Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Barriers to Following Christ

I've been reading through The Mark Experiment over the course of the last few months. Sometimes it is very very helpful in revealing the structure and the connections of how Mark has written his gospel. For example, I am beginning to understand why Jesus' teaching on divorce comes here in Mark:

Mark 9:30-10:31
a   9:30-32    Second Prediction of His Death & Resurrections 
b  9:33-37    'I am the greatest' 
c   9:38-41    'We are the only ones'
d   9:42-50    'Sin doesn't matter' 
d'  10:1-12    Our attitude to marriage
c'  10:13-16  Our attitude to children
b'  10:17-27  Our attitude to possessions 
a'  10:28-31  The rewards of discipleship 
Now, this might not be neat and tidy. But the connections are powerful. Highlighting the threefold barriers to real discipleship (taking up our cross to follow Jesus) is so helpful: 
  • loving our own status [b & b']
  • limiting God's grace (to us and our friends) [c & c']
  • lessening the seriousness of our sin (especially when against those we think are less important than ourselves ... in 9:42 children or in 10:9 our wife or our husband!) [d & d']
The Mark Experiment starts these connections and then leaves you to meditate on them yourself. Very very helpful. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Found this most useful in preaching through this section of Mark in the last few months !
Thanks bro, and much love to you all