Who is Jesus? What is salvation? What is the good news? Our earliest written account of Jesus' ministry is widely acknowledged to be that of the Gospel of Mark. If so, it remains key in our answering these questions. Alan Cole treads a careful path between exclusively this-worldly or other-worldly interpretations of this landmark Gospel. His commentary provides a helpful starting point for all contemporary preaching and teaching from this Gospel.
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Get the full commentary set: Tyndale Commentaries (49 vols.).
“He still saw salvation as something to be attained by his own efforts. Until he was ready to receive it by faith as something completely undeserved, of which he was not worthy, he could not enjoy it.” (Page 238)
“It is a strange commentary on the spiritual situation in Capernaum that a demoniac could worship in the synagogue with no sense of incongruity, until confronted by Jesus, and indeed apparently with no initial desire to be delivered from his affliction.” (Pages 114–115)
“Here is an unusual teacher; his parables are designed to test rather than to illuminate, and to test, not the intelligence, but the spiritual responsiveness of his hearers.” (Page 148)
“In the Bible, name stands for ‘nature’: so the man was virtually asked to confess the nature of the evil by which he was enslaved.” (Page 159)
“Smallness of faith and hardness of heart are two constant sins even of the disciples in Mark. Hardness of heart is that lack of spiritual perceptivity, that lack of readiness to learn, for which we are ultimately blameworthy ourselves, and which, in the extreme case of the scribes, can lead at last to the sin against the Holy Spirit. Smallness of faith is a failure to remember God’s working in the past and to apply that knowledge of his nature to our present problems. If the early Christians, especially in centres like Rome, saw these storms as pictures of persecutions through which they must go, then this was an important lesson to learn.” (Page 184)