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Evaluate the claim that Mark's Gospel is all about the failure of the disciples.

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Introduction

´╗┐Megan Clark Evaluate the claim that Mark's Gospel is all about the failure of the disciples All three synoptic gospels speak about the failure of the disciples. However, Marks gospel pays particular attention to it, often emphasising their mistakes. Despite Mark also highlighting other key themes within his gospel, such as secrecy and the human portrait of Jesus, he seems to attract a particular interest in the failure of the disciples. Mark mentions that all twelve disciples fail Jesus at some point within his gospel. He stresses how amazingly unperceptive they are and in some ways, are almost opposed to Jesus in their thinking. However, where is Mark putting the emphasis? On the failure of the disciples? Or Jesus' ability to foresee their mistakes? Furthermore, just because Mark's gospel may be all about the failure of the disciples, does that necessarily mean he portrayed them in a negative light? Or were they meant to fail Jesus in order for him to fulfil his mission. ...read more.

Middle

The disciples failure to stay awake at Jesus' hour of need in the garden of Gethsemane also features in Marks gospel. Three times Jesus came back to them and found them asleep during his hour of need. Mark shows Jesus being angry at his disciples for giving into temptation, however this could just show how Jesus doesn't give into temptation. That the Son of God has more faith than anyone in order to prevent himself from falling into temptation. Furthermore, Mark may be emphasising Jesus' ability to foresee things. If they failed to keep watch even for one hour they will fail the coming test, and that means that Jesus' words said previously, "You will all fall away, for it is written", will be fulfilled: they will fall away and deny Jesus by deserting him. On the other hand, it is interesting to see that Jesus finds asleep three times, which follows the three-fold pattern. ...read more.

Conclusion

Moreover, Jesus also shows that even with the disciples failing him when he needed them most, he was able to forgive him. Mark has many themes within his gospel, it is not just about the failure of the disciples. For example, he maintains a theme of urgency throughout his gospel by mentioning the word 'immediately' forty two times, eleven of which are mentioned in the first chapter alone. Additionally Mark also shows emphasis on deeds over words by spending less time on Jesus' teaching and more time on his actions than any other gospel. Admittedly, the failure of the disciples is heavily feature in Mark's Gospel but that is only if you choose to believe that is what Mark is trying to say. For me, there are different interpretations to each of the disciples failures that I believe Mark was trying to get across. Throughout all the synoptic gospels, and even the whole of the Bible, there are stories that don't necessarily just have to be taken literally and I believe Mark's theme of the failure of the disciples is more of a metaphorical than literal. ...read more.

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