"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Mark 12:28-44 Commentary
by Robert Beck
This exchange between Jesus and a friendly scribe concerning the greatest of commandments comes amid the temple debates in the final week of the Gospel.
Jesus’ mission in Galilee has now brought him to the center of the Jewish world.
The tension began when Jesus cleansed the temple in a prophetic act of protest. Where before, in his Galilean ministry, he removed barriers that isolated those individuals excluded for reasons of uncleanness (Mark 1:23, 26, 27, 42; 5:12, 25; 7:5, 25, etc.), he now brings his message and his accusation to the center of the Jewish world, cleansing the “Holy Place” that is the very criterion of the holy and unclean. For God’s house is to be “for all peoples.”
His action prompts the officials to take action against him (Mark 11:18). However, that effort proves more difficult than anticipated, as he has found favor with the crowds. In the short term, different official factions attempt to eliminate the crowd support through efforts to “trap him in what he said.” In the long term, they will recruit Judas to their cause.
So far, two representative attempts have been ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 402: Great Commandment
March 22, 2020
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for Mar. 22, 2020, (Great Commandment) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.