Monday, May 04, 2009

Mark in "one sitting" - The Other Side of Suffering

We live in a visual information culture. In no other time in history has there been such an explosion of visual images. And yet we seem to pay little attention to them, we do not always "understand" them, and most of us are largely unaware of the power they have in our lives, in society, and how they function to provide most of our information about the world. (Jonathan E. Schroeder, Visual Consumption, Routledge Interpretive Marketing Research)
This weekend, Rich Nathan addressed the issue of living in an image saturated world by challenging us to read through the gospels, replacing the images of the world with the image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15)

I took on his challenge and read through Mark. I wasn't able to do it in "one sitting" but I was amazed at what I saw by reading with the intent to get through the book in as few sittings as possible. 

Over the next few days I'll share a some things I wouldn't have noticed in reading smaller segments over a long period of time. 

Mark 9:23 "If you can?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

Mark 14:36 "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
It is often taught that Jesus was asking God if there was an easier way. In this teaching we assume that Jesus thinks like many of us that would like to avoid pain at all cost.

I wonder if Jesus was simply acknowledging the Father's ability to do what was to come. Was Jesus saying "take this cup" - I'm giving you all that I have left. "Yet not what I will, but what you will" - I'm not doing this for me and my glory, Father, it's all for you.

You see, one of the last life lessons from Jesus is in Mark 12:43. He tells his disciples that the poor widow, "out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on." 

Jesus knows that everything is possible for him who believes. He only does what he sees the Father doing (John 5:19). He instructed his disciples to ask and it would be given to them (Luke 11:9).

The image I'm getting of Jesus is to seek God's will above all else and don't avoid the pain because the goal is on the other side of suffering.

No comments:

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
Email for reprint permission