripture.

I’m a regulatory fraud investigator for a state agency. Before that, I was a criminal investigator with the U.S. Naval Security Forces. I carry credentials which tell people who I am. Jesus had credentials, too. They proved who He is and where He comes from.

My credentials are a piece of state-issued plastic. Jesus’ credentials are His miracles. They show He is co-equal with God, “for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him,” (John 3:2). And, as I forge ahead in my series on Jesus and the Trinity, the two miracles in our passage help establish this.

And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, and besought him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” And he went with him (Mark 5:21-24a).

641 reads

Jesus and the Legion of Demons (Mark 5:1-13)

This is a series about the Trinity. It explores this doctrine by brief expositions of different passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching and assumption of Scripture.

Jesus and his disciples have finished their perilous crossing of the Sea of Galilee. There was a ferocious storm during the night. It was so bad, the men with him feared for their lives. Frantic, they woke Jesus up, probably because they were exasperated that He slept while they desperately bailed water from the boat. Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves, demonstrating His power, jurisdiction and authority over the forces of nature.

Though He had added a human nature in the incarnation, Jesus still retained all the properties of His divine nature and continued to uphold all things in creation as He lived as a man in His own creation (cf. Col 1; Heb 1).1

601 reads

Jesus Conquers the Storm (Mk 4:35-41)

This is a series about the Trinity. It goes beyond simple proof-texting, and explores this doctrine by brief expositions of selected passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching and assumption of the Gospel writer.

Jesus has had a long day. He began by teaching the crowds from a boat, just off-shore on the Sea of Galilee. The crowds lined the shore to hear Him speak (Mk 4:1). He deliberately taught them in parables, in order to drive away those who had no “ears to hear” (Mk 4:10-12). The parables were not simply designed to be memorable. Jesus used them to filter out the elect from the non-elect; those who love Him from those who hate Him (compare Mk 4:9 with Jn 8:47).1

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” (Mk 4:35)

1208 reads

Pages