He is risen…He is going ahead of you. There you will see him, just as he told you.” Mark 16:6.7
What makes the Gospel of Mark worth reading? It sits in the #2 position as far as order in the Bible today…Matthew, Mark, Luke and John…Why not just read the first book of the new Testament? They all say “Gospel,” so why read more than one?
What makes this Gospel remarkable? And I don’t mean as a theologian. The academics tell us many reasons—who it was written for, the timing, if it was written first, the unique composition, and content…however, I want to know how it speaks to you…so I asked Deborah-by-the-Palm Bible Study class members…and here are some of their remarks:
*It is condensed—most approved of this characteristic! The succinct nature makes you read carefully.
*Some liked the dense writing of Mark, but yearned for the larger narratives in Luke and Matthew—wanted more!
*Starts out quick—gets right into the story of Jesus’ ministry! Approved of this writing approach.
*It is a snap shot of the children’s stories you knew growing up (picture Jesus with the children, feeding of the 5000), but with the adult content! One class member liked remembering the visual of the stories she learned growing up
*There is actually details of heaven—teaches about Marriage at Resurrection
*Another liked that it is the gospel of “Jesus did” Lots of action
*The compassion of Jesus is admired—especially when he teaches the disciples “over and over”
*One analyzing Bible studier wondered w
hat Jesus’ autobiography would be like…perhaps something like: “And those disciples could not understand what I said. I had to keep repeating the miracles! I was tired and lonely…”
The pace that Mark’s gospel advances is fast and furious with “immediate” used as a theme word. Its rhythm beats to today’s rapid culture.
Jesus was born into an era that did not lend itself to flamboyant light shows, social media, or even a means of transportation that would get him to one place to another in a conspicuous way. Jesus walked. Jesus sailed in a boat. However—the Gospel—roars and rips through each generation.
The donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalemmight as well have been a Lamborghini. It blazed a trail that was unforgettable. I can see the skid marks it left beneath the palm branches—this gospel races and clutches your thoughts into a dynamic ride leaving you breathless—especially if you read it aloud.
The technology that Jesus uses: Scripture, Cross, and an Empty Tomb.
Churches today often employ creative practices or flashy gimmicks to attract or entice visitors – or to keep members attending.
What is reMARKable to me—this story does not need a gimmick. Mark, the evangelist teaches us the good news—another generation—and it is exciting! We are standing alongside the centurion in knowing that, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
The risen Christ goes ahead of us…”just as he told you.”
The skid marks are still there.