Tuesday, January 30, 2007

an empty tomb, and a human God: the gospel of Mark

Who is Jesus according to the gospel of Mark?
According to the gospel of Mark, Jesus is a mysterious character. He comes into the story fully grown almost out of nowhere since the gospel starts with his baptism by John. He is a figure of secrets, some things he reveals, some things he tells only in parables and then only explains there meaning to certain people. He performs miracles as one of his main function in this gospel. He heals the sick and casts out demons, he prophecies and walks on water, calms storms. Although he claims to come to men as a servant, not a political leader or warrior, there seems to be very little warmth to Mark’s Jesus. When they comes to arrest him he is calm and in control of the situation. On the cross in dying he seems to be at his most human, as he doubts God. The gospel ends with the women find an empty tomb.
In some ways I don’t think I like Mark’s Jesus very much. He seems too mysterious and distant, I also don’t agree with the idea of Jesus hiding knowledge from some but giving it to others. The fig tree is something I cannot understand and find rather silly. Yet there are some parts of Mark I like, I like the ending with the empty tomb, I find it preferable to the endings of the other gospels. I like the fact that Jesus as he dies doubts, the supreme mark of humanness, to question our God in the hour of our greatest suffering. I personally believe that Jesus and through him God can be both completely human and completely divine, why after all should we believe God is in any way limited, and while Jesus’ teaching, life and miracles prove him to be more then human, the fact that he doubts in death marks him more then anything else truly human. Also the fact that even Jesus in his moment of supreme humanness doubts proves that doubt does not keep one from attaining God’s grace, and should be nothing that we are ashamed of or that holds us back. We doubt because we are human, Jesus doubted because he too was human. But in the end of Mark the women find an empty tomb, because Jesus was also truly divine. The empty tomb also for me represent a promise, of God’s love, and ability to over come everything even great suffering, doubt and agonizing death. Jesus himself was God’s promise of love and grace to us, a promise to all of us.

11 comments:

Divine Joan said...
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Anna said...

St. Thomas doubting is not found in Mark 's gospel. I have infact read several Gnostic gospels as in the gospel of Thomas or the sayings of the gospel Quelle.

Divine Joan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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