by Roger Thomas

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Mark: The Amazing Jesus (4 of 29)
Series: Through the New Testament
Roger Thomas
Mark 1:1; 8:31-38; 10:35-45

Introduction: By whatever standard you use, Jesus is the most remarkable, amazing person in the history of the world. James Allan Francis (''The Real Jesus and Other Sermons'' © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp. 123-124 titled ''Arise Sir Knight!'', adapted version) expressed it this way:

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

This theme ''the amazing Jesus'' characterizes the second gospel, Mark. Time and time again, Mark calls attention to people's responses to Jesus. He records a wide range of emotional reactions. People feared, laughed in scorn, became offended, and were astonished at Jesus (4:41; 5:40; 6:3; 7:37). But by far the most common reaction noted by Mark is amazement. Again and again in his short book, Mark observes the astonished reaction of a variety of people to Jesus:

''The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law'' (1:22). ''The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, ''What is this?'' (1:27). Jesus healed a lame man. ''This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ''We have never seen anything like this!'' (2:12). Later, a man goes about telling everyone how Jesus had freed him of a demon. He tells his neighbors ''how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed'' (5:20). ''When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed'' (6:2). When he calmed the winds, ''they were completely amaz ...

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