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 this first volume of Jesus in a World of Colliding Empires, Keown backgrounds Mark and the political situations of the world at the time. He then unpacks Mark 1:1--8:29 as Jesus seeks to show the disciples he is Messiah while drawing out the deep irony of their incomprehension. ""Mark Keown's completion of his study of Mark continues the journey of volume one and its careful look at power. Jesus' way was unconventional. Keown's study shows how and urges the church to follow his example. It is a challenge and his portrait of what is required not only takes us through the second half of Mark, but asks good questions of our lives along the way. That opportunity for self-reflection makes it a study well worth pursuing."" --Darrell Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary ""Mark Keown continues his penetrating and powerful exegesis of the Gospel of Mark, locating the story within the implied conflict between Rome's son of Caesar and Israel's son of David, as to who is the true 'Lord' of the world. It is superb on background, sound in its exegetical judgments, and easy to read. An excellent commentary for all students of the gospels."" --Michael F. Bird, Lecturer in Theology at Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia ""Mark Keown's second volume in Jesus in a World of Colliding Empires continues his accessible but detailed story-commentary of the Gospel of Mark. Keown is quick to point out the profound challenge of the gospel as he examines Mark's text, and ends the book with an exploration of cruciform implications for today's disciples. These books will challenge the layperson and inspire the student."" --Sarah Harris, Lecturer, Carey Baptist College, Auckland, New Zealand Mark J. Keown is Senior Lecturer of Theology (NT) at Laidlaw College in Auckland, New Zealand, and a Presbyterian Minister. He is author of Congregational Evangelism in Philippians (2008), What's God Up To on Planet Earth (Wipf and Stock, 2011), the EEC Commentary on Philippians (2017), and a three-volume New Testament Introduction (2017-18).