“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (1:1)
As the son of God, a major part of Jesus’ identity was based upon his kinship lineage to the Father.
“There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.” (1:7)
Human beings are spiritually and physically unequal. John the Baptist was not worthy to unloose Jesus’s sandals. Inequality is part of God’s plan for human existence in religion, society, politics, and personal attributes.
“And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (1:11)
Jesus’ Father was proud of his only son, and his son was proud of his heavenly Father. Our family members are crucial in deciding our destiny. Christ’s Father defined his son’s entire earthly existence. We cannot escape the family to whom we were born. We are not merely the result of personal choices.
“...the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (1:15)
Jesus preached personal repentance and called his disciples to demonstrate faith in his life, death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus did not come as a political agitator, social justice warrior, or community organizer. His message was to inspire new piety among the ethnic Israelites, and to fulfill the prophesies concerning the messiah.
“Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.” (1:16) “And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.”(1:19)
The apostle's calling revealed that Jesus did not give himself equally to everyone. The people of first-century Palestine did not have egalitarian access to their messiah. Jesus’ Twelve Apostles represented a special elect who received the privilege of being in close daily contact with the savior of the world. Of the scores of billions of people who have inhabited this earth no person outside the Twelve ever received this gift. Life is full of inequality. God has never provided equal opportunity, equal privilege, or equal blessings to all. There were no "tryouts" to earn a spot among the Twelve; these were positions set aside for a chosen few.
Many of the apostles were family members. In 1:16 and 1:19 we discover that at least four of the apostles were siblings. Some of Jesus’ own genetic brothers played a crucial part in the early church. Kinship played an important role even within the spiritual aristocracy.
Of the twelve people Jesus chose to be his closest friends and disciples none of them were gentiles or women. Jesus’ best friends were ethnically and sexually homogeneous. It appears Jesus had no interest in inclusion or diversity. Today, the Son of Man would be criticized for exclusively filling his inner circle with "white men." He would be smeared as a "racist" and "sexist" by left wing theologians. His teachings would be "disqualified" on grounds that they represented a narrow mono-cultural perspective.
“Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” (1:24)
Even the global savior was identified primarily by his hometown. Everyone’s identity is partially formed by their unchosen native country. Jesus never sought to distance himself from his local neighborhood. Christ never sought a "global" or "cosmopolitan" identity (in the modern sense). He spent the majority of his ministry teaching in his birth region. Was Jesus a localist?
“But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her.” (1:30)
Peter’s mother-in-law was privileged to have been alive during Jesus’ ministry, and to have been the mother of one of his chosen apostles. Would she have been healed had she not possessed a family connection to Jesus? Probably not, and many women throughout history have died of their illnesses with no miraculous doctor to cure them. Simon’s mother-in-law was not healed because of her virtue, she was healed because of her connection to Simon, and the accident of her birth. People are not born into equal life opportunities, and we should not assume God distributes other gifts (like intelligence) equally amongst humanity.
“And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.” (1:39)
Jesus’ geographical neighbors received special access to him. Jesus never attempted to travel outside Jewish lands and preach among the gentiles. Christ spent most of his time among his own ethnic and geographical people. Jesus, the savior of the world, was not concerned with diversifying his ministry. He focused on his own people.
Was it fair that only a select few people of one ethnicity, one time period, and one small geographical region got the chance to witness Jesus’ teachings personally while the rest of humanity never received the chance? No, but God has never distributed his blessings equally among the ethnic groups of the world. Because Jesus favored his own ethnicity over others those of European descent should favor our ethnicity over others.
“But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.” (2:10)
The primary purpose of miracles was to demonstrate the spiritual power of Christ. They were not primarily meant to alleviate suffering. At any moment, Jesus could have healed every sick person, fed every hungry person, and ended every war across the planet. He never did it. His mission was not to inspire social utopia, create equality, or reduce the wealth gap. Jesus’ mission was to seek and save the spiritually lost. Those who claim Jesus was a social revolutionary have turned the gospel into a mere tool of Cultural Marxism and enlightenment liberalism.
“They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (2:17)
Jesus’ fraternizing with society’s immoral people was never meant to glorify their lifestyles. Rather, Christ sought to cure them of their wickedness by calling them to repentance and spiritual revival. Many modern theologians have argued Jesus’s association with these people is comparable to the 1960s Cultural Marxist vision of a minority cultural revolution against traditional values. Any thoughtful reading of the text reveals the opposite to be true. Jesus wanted to restore the sinful minorities to full communion in the fellowship of Israel. Christ affirmed the moral values of the Pharisees and religious leaders even as he criticized and insulted their unmerciful attitudes of self-righteousness. Jesus was not a social revolutionary. In fact, his aim was to strengthen the traditional moral law and embed it deeper into the hearts of the people. Jesus’s purpose was spiritual revival.
“But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.” (2:20)
Jesus knew that after his ascension the cycle of sorrow, death, and disappointments would continue. He did not appear to harbor delusions that his exodus from earth was going to completely alter the reality of a world filled with darkness and sin. We should not attempt to revise the realistic (arguably pessimistic) Old Testament worldview in light of Jesus’s coming. A.D. Christians should solemnly fast just as their B.C. brothers did.
“And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (2:27)
We must continually ask ourselves whether our forms and traditions are accomplishing what they were created to accomplish. Jesus did not repudiate the Sabbath laws, but he did quibble with the Pharisees’ interpretation of them.
Modern liberals and Cultural Marxists have created elaborate theological justifications for the deconstruction of Euroethnic identity, culture, and institutions. As followers of Christ, we must ask ourselves whether these theologies are helping people. Even if we cede some truth to modern theologian’s claims that slavery was wrong, segregation evil, and colonialism murderous (this author does not cede it) at what point does it become sinful to utilize these assertions to deconstruct ethnic European society? Any theology/ideology that is being used to destroy a people’s positive self-identity has no place in a Christian ethic of love. Any theology that is causing an entire demographic to feel suicidally guilty ("white guilt") must be abandoned. Theology was made for man, and not man for theology.
“And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” (3:5)
Christ knew the Jewish leaders were trying to find fault with him, but in his anger he decided to incite them to violent action. Because Christ acted in anger to incite his enemies, modern Christians are permitted to follow his example. Christians are not restricted to being "nice" calm people in every situation. Sometimes, we should allow our righteous anger to have its effect upon those around us... especially when the situation involves communicating important religious truth.
“And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.” (3:13-15)
All Jesus’ followers were not created equal. Jesus ordained twelve special men to have "VIP" access to him. He gave these twelve men certain powers he never gave the multitude. Through his actions, Jesus created inequality among his followers. The Gospel of Mark communicates a hierarchy of privilege, power, and blessing within the kingdom of God. Jesus never attempted to create equality even within his small group of twelve. Instead, he elevated his "inner-circle" of Peter, James, and John.
If people are not spiritually equal why do we attempt to make them physically and socially equal?
“And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (3:24-25)
Multiculturalism necessitates a kingdom divided against itself. No two ethnicities, religions, or cultures possess the same existential aims and goals. Multiculturalism exacerbates conflict between divergent worldviews by forcing them to fight for control of the same political and social institutions. A country divided by ethnicity, faith, language, traditions, morality, and values must inevitably fall.
Today, the United States has embraced division and is rapidly coming to the precipice of its own collapse.
“And when his [kin folk] heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.” (3:21) “And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” (3:32-35)
For Identitarians, this passage of scripture appears disturbing. It seems to suggest Jesus devalued the kinship connections of blood and birth. Later in Mark, however, we find several exchanges in which Jesus repudiated the Jewish leaders while greatly strengthening the ties of parent to child (7:9-13) and husband to wife (10:4-9).
Jesus consistently taught that anything that came between a person and him, including wealth and family, must be rejected. Later in Mark, Jesus taught that the greatest commandment was to firstly love God and to secondly love people. With this in mind, Jesus’s statements in chapter three appear to establish a deeper connection within the God-fearing Christian family rather than representing a break with his physical family. Jesus was affirming new relationships rather than disaffirming old ones.
The chapter context suggests Jesus’ family was only visiting him in an effort to apprehend him after occluding he had lost his mind. Jesus’s rejection of their visitation was an acknowledgement of their initial disbelief.
“And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” (4:11-12)
Jesus interpreted the parables only for his twelve elite apostles. Through his example, Jesus taught that spiritual knowledge should not be distributed equally among people. Access to religious truth was restricted to an elect group. Jesus neither pursued nor advocated spiritual equality.
Why do twenty-first century Christians value social and political equality when God is the author of inequality? We must accept God's design.
Some Christians claim Christ followers have an obligation to make themselves clearly understood, and appeal to as many people as possible to avoid alienating sensitive groups. Our Lord believed the exact opposite. Jesus attempted to hide the truth so that only a chosen spiritual elect could understand it. Jesus hoped to offend and confuse certain people so they could not comprehend the gospel nor accept it.
“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” (4:13-20)
Jesus’ parable of the seed and soils contained language acknowledging human inequality. The gospel seed remained the same, but the soil of people’s hearts were not equally godly in the reception of the seed.
Even among those hearts represented by good soil there remained an unequal spiritual impact (“some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold,” etc.). Inequality is the rule of human nature. Whether one is measuring intelligence, athletic ability, or spiritual crop yield people are never the same. The idea that all humans and human groups have an equal capacity for any given venture is refuted by both the Bible and human reason. Not only are all men NOT created equal, no two men were ever created equal.
“But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.” (4:34)
Jesus never spoke openly to the multitude. Jesus reserved open instruction only for his twelve chosen apostles. Jesus intentionally cultivated a religious aristocracy who would be able to lead the masses upon his return to heaven. Jesus did not support egalitarian religious democracy.
Was Christ right to support intellectual and spiritual exclusion? When one evaluates the suicidal Western democracies now being invaded by third-world criminals one can confidently argue in the affirmative.
“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow...” (4:38)
Earlier in Mark, Jesus asked some of his apostles to abandon their family fishing business and follow him, but the group appears to have spent a great deal of time around the Sea of Galilee. The ship they were sailing on probably belonged to some of the apostle’s family members. Close kinship connections likely played an important part in Jesus’ ministry.
“And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? (4:41)
Obedience is an act founded on hierarchy. Jesus was not a part of nature, he was not an extension of nature, and he was not equal to nature. Jesus was above nature. Jesus was nature’s Lord, and lordship is best perceived within a context of hierarchical feudalism.
“...thou Son of the most high God?” (5:7)
Jesus’ power and authority was the result of his Father. Rich kids often escape the consequences of their actions because of the privilege they inherit from their influential fathers. In a similar way, Jesus inherited his privileged position of messiah from God. The Gospel of Mark portrays Jesus as having been born the Son of God. By crowning his son King of Kings, God acknowledged the legitimacy of monarchy, and in so doing provided a divine template justifying inherited political inequality for the remainder of human history.
“And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.” (5:13)
Unlike those of humans, Jesus regarded the lives of swine (very intelligent creatures) as expendable. Jesus did not appear to believe animals were equal to men. The book of Genesis makes clear that man was given authority over the animals. Man is above beasts in the "chain of being." God’s creatures are not equal in value or ability. There is a natural hierarchy among created organisms.
“Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends...” (5:19)
Jesus did not accept everyone. His inner-circle of apostolic elites was not a revolving door or an open table. In chapter five, Jesus rejected a man’s desire to be with him, and gave him less glamorous work to do. Not everyone was created to be a leader or teacher.
“And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.” (5:37)
Even among Jesus’ elite apostolic followers some were more trusted and valued than others. On many occasions, Peter, James, and John all benefited from exclusive access to humanity’s savior. Not all the apostles, much less the multitudes, were given equal roles in the Kingdom of God.
“A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” (6:4)
Jesus’ rejection by his people caused him to lament the fact that familiarity breeds contempt. However, it is important to remember that Jesus’ kin, the very ones skeptical of him during his ministry, later became crucial first generation leaders in the church. Jesus’ brothers, James and Jude, both authored epistles now found in the New Testament. Jesus’ mother has played an enormous role in Christian tradition, and she encouraged Jesus to begin his ministry during the wedding feast of Cana. The honor of one’s kin may be slow to come, but it is worth the wait.
“And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;” (6:7)
Jesus gave some of his disciples (the Twelve) more power than others. If Jesus discriminated in this manner among his disciples, why would God not discriminate in similar ways among the people groups of the world? Why do modern Christians believe God would not create disparities in intelligence and talents?
“...because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.” (6:34)
Sheep need a shepherd, and people need a leader. Mobs are incapable of leading or teaching themselves. To make modern application, democracy (political and religious) is a flock of sheep leading themselves, and the dumb teaching the stupid.
“And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.” (6:44)
The women and children were not counted because families were represented by their male heads. In antebellum America the men voted because it was assumed a family would vote as a single unit. The idea that a women should vote apart from her husband or father has destroyed family political unity. A nuclear family who votes against one another is dysfunctional.
“For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.” (7:3) “For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.” (7:8)
How often do Cultural Marxist and liberal theologians teach for doctrines the commandments of men? The Bible does not condemn slavery, "racism," "sexism," or monarchy but today’s theologians incessantly argue these things are sinful or illegitimate.
During Jesus’ era, compulsively washing one’s hands had become a form of virtue signalling. Today, condemning unpopular institutions or practices of the Euroethnic Christian past has become a similarly fraudulent sign.
“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (7:9-13)
The “corban” was a gift given to the temple that would replace a Jew’s obligation to care for their aging parents. The Jewish leaders were allowing people to ignore God given obligations to their blood relatives by replacing it with a "higher" religious act. Christ strengthened the ties of blood and family by rejecting an attempt to avoid unwanted ethnic duties.
Today, ethnic European Christians allow their countries to be destroyed by Third World immigrants, bankrupted by incompetent minorities, and destroyed by Afroethnic ruffians. These Christians destroy the inheritance of their children (who will have to live in these wrecked countries) so they can pursue the "higher" good of saving inner-city youth, feeding lazy families, and giving their nations away to mass migrant invaders. Instead of doing the difficult thing by taking care of their own kin, they have chosen to give themselves over to a false sense of self-righteousness approved by their societies (political-correctness, multiculturalism, etc.). Today’s traitorous parents betray their God given duty to their blood offspring so they can feel better about themselves and connect selfish peers.
As modern Christians, we must carefully avoid practices that masquerade as moral "traditions" but have actually displaced God given obligations. The traditions of the Jewish elders were shallow facades through which people rejected the real traditions of their fathers.
Once again, Jesus affirmed the Mosaic Law and rejected an attempt to loosen it. Jesus did not come to destroy the Law of Moses but to fulfill it. In almost every instance in which Jesus discusses the moral codes found in the Old Testament, he affirms and strengthens them. We should not grow lax in our morality. Mercy must be coupled with a condemnation of sin, and a strong expectation of righteous behavior to come.
“And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him... And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.” (7:18-21)
Jesus explained that the Old Testament food laws were less about external consumption and more about internal purity. The Pharisees had used the external show of purity to avoid addressing the internal reality of it. Jesus wanted to strengthen the Old Law by emphasizing true internal purity. Jesus' interpretation of unclean foods is among the reasons Gentile Christians were never held to the Mosaic dietary restrictions. The external lesson about purity, which the different types of meats represented, was not a necessary symbol for gentile ethnic groups.
“The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.” (7:26-30)
Mark’s exchange between Jesus and a gentile women demonstrates just how little contact Jesus had with those outside his own ethnicity. The passage begins with a relatively lengthy explanation of the women’s ethnic heritage. Jesus initially rejected her plea for help based purely on her ethnic background. He plainly compared his own people (the Jews) to children before referring to all other ethnic groups as “dogs.” There are few passages recorded in the New Testament in which an individual so clearly demonstrates ethnic discrimination towards another person.
The passage demonstrates Jesus’ conception of his ministry. He believes he was sent to the Jews alone, and this is confirmed by the fact that he never preached in a gentile city. If Jesus, humanities’ savior, was permitted to demonstrate deliberate ethnic discrimination during his ministry and personal life why do modern Euroethnic Christians believe such discrimination in our contemporary world is sinful? At the very least, Jesus’ behavior justifies a Christian’s right to base practical decisions upon ethnicity.
Some modern theologians have argued that Jesus’s ethno-centric behavior was meant only to test the gentile women. While theoretically plausible, this explanation is nowhere affirmed in the passage, and it fails to account for other recorded instances when Jesus demonstrated behavior consistent with this story’s portrayal. Firstly, Mark records that Jesus left the northern (i.e. more gentile) part of the Holy Land and returned to Galilee immediately after this dialogue took place. Secondly, when sending his disciples to preach the gospel Jesus told them not to enter into Gentile or Samaritan cities (Matthew 10:5). Thirdly, Jesus never personally preached in gentile cities. Fourthly, all of Jesus’ apostles were Jewish. The evidence appears to refute the popular modern interpretation of Mark 7:26-30. Even within the narrow textual context it appears Jesus agreed to heal the women’s daughter merely because he was impressed with her snarky comeback. Only after the women admitted the gentiles were dogs did he choose to throw her the scraps of his ministry.
“And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.” (9:2)
The three elite apostles, Peter, James, and John, were set apart by Jesus to witness his transfiguration. Only these few privileged men were able to witness this important event. These three men’s inclusion came after the exclusion of the other disciples. Exclusion is often necessary and permitted.
“And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.” (9:4)
Jesus was a Jew, the apostles were Jews, and two important figures from Jewish history appear on the mount of transfiguration. The Bible is a group of texts written by Jews, and the early Christian leaders were all Jewish. The Bible is an extremely ethno-centric document. The salvation of man did not come through multicultural inclusion. Rather, it came through the dominance of a single ethnic group’s history and meaning. To sacrifice for diversity is to worship a god very different than that of the Bible.
“...a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.” (9:7)
God affirmed that Jesus was his son, and it was on the basis of his sonship, or birth privilege, that the apostles were to hear him. Jesus inherited his power and kingship from his father. The Kingdom of Heaven is not democratic, and it does not encourage socio-political equality.
“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (9:35-37)
By overturning the hierarchy of his day Jesus was not destroying or discrediting the idea of hierarchy. Rather, he was establishing a new hierarchy based upon serving one’s fellow man.
Many modern theologians have used passages like Mark 9:35-37 to argue that Jesus eradicated political and social inequality and encouraged us to abandon power and authority. But in the context of Jesus’ life and words this interpretation appears impossible. If Jesus eradicated inequality why did he encourage his disciples to become last so they could become first? Jesus still explained to his disciples how to rise within a new hierarchy. Jesus was not eliminating power and authority, he was laying a new servant oriented groundwork for them.
Jesus exemplified his new hierarchy by humbly submitting himself to God’s authority and human need. Jesus showed himself worthy of becoming a glorified monarch by lowering himself to the position of servant. Power, wealth, and political inequality used in the service of our neighbor is a positive good. If it were not, how would one explain Jesus failing to abandon his own power and kingship?
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” (9:42) “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (9:44-48)
If Jesus was a pacifist he certainly had an interesting way of showing it. There are numerous Biblical passages in which Jesus discussed killing people or having them cast into everlasting suffering (Hell). In 9:42, Jesus fantasized about someone’s sins making them worthy of being drowned. In verses 9:44-48 he asserted that mutilating ones-self is better than allowing God to cast you into everlasting torture. Jesus never endorsed traditional pacifist sentiments.
“And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (10:4-12)
Jesus strengthened family ties, restricted personal freedom, and affirmed the Old Testament. For all the talk of Jesus’ "revolutionary" and "progressive" social ethic he seems to have been remarkably traditional in his valuation of monogamy and kinship loyalty (7:9-13). Jesus did not appear to be the kind of person who would join a free-love hippie commune. Jesus’ sexual ethics were very traditional and reactionary; even to the point of arguing that divorce constituted a grave damnable sin (through adultery). If commonly practiced ancient liberalities like divorce were abominations to Jesus how much more should we suspect him of abhorring modern ones like homosexuality?
“Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother . . . One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” (10:19-21)
Rather than telling the rich young ruler to abandon an outdated concept of the Law, Jesus reiterated the Ten Commandments (including the honor of earthly parents). After reaffirming the old moral code, Jesus told the young man to follow him to gain perfection.
While much has been made of Jesus’ command to “sell all that you have and give it to the poor,” Jesus did not lay this obligation upon everyone. For example, the apostles did not sell everything they owned. After Jesus was crucified, John recorded that many of the apostles returned to their boats and fishing business (John 21:3). Possibly, Jesus’ affection for the young man inspired our Lord to see him as a potential apostle, but realizing the man’s wealth might keep him from a disciple’s lifestyle, he told him to sell it. It is also possible that Jesus knew the man trusted too much in his riches. If this is the case, it would frame the context of Jesus’ follow up statements.
“...How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” (10:23-30)
It is probably impossible to read verses 23 to 30 without questioning whether an unfettered capitalistic view of wealth accumulation is ungodly. Having an obsession with or trust in wealth is certainly incompatible with a Christian worldview. Many of the holy orders throughout Christian history have required their members to take vows of poverty. Any realistic view of human nature acknowledges that wealth corrupts the minds and lives of those who possess it. Christians must always work to distance themselves from valuing personal money. The love of money leads to the distortion of priorities, and the betrayal of our best impulses.
Verses 29 to 30 appear inherently progressive or left-wing in nature, but they can also be read from a reactionary perspective. A warrior must leave his home and family to fight a defensive war. Medieval crusaders sold everything they had and left their homelands to defend Christendom from invasion. Paradoxically, there are many things in life that can only be obtained by abandoning them. Without following Christ we may become lost, and in our wanderings lose everything we have. Whatever the case, Jesus said that by giving up our earthly blessings we will receive more in this life and the next.
“...and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles.” (10:33)
Being handed over to an ethnic "other" to be killed represents a grave betrayal. Jesus’ own ethnicity gave him up to the enemy to be murdered.
“But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.” (10:40)
Jesus might have told James and John their request was ungrantable because everyone in the Kingdom of Heaven is equal, and no one has more power or glory than anyone else; but he could not, because there is inequality in heaven. Two people are going to sit on Jesus’ right and left hands, but we do not yet know who will receive the honor. Why have we recklessly pursued equality on earth when inequality and hierarchy exist in the heavenly utopia?
“But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (10:43-45)
Jesus never relinquished his power and heritage as the anointed one of God. Instead, he used these things to minister to his fellow man. If a person is born king he need not reject the throne and become a pauper. Rather, he should use his kingship to serve his subjects. If Jesus had rejected his in-born privilege he would have opposed the will of God. Our birth privileges (including "white privilege") are to be utilized rather than abandoned.
“...he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.” (10:48)
It was only after blind Bartimaeus announced Jesus’ kinship ties to David that he received an answer. Jesus inherited his right to rule as a descendant of David. Jesus’ ethnic connection to the dynastic line constituted an important part of his identity. Our identity is not merely the product of our choices, it is something we inherit from our ethnicity, religion, and kin. This was no less true for Jesus.
“The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.” (10:51) “...say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.” (11:3)
Jesus is a lord. A lord is a feudal noble. Feudalism has been dismissed in our modern world of liberal equality worship and democratic values, but God is no democrat and he did not create equality. God's system necessitates that some people are greater and some people are lesser. Jesus is the greatest of men, and we must never forget to bow to our Lord no matter how "outdated" and "medieval" it becomes.
“Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” (11:10)
Monarchy may be a "medieval" system but Christians live under it today. The Kingdom of God is not a democracy. Christians do not vote on the commandments of Christ. They do not have the "right" to refuse the orders of their King. What Jesus affirms Christians must affirm, what he condemns they must condemn. As Christians, we are not free to "evolve" with our societies. We belong to a feudal monarchy which does not equally value the voices of the people. The people’s will is not sovereign. The privilege of sovereignty belongs only to our hereditary monarch by virtue of his ancestral connection to the Davidic Dynasty.
“...and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.” (11:15-16)
If Jesus was a pacifist he was probably the only one in history to violently purge a temple ground with whips and forcefully hold the area hostage. Jesus might never have had the opportunity to go to war, but he took advantage of violence and force to demonstrate an important point. In this author’s opinion, many pacifists underestimate the level of violence it would have taken to purge the enormous temple porch. The area was huge, and he must have employed considerable energy in driving out the men and animals. It is probable his apostles assisted in the effort. Jesus may not have killed anyone, but he illegally seized control of a public area with the use of force. His actions were not passive resistant, they were active resistant.
One can imagine a peaceful day of temple activities suddenly and insanely interrupted by a screaming guy with a whip vandalizing people’s personal possessions, throwing tables, and driveing terrified livestock around. People would be running in chaos, debris flying, people yelling, curse words shouted, and a crowd of perplexed onlookers would gather around. In short, all organization was lost.
If Jesus had carried out his cleansing act in twenty-first century America thousands of feminized Christian bloggers would condemn his actions as "offensive," "angry," "unkind," 'controversial," "un-Christlike," and numerous other epithets.
No one’s life was in danger. There was no immediate need. Jesus merely wished to make a religious point, and he chose to make it through an illegal and offensive act of violence.
“Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations (ethnos) the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (11:17)
The idea that the gospel should be spread to all ethnos does not represent a break from Old Testament teaching. From the time of the prophets (and even Genesis and Exodus), it was recognized that God was the God of all nations, and that everyone should worship him. Jesus’ command at the end of Mark to preach the gospel to all nations was a command to do what the Jews had failed to do for centuries. The universal worship of God does not subtract the individual identities God has given to the various ethnic groups of the world.
Jesus’ mission was meant exclusively for the Jews even as the news of it was meant to be spread. The universal implications of Christ's ministry do not make it any less ethnically discriminatory nor ethno-centric.
“What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.” (12:9)
Jesus’ parable ended with the "destruction" of those who disobeyed the owner of the vineyard (probably representing the Jews). If Jesus was a pacifist it remains to be explained why he commonly taught destruction for his enemies, Hell fire, and violence. Christ appears to have believed there was place for just violence in a religious person’s life.
“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” (12:17)
Jesus cleverly explained the existence of different spheres of influence in human life.
The feudal illustration is helpful: one’s lord, king, and church each demanded different levels of loyalty and obligation during the medieval period. The separation of church and state was originally an idea developed by Catholic Christianity to separate the various spheres of influence, and to ensure that state and church never became one entity after the conversion of the Roman Empire.
Following the Protestant Reformation it became difficult to separate church from state after the various protestant countries established national churches (the most famous being the Anglicans). The original pre-protestant concept, however, was helpful in defining the earthly role of the monarch as God’s anointed authority in secular matters, and the church as God’s anointed authority in the relationship of the individual with heaven. After the concepts of egalitarianism and personal freedom/rights (liberalism) began to dominate social and political ideas following the "enlightenment," Christian theology followed the development because the churches had no autonomy from the political bodies influenced by the new liberal philosophy. Today, theology is little more than a justification of contemporary socio-political fads (immigration, Marxism, pacifism, racism, etc.). The former separation of authority kept Christian theology pure from secular influence.
“For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.” (12:25)
Liberal and Cultural Marxist theologians seek to "immanentize the eschaton." They want to make heaven on earth by creating a utopia of personal freedom, equality, peace, and lack of suffering. Jesus, however, made it clear that humans cannot accomplish this. The lack of marriage in the heavenly age is an impossible situation to parallel in our present era. Humanity could not reproduce itself morally if we chose to fully immanentize the eschaton. In the disciple’s prayer, Jesus instructed his followers to ask God to bring the kingdom himself and make “earth as it is in heaven.” Bringing the final perfect age is God’s duty, not ours.
“And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (12:31)
Christians must ask themselves whether loving one’s neighbor involves allowing that neighbor's country to be invaded by Third World criminals, giving their jobs away to immigrants, bankrupting their government with handouts to drug addicts, or discriminating against their children with affirmative action. It is against love to embrace the weakening of one’s nation when the next generation must pay for the calamity.
Modern theologians talk about loving low IQ migrants, inner-city poor people, and war torn Africans, but they never talk about loving one’s actual personal neighbor. Conveniently for these thinkers, they are always talking about the ethnic "other," or people on the other side of the globe, instead of how their social mandates will affect Westerner’s actual flesh and blood neighbors; the ones whose families will live with their decisions for generations.
Since when did the term "neighbor" begin describing an unknown African from Timbuktu but cease to describe the guy next door, or members of our church family, or our cousins? It is time to reclaim the word "neighbor." It is time to love our real neighbors.
“For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (12:36)
Jesus told David he would make his enemies his footstool. This language, advocating the domination of the "other," is consistent with considerable Old Testament language. Jesus often crushed his supporter's enemies, and made them lower and unequal to his own people.
“And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.” (12:38-40)
Contextually, Jesus appears to have been insulting the Jewish leaders to their faces as he warned the people they would receive “greater damnation.” Jesus’ words were deeply offensive, and it appears Christ was inviting conflict.
“And the gospel must first be published among all nations.” (13:10)
As discussed earlier, the universal nature of Jesus’ gospel does not separate if from the Old Testament. There is more continuity between the two parts of the Bible than many Christians have been taught. The idea of a rigid worldview separation between the testaments is the result of modern theological attempts to escape the socio-political consequences of associating their religion with the harshly anti-liberal practices of the Old Testament (slavery, ethno-nationalism, capital punishment, etc.).
“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (13:12)
Does Christian loyalty and service to one’s King have the potential to cause conflict within families? Absolutely, but the nature of pledging allegiance to a lord is that one must sacrifice personal freedom and comfort to honor his orders. This is the nature of loyalty. A family that does not serve the same lord or king is a house divided. Christians should strive to bring our entire kinship groups within the protection and blessing of our spiritual feudal Lord.
“...but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen...” (13:20, 22, 27) “...or false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” (13:22) “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds...”
The New Testament often speaks of God’s "elect." The most prominent and controversial of these occasions is found in the ninth chapter of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. In almost every case in which the term "elect" is used there is an implication that some people are chosen by God to enter his kingdom while some are not.
The opportunity to gain salvation is not equally distributed to every person in the world. God does not believe in equal opportunity. How many millions or billions of people died in the Americas before the gospel reached their nations for the first time? How could someone born in Saudi Arabia to a Muslim family have the same opportunity to obey the gospel as an Alabama preacher’s kid? Equality is not a Biblical concept. No two people are created equal, nor are they given equal life opportunities.
In 13:22, Jesus implied that the elect cannot fall away from God even in the most extreme situations. There is no "fairness" or equality in this indication. If some people literally cannot fall away from God then they clearly have an unfair advantage in being saved. But God’s lack of concern with the human idea of equality should not surprise religious students, it is found throughout the Biblical record. In Romans nine, Paul confronts the question of God’s "unfairness," but dismisses it as an unacceptable inquiry. The simple answer: the concept of human equality is an invalid construct.
“For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.” (14:7)
Mark 14:7 is the kind of passage that haunts the nightmares of a liberal Marxist theologian. If poverty will never be eliminated, and the relief of it (i.e. selling expensive perfume to help the poor) should be tempered upon this fact, than the entire utopian project is invalid. Interestingly, within this same monologue Jesus talked about the “gospel” being preached. Jesus discussed the gospel right after telling his disciples to momentarily forget about the poor. Obviously, the relief of poverty is not a central aspect of the Christian message.
This passage brings up interesting questions about why the poor exist. Is poverty really something meant to be eliminated? Or is it something God has provided for Christians to demonstrate our good will and allow us to minister to our neighbors? Jesus obviously did not believe poverty could ever be eliminated, but where does that leave our charity efforts? This story should have us questioning the goal of eliminating poverty in Africa, and other "hearts of darkness" around the world.
“But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.” (14:28)
After the resurrection, Jesus hoped to meet his apostles in their home country. Everyone has a desire to return home, especially after big stressful events. Jesus appears to have felt similar longings. Perhaps he wished to see the familiar surroundings of his boyhood home, a land so crucial to his identity and history.
“And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.” (14:47)
Pacifists must have conflicted feelings about Jesus arrest in Gethsemane. On the one hand, Jesus ordered his disciples not to fight. On the other, the events surrounding it raise questions about why the apostles were carrying weapons in the first place. The apostles may have been spiritually dense, but it remains difficult to imagine that after living and learning from a pacifist Jesus for three years they never "got the memo" to ditch their weapons.
In Luke twenty two, after Jesus told his disciples to buy swords and prepare for a future altercation, the apostles spontaneously produce two swords from their baggage. Whether or not Jesus actually intended for them to purchase swords (there is some ambiguity) is irrelevant to the fact that Jesus never told his apostles to get rid of their violent accessories. It is illogical to think Jesus did not know his apostles were carrying swords around. Apparently, Jesus did not spend much time preaching non-violence if his own disciples were thinking of military revolution right to the end of his ministry. Or else, his apostles were considerably more stupid then is traditionally believed.
“...Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” (14:61)
Jesus was special because of his parentage. He was the “Son of the Blessed.” Jesus’ identity arose from his kinship connection to both King David and his heavenly Father.
“And the superscription of his accusation was written over, The King Of The Jews.” (15:2, 9, 12, 18, 26, 32)
In chapter fifteen, Jesus is referred to as the “King of the Jews” six different times. Jesus is a king, not a mere figurehead like Queen Elizabeth II of England, but a powerful, commanding, legitimate feudal lord who demands allegiance from humanity.
There is considerable question about whether Mark 16:9-20 was in the original autograph. None of it is found in the earliest manuscripts. Nevertheless, it certainly represents early Christian thinking.
“...tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee.” (16:7)
Jesus returned to his homeland after the resurrection. His homeland constituted a large part of his unchosen identity.
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (16:15)
Again, there is nothing especially revolutionary about Jesus’ command to teach the gospel across the world. The one true creator God of the Old Testament was certainly never intended to be kept a Jewish secret.
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (16:16)
Jesus’ words signaled the inclusion of some people and the exclusion and condemnation of others. Christianity has never been an inclusive religion. It has never been pluralistic. Some people will be saved while others will be damned to Hell fire. Few ideas are more anti-liberal than this fundamental Christian doctrine.
Throughout Mark's gospel healing and helping the poor are peripheral issues framing the center of the action. At any moment, an all-powerful Jesus could have eliminated world poverty, sickness, and human suffering... but he never did.
Social justice was not Jesus’ primary concern. In fact, one wonders if he cared about it at all. Certainly, Jesus was not a political reformer or Cultural Marxist revolutionary. Christ's moral code was not liberating. Rather, it was stricter than what existed before his coming. Jesus rejected human freedom from traditional Mosaic duties. He rejected equality, and chose to establish an apostolic elite to spread his message. Jesus sought to call sinners to repentance and create a spiritual revival. Everywhere throughout the Gospel of Mark liberal and Marxist utopianism is shown to be disqualified.