Masterclass: The Gospel of Mark

Part 9: The Bigger Picture

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So often we live for the temporary. We spend so much of our time focused on the things of this world that will not last. We become consumed with money, shopping, sports, and more. And, while these things are not bad in and of themselves, they can take our eyes off of the Bigger Picture. Jesus wants us to focus on Him. He gives us glimpses of the eternal that really matters. There are only three things that are eternal: God, His Word, and people. Where are you investing your life? As a disciple of Jesus, invest your life in what will last forever. Focus on Jesus.


Mark 8 ends with Jesus’ description of His death and how following Him means denying self. In the next chapter, He illustrates what this means through four experiences: the Transfiguration; the exorcism of a demon-possessed child; correcting the disciples’ ideas about what it means to be great; and reemphasizing that His followers must work together to serve. The Transfiguration displayed the complete difference between Jesus and other men; He was transformed before them, dazzling the disciples, who were reminded by God’s voice that they were to listen to Jesus.  However, they still were hard of hearing. When they were unable to exorcise a demon, they were puzzled, and Jesus had to instruct them again that only He can deliver souls from spiritual torment, and their failure was because of a lack in trusting in Him. Jesus is capable of doing things we cannot even imagine.  Even after this lesson, the disciples argued about who among them was the greatest, and He reminded them that they need a servant’s heart, and the humility of a child. Finally, one of the disciples questioned Jesus about someone working miracles in His name, “who was not one of us.” Jesus instructed His disciples that there are many working in His name, and that we should embrace all who call upon Him.

What God is saying through this text?

It is our natural tendency to make every situation “all about me.” Jesus showed through this chapter that He is above man; that power to work miracles comes only through Him; that our place as His followers is last, not first; that we need to appreciate and support others working for Him. When our ministry or life becomes “all about me,” we miss seeing what God is doing in the world around us. 

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