Tuesday, December 13, 2011
the adventure begins ...
Many people today are asking questions like "Who really was Jesus?" "What does it mean to be a Christian?" and "Why does it really matter to me?"
This is precisely why Mark wrote his Gospel nearly 2000 years ago – to answer these questions and to help second generation Christians who were being persecuted know how their faith began, to help them know the truth of what they believed, and to give them comfort and strength in the midst of their sufferings. Mark writes his Gospel to remind his fellow Christians that its all true. It really happened, just as God planned, just as Jesus said, just as you have been taught. And its not only true, but it is worth living, suffering, and even dying for.
Up until this time, Christians came together to gather and worship without a complete Bible.
They didn’t yet have the entire written New Testament. They relied on the oral tradition, on sermons, teachings, and stories told them by other believers to learn about Jesus.
That’s where Mark’s Gospel comes in. Mark writes his Gospel to chronicle the origin of the Christian faith. Mark was not an eyewitness to Jesus, so he writes himself as a second generation Christian. But ancient sources tell us that Mark based his story on the recollections of the apostle Peter. Mark was Peter’s personal assistant, so he was familiar with the sermons and stories Peter told. And Peter was an eyewitness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Mark begins with these words - The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
In other words, this is what its all about. This is whats important, the foundation, the standard, the primary stuff of the gospel. And its not just the first sentence, or the first chapter, but really the entire book of Mark can be seen as the "beginning of the gospel". For this book is only the beginning of the gospel. There is much more to come. The end is not yet here. The story continues on and on as the good news of the gospel is proclaimed to all nations.
Stay tuned, as we go on a great adventure this next year to explore the mysteries and mine the treasures hidden within the pages of the Gospel of Mark.