Several familiar faces this week, and one new member who dropped in because he saw the “A” board outside.
Roger opened the discussion with his usual recap over previous chapters. We agreed with his remark that the whole of Mark’s gospel leads to this, the penultimate chapter – Jesus’ trial and crucifixion.
From the early chapters we read of the Scibes’ and Pharisees’ attempts to trick Jesus into some action or words that would be contrary to Jewish law. The High Priest instigated this persecution because of Jesus’ popularity. “The people listened to Jesus.” This theme continues throughout his ministry until Jesus knew it was time for him to die.
- After reading the chapter someone asked why we read in verse 2, that Pilate asked, “Are you the King of the Jews?” someone else noticed that verse 12 that Pilate asked the people “what shall I do then with the one you call the king of the Jews?”
- Then there was some discussion about the cruel treatment Jesus received. Not only was he made to wear a crown of thorns, but then he was beaten over the head so the thorns dug in. He was mocked and flogged but just appeared to accept the abuse.
- Jesus was exhausted and Simon, a Cyrenian carried his cross. Apart from the tireless way he worked during his ministry, Jesus had been arrested at night, stood before the High Priest to be tried. (Chapter 14 verses 53 – 72.) Then taken to Pilate, as we read this evening. It was pointed out that in Verse 44 Pilate marvelled that Jesus was already dead. This could have been that God spared him too much suffering or perhaps it was another pointer to just how worn out Jesus was, how much he gave during his short life.
- In verses 31 & 32, we read that the mocking continued. Verse 29 refers to a point Jesus made in Chapter 13 verse 2. However, Jesus didn’t say there that he himself would destroy the temple. Somebody remarked that if we study the other gospels, we’ll see that Jesus say’s more on this subject. Mark is very concise.
- Finally, there was some difficulty with the wording of verse 36. We looked at it in several translations, and put it in context by reading the previous two verses. We referred back to chapter 9 verse 11. There’s a prophesy that Elijah will appear before Jesus returns to set up the Kingdom. In chapter 9 Jesus was asked about this, and again in chapter 15 verse 33, when he cries out on the cross in Aramaic, the people think he’s calling for Elijah. One of those mocking offered Jesus vinegar, then told the people to leave Jesus alone so that they would see if Elijah came.