Bible Verse: “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.” Mark 1:1
Scripture Reading: Mark 1:1-14
The gospels are the written accounts of Jesus’s life. There are four of them, each chronicling what Jesus said and did in the brief time He was on the public stage. Three of them are remarkably similar (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), and the fourth is distinct, while still sharing a great amount of cross-over material with the other three. The final product is four distinct views of the person of Jesus Christ. Imagine looking at a statue from all four major points of the compass. You’d describe the statue differently from each vantage point, all while describing the same statue. Combining the four descriptions would give you the best overall understanding of the artwork, but it would not offer the uniqueness of each of the singular views.
This week, we’re going to examine Jesus from one of the angles—the gospel as remembered and written by Mark (and inspired by the Spirit). Mark presents one angle on Jesus that helps us see Him in a clearer light. Part of Mark’s uniqueness is where he starts.
Do you remember when you heard about Jesus? Your first encounter with Him? What part of Jesus’ story did you hear? What did you learn? Was there anything that stuck out to you about Jesus? Did you hear about one of His miracles? Healing someone of a disease, or was it a story of casting out demons, or multiplying food to feed an enormous crowd? Maybe it was His own resurrection from the dead. Or perhaps what you first heard of Jesus was something He said. A claim He made about who He was, or about how people should live? Maybe it was something about God and the nearness of God’s kingdom. Why was it memorable for you?
For the first readers of Mark’s gospel, the opening statement would have likely lodged in the readers’ mind like a splinter in the finger that can be felt, but not extracted. Every movement of the finger, grasp of a pen, keystroke at the keyboard, reminds you that a splinter is there.
Mark’s gospel opens with the line, “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1). It’s a little hard for us to grasp the significance of those words, but to the original hearers who had been waiting for the arrival of the Messiah, these words would have resounded like a bell, and would have stuck in their heads for the rest of what they read.
Those are the same words we will spend time with for the rest of the week: “good news,” and “Messiah, the Son of God.” Each part of the gospel that we encounter this week is meant to be read with that sliver lodged in our minds. Let’s spend this week hearing the good news of the Messiah.
Reflection: Why is the story of Jesus “good news?” Who was the last person you shared this good news with, and what part did you share? Take some time today to thank God for the news you have heard and ask him to help you stand on the corner and cry, “Extra! Extra!”
Prayer: God, thank You that we have so much written about the life of Jesus. Thank You for not only sending Jesus to live, die, and come back to life for me, but for preserving and providing that story for me.
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