Yesterday, we continued our series through Mark’s gospel. I preached from Mark 10:32-34. It was now the third time that Jesus warned His disciples about the coming suffering, death, and resurrection that would transpire. Jesus was intentionally preparing His followers for what they would see, experience, and endure in the wake of Jesus’ resurrection.
As we examine this passage, it’s clear that Jesus is preparing His followers. It’s also clear that they are afraid. Two specific words are used in connection with fear. For the inner circle of Jesus, the disciples are said to have been amazed – “θαμβέω,” which means “to be astounded, amazed, filled with amazement.” The larger group of people following Jesus were said to be afraid – “φοβέω,” which carries the idea of “being struck with amazement and fear, being afraid, become frightened.”
Why were they all fearful? Because Jesus was now fixing His focus on Jerusalem and stepping out to boldly lead the charge toward the city. Everyone knew that for Jesus to arrive in Jerusalem at the time of Passover would certainly end in disaster. Nevertheless, Jesus understood that He was to be about His Father’s business. He had a divine calendar to keep.
Jesus explained this to His inner circle. This was the third time He had explained this, but this time He became much more detailed. He prophesied about what would happen to Him. What sticks out to me in this scene is that Jesus taught them and warned them from the Scriptures. Notice the parallel account from Luke 18:31, “And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.”
This past week, I wrote an article on the authority of the Bible. I have spent time this week responding to the people who have provided their input. Interestingly enough, the comments have been mostly negative and from a distinctively Roman Catholic perspective. In other words, they are suggesting that the Roman Catholic Church gave authority to the Bible rather than the Bible having authority on its own. I completely disagree with that on many different levels. For one, notice that Jesus didn’t appeal to the authority of the Church when He spoke to His disciples. He spoke on the authority of the Scriptures.
Jesus had complete assurance that the Scriptures were true. Why did Jesus approach the Scriptures with such confidence? Because Jesus is not only one with the Father, but He is likewise one with the Spirit. It is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that we have the Scriptures. So when Jesus approached Scripture, He is approaching it with confidence in the third person of the Trinity. Jesus understood that the Scriptures contain authority that is given by God since they are God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).
Any religion or group that diminishes the authority of God’s Word shouldn’t be trusted with your soul. It doesn’t matter if they are Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Roman Catholics, if they attack the authority of God’s Word, you should reject their word. Jesus had confidence in the Scriptures. When we approach the Scriptures, we must seek to do so with the same confidence that Jesus demonstrated for the Word of God. Just as Jesus prepared His disciples for the rocky road ahead from the Scriptures, so can we be prepared to handle the trials that we face because we have confidence that the Word of God is sufficient.