I promised to reveal what I have found, and I plan to now, so sit down and prepare to understand the Purposeful Message of Mark.
In volume one of this title, I discussed how everything Mark had been writing revolved around Jesus’ authority, and that remains true, however, there was a shift after Jesus sent out his disciples in authority.
Having established Jesus’ authority, Mark’s message turned to proving a different point about Jesus, that he was the promised Messiah.
Let me explain. At the beginning of the turning point, Mark 6:14-15, it is said that people thought that Jesus was Elijah or a prophet of old. This would have been a trigger for the Jews of that time because they believed Elijah would precede the Messiah as they interpreted in Malachi 4:5-6.
From this point, Mark lays out Jesus performing other actions expected of the Messiah, and even more specifically, Jesus performing the actions of Moses. This is because the Jews of Jesus’ time read Deuteronomy 18:15-19, and would have expected the Messiah to be like Moses.
In what ways is Jesus like Moses? Well, Mark observes, Moses fed the multitudes with manna (bread) and quail (meat). Jesus fed the multitudes with loaves (bread) and fish (meat).
Moses led the people across the Red Sea. Jesus led his struggling disciples across the Sea of Galilee. This particular tale is a double message of Messiah and authority of God because the OT also says in Job 9:8, “He(God) alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.” Thus, not only is Jesus like Moses but as predicted in Deuteronomy, he possesses the authority of God to do what only God could do.
Moses did not heal the people in the same way that Jesus did, but he did heal them as it says in Numbers 21:8-9. In addition to being like Moses, the Jews believed the Messiah would be a great healer, just like in Malachi 4:2 which was discussed by Rob Bell in a previous post, and in Isaiah 35:5-6.
While these passages were not all intended to be prophecies when written, the Jews of Jesus’ time had read back and determined that that is what they were. They believed that all of these things would be true of the chosen Messiah, and so Mark is highlighting for us those things which prove that Jesus was the Messiah.
So there you go, from the authority of Man, to the authority of God, to Messiah, the purposeful message of Mark revealed. (Up to chapter 7 at least).
Grace and Peace to you all!