Friday, September 23, 2011


Finished the Gospel of Mark this morning after breakfast. Mark is the shortest of the gospels, but it's still a lengthy 16 chapters. According to Cliffnotes, it's the oldest and therefore most reliable, or accurate account of the life of Jesus, from which the other three borrow heavily. One interesting point to make about Mark is that it leaves out any account of Jesus' birth or youth. This book begins with his baptism by John the Baptist, and ends with his crucifixion.

There are many well-known stories about and by Jesus in Mark, but one I wasn't familiar with before I read it, is that of the fig tree. It's something like this: Jesus and his disciples are travelling, spreading the Word of God, and they're hungry. Jesus sees a fig tree in the distance but when he gets to it finds it bears no fruit. So he curses it, saying out loud, "May you never bear fruit ever again." And by the next day the whole tree had shrivelled and died. So I'm thinking, what's the moral here? I don't exactly get the point of this one. Or is this just an account of Jesus losing his temper? Did he ever have moments of being "merely" human and just losing, it like any of us would do? Though it's pretty well understood that he was purely good, purely without sin, was he ever petty? Was he ever in a mood? There were many people who met him and didn't recognize him as the Son of God.

Here's another interesting thing to note about Mark, which makes it different from the other three gospels. The last twelve chapters of the book as they are now were not part of the first manuscript. As the original manuscript was lost, and in fact broke off mid-sentence, the last part had to be filled in by someone else at a later date. Who knows what the original ending was? We can only assume it's close to the first copy, but I'm sure any theologian would be pretty stoked to see the original. 

**NEXT: Luke

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