The New Testament is our divinely inspired commentary on the Old Testament. When studying a passage, it’s often helpful to see how other biblical authors understood it. Here is Mark’s use of the Old Testament in his gospel.
After Jesus was captured in the Garden of Gethsemane, the soldiers led him to the high priest. Mark is very careful to point out that these two situations — the trial before the Sanhedrin and the denial of Peter — occur side by side. The contrast between these two situations gives us an illustration which is the answer to the question Jesus asks on the cross.
Probably one of the most difficult questions Christians are asked is: If God is sovereign, why bother to pray? Why pray, since it won’t change anything? This question gives a really good start on understanding it.
What’s the most expensive thing you own? Maybe it’s not the most expensive in terms of dollars, but maybe it’s something that’s impossible to replace? What would it take to make you part with it? That kind of costly, self-sacrificing love is at the theme of this question.
As we’ve seen, Jesus asks questions designed to help people understand themselves and God in a new way. The question “whose likeness is on this coin” often prompts a lecture on paying taxes and financial stewardship. But this passage is more about image and authority than money.
What do you want Jesus to do for you? Do you want him to make you great? Greatness is not demanding loyalty and service from others. Greatness is serving, to the point of giving your life.
This question comes from the well-known passage about the rich young ruler. The rich man wants to know what he can do to inherit eternal life. He learns that what he must do is impossible to do.
The questions we’ll look at in the rest of our series will differ from the previous questions. These questions cover a wider range of topics and the questions focus more on what Jesus came to do and by extension what does it mean to follow him, rather than on who he is. The passage concerns divorce and marriage, and the question that Jesus asks is, “What did Moses command?”
This question is the turning point of the story. So far in Mark’s gospel, the primary focus of Jesus’ teaching revealing his authority as the Son of Man and the Servant of God. Having established his identity, Jesus now prepares his disciples for what he came to do.
The passage contains several questions which all revolve around seeing and not seeing, culminating with Jesus asking a blind man if he sees anything.
Jesus asks this question of his disciples. He highlights a specific area of concern: what makes a person unclean?
As we journey through Mark, the evidence is mounting that Jesus is the Messiah. First, he claimed to have the authority to forgive sins. Then we saw him deal with an overwhelming external storm and an overwhelming internal storm, followed by a debilitating physical illness. With this question, he confronts the final enemy: death.
This question is addressed to the woman whose period didn’t end for 12 years. She was ritually unclean, isolated, sick and living a life that was going from bad to worse with no hope on the horizon. She touched Jesus in hopes of being healed physically, but Jesus stopped and offered her spiritual healing and a place in the community of believers.
This question is addressed to the legion of demons who are tormenting the man in the graveyard, and it is asked in the presence of the disciples. Why would Jesus care about the name?
Perhaps the most difficult question that skeptics ask is the question of suffering. How can God be all-powerful and all-loving and allow His people to live in tragedy and anguish? The disciples ask “Don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus responds reveals the problem of suffering is ultimately a problem of faith.