First Glance: Mark 15:33-34

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani,” (which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) (Mark 15:33-34) There are many different ways to approach a biblical text in order to…

First Glance: Mark 1:1-15

“John wore clothes made from camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.” Mark 1:6 Mark’s gospel is fast-paced. Short, clipped descriptions and powerful verbs drive the story forward. Mark is fond of using the word ‘immediately’ where other gospel writers might have allowed for space and…

First Glance: Mark 15:16-16:8

But go tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. (Mark 16:7) It wasn’t until last night, sitting around a table studying this passage with fellow disciples of Jesus, that I noticed the angel’s phrase in this verse. ‘Go tell…

First Glance: Mark 14:53-15:15

He [Peter] began to call down curses and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you are talking about.” Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.…

First Glance: Mark 14:32-52

Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi,” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him. (Mark 14:44-46) Sometimes I try to think back to what it felt like…

First Glance: Mark 14:1-11

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. (Mark 14:3) When Jesus remarked on this woman’s action, he said, “she has…

First Glance: Mark 12:13-34

Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. (Mark 12:13) I think it’s fair to say that when I first looked at this week’s passage my response was, “This is hard. I don’t really understand what’s going on.” Pharisees, Herodians, Sadducees, and Scribes all come to Jesus with…

First Glance: Mark 11:20-33

They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked, “And who gave you authority to do this?” (Mark 11:27-28) The day after cleansing the temple, Jesus…

First Glance: Mark 11:1-19

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no…