It’s tempting to think of “peace” as an exercise in quiet. Bad guys and good guys alike have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of this still, silent landscape of being. This begs the question, “What is the Prince of Peace actually after?” The answer is wholeness. A reconciling of all creation to himself.
Jesus is tempted in the desert with safety, influence and political power; or, the most common desires of the world. Over the last generation or so, the evangelical church has been more adept at endorsing these dominant desires and is in need of recovering its true form and beauty.
Our modern Bible was shaped by the Jewish people who were exiled from their homeland in 586 BC by the Babylonian Empire. The cultural trauma of that event influenced the writings that Christians hold dear today. The 586 exile colors all of the Bible, start to finish. The Hebrew authors who wrote the Bible used the exile experience to prophecy of a new king, a king who would deliver them from their occupiers.
What we think is very much a matter of what we wish and seek to think, and what we feel is very much a matter of what we wish and seek to feel. In short, the condition of our mind is very much a matter of the direction in which our will is set.
Mark highlights the growing unrest with the teaching and ministry of Jesus. On one hand his popularity grows and on the other he addresses controversial subjects. Confessing who Jesus is (part 4) does not always mean you will do what he says. The question his disciples must confront is will they follow him when things get hard or even confusing?