Year of the Bible – Mark 3:1-5:36

Year of the Bible - Advent Week Two - Mark 3



. . . What shall we say the kingdom of God is like…It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant. – Mark 4:30-31

Mark 3:1-5:36 (3:20-30)

The person of Jesus, the Word of God, the second person of the Trinity, was the source and revealer of the Law of Moses. But strangely, when He came into the flesh, He did not “abide” by the Law, even though He lived under the Law and perfectly fulfilled it. That is to say, He did not abide by the Law in the way that men, filled with hatred and greed and ignorance, interpreted the law. Sinful man uses God’s law to judge and punish others. But God uses the law to lead us to see the threat of condemnation before us SO THAT WE MIGHT NOT TRY TO JUSTIFY OURSELVES BY WORKS OF THE LAW. His ultimate goal and intention, however, is not our judgment and condemnation, but our forgiveness through Christ, who through faith becomes our life and salvation. This perspective radically changes the way that we interpret the Bible and live our lives. That is why Jesus says that love fulfills the Law. Thus, when Jesus gathered His Church out of the world and called men into service to God (3:13ff), He gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Gospel, the gift of teaching and preaching a rightful division and distinction between Law and Gospel. This preaching of the Gospel is the means, the act, by which evil is destroyed and the Kingdom of God comes to exert its power and influence in the hearts of men (cf. The Parable of the Sower). This Gospel is not an outwardly significant or powerful thing. It is something small that grows into greatness (The mustard seed). It is the small seed of the Gospel, revealed in the preaching of the Apostles. Christianity eventually became a great world religion, dominating and standing above all other religions on earth. This outward form of Christianity, however, is not to be equated with the real Kingdom of God. The real Kingdom of God is lowly and humble, hidden in men’s hearts and God’s heart. Seldom is it seen as being great in men’s eyes. It will not always be recognized and appreciated by those around us. Only in heaven will we come to see the full extent of the grandeur and power of this little seed – the righteousness of Christ.

Questions – Mark 3:1 – 5:36

  1. Why did Jesus appear to be a breaker of the Mosaic Law?
  2. Why are there different ways of interpreting the Bible?
  3. What is the key that opens up the true sense of God in the Scriptures?
  4. What is the seed that must be sown in the hearts of men?
  5. What is ironic about the Kingdom of God – seen in the story of the Mustard Seed?
Year of the Bible – Advent Week Two | Thursday | Mark 3:1-5:36 – © John W. Fiene