Throughout my life, I have taught a number of the books of the Bible, including Matthew, Luke and John. But I have never had the opportunity to teach the book of Mark. So that’s the topic of this year’s study for our group that convened this evening after more than a year of being on hiatus. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it was to see the folks that we have come to know and love through all the years that we have been together.
And at least for me, it was like riding a bicycle – no matter how long it has been since you went for a ride, it comes right back to you – and that’s a blessing. I could tell you all kinds of interesting things about Mark. He wrote to the Romans and was dedicated to speaking about the servanthood of Jesus. The gospel is probably the most chronologically correct of all the gospels and Peter spoke heavily into the theology of Mark’s writings. In fact, there is tremendous space given to examples of the servanthood of Jesus. There are more illustrations than sermons and the action never stops. Mark jumps from story to story, bringing up the highlights as examples but not really building too much background in any one story.
We don’t read anything about the birth of Jesus or His early years. But Mark jumps in reminding us about the kingdom of God and the baptism of Jesus – the beginning of His earthly ministry. It’s quite a story – complete with time in the desert and events packed with intensity and full of lessons for us. I love the pace of the action and the intensity of the passion that Mark exhibits for making sure his audience understands that Jesus was a servant – and God expects the same from us.
While John 1:1 reminds us that Jesus was there in the “beginning”of everything, and Genesis 1:1 reminds us that God in the “beginning” created the heavens and the earth, when He decided to have community with Man, Mark 1:1 announces the “beginning” of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In other words, Mark wants us to know that this gospel is going to detail the earthly life of Jesus, when God the Father sent His Son to earth in human form to be a model of behavior for us to emulate. It’s going to be a great season, studying something in detail that I haven’t ever taught before. I’m looking forward to it.
The verse for this evening is the verse that starts everything out for us in the beginning of Mark – Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” What a beginning! The announcement of the earthly ministry of Jesus. My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to be servants as well. He sent His Son to show us how to do that. My prayer is that you will continue to study the earthly ministry of Jesus because we can never learn enough but how God wants us to grow as we progress in our walk with Him. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…