Recap 03 New Testament Survey (Kevin) 12-7-15

Hello everyone. Thanks for your participation this week. I hope you all have a great Christmas Break!

Recap of Monday, December 7, 2015:

Mark: “A Short Story Of Solitude, Serpents, & The Secret, Sacrificial Suffering Servant”

Our objectives for the night were:

  • That we recognize Jesus as the sacrificial, suffering servant
  • We appreciate the value of silence and solitude
  • That we do not make “Snake Handler” errors
  • We remember the importance of comparing Scripture with Scripture.

Matthew and Luke each have material that is unique. While only 3 percent of Mark is not found in either Matthew or Luke, approximately 20-25% of Matthew and 35% of Luke is unique to their accounts. The material that is found in all three Synoptics is called the Triple Tradition. This refers to the fact that 90 percent of Mark’s content is also found in Matthew, and about 65 percent of Mark is found in Luke. The material that is found in both Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark, is called the Double Tradition. The Triple Tradition is mostly narrative material while the Double Tradition material is mostly sayings of Jesus.


We might ponder the “worth” of studying Mark when so much of this gospel is contained in Matthew and Luke. We recognized that it’s unique, condensed nature made several themes more evident. Only 3% of the Gospel of Mark is exclusive to these 16 chapters, but that 3% is Scripture! It makes as much sense to skip that 3% as it would to skip 1 John or Jude. The length of the material is not what is important, the authority is. Also note in the attached file a handy reference to the unique elements of Mark’s Gospel

We directly through the book, pausing to see some of the themes, wrinkles and difficult issues of the book.

Some major themes are:
  • Jesus’ and the disciples needed to have down time and solitude.
  • Jesus is the prophesied Suffering Servant
  • Jesus is the Son of God
  • Jesus came to serve rather than to be served.
  • A key verse of is Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  • Jesus’ absolute authority over demons. We saw that Satan is the “strong man” but Jesus is clearly the “stronger man.” Later we saw how strong the Demoniac “Legion” was (Samson-strong, capable of breaking chains) and yet the demons needed to ask Jesus for permission to leave and go into the swine.
  • Jesus “could/would not” heal some people because of their unbelief.  He was capable but to heal against someone’s will would violate His character.
  • Compare Herod’s offer to give anything to Solome with James and John’s request to be granted anything they asked for. This is a danger for us. God has the power to grant us what we wish but He loves us enough to say no when we have in mind the things of man rather than the things of God.
  • To better understand the “believe and receive” verse in Mark 11:23-24 compare Scripture with Scripture to get a fuller understanding of prayer. James 1 and James 4 helped us see the issue more clearly. Notice v. 22 which begins the passage, “Have faith in God.”
  • Jesus trial before the Sanhedrin where He was accused of blasphemy. The major categories for blasphemy were:
    • 1) To ascribe something false to God
    • 2) To subtract something true from God
    • 3) To claim equality with God
In the end, the members of the Sanhedrin were guilty of points 1 and 2.
  • Jesus legal trial was over the issue of treason and yet the Jews actually petitioned to have an insurrectionist murderer freed.
  • We looked briefly at the disputed end of Mark 16 and saw that by comparing Scripture with Scripture there is nothing out of biblical character there. If it is authentic, we have slightly more emphasis on what we learn from other Scriptures. If it was a late addition, it does not violate or change what we know from other scripture.  The tomb is empty and Jesus is risen! That is the centerpiece of the Gospel and it is quite present in Mark 16 with or without the “long ending.”
  • We also mentioned briefly the practice of snake handling. By looking at context and comparing Scripture with Scripture it is clear that voluntarily entering into such practices is “Putting God to the test.” Paul and the apostles suffered hardship as they were going and spreading the Gospel. There is not even a hint of a command to deliberately put yourself at risk as you go out much less while you are gathered with other believers. We need to take time to see what may have been exceptional and what is normative.

For our next class, next year!

Assignment for Monday, January 4, 2016:

  • Read the gospel of Luke and the accompanying manual pages
  • Look for aspects of the Lord Jesus’ humanity in Luke’s account.
  • Look for differences in what we have read in Matthew’s account, (the Lord as the Messiah-King),  and Mark’s account, (the Suffering Servant).
  • Look for the Gentile writer’s perspective in Luke.
  • Choose one of these passages in Luke from pages 55-56 and fill in the assignment box on page 56:
Introduction and Advent:
Ministry as Messiah:
Rejection and Response:
Accomplishment of His mission:
Thanks again for being such a great class! We have already been together for most of a year and I look forward to our next year together as continue to learn and grow by studying God’s Word!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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