The Person of Jesus

The Person of Jesus

Read the following texts from Mark paying particular attention to how Mark describes Jesus as a person, and the impact of this on the contemporary Christian view of Jesus. Think about how Jesus treats sick people and the underprivileged.

religious studiesChapter 1, 40-44 – A leper approaches Jesus and begs for healing. Jesus takes pity and cures him but commands the leper not to tell others about the miracle. However, the leper does tell others, so that people now flock to see Jesus.

Chapter 2, 13-17 – Jesus eats with a tax collector, Levi the son of Alphaeus, and other tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees ask why Jesus associates with these people. Jesus replies ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’ In other words, Jesus has chosen to be with sinners who need his help.

Chapter 3, 1-6 – To the anger of the Pharisees, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath in the synagogue. This shows that Jesus values compassion more than religious observance.

Chapter 5, 21-43 – A man called Jairus asks Jesus to heal his daughter. Jesus agrees but on the way to Jairus’ house a sick woman is healed simply by brushing against Jesus’ robes. Jesus realises what has happened and tells the woman that it is her faith that has cured her. Then he heals Jairus’ daughter but asks the family not to tell others what has happened. Again, Jesus does not want to advertise his powers.

Chapter 10, 46-52 – Jesus travels to Jericho with his followers when Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, begs for healing. Many in the crowd tell the blind man to be quiet but Jesus seeks him out and restores his sight. Once again, Jesus ignores those who tell a sick person to leave him alone and instead performs a cure.

religious studiesChapter 11, 15-18 – In Jerusalem, Jesus overturns the tables of the moneylenders and traders at the temple. Jesus says, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”? But you have made it a den of robbers.’ The Pharisees are furious with Jesus and seeing his impact on the crowd, vow to destroy him.

Chapter 12, 13-17 – The Pharisees and the Herodians want to trap Jesus into saying something unlawful so that they can have him arrested. They ask if taxes should be paid to Caesar, since Jesus has taught that God, not man, is the ultimate authority. But Jesus is too clever for them and replies ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ The Pharisees have no answer to this.