Page 8 - November 2021 - Truth & Tidings
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ark’s Gospel can be divided into   one of suffering, and that true greatness
                 four parts. The first focuses on   involved serving others.
        Mwitnesses to the IDENTITY of           Before we harshly criticise these dis-
        God’s Servant (1:1-13); the second records   ciples, we must acknowledge that much
        His ACTIVITY  (1:14-8:21).  The  third,   of what is called Christian service today
        which we commence with this article,   is marred by a desire for prosperity and
        reveals the ITINERARY of the Servant   position. A sense of entitlement and desire
        (8:22-10:52), and the final section records   for personal aggrandisement run contrary
        the DESTINY toward which He has been   to the example of the Lord, who “made
        headed (11:1-16:20).                  himself of no reputation, and took upon
                                              him the form of a servant” (Php 2:7). The
        The Servant’s Itinerary (8:22-        antidote to self-centred service lies in a
        10:52)                                proper appreciation of the Cross and an
          There are many links between the four   acceptance of its practical relevance to
        sections of Mark’s Gospel and Isaiah’s   service.
        four Servant Songs. The third of Isaiah’s   The Lord’s journey to Jerusalem forms
        Songs, which corresponds to this third   the backdrop to a period of intense in-
        section of Mark, is found in Isaiah 50.   struction for His disciples. Mark bookends
        Notice particularly verses 5-7: “The Lord   his record of the journey with accounts of
        GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was   blind men receiving their sight (8:22-26;
        not rebellious, neither turned away back.   10:46-52). This illustrates a major theme
        I gave my back to the smiters, and my   of the section: the disciples’ eyes were be-
        cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I   ing opened to the nature of true service
        hid not my face from shame and spitting.   for God.
        For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore   Introduction: The Blind Man Enlightened
        shall I not be confounded: therefore have   (8:22-26)
        I set my face like a flint, and I know that I   The previous section of Mark concluded
        shall not be ashamed.” 1              with the Lord’s rebuking His disciples for
          The itinerary of the Perfect Servant   their lack of understanding (8:21). This
        included suffering and shame, which He   section is introduced with a miracle of
        willingly and deliberately embraced. It   illumination.
        was a sacrificial path. His followers, on   The Lord arrived in Bethsaida of Gaula-
        the other hand, were slow to understand   nitis (a large village northeast of the Sea of
        and accept that the pathway to glory was   Galilee) where a blind man was brought
        ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from   to Him for healing. The Lord led the
        the KJV unless otherwise noted.       blind man by the hand out of Bethsaida

        328 TRUTH kTidings   November  2021
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