Monday I took my final for my Biblical NT Exegesis class on the Gospel of Mark. It was great! I hope I did good and I tried my best to remember all the critical details that were important. The week prior to the test I had to turn in my Exegetical Paper on a particular text in Mark. I picked Mark 8:34-9:1. Mark's Gospel has a lot of themes and dramatics. One of those themes is "cross-bearing discipleship." My paper was called The Radical Calling of Christ for Cross-Bearing Discipleship. It rocked! The research was fun and scholarly using primarily academic sources. Long story short, I got and A-! My reaction was such a sigh of relief. It was great to find out my grade after the final Monday because I finished typing this essay and turned it in two weeks ago during some tough times(e.g. with Melissa's uncle going to heaven, Valentine's Day, and ministry at church). God blessed my work and I grew a lot in this passage of Mark. Here is my closing paragraph from the paper below. Enjoy the read peeps!
[Jesus demands a high calling to anyone who desires to follow Him. Mark 8:34-9:1. It is the pinnacle chapter in the Gospel of Mark because it is “on the way” to Jerusalem. Everything after this episode of cross bearing discipleship shifts and directs all attention to the cross of Christ. These short sayings of Christ had deep application for the disciples and groups gathered with them in the text, and also to Mark’s audience to make a decision to follow Christ everyday until death without denying him or the Gospel. In his Expository Thoughts of the Gospel, J.C. Ryle mentions, “If we will not carry the cross, we shall never wear the crown” (169). That is profoundly accurate when contrasting it with the demands to deny one self, take up the cross, and follow Christ. There is a reward for those who are faithful and bear the cross. The reward is for the believer that daily surrenders his life to Christ and is willing to die a martyr’s death for the glory of God. This is indeed a radical calling by Christ for all Christians and those who desire to follow Him. All people are called to take up their identity with Christ by bearing the cross for his name and the Gospel’s sake with faithfulness and devotion as a true disciple.]