When it comes to living the Christian life, beginnings are better than endings. That may be one of the most important lessons that the Gospel of Mark, by its very structure, teaches us.
Looking at life in terms of endings often leads to discontent, neuroses, and despair. We always want to win more, make more, succeed more. More is an insatiable taskmaster. But the Gospel of Mark says the better way is to focus on beginnings. It gives answers; it gives meaning to suffering; it restores hope as the queen of virtues.
Mark displays Jesus Christ as the New Beginning, giving us all the chance to start over at any time. The Gospel of Mark, itself, starts abruptly and really has no ending, showing that Jesus makes it possible for the story of God, working in human history and in the church, to go on and on.
“The barren fig tree represents the barrenness of temple Judaism that is unprepared to accept Jesus’ messianic reign.” (Page 440)
“At the heart of this exorcism is the struggle for faith, not the struggle with a demon” (Page 355)
“These sayings, however, are integrally related to context. They reveal the essence of the new order that replaces the old. The new order is based on faith in God (11:22) that overcomes insurmountable odds (11:23), is sustained by grace (11:24), and is characterized by forgiveness (11:25).” (Page 441)
“What he answers is the tree’s false advertising with leaves that hide its fruitlessness. The tree gives the impression that it might have something to eat, just as the temple gives the impression that it is a place dedicated to the service of God. The temple profits only the priestly hierarchy; it profits nothing for God.” (Page 440)
“To call all Israel to baptism implies that in some way all Israel is defiled.” (Page 45)
The NIV Application Commentary helps you communicate and apply biblical text effectively in today's context. To bring the ancient messages of the Bible into today's world, each passage is treated in three sections:
This unique, award-winning commentary is the ideal resource for today's preachers, teachers, and serious students of the Bible, giving them the tools, ideas, and insights they need to communicate God's Word with the same powerful impact it had when it was first written.
This is the pulpit commentary for the twenty-first century.
—George K. Brushaber, president, Bethel College and Seminary
The NIV Application Commentary meets the urgent need for an exhaustive and authoritative commentary based on the New International Version. This series will soon be found in libraries and studies throughout the evangelical community.
—James Kennedy, Senior Minister, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
It is encouraging to find a commentary that is not only biblically trustworthy but also contemporary in its application. The NIV Application Commentary will prove to be a helpful tool in the pastor’s sermon preparation. I use it and recommend it.
—Charles F. Stanley, pastor, First Baptist Church of Atlanta
The tools, ideas, and insights contained in this volume will help preachers communicate God’s Word and understand the Gospel in the context of contemporary culture, and the exegetical, literary, and grammatical summaries will benefit scholars and students of the Bible. What’s more, with Logos, Scripture passages are linked to Greek and Hebrew texts, along with English translations, and the powerful search tools provide instant access to the information you need for research projects, sermon preparation, and personal study.