This evening we will be studying Mark 1-3 (or at least as far as we can get). One of the essential characteristics of apocalyptic literature is the cosmic battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness. As an example of this apocalyptic literature, I have attached the Melchizedek Scroll written in the century or two before Jesus described such a battle. We see this cosmic battle begin in Mark 1 in the desert temptation and particularly with the demonic in the synagogue. This cosmic battle, however, is hidden from almost everyone (except the reader) and appears to be fought by earthly proxies of these forces composed of insiders allied with God and outsiders arrayed against God. We see this in Mark 2 and 3 where the disciples, tax collectors, and sinners respond positively to the call of Jesus to follow him but in opposition to him stand the scribes, Pharisees, and even his own family. This cosmic battle therefore is being waged not only in the spiritual realm but on earth between Jesus and his followers and the secular and religious powers of the world that seek to do him and his followers harm. As you read through these chapters think about the identity of the good guys and bad guys in this drama and what tools the bad guys employ against Jesus and his followers. Then think about which group you fall into and how you employ those same tools against others today.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is lasagna. Discussion about 6:45. Compline at 8. Hope to see you here, and please bring a friend.
For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand upright. Ephesians 6:12Ephesians 6:12