We continue, in this our second week, in the last full chapter of Mark. The landscape, as we come into the home stretch, is much different than when we began this journey back in January. Mark’s gospel began with throngs of people crowding Jesus and nears the end with Jesus completely alone. Earlier in the gospel, Jesus was praised by the masses but nears the end despised and mocked by religious leaders, Roman soldiers, the general populace and even rebellious criminals.
Have you noticed how this passage places emphasis on the mocking of Jesus, time and time again? That mocking seems to be the central focus of the entire passage this week. It makes us ask the question, “What is the meaning of it all?” The mocking of Jesus seems to accentuate the contrast between Jesus and the others. Jesus is silent and appears powerless, while the others are impassioned and forceful.
Together, we’ll dig deeper into this contrast on Sunday, which is our first Sunday in Advent. Because it is Advent, we will sing our first carols of the season, light candles and receive God’s grace when the entire body comes together for worship.