God’s Word at work bringing growth (Mark 4: 1-34)

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We now have a cluster of parables about God’s kingdom with farming imagery dominating. The most famous of these is the parable of the Sower (or perhaps more accurately ‘soils’) where seed lands on different types of ground bringing different outcomes.  There are things that prevent seed from taking root, growing and bearing fruit reflecting… Continue reading God’s Word at work bringing growth (Mark 4: 1-34)

The call of the kingdom (Mark 1:14-20)

We now begin to see what it means for Jesus to preach about the Kingdom and call people to repentance with a series of examples. – It means calling people to follow him and leave behind other priorities (1:16-20 and 2:13-17) – It means calling evil spirits out of people. Captives are set free (1:21-28)… Continue reading The call of the kingdom (Mark 1:14-20)

A voice crying in the wilderness (Mark 1:1-8)

Each of the Gospels start a little differently. Matthew and Luke both begin with Jesus’ birth and the nativity story but whilst Luke takes us to the specific day with shepherds and angels, Matthew focuses on the arrival of the wisemen.  Luke talks about Gabriel’s appearance to Mary but Matthew focuses on Joseph.  John begins… Continue reading A voice crying in the wilderness (Mark 1:1-8)

How do we approach studying Mark’s Gospel?

It is possible to work through the Gospel in one of a few ways. This might include  Picking up a number of themes and tracing them through the Gospel as a series of sermons on The Kingdom of God, The Son of Man, Suffering and the Cross etc. A longer and detailed series might have… Continue reading How do we approach studying Mark’s Gospel?

Some big themes in Mark’s Gospel

Kingdom The theme of God’s kingdom is significant to all of the Gospels but particularly stands out in Matthew and Mark. Matthew refers to it as The Kingdom of Heaven, this links to a Jewus reluctance to even speak out God’s name so that other words are used in place of “God” or “YHWH.” Heaven… Continue reading Some big themes in Mark’s Gospel

The nature and purpose of Mark’s Gospel

It is worth thinking a little bit more about the nature and purpose of the book by considering its style and structure as well as comparing it to other examples of literature both ancient and moder. This will help us consider how we should approach it in terms of preaching and teaching. One recent obsession… Continue reading The nature and purpose of Mark’s Gospel

Mark’s Gospel – a bit of background

Over the next couple of months I’m going to be working through Mark’s Gospel here. This coincides with a teaching series that our church are doing on the book but I also hope that the resources will be helpful to others seeking to read or teach through the book. Often it is impossible to cover… Continue reading Mark’s Gospel – a bit of background

What the Archbishop didn’t say

Last weekend, before we got back to things like parties in Downing Street and whether the Prime Minister tells the truth, the media and social media were full of reports and debate about what the Archbishop of Canterbury had said in his Easter Day sermon.  Reports focused on some statements critical of the UK’s Rwanda… Continue reading What the Archbishop didn’t say

An intentional detour of grace

In John 4:3-6 we read: 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was… Continue reading An intentional detour of grace