We’ve long loved the metaphor of being an “Army for the Lord.” It can be confusing. Especially today. Jesus offers a beautiful metaphor in the form of shelter from the storm. Jesus teaches us from the ethos of the Beatitudes and the pathos of the cruiciform that which gives Christianity it’s distinctive beauty. This is the beauty we must embrace.
For good or for evil, the body lies right at the center of the spiritual life…one can immediately see all around us that the human body is a primary barrier to conformity to Christ. But this was never God’s intent.
Mark contrasts what the religious leaders think about Jesus and what his disciples think about Jesus. In many ways, all of us are blind to knowing Jesus. Knowing who Jesus is does not happen immediately or a one-and-done decision; it is a progressive understanding of who Jesus is and what he came to do. Although we are all blind in one way or another, the difference between the disciples and everyone else is their openness to hear, to learn, and to obey. They constantly leaned in and asked genuine questions, not to trap Jesus, but to learn from Jesus.
Mark records many parables. The first parable he records is the key to all the other parables. It is the key to understanding the secret regarding the kingdom of God (vs. 11-13). Yet very few people will truly listen and lean in to understand Jesus’ secret, the mystery of Christ. Jesus desires that people would not just acknowledge who he is from a distance, but would be curious enough to lean in and try to understand the mysteries of the kingdom. To fully experience the hope of the gospel requires a level of curiosity that keeps us coming back to Jesus for truth and clarity.