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Jesus in a World of Colliding Empires, Volume One: Introduction and Mark 1:1-8:29
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Jesus in a World of Colliding Empires, Volume One: Introduction and Mark 1:1-8:29

Author: Mark J. Keown
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At the time of Christ, world politics was an ebb and flow of colliding empires and forces. The world knew only dynastic succession and rule by force. Israel was swept up in this world. Her expectations of deliverance, while diverse, had in common the anticipation of violent liberation by an alliance of God, the expected one (Theo), and Israel’s forces. Her vision included the subjugation of the world to Yahweh. Any messianic claimant would be expected to fulfill this hope. Mark’s story of Jesus must be read against such expectations of military power. Mark knows that Jesus’ plan of salvation differed radically from this. Rather than liberation through revolution, it involved deliverance through humble, loving service, and cross-bearing. However, the disciples follow Jesus but do not understand Jesus’ purpose. They constantly expect war. So, the Gospel is then read from Mark’s full understanding and the disciples’ flawed perspective. In volume two of Jesus in a World of Colliding Empires, Keown continues to unpack Mark‘s Gospel (8:30–16:8), in which Jesus teaches the disciples what it means to be a Servant Messiah rather than a military conqueror. The then draws a range of conclusions and applications from Mark for life today.


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