Redemption, Mercy, and Trees
Continuing through the Gospel of Mark, we will finally complete Chapter 10. Fittingly in our walk, we are confronted with the beggar who stands in Jesus’ path as He passes through Jericho. Last week, we saw how the concept of redemption was woven into the culture and mindset of the children of Israel, as God gave it a primary place in the law of His children — redemption of the firstborn male child, male animal, redeeming the widow and property of a firstborn son who has left no heir, buying back family members who had given themselves as slaves or servants to foreigners when poor, redemption of land (Jeremiah 32:7 — God made him redeem land while Jerusalem was under siege and Judah was being given to Babylon), the firstborn Son of God and firstborn of Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:22) setting Himself on His way to Jerusalem to give His own life as a ransom for many.
This week the blind man at the city gate in Jericho presents the concept of mercy to ponder. But not in the way that you might think. Why did he ask for mercy? Why did Jesus stop? What did the blind man “see” in Jesus? Read Exodus 25:17-22. How do these verses help us understand mercy?
God willing, we will get through Mark 11:25, so plod ahead. Here we are taken from redemption and mercy to a tree outside of Jerusalem where Jesus gives a lesson on faith. It sounds much like a prayer for His disciples. We have much to learn from a tree, beginning all the way back in Genesis and running through the prophets. Some of the verses we will examine are as follows: